Sunday, May 24, 2009

Voyage to the Mothership- Oracle HQ

It is intermission time so grab your popcorn, in our break from a pure tech topic, I want to blog on my amazing trip to the mothership, that is to Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores! In my 12+ years of working on Oracle databases, this was my first pilgrammage to visit the campus and HQ for Oracle!

I have always wanted to take a trip to where it all began.

As an Oracle Professional, I have interviewed many times with Oracle but unfortunately it either was not the right fit or recently a hiring freeze nixed my efforts to join Oracle. It really is luck and timing. It really is about good fortune, timing and knowing the right people at the right time in life.

I finally finished my third book on Oracle database technology. What led me to the visit to Oracle HQ you might ask? I went to a session on Oracle R12: it was fun and helped to refresh my EBS DBA skills on patching, cloning, and managing Oracle 12i or R12 EBS environments. I met some cool people most of the class works for Oracle support! It was fun! And I even managed to fix my errors in my VMWare configuration for R12 EBS on Oracle Enterprise Linux! Had to fix routing and network configuration issues then had to stop and restart the apps tier services. And voila! Now my VMWare works for R12! Woohoo!

I can say this: if you have the golden opportunity to visit Oracle HQ: take it! Oracle employees at HQ in Redwood Shores are blessed to work on one of the nicest corporate environments. Period. From the amazing fitness center with classes, gym, and Olympic swimming pool to amazing gourmet meals served at the many cafes on campus at budget prices (I had a grilled NY strip steak for less than $8!), people seem happy to work for and at Oracle! That explains why Oracle DEMANDS Ivy League pedigrees from many potential employees such as Stanford. I ran into Julian Dyke while learning new features for R12. Such a great RAC expert and very nice guy. Funny the people we run into by chance. Now, I did a session at another Oracle center in Los Angeles and in stark contrast, the center was NOT as nice as Oracle HQ! Views of Barbie and Mattel do not compare to the serenity of Oracle HQ!

Besides the 20 foot parking structure with Ken and Barbie, I really was not impressed by El Segundo, California and the one floor that Oracle training occupies there. But, a short 2 hour drive was more convenient from San Diego than the flight required to SFO for my visit to Oracle HQ. Was it worth it? Heck yeah, and if I am lucky to meet Larry someday and can pick his brain for a few minutes, perhaps I can make the planet a better and happier place with less suffering,


Joel Garry said...

Howdy Neighbor! (I'm in N San Diego county). I grew up on the other side of LAX from El Segundo. We called it Smell Segundo 'cause of the refinery. Man, was I happy to get away from there. Heard on this morning's traffic report people were pissed at Obama for shutting down the 405 during the morning rush hour for his caravan to the airport.

Did you happen to ask any of the support people in your class where they live? Many of them commute from east bay.

Ben Prusinski said...

Hi Joel,

Yeah it was quite a difference to see Oracle HQ versus the training center in El Segundo. Definitely more fun and enjoyable to take training at the Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores. As for support folks, most live either in San Jose or the East Bay. Funny, the support center is right across from the training center! I ended up tutoring one of the support engineers on how to use the R12 EBS Oracle Application Manager (OAM) interface to perform DBA and system administration tasks since she had zero prior experience with it! San Diego is much nicer place to live than Los Angeles.