Being totally fresh and new as any kind of developer can be pretty tough sometimes. Maybe you were just hired by a company and they promised you that they would teach you everything you need to know? Let me tell you something… The life in an IT department is very often a very hectic life, and things do not always turn out like planned.
You might not get that kick-start of your knowledge base like you were expecting, because your team has a big delivery next month, and no-one really has time to sit down with you. But, at the same time, YOU are expected to come up-to-speed so that you can help to pull some of the weight in your team.
This is a very typical situation for many new developers, and in this article I wanted to tell you about 11 ways to increase your Oracle skills. But, of course, you can use these 11 ways as any type of developer.
- Classes (off site, virtual)
- In-house classes
- On site classes
- Learn from others in your team
- Oracle User groups
- Learn by example
- Blogs and Websites
Below, I have divided these 11 ways to increase skills into two groups:
- Taught by others
- Self Learning
1. Classes (on site, virtual)
One of the most common ways, for at least larger companies, to educate new developers is to send the newbie to a place where they give classes in what your are supposed to become an expert in. There are many companies that specializes in Oracle training, and you can search the Internet for these companies. Another variant that I like very much, is the “virtual class” type of courses. I am a “home-body”, and I do not care much for traveling, so I prefer sitting in my private office at home, and take a virtual class instead of going to a hotel for a few days. That is just me…
The virtual classes are usually organized so that you have an instructor that shares his/her computer screen, and all participants call a number so that you can all be part of the class, and ask questions to the instructor.
If you do not have your own home office, maybe you can schedule one of your company’s meeting rooms for a few days so that you can get some peace and quiet?
2. In-house classes
Depending on the work load in your team, or company, a very nice way yo learn is in-house classes. This is a class where people from your company come together, and one of your company’s knowledgeable people gives a class on a topic. This might often work very well, since you all belong to the same company, and the instructor will be able to help you more when you have questions on matters that are based on some of the rules and regulations of the company, guidelines for developers in your company, etc.
Currently I am actually giving SQL classes to some of my colleagues, and it can be a very nice way to learn.
3. On site courses
A way used by some companies, is to gather some of the developers, and then have the company pay for an instructor to come to YOU. So, it is basically the same as the first, but instead of YOU traveling, the instructor is traveling.
One of the nice things about using this way of classes, is that the instructor can be told up front specific topics that needs to be covered more deeply, etc.
4. Learn from others in your team
Well, as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, the IT department can be a hectic place sometimes, and it is not always time for someone in your team to sit down with you to teach you. And, I am sorry…but humans are just…humans, so psychologically, the person set to teach you might not even WANT the task of teaching you, or he/she will look at you as a “lesser worth” person because you know so little. I migth be weird to say this, but there are too many examples in an IT department of these situations, so I felt I needed to mention this.
So, if you get the right person in your team to teach you, this can be an awesome experience.
Another issue, you might call it, is that even if you are lucky to get a good experience with being taught by a colleague, it can start out well, but after a couple of weeks the trainer/colleague is pulled into a big project, and you are left by yourself again.
Ok, now we are getting into my favorite ways to increase skills. At the time of writing this article, I have worked as a software developer for almost 25(!) years. The best way for me, personally, is to teach myself. This way I can teach myself on only the topics that matters.
Here are some of the ways I use all the time as a software developer.
There are many good Oracle forums out there, and here are few examples:
There are definitively a lot of Oracle books available. You can find most of them at Amazon. A nice thing about many books, is that they come in .PDF format. That makes it so that you can have it on the computer, and search for words in the books, etc. In addition, with a .PDF book, you can have it on your iPad, if you have one.
If you have something you want to know about as an Oracle developer, a nice way to learn is to i.e. go to Google, and search for videos on a certain topic, or even beginner tutorials. You can use this link.
8. Oracle User groups
In most areas of the world, you will be able to find Oracle User Groups. Search for them in your favorite search engine, and see if there is one close to you. Also, a lot of the bigger Oracle User Groups have their own website, that you can find i.e. by using Google.
Ok, I am not speaking about the public library, with all them books. I am speaking about websites made as a “library” to help people that search for how to use a function, how to use a command, how to write a certain type of SQL statement, etc.
Here are a couple of them:
You can search the Internet for many more of them.
10. Learn by example
This is something I like personally. Many a time I have learned how to do something by looking at other developer’s code. Like, if you are working in a team with many other developers, you will have a database where all the procedures, functions, and packages are residing. Browse through them, and see how things are being done.
In the latest years, a very often used way to store code files is by using web based code repositories, like GIT, etc. Many companies have these installed internally. You can ask to get access to these repositories, and look through some of the code.
11. Blogs and Websites
Well, I would hope you use OracleTuts, but there are a lot of blogs about Oracle on the Internet. I will leave up to you to do the search. But, a very well known one is the “Ask Tom” website, which is a part of Oracle’s website, and the “Tom” we are speaking about is the well know Oracle personality Tom Kyte.
I am a very blessed person, in many ways. And, one of the ways is that I have a beautiful wife that I love very much. On of the ways I am very different than my wife, is in studying. My wife likes to read the whole book, but I prefer to look at the few paragraphs that solve my problem. The main difference might be that I am a technical person, and my beauty is not. Also, my wife likes to learn about many different things, but I like to be topic-oriented.
There are many different ways to learn, but if you want to go the “self-taught” way like I have, I would encourage you to specify the issue you have, or define exactly what you want to learn about, and then learn about it. Like I do:
I have a task, I get an issue, I look on the Internet how to solve it, and then I solve it. Short and sweet.
Well, that was the end of this article. I hope you have enjoyed it, and have learned form it. Please do not hesitate on leaving a comment, and if I have forgotten something, please put your way to learn in the comments section below.
And, as always, sharing is caring. 😉