Hemant K Chitale
asked this pertinent question on the OTN forum the other day
. His text in full:
"When you see a forums posting about missing datafiles , errors in recovery, SQLs returning the wrong results because they haven't been correctly written and tested .... etc etc ... do you ever wonder "what if this database contains my data ?". -- as when it seems that the database might be some government database or one at a bank or a financial institution or a utility company ..."
He has closed the thread, because nobody responded. Which is a shame, because it is an interesting question. I think the problem is, people don't use the Community Feedback page regularly, so it's not a good place to try to start a conversation. On the other hand, a discussion on the Oracle Community site seems the perfect place. I hope Hemant won't mind me hijacking his idea.
I'm sure we see more of the worst examples of Oracle practice in the OTN forums because many of the posters are students or beginners. It takes a minimal amount of expertise to find them, whereas you need to know something about the online Oracle community to fetch up at AskTom or Oracle-L. Still it is worrying that there are so many people apparently employed as PL/SQL programmers or DBAs who don't understand the first principles of databases in general and Oracle in particular. Furthermore these people seem to be operating without the safety-net of knowledgeable colleagues and without documentation for their applications.
I wonder how many of these people we have really helped. Sure, we may have answered their specific question, but do they leave the forum with a better understanding of their jobs? I fear not. Building robust, scalable, correct applications requires a level of systemic mentoring that the forums just can't provide. It also requires the confidence to stand up to wrongheaded co-workers and pointed-haired bosses which the posters are ofetn too junior to possess. Still I hope we have taught some of them to try to find an answer in the Oracle manuals before posting a question to the forum.
But as for where my data is, I like to think it resides in databases built and administered by the people who answer the questions :)