Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Database Olympics - Training for the Medals?

I will admit, I have been inspired by watching the Olympics. The work, training and even reinventing that the athletes do to be successful at the competitions. I enjoy sports and have participated where I could but accepted the fact over the years that being short and now getting older has created some physical limitations. It is still fun, and if you didn't know this about me, swimming was my sport that helped me fund my schooling (as a coach). I was even a flyer and a sprinter, not to keen on long distances, though a nice long slow swim is very relaxing to me now. I do get excited about the swimmers doing well and watching how the sport has changed over the years.
The photo for my blog here is even me standing next to Michael Phelps just a "few" years ago...
One might even say that I temporary retired from writing blog posts (considering how old the last post was), but now feel that this part of my new training plan. I have been impressed how he has refocused and set goals in order to accomplish what he has this year. Katie Ledecky, even though competing in the longer distances, has dominated her events, amazed by how hard she works and trains, and seen earlier photos with Phelps and might have used meeting him for some encouragement to work harder.
But this isn't an article about Phelps, it is about what we can learn and be inspired to do as Olympians in our own field. Yes, I said that we are Olympians. There is even a TV commercial out there with Kayla Harrison (awesome Judo athlete) saying that things we do normally earn us medals. (If you don't know anything about Kayla, google her and "This is My Day").
So, what are we training for, any upcoming events? Where do we have to do things differently? What conditions have changed? If we are looking at database environments, there is so much growth and potential here in these environments because of new technologies and business needs. Databases are being provided as services where self-provisioning has definitely changed the landscape for the DBAs, might even consider that DBAs are needing to adjust just because the skills are getting older and newer (younger) options are coming. The knowledge is needed to provide data intelligence and still provide highly available, well-performing and secured data sources.
We might be preparing for the migration or upgrade (12cR2???) event coming soon. Our training would be learning the new features, testing our environments and getting prepared to succeed in that event. Just image celebrating those victories with medals or other types of awards.
Doing things differently, we might adapt new technologies or automate parts of our job in order to focus on different areas to work more with the business to provide the data solutions.
Data security is a higher priority, which I have been focused on to look at access controls, data protection and how to validate and monitor the controls are in place and continue to be effective.
Processes, new technologies, working differently are things I have heard as the athletes that have come back year after year are doing in the Olympics, and why shouldn't we embrace that for what we do and how we are working in our environments.
Validate the processes and controls, work on using services and automation to not have to constantly repeat tasks to be "faster" at delivery and continue to learn and if needed refocus on areas that meet business requirements.
Let's be inspired to learn more, work more efficiently and celebrate what we do.

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