On 1 october 2012 I started working for Rabobank Groep ICT. Looking back at the past 15 months, I can honestly say it was a good decision. It’s great to work with so many (about 50!) great Oracle DBAs and middleware specialists. Sometimes they are a critical bunch, but they know a lot and we learn from each other. Come to think of it, a critical collegue is usually a more valuable collegue.
I’m particularly happy about the management style and I don’t say that because I need a raise. I already got one. What I’m at is that in a team of IT experts at top of their game, the last thing you need, is a boss following the anglo saxon management style, telling you what to do all the time. Now these kind of pointy haired bosses are quite rare, but still most managers can’t stop making plans on his/her own without consulting the people who should know. Because, you know, these non-managers might act only out of their self interest. Which – managers forget – is usually to do a good and useful job they can be proud of.
In the beginning of 2013 we started working towards a self organizing team. Now I have been in a – so called – self steering team before, and basically that meant that the manager was away a lot of the time, but when this manager returned, she wanted the reigns back. That’s not what this is about.
Self organizing in this case assumes that the people who do the work, know the best what should be done. We pull the work, we manage it and we communicate. Managers basically are there to coach and sometimes come to a decision when the team for some reason cannot. It’s great to have more influence, but it requires a different mindset. A mindset called “oh yeah, we can decide that ourselves now”. This mindset also applies to things like communication with other teams, necessary trainings, etc..
Another amazing thing was, that I and a collegue (also a DBA), were invited to talk with two potential candidates for the position of our new manager – as part of the selection process. “Why not? She will be your manager. You get to work with her.” was the reasoning behind that. Sounds logically, but ..ehm.. it usually doesn’t work that way, does it?
Another change is that subteams of our department have started working for specific chains of applications. As soon as we started working this way, we found out that a. people in other teams liked it and b. we needed more DBA’s and middleware specialists. And that brings me to the actual message of this blogpost: we need more Oracle DBA’s and middleware specialists.
In our team we’re administering Oracle Enterprise Linux, 11g R2 databases and 11g middleware systems that have become rather critical for Internet and mobile banking and many other systems. If Oracle Fusion Middleware is your thing, we have Oracle BI, UCM, IM and many other flavours.
Security-minded Oracle database experts might like the new platform we’re soon going to adopt with Oracle Database Vault and Oracle Advanced Security. Our project team has tried to encrypt every connection, even the ones Oracle itself forgot about (Enterprise Manager anyone?). Apart from that, yes, we do use the Diagnostics and SQL Tuning Pack and I can say that was quite nice for a change.
Couple of practical things: our location is Zeist, the Netherlands (though you might end up in the headquarters of Rabobank Nederland in Utrecht a couple of times per week), the official language for Rabobank documents is English, but you’ll find that a lot of meetings will be either in Dutch or English.
So if you are an Oracle database/middleware expert, we’d love to have a chat with you. If you want to come work as a Rabobank employee, so much the better of course. If you are interested, send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will make sure it will find it’s way to my manager.