Congratulations to jaramill “gjaram”!

A hearty congratulations to jaramill “gjaram” and a big thank you as well for the excellent review he posted of my SQL Expert book at  He wrote:

“This is my review 3 months after I bought the book but just 2 days after taking the exam……and PASSING it on the first try!”

So welcome jaramill to the world of certified SQL experts! And thank you for the very nice review.

If you wish to see jaramill’s complete review click here, it’s titled “Worthwhile guide to help you for the exam” and gives my book five out of five stars.

“Mind blowing book”

I’m sending out a huge thank you to Gobikrishnan Srinivasan for this great comment about my book that he posted online:

“I did my certification on last saturday being a sql expert u r given a class A seat and my suggestion is go for steve o hearn books its simply mind blowing book i learnt a lot from it it helped me to pass the exam”1

You can see this comment for yourself on LinkedIn, in a discussion among the elite members of the Oracle Database SQL Certified Experts group.  Gobikrishnan is a member of that group and lists himself as a Compliance Analyst at IBM.

The book he’s talking about of course is OCA Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert Exam Guide (Exam 1Z0-047).

Thank you Gobikrishnan for the great endorsement!

SQL Expert is number one again

SQL Expert book at number one on Amazon's Orace booklist

Some friends have drawn my attention to the fact that my 2009 book OCA Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert Exam Guide (Exam 1Z0-047) has been back at number one in Amazon’s “Oracle” books list.

I’ve observed that Amazon’s best-seller lists appear to be updated as often as hourly.  So it might be at number one as I type this, but elsewhere – such as 4th or 7th – later in the day.  This latest book of mine has been bouncing around in the top 10 of all Oracle books for a few months now.  Every now and then it will show up as number one, perhaps about once every few days in my observation.  Now – if I had privileges to query Amazon’s database, I could produce an accurate and comprehensive report.  If you’re a reader of my book, you could create such a query too!

On the book’s main page, Amazon displays a “Best Seller!” flag when it hits number one, with a link to the list.

I’m sure the interest in the book is largely driven by the exam itself, of course, which is a fantastic professional credential for anyone to get.  When you can add a blurb to your resume with the keywords “Oracle” and “expert” together, you’re doing treat.  That being said, I’ve also received plenty of email from readers who are just honing their skills and filling in gaps in their knowledge, with or without plans to take the exam.  The book is uniquely useful for that as well.

So – a huge “thank you” to all my readers!  You’re the reason this is all happening, and I thank you.

Conference in Williamsburg, Sqoop, and Big Data Connectors

Yesterday  – April 24, 2014 – I had the privilege of presenting at the Virginia Oracle User Group (VOUG) annual Oracle Conference on the James, or OCOJ for short.  The “James” is the James River right there in Williamsburg, Virginia.  I promised my audience I would publish the Power Point slides, so here they are:

Yesterday could not have been a more glorious day. The Doubletree Hotel in Williamsburg is really a conference center, with a variety of beautiful meeting rooms and great skylights and large glass walls.  The room in which I presented was unusual in that it had one door that led directly outside.  The hotel propped it open and the beautiful air flowed it, it was remarkably refreshing.  I particularly enjoyed it, given the many snow days we’ve had this past winter and even into the spring.  The air was fresh and the temperatures just perfect, what a great day.

I was definitely in with some illustrious company – other presenters throughout the day included Mary Gable, David Mann, Craig Shallahammer, Greg Mays, Scott Poteet, Bill Myers, and Oracle’s own Bob Bunting as well as Robert Freeman.  The legendary Tom Kyte (of Ask Tom fame) was the keynote speaker.  Brilliant talent was on display everywhere.

For more information about VOUG, visit their website here:

Here’s a copy of the full conference agenda:  VOUG OCOJ Conference Agenda.

Thanks to one of my great audience members who took the photo.  And a huge thanks to Linda Hoover for making the entire event possible – thank you Linda!

Thanks to “bigdelboy” at Oracle Technology Forum

I just posted the following comment in a thread at the Oracle Technology Network forum, and I thought I’d repost it here, see below.

= = =

This is Steve O’Hearn, and thanks to bigdelboy for reposting the URL for the script download for my book, OCA Oracle Database SQL Expert Exam Guide: Exam 1ZO-047. I didn’t realize my earlier posts providing the URL were flagged as spam. You’re correct that I posted that URL in several forums at once. It’s unfortunate that whoever or whatever may have deleted my entries would’ve done so on behavior alone without regard for the content of the message.

Anyone can visit my blog at and look for the “1ZO-047 SQL SCRIPTS” link and follow the instructions. And yes, the script download is limited to owners of the book itself. The script is worthless to anyone else anyway.

For anyone wondering about preparation for the exam, please note that my book includes 728 pages in 18 chapters, including one for each of the exam objectives, and each of those chapters includes the following:

– Text to address the exam objectives in detail
– A detailed chapter summary (“certification summary”)
– A through “two minute drill” reviewing the concepts of the chapter
– A “self-test” on the chapter, including 15 questions each, and each question is designed to match the pattern of the actual certification exam. This means that many questions are based on code samples, and all offer multiple choice answers.
– Detailed explanations for each “self-test” question and each and every answer – including an explanation as to why each answer is either right or wrong

In addition to all of this, the book also includes a complete 70-question practice exam at the end of the printed book.

