My return to the rat race…

I mentioned on Twitter recently that I’d started a new job, which was greeted with some amusement. Some of my friends in the Oracle community have spent the last 4 years ribbing me about being “unemployed”. For those that don’t know the story, I was never unemployed. I am an employee of my own company, which paid me for the last 4 years. I spent that time representing the Oracle ACE Director program at conferences around the world, doing some teaching for Oracle University, but most of the time was spent at home, on my computers playing with Oracle technology , writing about it and answering questions about it. I had no serious intention of joining the rat race again in the foreseeable future, but at the same time I would never say never…

Over the last few weeks a number of completely unrelated events occurred that all seemed to be nudging me in the same direction. I’m not going to go into them, because it starts to sound a bit like The Celestine Prophecy, but it culminated in me agreeing to go to the job interview I blogged about recently. A few days later I was offered the job. A week after that I started. Believe me, I was as surprised about the whole thing as everyone else appears to be…

So I’ve just finished week 1 and here are some thoughts:

  • Windows Desktop: Like most companies, Windows is the standard desktop. Over the last 4 years I’ve spent the majority of time with Linux as my desktop, with the occasional bit of OS X on my laptop. I always say it doesn’t bother me what I use for a desktop, but I forgot how unproductive Windows is. It took about 3 days to get to the point where I felt I had a reasonable environment. I was using PortableApps and SQL Developer off a memory stick for the first couple of days. :)
  • TOAD: Sorry to all the cool people I know who work for Quest, but TOAD is horrible. It’s installed on my PC, but I’m not going to use it. I have SQL*Developer, which I use a bit, but most of the time I’m on SQL*Plus in an SSH session.
  • Grid Control: What a nice surprise to have grid control already in place. Even nicer when I found out we have the Diagnostics and Tuning pack licensed on all databases. Sweet!
  • I’ve really enjoyed being in an office environment again. I was a little worried I would find it restrictive, but I slotted straight back in. Of course, it’s early days so I might not feel the same in a few weeks. :)
  • I’ve forgotten a lot about AS10g. I had to do a bit of configuration on an AS10g server running forms services and I was surprised how crap I was. I need to brush up on my OAS and WebLogic stuff. As a DBA it’s not a big part of my job, but on the occasion when I have to get involved I would like it to feel a bit less like a voyage of discovery. :)
  • I really do suck at remembering people’s names. At one point I got an email and asked the guys near me to point me in the direction of the person who sent it. He was right next to me. :) I’ve now got a print out of the company organisation chart on my wall. Every time someone says a name I look at it and try and associate the name with the face.

So far so good. :)