To answer Tim Hall’s call to appreciate OTN, I could have written about my go-to feature, the MATCH_RECOGNIZE clause, or my go-to development tool, Oracle SQL Developer. Instead, I’d like to salute my go-to “Oracle Technology” guy for over 10 years, Tom Kyte.
It was 2005. After almost 25 years in IT, I knew something about a lot of technologies, but not relational databases. I was trying to figure out why a product I had gotten my company to buy was running slowly, and the problem seemed to be in its use of the Oracle database. So, I got a colleague to show me how to write a SELECT statement, went to the Internet to learn how to trace and analyze Oracle performance problems and dove into the deep end…
It took a few weeks of Googling before I finally landed on asktom.oracle.com. Unbelievable! No other product on earth had such an expert, ready to explain any concept and solve any problem at the drop of a mouse, and for free. Sitting at Tom’s virtual feet almost daily, I not only solved my original problem but started a new career as an in-house SQL development specialist, contributor to asktom and OTN and later conference speaker.
Here is my first sentence posted on asktom 10 years ago: “As a first-time “reviewer”, MANY thanks to Tom whose invaluable insights have helped me find incredible performance boosts, although I am not a trained DBA.” I haven’t stopped thanking him since.
So many of us have learned from Tom about “worst practices”, the problems with cars that won’t start, WHEN OTHERS THEN NULL, and analytics that rock!
Tom, whatever you may be doing during or after your sabbatical, may your heart be ever warmed by the gratitude of the many you have helped and even inspired. You rock too!