And in addition to that, there’s another complete 70-question practice exam available online to owners of the book.

These exams are not included in the 728 pages of text. Altogether you’re getting over 1,000 pages of material with which to prepare for the exam.

The book really is a complete package for exam preparation. And judging by the volume of email I get from happy readers who are now certified, I dare say its very effective.

Good luck to you if you are studying for the exam! And please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions you may have. I’ve read that I’m apparently not allowed to post my email address here, but my blog website is listed above, and you can contact me via the blog.

– Steve

Another Great Book Review

Here’s another great review of my book OCA Oracle Database SQL Expert Exam Guide, this from R.C. Roper of Topanga Canyon, California, who says:

This is a great book, covering all of the relevant topics in detail. The chapters and sections are in the order the certification objectives appear on Oracle’s ‘Exam Topics’ page for this test, so it’s easy to navigate and find your trouble spots. There are over 200 end-of-chapter questions in the book, and that’s all I used to study for this exam. After only a week of study, I passed the exam with no other preparation except for the experience I’ve gained over the short time I’ve held my job. I can only imagine how well I would have done if I registered later for the test and gave myself more time.

Thanks, R.C.! The outline and overall structure was a major topic of discussion and debate in the original formation of the book, and frankly it made the job a bit challenging. It’s one thing to write a book that mirrors the exam objectives outline, and it’s another to create a book that conveys the information sequentially from start to finish in a way that initially made the most sense to me. Creating a single volume that does both simultaneously was tricky – but I think we did it, and did a great job. By “we”, I’m including the excellent team at McGraw-Hill, including Tim Green, Meghan Manfre (formerly Meghan Riley), and Molly Sharp, as well as the outstanding and brilliant technical editor Alistair Grieve who was tremendous and really went above and beyond with this effort.  And even the legendary Kevin Loney provided some key input.  So it was quite the team effort.  (Click here for the complete Acknowledgements section from the book!)

Announcing the winner of the Cartesian Product Challenge

Hello friends!

I announced the winner of the Cartesian Product Challenge at this year’s Oracle Open World 2012, here’s the formal announcement:

Steve O’Hearn – The Challenge from Oracle Certification on Vimeo

And yes, what I say above is true – this is the winner of the FIRST annual Cartesian Product Challenge! More on that soon, in the meantime, to all my American colleagues, a very happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s a little background on this video: this was shot at the Oracle Open World Certification Lounge, in the Moscone Center, on Monday, October 1, 2012. However – it wasn’t really planned. I was there to do a question-and-answer session with Oracle Open World attendees on issues pertaining to certification in general, and the SQL Expert exam in particular. The outstanding Carey Hardey made a lot of the arrangements, and the fantastic Harold Green of Oracle Corp. was there as well – he does Oracle TV spots for the company and had an impressive setup in the back of the room. I’d already brought up the idea of making the announcement of the Cartesian Product Challenge winner there, and Harold and Carey were both supportive of it, and when I was there, Harold had the idea of filming it. So I made some notes on my iPad (that’s what you see me glancing down to read) and grabbed some coffee, and with maybe five minutes of prep, we shot it. Harold is equipped with a tremendous portable recording system, complete with a high quality camera and excellent lighting system, and you can see the results above.


A few minutes later, we shot a second video for the Meet the Author series, which I’ll post tomorrow. After that, Harold folded up shop and was gone within about five minutes, to travel a few blocks and set up all over again for another shoot – I think that was scheduled to be at the nearby companion conference, JavaOne.

Stay tuned for more!

OTN Discussion Post: ” … the best author I have ever found.”

I just came across the following blog post from the OTN Discussion Forums, published shortly before my current book came out.  The blog post author, Sunil Parida, recommends my work, see below:

"If you havn't read steve's earlier book on pl/sql, let me tell you that he is the best author I have ever found. He makes things really simple for all."

Thank you, Sunil!

And for those who are just joining us, the book is now available – this blog post goes back to 2009, I’m blogging about it now because I just learned of it.

Another Satisfied Reader of My “SQL Expert” Book

A friend brought a great blog post to my attention, it’s by Duke Ganote in Cincinatti, OH, USA.  Duke describes himself this way:

ETL Technical Lead, SQL Sculptor, Query Cowboy, Data Munger

Very cool.  He wrote an August 15, 2010 blog post titled Certifiable.. by Oracle, and here are a couple of screen shots:

Text blurg one

Text blurb 2

Congratulations to Duke on joining the ranks of SQL Experts!  And I appreciate his compliments about my book.

Check out Duke’s bio here.  And be sure to check out his quotes, he has several that are great, but my favorite is one that is apparently his own original words of wisdom:

I advocate the Ruthless Exploitation of Technology for Business Purposes.
— Duke Ganote

That’s fantastic.  I wish I’d thought of it first; had I done so, that would be my company slogan.