January 15, 2009

Meet The Experts: Oracle OCP Chen Shapira

OCP Advisor interviewed the captivating Chen Shapira from the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) department of Hewlett-Packard for this featured post.

For those who are yet to meet this vivacious Oracle expert and OCP, please attend the Hostos Symposium where this angelic DBA would speak about "Seven Sins of Concurrency"

OCP Advisor (OCPA): Please share with us your background and professional experience.

Chen Shapira (CP): I studied Computer Science and Statistics in Tel Aviv University in Israel. I've been working in IT for over 10 years, and I did pretty much everything - development, system, storage and even management! In the last 4 years I've been a DBA for HP. This position involves lots of different systems, but most exciting is working with RAC systems and with streams.

OCPA: Which Oracle certification exams have you taken? How do you prepare for the certification exams and achieve such great success?

CP: I took OCA and OCP for 10g. I'm planning to upgrade to 11g this year and also take the RAC OCE. I took 3 weeks to study before each exam. About an hour a day, maybe a bit more on the weekend before the exam. I used Oracle 10g OCP Certification All-in-One Exam Guide to help me prepare, but I also relied heavily on Oracle's product documentation. Its important to remember that the test goes into a lot of details about the products, so it is quite challenging and even experienced DBAs must study for it seriously.

OCPA: Based on your certification experience, what is your advice, tips and suggestions for candidates preparing for the exam?

CP: I'm not one for "tips". If you read the study guide, practice on a real DB, answer all the practice test questions and sleep well before the exam, you'll probably do fine. However I have discussed about exam preparation on my blog. Click here to read how I prepared for the OCA exam and my click here about my notes about OCP exam.

OCPA: Oracle is constantly releasing new versions and technologies. How do you keep updated and upgrade your skills?

CP: Ah, this is a huge question! Catching up is difficult and I am not sure I manage to stay updated. I try to be involved in beta programs, I try to read the "new features" guide in the documentation and Arup Nanda's series on OTN. Reading blog helps a lot. The single most useful source of new features are my coworkers who frequently send an email saying "Hey! check this out!"

OCPA: Which Oracle technologies excite you most? What's your advice to Application DBAs for adopting these?

CP: Right now I'm most excited about Advanced Compression, because it gives such clear business benefits and it is also very easy to test and implement. I'm also very excited about Oracle's high availability features. RAC is getting better with each release, Data Guard is improving a lot. It is nice to see that Oracle is putting lots of effort into scalability and comes up with solutions that are both innovative and practical.

OCPA: You are also a very popular blogger. Please tell us what you blog about.

CP: I work as production DBA, so naturally I blog about production topics. Hence, my blog is called ProdLife. Mostly how things can go awfully wrong, how to prevent them from going wrong and how to solve problems after they already happened. Sometimes I even blog about things that go right.

OCPA: Can you please let us know one habit that has contributed most to your professional success?

CP: I read a lot. By a lot I mean at least two hours a day! So I know about new features and how they should work before I implement them and I know a lot of theory about how Oracle
database works. I also remember lots of random bits that "I've read somewhere" and turn out to be useful from time to time. I want to be able to say that my co-workers learned that I know everything and stopped arguing with me, but in fact, we argue all the time!

OCPA: As a small token of our appreciation, we shall be sending you one OCP Blog T-Shirt from the OCP Blog Gift Shop.

CP: Thanks for the thought-provoking questions! By the way, will you attend NoCoug Winter Conference? It's going to be at Oracle Redwood Shores Conference Center and and Tom Kyte is giving two presentations!
Thanks for the t-shirt. Any chance it will be pink?


  1. She's a great Expert. Her Blog make good idea.
    I like to read.

  2. Regards
    Sridevi Koduru (Senior Oracle Apps Trainer Oracleappstechnical.com)
    LinkedIn profile - https://in.linkedin.com/in/sridevi-koduru-9b876a8b
    Please Contact for One to One Online Training on Oracle Apps Technical, Financials, SCM, OAF, SQL, PL/SQL, D2K at sridevikoduru@oracleappstechnical.com | +91 - 9581017828.