How To Learn Oracle (MySQL, SQL Server, Java…)

Feb 12, 2010 / By Alex Gorbachev

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Start learning Oracle

Today I’ve read the following email on the mailing list of Sydney Oracle Meetup. I thought that this question is asked many times in attempt to find a silver bullet to learning Oracle so I wanted to publish my reply here on the blog, especially, that I’m a firm believer in one silver bullet that exists — there are no silver bullets.

Hi everybody,

My name is Sebastian and I’m new in the group. Yesterday I arrived late because I had a problem at work at the very last minute. However I found the meeting super interesting.

I’d like to see if someone could give me some piece of advise… I have ZERO experience with Oracle. I’m a Software Engineer and I’ve been working for more than 7 years in development (open source technologies basically). When it comes to DBs, I have some good knowledge about MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQL Server (the only MS product I like). As OS, at the moment I’m working with Linux Ubuntu 9.04.
So, my question is what would be the best way to start working with / studying Oracle?? What can I install to actually have the DBMS running in my laptop and start writing PL/SQL?? Oracle XE??

Then, do you consider I can get any change of getting a internship position (I don’t have much free time) or what would be the best way to get started in this field? I see that ALL the positions require a lot of experience.

Sorry for writing to the whole list about a personal issue. Feel free to write me to my personal email address and thanks everybody.

I look forward to seeing you in the next meet up.

Kind Regards,


If there is a silver bullet on how to get into new technology field than I don’t know about it. It all depends on personality and what works for you.

What I know is that I often prefer a quick learner to hire with no experience in the field but he or she must be a good thinker, analytical person and etc rather than someone with 20 years of experience in the field but not able to learn anything new in a reasonable amount of time.

On the technical side:
If you want to get into Oracle database development (and I understand it’s development you are interested in rather than administration) – Oracle XE (with APEX potentially) would do the trick. You might want also to use SQL Developer (a free tool from Oracle).

Now, installing and playing with things alone won’t make you any good so START READING good books. Also, start participating in online communities (but be careful to trust what people write there). Joining Sydney Oracle Meetup is one right step you’ve made already.

Good luck.

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