Sunday, April 24, 2005


Love this site. Just wondering how you deal with burnout. As for me, after 8 hours of programming, my brain is shut down and I don't want to deal anything 'computer' or technical.

Here is a good definition I found:

burnout: The low moral or hopelessness stakeholders feel because of churn, overwork, unrealistic goals, and/or inadequate support. People stop trying because they feel like they've tried and failed, or their work is meaningless or unappreciated.

So, burnout for me would have to involve churn, overwork, unrealistic goals, and/or inadequate support/lack of appreciation.

I definitely do not get the feeling of churn. I do not feel like I am spinning my wheels. Asktom is something with momentum. The books are too. What I do in seminars is very forward moving. Even a sales call has it’s moments. Working with a customer on site or over the phone – very gratifying. I get the feeling that what I do day to day is moving forward. A lot of it is education, here is how it works and why it works that way sort of stuff. That avoids the churn.

Overwork. Depends on who you ask. I still find time to read books I want to read. Go to soccer games (my son’s team lost yesterday, 0 to 1, it was a tough game – my daughters team won 3 to 2, she scored one). Visit science fairs, watch TV, seeing my daughter ride in a horse show, watching the kids play basketball, seeing the school plays, normal stuff… Waiting for summer now, 1 hour a week on the tractor cutting grass – nothing to do but turn the wheel and watch out for rocks.

Unrealistic Goals – I set my own, so they aren’t unrealistic. My goal is to make people successful with this database stuff. That is why many times my answer to a question is “why” – I want to get to the bottom of what they are doing and give them advice on the best way to do that. Not just tell them how to do what they think they need to be doing. Call it presumptuous if you want but almost every time – they didn’t really want to do what they thought they did. And the rest of the time, I come to the conclusion they really did what they wanted to do and I tell them how. I don’t take on more than I can finish (usually :).

Unappreciated – hardly. The feedback I receive is phenomenal. The feedback on the books, on the site, on the seminars – I’ve never felt unappreciated. Not since my first usenet posting in October 1994 and many thousands later. I remember doing an Oracle User Group meeting in Albany New York. The guy introducing me pulled out a piece of paper, it was one of my very first usenet postings – I had answered his question some 8 or 9 years before – and he remembered that, and pointed it out. It was a pretty good feeling.

So, I guess until I feel that I’m starting to churn, no burnout issues. And I don’t see churn happening soon, I think the methods are catching on. I love it when someone posts something that looks like I could have written it. With the example, the measurement, and the interpretation of the data. I don't feel overworked (not yet)… I don't have unrealistic goals, and I am definitely not feeling unappreciated (not even close on that one, thank you all very much) burnout isn’t going to be an issue.

Trust me, I take time away from this stuff. It is not the only thing I do. But I like what I do and that is probably the most important thing.


Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Sorry, but what do you exactly mean by "churn" in this context ? It seems to me that you mean (perhaps) "achieving all your goals and so having nothing to do anymore", but google, m-w and my paper dictionaries define it as related to butter, networks, seastorms, cooking, financial transactions ... something related to motion or agitation, not stillness. Is it geek jargon ?

Sun Apr 24, 08:52:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Churn -- think of it like running on a treadmill, lots of activity but no motion. Sitting there spinning your wheels. Doing something but not getting anywhere.

Sun Apr 24, 09:41:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Pratap said....

Any tips on time management? Surely you do a lot more in the same time than a average person. I think the trick is to work smartly. But how?

Sun Apr 24, 03:11:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Raj said....

I have the exact same question as Pratap. How do you manage time? I saw you in action for the first time in Ottawa. You were amazing. What you showed us (about effective schema design and binding stuff) would have taken me 10x more time to figure out. Actually if you take into account the procrastination, I would take 20x! :)

Thanks. Your blog is pretty cool. I make it a point to read it atleast once a day.

Sun Apr 24, 09:23:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Arangaperumal said....

1. Do you have any plan to visit INDIA?

2. Did you visit us earlier?

Mon Apr 25, 01:25:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Rita said....

But aren't you get tired by the same question people ask you time to time? Do you answer all question or you normally select some?

Mon Apr 25, 04:54:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

How do you manage time?

I have that in my list of blog ideas on my desktop... soon.

Do you have any plan to visit INDIA?

Have no current plans, nor have I been there in the past... Sorry.

But aren't you get tired by the same question

for every question you see on the site, there are two more you don't see.

Right now, Do not publish 17556, Publish 8962 -- so almost 2:1. Many of the non-published are of the "asked and answered category". They normally look like this:


When I cut and pasted your subject into the search -- I got these N articles, what did you see? ......

That is usually the end of that question. I don't mind the frequently asked question -- I just wish people would search first. It doesn't mean they will find it -- but hey, when their subject gets a hit! That happens alot.

I'll answer the same question forever, if it is relevant to Oracle database development.

Mon Apr 25, 07:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Dhairyasheel Tawde said....

HI tom,
how do u deal with handling too many things at once. For example
in my workplace I am planning streams replication and RAC setup
having already successfully implemented Data Guard. The problems I face is that i can't devote enough time to research on these topics. As we are a small organisation the entire process of research to implementation is onto us. Plus we have to deal with the daily activities on hand.

Sat Sep 09, 02:33:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

with handling too many things at once

by realizing that you cannot - you should probably pick either streams or RAC and concentrate on that before moving onto the other. (since you did data guard, streams might be a logical next choice as you have already been exposed to some of the foundation technologies - of streams)

Sat Sep 09, 09:04:00 AM EDT  


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