Eddie was introduced to Oracle in 1994. Since then, he has been developing software applications using Oracle databases and tools. In addition to his blog (http://awads.net/wp/) in which he shares his Oracle related experiences, news, views, tips and tricks, Eddie created the Oracle News Aggregator (http://orana.info/), a site that allows readers to monitor Oracle related blogs and news sources, an Oracle question and answer blog (http://oraqa.com/), and Firefox extensions, plugins and bookmarklets (http://awads.net/wp/oracle-stuff/) that make it easier for developers to search Oracle documentation and resources. Eddie is the the creator of OracleCommunity.net.Eddie is also the 2006 winner of the “Oracle-related blogger of the year” award.
1- Why did you choose to specialize in Oracle databases?
It just happened to be in the right place and at the right time . It was in 1994. I was a COBOL programmer working for a big steel company in Saudi Arabia. Management decided to replace COBOL with Oracle. So, I had to learn SQL, PL/SQL, Oracle Forms and Reports. We were running Oracle Database version 7 on VAX/VMS. That’s when I entered the vast world of Oracle… the rest is history.
2- Do you still remember the first day in your first job?
After I graduated from college with a shiny new Computer Science degree, I went into teaching for a while. I taught math, English and (COBOL and FORTRAN) programming. Even though I enjoyed teaching, it was not an easy job to do.
3- Is there anybody you have regarded as role model at the beginning of your career?
I had a very good mentor when I worked in Saudi Arabia. His name was Jayant. He taught me many of the real world tips and tricks, the things that they never teach you in college. He was my role model. Later on, when I got into the Oracle world, I (and thousands of others) learned a lot from Tom Kyte.
4- What are the resources that you consult regularly to keep up-to-date with Oracle topics?
I keep tabs on hundreds of Oracle related blogs by subscribing to the OraNA.info feed in my Google Reader. I have found this to be the best and easiest way to stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest from the Oracle community. Moreover, social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and OracleCommunity.net are other channels I regularly use to interact with Oracle enthusiasts like you and me.
5- 3 Books that you would recommend reading to every Oracle professional?
I subscribe to Safari Books Online. They have a large library of Oracle (and other) books. Currently, I have 46 Oracle books on my digital bookshelf. There are many I would recommend, here are a few:
* Pro Oracle SQL
* Linux Recipes for Oracle DBAs
* Troubleshooting Oracle Performance
* Expert Oracle Database Architecture: Oracle Database 9i, 10g, and 11g Programming Techniques and Solutions
* Oracle PL/SQL Programming
6- What was the biggest technical challenge in your career so far?
Almost every technical problem I have encountered had a solution somewhere on the Internet, or in someone’s head. The challenge is finding the right solution. Sometimes, a coworker or a friend has the answer (you just need to ask). Oracle forums, Oracle documentation and My Oracle Support are examples of the places I usually visit when I face a technical challenge. Knowing how to search these resources is very essential too. I created a bunch of Oracle specific browser search plugins that make searching more convenient, check them out.
7- How do you disconnect from work in your spare time?
I am always connected. Blame it on the iPhone. Between a full time job and a full time dad and husband, it is very hard to find spare time. Whatever free time I have, I invest in managing OracleCommunity.net, keeping up to date with Oracle through OraNA.info, reading books and participating in social networks.
8- What advise would you give to somebody who just started studying computer science?
Learn the concepts very well. Learn how to think. Question authority. Be creative.