I am going on a training course about Oracle RAC at Microsoft’s offices in Redmond (near America) so I get to wear chinos and a polo shirt and play with an Xbox in reception.

In fact, it’s even better than that. This course is actually described as a ‘Technical Hands-On Workshop’.

My only previous exposure to RAC was a few years ago, rote learning the Oracle manuals parrot fashion for an interview at a large UK Telco. The interviewer was an experienced, senior Oracle DBA and, inevitably, much to my embarassment, he found me out almost immediately.

Much to my surprise, he still recommended me for a second interview. After the interview, I asked him about my lack of practical, hands-on Oracle RAC experience. He replied ‘Not many people have it. With your background and attitude, you could pick it up quite easily’.

However, I failed to get the job. The manager thought I wouldn’t be ‘firm enough’ with the Oracle developers. And you know what, back then, he was absolutely correct.