Oracle DBA, IT Manager, or Something Else

14 02 2016

February 14, 2016

In September 2014 I posted an article on this blog where I mentioned that I am the IT Manager and an Oracle Database administrator at a company that specializes in welding and machining very large metal parts – in the article I attempted a bit of humor while trying to explain a few items.  I have a small confession to make, I have been the only IT person at the company for the last 38 months.  As you might imagine, working 11+ hour days for six years (yes, six years is longer than 38 months) was nothing short of a never ending fun experience, and sometimes seemingly without an ending.

In the last month I put together a somewhat interesting document.  As some readers of this blog probably know, I have read a few books about Oracle Database, programming, Microsoft Exchange, server administration, and a few other topics (my personal technical book library six years ago), and have published a few articles about some of those topics on this blog.  My Oracle Database knowledge is reasonably good, I suppose (after probably reading roughly 30 books on the subject and contributing to another), but that is only one piece of a complex jigsaw puzzle of knowledge in the IT field.  So, what is the interesting document that I created as I neared by 16th anniversary with the company?
What are the skills required for the job of IT Manager and Oracle DBA, or what exactly does my job encompass (since it is easy to assume that I am just the person that hands out the printer ink cartridges when the change me light flashes 🙂 ).  I am not yet sure what exactly the interesting document will be used for, but it might be used for ISO documentation purposes.  I split the document into two sections: skills for the person who is able to sit upright in a chair, successfully breathe at regular intervals, and occasionally blink once for no, or blink twice for yes (Essential Skills); skills in addition to the essential skills that are actually needed for the person with the role of IT Manager and Oracle DBA at the company (Additional Skills).

Essential Skills:

  • Database: Oracle Database 11.2 management: emphasis on RMAN backup, RMAN recovery, RMAN cloning, Oracle specific SQL syntax including analytics (experience with Oracle Database 10.2, 11.1, or 12.1 should be sufficient)
  • Email: Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 management (Exchange Server 2007 or 2010 experience is helpful, but not sufficient unless the person is willing to read a couple of books)
  • Programming: Visual Basic 6.0 (MRP for Visual 6.5.2, touchscreen Windows 8.1 tablet projects, and many other custom programs were written in this language), VB.Net, C# (MRP for Visual 8.0.0 was written in C#), and Zebra ZPL (used for creating part labels for receiving, shipping, and moving)
  • ERP: Visual Manufacturing 6.5.2 support
  • Phone system: Mitel 5000 with digital, analog, VOIP circuits, paging, and fax reception (note that the Mitel 3000 series is significantly different, while the old Inter-Tel phone system shares similar programming configuration options). Person should know how to change phone programming to change names, reset passwords, reset voicemail boxes, punch down digital and analog phone circuits, proper phone system shut down procedure.
  • Barcode: Previously worked with or created code 3 of 9 barcodes, code 128 barcodes, and UPC barcodes. Experience with Symbol, Motorola, or Zebra mobile computers (primarily MC3090 and MC3190).
  • Microsoft Office: Experience with Microsoft Office versions 2007 and 2010 (experience with versions 2013 and 2016 recommended for future upgrades)
  • Server operating systems: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2003 R2, Red Hat Linux, Fedora Core 22 Linux, BusyBox v1.16 (Synology NAS)
  • Desktop operating systems: Windows 10 Pro (for future rollout), Windows 8.1 Pro (tablets only), Windows 7 Pro (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows Vista Business (32 bit), Windows XP Pro (primarily shop floor computers, but also Burn Shop supervisor and UT inspector)
  • Printer support: Basic maintenance and troubleshooting of various Dell, Zebra, Canon, Ricoh/Lanier/Gestetner (advanced maintenance covered by printer repair company) printers, and Xerox (advanced maintenance covered by printer repair company) large format plotter/scanner.
  • Wiring: Cat 5e and Cat 6 network cable wiring and termination, serial cable wiring, phone wiring into model 66 blocks, fiber optic connections with pre-made cable.
  • Help Desk: Capable of translating complex computer terminology into common English, able to walk end users through procedures over the phone and in person, emphasis on customer service (speed of response and problem resolution).
  • Firewall and VPN: Familiar with SonicWall firewall and VPN configuration.
  • EDI: Experience with TrustedLink EDI and common EDI documents (810, 830, 850, 856, etc.).
  • Network: Experience managing gigabit network switches, wireless access points, and VLANs.

Additional Skills:

