Oracle Scratchpad

October 20, 2009


Filed under: Philosophy — Jonathan Lewis @ 7:27 pm BST Oct 20,2009

Karen Morton has a few wise words to say about understanding vs. memorization. Definitely worth reading and understanding – and maybe even memorizing.


  1. Sure it is wise, but I’ve always thought it was obvious :-)

    Comment by Flado — October 20, 2009 @ 9:15 pm BST Oct 20,2009 | Reply

  2. Flado,
    As another one of those “inspirational” comments on my front-page says:

    “Trouble is, just because things are obvious doesn’t mean they’re true.”
    Granny Weatherwax (author: Terry Pratchett)

    Comment by Jonathan Lewis — October 20, 2009 @ 9:49 pm BST Oct 20,2009 | Reply

  3. True as this is, I do find it useful to be able to remember a formula instead of having to derive it from first principles, or from the the nearest thing I *can* remember :-)

    Comment by Flado — October 21, 2009 @ 5:43 am BST Oct 21,2009 | Reply

  4. @Flado

    I think the point is that if you understand something, you’re less likely to need to spend time memorising, as you’ll retain the information anyway, as it just fits into your mental picture. Less time spent memorising, because you already know it.

    Although, having said that, Google is my friend *{;-)

    Comment by Boneist — October 21, 2009 @ 8:07 am BST Oct 21,2009 | Reply

  5. I have such a work pattern: If it is a complex system, I prefer to “feel” it – how it works.
    Oracle is very complex system. The more I get to read, watch, listen (thank you, Jonathan, for your wonderful sessions in Sofia – it’s been a honor to me to be there and listen), the more easy for me is to “feel”, to “predict” how it will react in various occasions. The more day-to-day work i do, the more I dig in it, the less I need to memorize.
    For example, when I understand the logic behind tablespaces and datafiles, I can easily write some “alter tablespace” statement which I have never done nor seen before.
    The same, by the way, works very nicely with every complex project I get evolved in. For example, when I participated in the project for building Bulgarian e-government, with every meeting I’ve been to, with every detail I got to know, I got a deeper feeling about the subject. Until at one moment I seemed to know more technical details (not only about the database, but also for the communication protocol, the interfaces, the hardware setup, etc.), than the project manager – not because I have memorized them, but because I had the feeling about the system we were building.

    Comment by yavor — October 21, 2009 @ 4:18 pm BST Oct 21,2009 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Comments and related questions are welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by