Interview with an Oracle ACE: Tim Gorman

    By: Theresa Wojtalewicz on May 01, 2012

    Tim Gorman headshot.jpg

    IOUG: When did you become an Oracle ACE?
    Gorman: January 2007.

    IOUG: What does this experience mean for you personally and professionally?
    Gorman: Personally, I’m proud of the recognition. Professionally, it is validation.

    IOUG: Has your status as an Oracle ACE helped you in your career?
    Gorman: In 1998, I co-authored my first book, and that provided credibility in the sense of “this guy doesn’t just read books, he writes them.” In 2002, I was invited into the Oak Table Network, which provided more credibility in the sense of “this guy has some very smart and capable friends.” In 2004, I became president of the Rocky Mountain Oracle Users Group ( for the first time, which provided more credibility in the sense of “my local community of professionals trusts me.” In 2007, I was given Oracle ACE status, which provided very powerful credibility in the sense of “Oracle Corporation says this guy knows his stuff.” It all helps.

    IOUG: In your current role researching, writing and teaching for Oracle professionals, what has been your biggest achievement? What has been your biggest regret?
    Gorman: For almost 10 years now, I’ve been promoting the use of the EXCHANGE PARTITION operation as the linchpin to almost infinite scalability in data warehouse databases built on the Oracle RDBMS, and there is no end in sight yet. I’ve had people shake my hand and tell me how much these techniques have helped, and that is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Truly.

    In terms of regrets, back in 1999, I wrote a rather nice little white paper titled “The Search For Intelligent Life in the Oracle Cost-Based Optimizer.” It was well-received, very popular, and translated from English into at least three other languages (German, French and Russian). Unfortunately, the content became obsolete by 2002 with the advent of Oracle 9i, a fact I knew but did not bother to note in my paper. Over the subsequent years, I was horrified to discover that my white paper was the main citation for some very foolish practices and assertions, and it wasn’t until 2006 that I updated the paper to place the disclaimer that the topic was obsolete. It was a sharp reminder that published words can take on a life of their own if not monitored.

    IOUG: Do you have any advice for novices in this industry?
    Gorman: Better to figure out a way to test it for yourself than to go find someone to ask.

    IOUG: Do you have any advice for IOUG members for their own careers?
    Gorman: You can’t claim to know something until you have successfully explained it to someone else.

    Released: May 1, 2012, 11:00 am
    Keywords: SELECT Journal | Interview | Oracle ACE | Tim Gorman

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