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Past, present and future: Oracle skills still in style

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The 1980s brought more than just a decade of big hair – it’s also when “big data” first entered the computer scene, housed in a digital database that’s still very relevant today.

That digital database invention is known as Oracle and it helped to revolutionize how information was collected, stored, managed and accessed.

As questionable fashion trends faded out and digital devices experienced more wardrobe changes than celebrities hosting the Grammy Awards, Oracle has stood firm, serving as the framework for how we bank, make travel arrangements and much more.

Although not nearly as bold and visible as the 1980s bright neon fashion trends or other prominent inventions like the personal computer or first mobile device, Oracle has quietly stood the test of time. Think of it as the khakis of database management — it might never be sexy but it always remains a staple.

Tom Kyte, a senior technical architect in Oracle’s server technology division, is one of its defenders. On his featured blog, Kyte said he has been asked whether the technology is on its way out ever since he started working at Oracle in 1993. Those questions reach a fever pitch when any new database product is released. That was especially true with the emergence of new types of storage needs for such Web 2.0 companies as Facebook, Google and Amazon.

But Kyte offers this reminder: “most people are not building Facebook, they are building reservation systems, tracking systems, HR systems, finance systems, order entry systems, banking systems, etc. — things where transactions are sort of important. Lose my status update — no big deal. But, lose my $100 transfer and I’m sort of mad.”

While other systems might work for real-time mobile consumer engagement or provide cloud-friendly alternatives, Kyte said Oracle continues to provide an important foundation for anyone entering the information technology field.

Because of Oracle’s continued relevance, UC San Diego Extension has recently restructured and realigned its Database Administration using Oracle certificate to offer up-to-date curriculum for professionals to remain competitive. The program provides practical skills through experiential instruction and teaches students how to configure and administer databases. Students also gain the general knowledge and concepts needed to oversee modern systems. In addition, the program closely parallels the knowledge required to obtain an Oracle certification, which is an added résumé enhancer — something that will never go out of style.

For more information, visit, email or call (858) 534-9352.

Jennifer Davies is the assistant dean of external affairs for UCSD Extension. She can be reached at

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