  • Database: Person has extensive Oracle performance tuning experience that is relevant to databases without the Tuning or Diagnostic packs. Person has achieved Oracle Certified Master status (Oracle Certified Professional is a very light-weight certification by comparison), person is a member of the OakTable Network, or person is an Oracle Ace Director.
  • Email: Person planned and executed an upgrade from Microsoft Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2007 or later, or Exchange 2007 to 2013 or 2016). Person has experience with spam filtering products such as SpamStopsHere or MessageLabs. Person has written programs to submit email using an SMTP interface.  Experience working with self-signed security certificates and third party certificates.
  • Programming: Experience writing Microsoft Office macros (Excel, Word, Power Point, Outlook, Access), experience writing VBScript (Visual Manufacturing macro language, AutoCAD macro language), experience writing GCODE (used by CNC machines), experience writing PowerShell scripts (used by Microsoft Exchange 2007 and later), experience writing HTML (used by Web Reports, Report Server, K&M website), experience writing Javascript and PHP (used by Web Reports, K&M website), experience writing Linux and DOS batch scripts (used by K&M website and backup software), experience creating ASP and ASP.Net websites (Web Reports), experience maintaining programs created by other software developers
  • ERP: Experience upgrading Visual Manufacturing, experience utilizing Infor’s COM Object and/or Infor’s API Toolkit (for programmatically creating transactions in Visual), experience with the underlying database object model used by Visual Manufacturing (knowledge of specific tables, columns, indexes, security model). Experience filing support requests with Infor.
  • Phone system: Experience with T1 DCS and T1 PRI circuits (type of T1 circuit currently used at K&M), extensive programming and diagnostic experience with a Mitel 5000 PBX including troubleshooting of offsite voice over IP phones that traverse firewalls. Experience creating and/or maintaining SMDR call logging through TCP/IP and/or serial connection.
  • Barcode: Experience troubleshooting Zebra barcode printers; experience troubleshooting barcode scanning problems; able to describe how code 3 of 9 barcodes are encoded and write a computer program to locate and decode a code 3 of 9 barcode on a scanned page; experience programming and backing up Symbol, Motorola, or Zebra mobile computers (primarily MC3090 and MC3190)
  • Common commercial programs: Able to troubleshoot, install, and configure license managers for a variety of primarily engineering focused programs. Programs include AutoCAD 2014, PTC Creo Parametric, MasterCAM, PC-DMIS, Vericut, Verisurf, Shadow Protect, Trend Micro Enterprise Security Suite, Sage Fixed Assets, TrustedLink EDI, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Standard Edition, Visual Manufacturing, Oracle Database
  • Servers: Extensive experience administering and configuring Windows servers; experience with group policy in Active Directory; experience with a variety of Linux based systems (primarily Red Hat derived); experience with Synology NAS units (configuring as domain members, network time sources, Windows SMB shares, FTP targets, Nagios network monitoring); experience with WordPress configuration, utilization and security (for the K&M website); experience with SSH (TelNet, TightVNC, Putty, Remote Desktop, GoToMyPC); experience specifying server hardware configurations (including RAM, RAID levels, operating systems, redundancy); experience diagnosing and repairing Dell server hardware. Experience maintaining four hour support contracts for servers. Experience configuring Fail2Ban, and software firewalls (iptables, firewalld, Windows firewall service).
  • Desktops: Extensive experience troubleshooting hardware problems (replace bad power supply, identify faulty motherboard, upgrade memory, replace other components including hard drives and DVD drives). Troubleshoot attached devices including check scanners, postage meters, printers, mice/keyboards, wedge barcode scanners. Clean computers of spyware and viruses with and without the assistance of virus/spyware scanning software (educate users about virus warning signs to avoid infection).
  • Printer support: Program printers for network connectivity, and install as network managed printers controlled by Windows Server 2012. Perform diagnostics and repair of printers, copiers, and all-in-one devices that are not under warranty (such as replacing the print head in Zebra printers or installing maintenance kit parts). Manage printer ink and toner supplies with predictive re-ordering of supplies.
  • Wiring: Understand when fiber optic and/or shielded cable must be used rather than typical Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable, with the ability to terminate fiber optic cables. Experience wiring and troubleshooting paging amplifiers, page delay units, and speakers.
  • Help Desk: Experience converting vague support requests into actionable assistance. Capable of providing precise and fluid written and verbal responses. Able to proactively train fellow employees. Able to write clear documentation for procedures and custom computer programs.
  • Firewall and VPN: Experience configuring and maintaining SonicWall NSA series firewalls: redundant Internet routes with fail-over, multiple static IP addresses per port, firewall log monitoring (to identify attempted hacking attacks and Internet stability issues), opening and restricting ports or IP addresses, etc. Experience configuring and maintaining SonicWall SSL VPN servers: authentication through Active Directory attached RADIUS server, creating client-side connection and disconnection scripts, establishing remote connection policies through Active Directory, troubleshooting remote connectivity of computers and IP phones.
  • EDI: Experience using Trusted Link EDI software to communicate with remote EDI servers using the SFTP protocol and WinSCP scripts. Experience creating and maintaining export and import functionality between Visual Manufacturing and the Trusted Link EDI software using map flat files, raw EDI, and custom developed software that reads and creates transactions in Visual Manufacturing. Experience scripting in Trusted Link EDI. Experience programmatically printing EDI documents to PDF files (using BlackIce print driver software) with filenames that are derived from the contents of the EDI printed documents.
  • Network: Experience diagnosing and resolving connectivity issues using Wireshark (or similar packet capture tool), experience with various command line diagnostic utilities (nslookup, netstat, nbtstat, dig, traceroute). Experience recommending and configuring core and remote network switches, as well as troubleshooting managed and unmanaged network switches and routers (HP, Dell, and Cisco-Linksys).  Experience ordering, configuring, and supporting Internet access delivered through fiber optic, cable TV providers, DSL providers, and wireless providers. Experience working with multimode fiber optic with GBIC and stand-alone fiber to RJ45 converters. Experience working with the Nagios network monitoring utility (compiled to run on Synology NAS units).
  • Inter-departmental support: Able to assist engineering with reconfiguring Fanuc and Tosnic CNC controls, and troubleshoot serial cable connections to support GCODE program transfers with CNC machines. Able to understand basic procedures of Quality, Engineering, Purchasing, and Accounting to facilitate process and efficiency improvements.

No, my job position does not require that I be an expert at everything that I touch, so long as I never make a mistake at anything that I touch…  ORA-00060: Deadlock Detected.


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