Ben Prusinski is an Oracle Certified Professional with more than 12 years of full-time experience as a database administrator and has written numerous articles and white papers on database management. Ben is the author of two books on Oracle database technology: Migrate to Oracle: Expert Secrets and Oracle Debugging both from Rampant Tech Press. He is also one of the authors of : Oracle 11gR1/R2 RAC Essentials. Ben is also an active member of the San Diego and Orange County Oracle user group community, and he has published various articles for customers and user groups on data management. Ben has been working with databases including Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and IBM DB2 UDB since 1996 and has accumulated over a decade of practical knowledge and experience with the design and architecture of highly available Oracle database systems with Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC), Oracle Data Guard, Oracle EBS, Oracle Grid Control, Data Warehouse, and Oracle Streams replication. He is also an Oracle expert on database performance tuning, database security, and database upgrades and migrations.
1- Why did you choose to specialize in Oracle databases?
Before I was a DBA, in my first IT job after college, I worked with databases as a developer and the application
environment was mostly Oracle. This provided me with incentive to learn Oracle.
2- What made you specialize in Oracle Real Application Clusters and Linux systems?
Years ago, when I first began working as an Oracle DBA, I had to work on an Oracle 7 OPS (Oracle Parallel Server) on SunOS UNIX platform. This was the precursor to Oracle RAC and I enjoyed the challenges. I continued working with RAC as the product matured and it became a focus in my database forte. Since I had a solid network and storage background before I was an Oracle DBA, it made sense since a good Oracle RAC DBA must know these things in addition to Oracle. As for Linux, I worked mostly over past decade on UNIX systems with Oracle and with the evolution of Linux, it made sense as Oracle has shifted from developing on Sun Solaris to Linux platform.
3- Do you still remember the first day in your first job?
Yes, in college, to pay for school, I worked for the computer lab on campus. I had to enter thousands of pages of data entry in a mainframe computer! It was horrible but my first paying tech job before graduation so I accepted the drudgery and never complained. My boss was appreciative and let me train on databases as result! I learned SAS, UNIX, and Oracle.
4- Is there anybody you have regarded as role model at the beginning of your career?
I would have to say that Turin was my hero- he is regarded as the father of computer science. For databases, I would say Dr. E Codd and CJ Date as he came up tons of original research on relational databases. For entrepreneurs, Larry Ellison and Bill Gates come to mind as marketing and brilliant geniuses for Oracle and Microsoft.
5- What are the resources that you consult regularly to keep up-to-date with Oracle topics?
I spend a lot of time on forums answering questions and learning. Also, beta programs and product briefings help a lot as an Oracle ACE Director I attend these. Oracle changes constantly and one must be on top of things to avoid falling behind. Conferences are another great way to keep in touch with product and development teams to learn new technology.
6- 3 Books that you would recommend reading to every Oracle professional?
Anything by CJ Date and Tom Kyte’s books as well as the Oracle Concepts manuals from Oracle should be mandatory for all database professionals who work with Oracle. You would be amazed at how many folks cannot understand even the basics of Oracle architecture, how it works, and database concepts!
7- What was the biggest technical challenge in your career so far?
Corporations today are cutting costs in the recession economy we have and adding value constantly to prove to clients and executive management are the biggest challenge. So far, having to perform a major recovery of a billion dollar financial database on New Year’s eve a few years ago was the biggest challenge of my career.
8- How do you disconnect from work in your spare time?
I enjoy sports especially playing racquetball, kickboxing, weight lifting, cooking as well as racing my sports car in auto cross events. I am an adrenaline junkie and these give me the release to allow me to be calm and positive at work.
9- What advise would you give to somebody who just started studying computer science?
Learn the business side of things as well as how to write and communicate effectively in addition to learning the technology. Nowadays, as an IT or technology professional, you must be able to bridge the gap between engineers and business executives to be most successful.