Monday, October 22, 2007

MEEP: Miracle Extreme Education Program

Right, so it's now October 22 and I haven't written anything here since May 7. Not good. Might as well get started again.

Here's a text I sent out yesterday (yesternight, actually) to the OakTable-list:

We're legacy. No new folks entering our fields. We secretly wish our children don't copy us. Universities are not teaching anything about databases anymore - they teach the fresh-faced, blue-eyed ones to create 'database-agnostic' applications.

So we've decided to try and build some new database experts via MEEP.

It takes three months of hard work, which means they'll need to also study at night -and they can be dumped/failed at any time, if they don't deliver.

The first one (his name is Jan Wigh) will start on this on Monday. He has been given Mr Kyte's latest book and he'll read a chapter per day (total of 13) including showing that he can do small tests on his laptop, etc. - he will be helped during the study by other Miracle guys, of course.

After that book, it's time for Lex' first book about SQL and SQL*Plus, and then other books will follow in an order we haven't decided yet, but they include James Morle's, Cary's, Tapio's, Tow's, Jonathan's CBO-book - and of course several Oracle manuals including Concepts, Admin and Application Development.... Suggestions are welcome. I know that Cary wants them to also read The Goal, for instance.

After two months on intense Oracle, we start introducing them to SQL Server (it is, pretty much, a subset of Oracle's good database) - but the main focus will be on generating new Oracle database experts.

During the course, they will be evalutated as individuals (can they read the books, do the tests, prove and disprove things, and document under which circumstances it was (dis)proved), as team players (they'll work partly out of Miracle Support) and as consultants/supporters (never give up, be nice, and all that). If we decide during the three months that they're not delivering, we won't hire them, even if they could become good people, but we'll help them find another job. It's either-or.

External people can participate (from our customers, friends, partners), and if they make it they'll be granted life-long membership of Miracle's internal techies-list (unless they do something really stupid).

These three months in Hell won't make them database experts, but it will give them the foundation.

While they read eg a book by Tom or Cary or James, they'll be introduced to the authors via email by me. Please treat them nice. James has suggested that we give then an extra challenge: Come up with a question that challenges the author :-) . I think that is not a half bad idea.

So they could end up with a solid foundation having read more serious Oracle-books cover to cover (and tried out things while reading them) than most ever do. They should also have a few good connections via the authors and the Miracle folks who'll help them during the three months in Hell.

Ideas and suggestions are welcome.


PS: I spoke to Juliette (Lex' widow) yesterday (she's visiting our museum and Denmark in general Monday and Tuesday with her new boyfriend called The General) and told her that it would be pretty hard for me to put the students in touch with Lex, but she said I should keep trying, and if it didn't work she'd be happy to answer any questions they might have regarding SQL and SQL*Plus :-))).

So now you all know... And Jan Wigh has created a blog where you can follow his progress (or not) during the 90 Days In Hell:

Jan - we're all behind you. Waaay behind you :-))).