To Blog, or Not to Blog?

As 2018 is ending I am thinking about what I spend my time on. Do I have my priorities correct? I know that I should spend some part of my time interacting with people over the Internet. I have gotten so much benefit from talking with other people about Oracle database issues through web-based forums. I have also had some in person interactions. I’m excited about the sort of rebirth of AZORA, my local Arizona Oracle user group. I talk to human beings in person about Oracle at user group meetings and that has great value. But I noticed that it had been a while since my last blog post of any substance. So, I asked myself if I am losing interest in blogging. I have not lost interest in writing blog posts, but I have had many other things tugging for my time, including other ways to interact with people over the Internet. So, I need to think about how much time to allocate to this blog next year.

I blame part of my lack of blog verbosity on Python. I have written a number of Python related posts, but Python has also drawn me into interacting with Rosetta Code and Stack Overflow. I’m trying to keep up my Python skills so that I have a general-purpose programming language available in my tool kit. But any time I might have devoted to my blog may have gotten used up by these Python related sites. Even GitHub is a form of distraction because maintaining Python repositories there takes time. But I don’t regret any time spent on Python because it is such a popular language now and it has really helped me in my work.

I guess the second time sink has been my PeopleSoft work. I don’t really talk much about my PeopleSoft work on this blog, but I have done a lot more of this sort of work in 2018 than I ever would have expected. With the push to move to the cloud and move to non-Oracle databases I have nevertheless been doing a bunch of old fashioned on premises ERP support, PeopleSoft applications on Oracle databases. I’ve been doing PeopleSoft on Oracle database for at least 24 years now so if my employer needs this sort of work, I’m capable of doing it. But PeopleSoft doesn’t excite me as much as database internals and performance tuning so that’s why I don’t blog about it much.

Speaking of the cloud and non-Oracle database, I have done some work in these areas in 2018 but not as much as I would have liked. I probably wouldn’t blog about the basics of using AWS or MySQL RDS, but if I can dig into some MySQL internals and use or build some MySQL performance tools, I can see blogging about that. My experience is mostly with Oracle, but I think open source is neat. I like having the MySQL and PostgreSQL source code even if I am unfamiliar with it. So, I guess I haven’t blogged about the cloud and non-Oracle databases because I just haven’t gotten very far. Maybe next year.

But, why have I not blogged about Oracle performance tuning? That really is the question. There have been several performance issues that I have worked on over the past few months, but in many cases, they were not anything new to me. Still, I think I may have missed out by not documenting the steps I went through in some of these real issues. I think it is easy to feel like what I am writing is not anything new and that there are better Oracle performance tuning bloggers out there. Also, I worry that I will make a mistake and confuse people or mislead them with wrong information. I would not intentionally mislead anyone, but I can certainly be wrong! I think going forward in 2019 I want to make the effort to write blog posts about Oracle performance issues that I have resolved even if they are not especially new territory. I probably can find some interesting angle from most issues. I think it might help people to see how I am using my SQL*Plus and Python scripts in different scenarios. Anyway, I hope to get back to blogging about Oracle performance.

Topics of my 15 blog posts in 2018 to this point:

User Group6
Oracle4
Python3
MySQL2

My Shakespeare inspiration (To be, or not to be):


To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles…

Hamlet. Act III, Scene I

About Bobby

I live in Chandler, Arizona with my wife and three daughters. I work for US Foods, the second largest food distribution company in the United States. I have worked in the Information Technology field since 1989. I have a passion for Oracle database performance tuning because I enjoy challenging technical problems that require an understanding of computer science. I enjoy communicating with people about my work.
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4 Responses to To Blog, or Not to Blog?

  1. Rich says:

    Great blog to close out the year. Not that you were soliciting opinions but I hope you continue to blog next year and ongoing. I also find myself very interested in performance tuning and your python posts helped my choose to learn python to add a general purpose language to my tool belt. Keep up the great work and looking forward to more posts next year. Happy New Year.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    Hi.

    Some thoughts:

    1) How about a weekly/monthy wrap-up post about what you have done in the other avenues. Like which “interesting” questions you’ve been involved in of Stack Exchange. If you can get into the discipline of recording them, it can make interesting reading. Interesting can mean different things to different people. Jonathan Lewis will often post about a question he’s read that reminds him of a post he wrote etc. I kind-of like these.

    2) Regular post summarising what you’ve been doing on GitHub. Every so often I write a post mentioning the stuff I’ve updated (Docker, Vagrant etc.). It just reminds people to take a look at the updates and reminds people there is a life outside the blog.

    3) “Basics of…” : People are coming to things at different times. The basic posts always end up being the most popular. Don’t be afraid of posting them, especially if it is because you think others will judge you because of it. Own it and put “Beginner” in the title, or start a category of that name. We are all beginners at something. This days, I’m a beginner at 90% of what I do. 🙂

    4) “Performance Tuning” : I like to hear different people’s approaches. It always opens new thought processes. I wouldn’t worry about potentially leading someone astray. Someone will pick you up on it and you can correct it. 🙂

    I understand the issue with external pressures. It can make things very difficult, especially if you are doing things through other channels that are not so visible to your regular audience. I have this issue a lot lately. 🙂

    Cheers

    Tim…

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