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Interview with Saurabh K. Gupta, Author of 'Oracle Advanced PL/SQL Developer Professional Guide'

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Saurabh is the author of our recently published Oracle Advanced PL/SQL Developer Professional Guide Which helps master the advanced features of PL/SQL to design and optimize code using real-time demonstrations.

Saurabh K. Gupta works as Principal Technologist at Oracle.He has been synchronizing his on job and off job interests with Oracle databases since last six years. His areas of expertise are Database architecture, PL/SQL development, Performance Tuning, and High Availability.
He has the OCA 9i and OCP 11g Advanced PL/SQL certification to his belt. He has been an active Oracle blogger and OTN forum member. He has published more than 70 articles on online forums and journals. His work can be noted in RMOUG journal, PSOUG, dbanotes, Exforsys, and Club Oracle (web forums).

Do visit his blog at

Packt: By publishing a book, you have opened a new chapter in your life. How does it feel?

Saurabh: Yes. Authoring the first book is a very special event and cherished throughout the life of an individual. It feels very exciting to live through the journey of a book - starting from drafting, reviewing and production. It gives me a feeling ofn honour feeling of to paying back to the community in the best way I can. The reviews and feedbacks from the readers added to the flavor of joy and satisfaction. It was great to find that the book got featured in Oracle Magazine and Oracle ACE newsletter.

Packt: How will readers benefit from this book? Did you learn anything new while writing the book?

Saurabh: A book is a product - by an author and for the readers. My book is one of the initial certification guides in the market whose content outline matches the Oracle prescribed syllabus for 1Z0-146 exam so closely. The readers, who are expected to be acquainted with Oracle basics, can learn Advanced PL/SQL concepts of Oracle 11g database and elevate themselves from associate to professional level. Readers would find out that the book serves the purpose of not only the certification guide but also as a reference in their daily work. The feature demos and practice exercises have added handy weightage to the book. As I said, the complete life cycle of the book was a great learning experience. Thanks to the book reviewers Ronald, Kamran, Mohan and Marcel for in-depth review and allowed me to stretch beyond in some cases.

Packt: Our authors usually have full-time jobs whilst writing for us. Was this the case for you and how did you approach managing your time?

Saurabh: Writing has been the part of my day for many years. While working as full time IT professional, I used to pen down my understandings and keep for future reference. The habit with an extra stretch helped me to keep the momentum going for the complete project.

Packt: Whilst writing your book, did you find that it overshadowed personal life in any way? How did you deal with this?

Saurabh: It did it in a way but the other way round, it helped us together to be patient. The patience, support and understanding was counted and obliged when the milestone was achieved.

Packt: Do you have any advice for other authors who may be interested in writing for Packt, but are still unsure?

Saurabh: I would say - be confident, patient and knowledgefulknowledgeable. Stretch your area, thoughts and go for it!!

Packt: What tips or tricks would you like to share with other authors?

Saurabh: Sustaining throughout the project cycle is a crucial aspect. Measure your capabilities before you step in the ground and you'll come out as a winner. As an author, you must be passionate to write, present and deliver.

Packt: During the writing process, did you come across any issues/ difficulties that affected your writing and how did you overcome these?

Saurabh: Nothing as such I can remember. But yes, I often used to mismatch the code and its output. I found few outputs not matching with their parent codes. That's because of the multiple trials of the draft and final copy.

Packt: What is your favorite relaxation technique when the pressure is too high?

Saurabh: Music or painting played best for me when I used to get stressed up with writing and staring constantly at the system.

Packt: Was there anything interesting that happened during the writing of the book?

Saurabh: The best thing I can remember is that I interacted with many great names of the Oracle community. I remember it quite well when I walked up to Arup Nanda during Sangam'2011 event at AIOUG. We had a common topic to discuss i.e. publishing a book. I got in touch with many other ACEs and ACEDs while reaching out to the community about the book.

Packt: How did Packt’s Acquisition Editors help you - what kind of things did they help you with and how did they support you throughout the writing process?

Saurabh: The Acquisition editor from Packt provided the complete information about the whole book publishing process. All my queries were resolved in time. The editorial team cordinatedcoordinated well during the review stage and helped in the final content consolidation/compilation process.

Packt: How did you find the overall experience of writing your book for Packt?

Saurabh: As a newbie author, it has been a wonderful experience with Packt. The "Team Packt" surely deserve a huge round of applause for what they have achieved within short span of time.

Packt: What tools or configuration do you use for your workstation?

Saurabh: Being a database geek, my workstation contains Oracle database, couple of virtual machines and an open textpad to write on.

Packt: What projects, if any, are you working on at the moment?

Saurabh: I have just finished reviewing a Packt book on Oracle 11g DBA certification series, authored by Steve Ries. Will surely look forward for more engagements in future.

Packt: How has your journey with Oracle Technologies been so far?

Saurabh: I started working with Oracle 9i as database and Forms 6i developer. I used to work Forms based application which used to work on client server model. From application development, it was easy for me to move into database PL/SQL development. Once I got into database designing, modeling and development, I simultaneously tried out working with admin activities too. I got engaged in database admin, high availability, and tuning. Overall, it has been a great journey with Oracle technologies. My acquaintance with Oracle provided a substantial motivation while authoring the book.

Packt: Can you elaborate on the latest trends and innovations in Oracle?

Saurabh: As the tagline of Oracle suggests, "Hardware and Software. Engineered to work together", Oracle is focussingfocusing on engineering hardware and software together so as to enjoy both the worlds. In the database vertical, Oracle engineered systems Exadata, Exalogic, Exalytics, and Database Appliance are becoming the talk of the town. Oracle 12c database has already been announced in the last OOW'12. Probably, it might hit the floor in a short time. Private Cloud is another like area for Oracle these days. With Cloud integration, end users can enjoy wider range of access as a software stack. Oracle has got some recent innovations on Big Data as a technology. The big data appliance together with Cloudera system, NoSQL, Exadata and Exalytics forms the complete integrated and engineered solution for Big Data.

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