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Over 19+ years, I have had a spectrum of roles from project manager to practice leader to PreSales thought leader to Product Strategy Director for HCM (SaaS-based Cloud application) across premier organizations like Bank of America, KPMG and Oracle. I have led large teams which have delivered profitable and successful …

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Experienced Big Tech Software Engineer based in Switzerland. Available for consulting software development work as well as career coaching, interview preparation, navigating the European job market. Author of 'The European Engineer' - the number 1 newsletter for Tech Careers in Europe: https://theeuropeanengineer.substack.com/ I have a bachelor in Robotics Engineering from …

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Tanvi is a Senior Data Scientist working with United Health Group Inc and worked with Oracle India Private, Ltd. She contributed to the Research &Development of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) that enables customers to build and run a wide range of applications. She has also contributed to Infiniti Research, the …

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Practice with Oracle interview questions

Get the inside scoop on current Oracle interview questions. Prepare for your interview with a few select questions you might face.

What automation processes have you implemented in Oracle? Can you share your experience?

In previous roles, I've worked on automating several processes in Oracle, which improved efficiency and reduced the likelihood of errors.

One particular project involved automating the back-up processes. Instead of manually initiating database backups, I implemented RMAN (Recovery Manager) scripts to automate this process. This ensured regular, reliable backups of the database without the need for manual intervention. Additionally, I scheduled scripts to periodically check the success of these backup jobs and alert the team in case of failures.

In another instance, I've automated routine performance reports for databases using Oracle's Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) and a shell script. The shell script set to run on a schedule, would generate AWR reports and send a formatted output to the DBA team. This not only saved time but also helped in keeping a constant eye on database performance trends.

Additionally, for tasks like data import and export, I used Data Pump with scheduling tools like DBMS_JOB or DBMS_SCHEDULER to automate the jobs, removing the need for manual execution.

All of these automations made life simpler as a DBA, and they ensured key tasks happens efficiently and regularly, enhancing productivity and giving me more time to focus on other important tasks.

Can you describe some best practices in managing Oracle databases?

Sure. There are several best practices that can be followed while managing Oracle databases.

  1. Regular Backups: This is crucial as it helps recover data in case of accidental deletion or hardware failure. Use Oracle's Recovery Manager (RMAN) for systematic, robust backups.

  2. Performance Tuning: Regularly monitor and tune your database for optimum performance. You can use tools such as Automatic Workload Repository (AWR), Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM), and Statspack for this purpose.

  3. Security: Implement strong security by following the principle of least privilege, regularly patching and updating, and securing any data at risk with encryption.

  4. Maintain System Health: Regularly check for invalid or disabled database objects and rectify the issues.

  5. Use Oracle Partitioning: For a large database, partitioning helps in enhancing the performance and availability.

  6. Proactive Monitoring: Use Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) to monitor your database and catch any unusual behavior or errors early.

  7. Implement ASM: Automatic Storage Management (ASM) provides an easy to manage interface for managing disk resources.

  8. Regular Auditing: You should audit your database operations to ensure compliance, security, and trace back in case of problems.

Remember, good database management doesn’t stop at these points but evolves with project, data, and organization changes.

What are the most challenging issues you've faced while working with Oracle?

Working with Oracle has its unique set of challenges. One significant issue I've faced was performance tuning. With complex applications and significant amounts of data, queries can sometimes take much longer to execute than desired. Identifying the root of performance issues, like inefficient SQL queries, inadequate memory allocation, or improper indexing, can be quite challenging and requires a deep understanding of Oracle databases.

Another challenge was dealing with data migration when upgrading Oracle versions or when migrating to Oracle from a different database management system. Parsing and transforming large volumes of data, managing potential data loss, ensuring data integrity, and avoiding system downtime during the migration process are potentially complex endeavors.

Finally, managing Oracle's Real Application Clusters (RAC) has also been a bit challenging in complex environments since it includes tasks such as managing services, node evictions, patching and dealing with inter-instance issues.

However, all these challenges have aided my growth as an Oracle professional, providing me with opportunities to learn, problem-solve, and enhance my skills. Through these experiences, I've also gained a deep appreciation of Oracle as a powerful and feature-rich database management system.

How would you create a function in Oracle PL/SQL?

Creating a function in Oracle PL/SQL involves defining a named PL/SQL block that can take parameters, perform actions, and return a value. Here's a basic example of how you'd create a function:

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION calculate_total (
   p_price NUMBER, 
   p_quantity NUMBER
) 
RETURN NUMBER 
IS
   v_total NUMBER;
BEGIN
   v_total := p_price * p_quantity;
   RETURN v_total;
END;

In this function, 'calculate_total', we define two input parameters, 'p_price' and 'p_quantity'. Inside the BEGIN-END block, we perform the calculation and store the result in the variable 'v_total'. Then we return this value.

The 'CREATE OR REPLACE' phrase allows the function to be created if it doesn't exist or replaced if it does. The keyword 'RETURN' indicates the datatype of the result that the function will return.

Once this function is compiled and saved in the database, it can be called from other PL/SQL blocks or used in a SQL statement. Always remember, the function should be created in such a way that it does not have side effects to keep the data manipulation safe and consistent.

Describe the normalization techniques used in Oracle databases.

Normalization is a design technique used in databases to minimize data redundancy and avoid data anomalies. It involves organizing columns and tables of a database to ensure that each piece of data is stored in just one place. In Oracle, normalization principles are applied in the same way as in any other relational database management system.

There are several levels or forms of normalization, each with a specific set of requirements:

  1. First Normal Form (1NF): It requires the elimination of duplicate columns from the same table and creation of separate tables for each group of related data.

  2. Second Normal Form (2NF): It ensures that each non-key column is fully dependent on the primary key.

  3. Third Normal Form (3NF): It necessitates that all the columns in a table are dependent upon the primary key, and each table has non-transitive dependency on its primary key.

  4. Boyce-Codd Normal Form (BCNF): It's a stronger version of 3NF where for any dependency A → B, A should be a superkey.

  5. Fourth Normal Form (4NF): Deals with multi-valued facts and requires that for each multivalued dependency, the determinant must be a candidate key.

  6. Fifth Normal Form (5NF): It copes with cases where information can be reconstructed from smaller pieces of information that can be maintained with less redundancy.

Normalization plays a crucial role in improving the performance and efficiency of Oracle databases and reducing the complexity of managing them.

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