Posts by Paul Vallee

The Fine Art of Baloney Detection: In honour of Dr. Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan is a personal hero of mine. Ten years ago today this gifted communicator died of cancer. And so today the community of bloggers that loved and admired Carl Sagan is having a spontaneous blogathon in his memory. You might ask, what does Carl Sagan have to do with being a good DBA? Believe it or not, a lot. Yes, really.

Recent Pythian Academic Research

It’s not academic research about us, The Pythian Group, but rather about our inspiration for our company’s name, the actual young woman who was the Pythian priestess, the Oracle of ancient Greece who would give her pronouncements at Delphi.

Remote DBA: How to Get Expert Help Without Losing Control

I’ve been invited by new Pythian partner GridApp to co-host a webinar with their eminent chief scientist, Matt Zito. If you don’t know about GridApp, you certainly should. They offer a rapid-provisioning and configuration management system called Clarity that substantially streamlines repetitive database management chores while simultaneously providing visibility into inventory and configuration changes.

IT Industry Trends Towards Anti-Certification

Did anyone else notice this interesting e-week article titled The Downside of Certification? It immediately reminded me of an article written by Pythian team lead and datawarehousing architect Rob Hamel titled “Get Down with OCP: Evaluating DBA Job Applicants in an OCP World”. What Rob noticed in 2004 was that certification can mask a certain type of incompetence from a casual technical evaluation process.

Oracle Finally Documents lnnvl() in 10GR2

Tip of the hat to Eddie Awad who does some noticing and some digging to confirm that lnnvl(), a function that provides functionality similar to ANSI “Is Not True” and can be used to return boolean TRUE whenever the predicate to the function is either NULL or FALSE is now supported in 10GR2.

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