InSync10 Day 2

Another good day in Melbourne. Heard Richard Foote talk about Indexing New Features in Oracle 11g release 1 and 2. One thing he demonstrated was the creation of an index on only part of a table – normally I’d use a function-based index for this sort of thing, but his technique results in an index that is useful without adding strange predicates to all relevant queries in the application; it involves creating a globally partitioned index, in an UNUSABLE state, then rebuilding only selected partitions. This could be very useful for customers who have the partitioning option.

Of interest to me was Discovering the Power to Save the Planet, presented by Robin Eckermann (Smart Grid Australia) – having worked for a short time at Western Power, it was interesting to hear his perspective on the future of the generation and distribution of power. He compared the state of the art in power to broadband, as it was 15 years ago – and asserts that the smart grid will enable all sorts of new applications for customers to regulate their demand intelligently, and is essential for the coming wave of electric cars.

After that was Steven Feuerstein’s second talk, “Golden Rules for Developers“, which was well worth a good listen. I recommend you download and read the powerpoint if you missed it. If you take even just one of his recommendations (e.g. Don’t Repeat Anything, Don’t Take Shortcuts, Build On A Foundation, Don’t Code Alone), I think you will improve the quality of your code, reduce the cost of maintenance for your employer/client, and be much more satisfied with your work. I certainly intend to – I’ve been guilty of “starting from scratch” many times – I do carry around a portable hard drive with a large collection of bits and pieces I’ve collected along the way, but nothing I can just plug in and use with confidence. Steven also gave another PL/SQL talk at the end of the day, this time for DBAs, and that was interesting to me (as a developer). If you’re a DBA, but think that you have no need for PL/SQL, think again.

After that, during lunch, Steven announced the winners of the previous day’s quiz – and wouldn’t you know it, I won 🙂

Never satisfied
Generate DML/DDL/QUERY from SQL – the easy way


  1. You are currently the highest ranked in Australia in the PLSQL Challenge. I think you’ve been pretty consistent up the top. I can occasionally beat you for short periods when there’s only been a few questions in a period. I tend to answer quicker, but get more wrong.

    PS. I think I’m your official PL/SQL Challenge stalker, although I prefer to think that I’m just setting your scores up as my ‘target to reach’

    • Our relative ranks is a reflection of our different playing styles – you prefer to test your own in-head knowledge, whereas I prefer to check the docs or run a test if I’m not sure about an answer. It’s a bit like my dad, who used to play table tennis competitively – I’d play against him as well as I could, and after losing dozens of points, finally win one point – then he’d say, “ok, now I’m going to use my good hand” 🙂

      It’d be interesting to play head-to-head with no access to docs or test system. Maybe next quarter I’ll do that.

      We definitely need more Aussies to sign up to the Challenge and give us a run for our money.

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