Oracle Scratchpad

June 3, 2019

So long …

Filed under: Non-technical — Jonathan Lewis @ 2:09 pm BST Jun 3,2019

… and thanks for any Douglas Adams references.

I decided on Friday that after more than 31 years using the Oracle software and more than 37 years of being self-employed in the computer industry – not to mention a further 8 years being an enthusiastic amateur – the time had finally come for a change of pace.  As from 1st June 2019 I am retired.

I have a couple of long term commitments that I’ll still be doing a little work for over the next few months, and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone occasionally tempts me into doing a few days solving interesting problems.  I’ll still be answering questions on the Oracle Developer Community forum and (if the email gets through) on the Oracle-L listserver , and I’ll still be writing blog notes about Oracle and submitting abstracts to conferences for a few years. Who knows, I may even get round to writing another book – after all, I’ve already downloaded Oracle 19 so I’ll still be experimenting, investigating, and trying to break things Some people retire to do the Times crossword or Sudoku, my retirement pastime is going to be playing with Oracle.

But now I’ve got 3 musical instruments to re-learn, a garden to re-engineer, apple trees to train, and a lot of rowing [U.S. “crew”] time to catch up on so that I can get fit enough to get back to playing squash (which might be an interesting experience now that my eyesight has been fixed). And for relaxation I’ll be sitting in the garden watching the birds, drinking fine wine and reading a good book.

Update (6th June 2019)

Thanks for all the appreciative comments to know. It’s nice to have a record, both here and on the tweet, of the fact that I have made a difference for so many people.


  1. Jonathan, you have been an Oracle hero to many including myself. I still treasure a signed copy of your Oracle 8i book. I hope you enjoy ‘retirement’.

    Comment by Ronnie Doe — June 3, 2019 @ 2:19 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  2. Jonathan my very best wishes for your new adventure. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge all this time!

    All my best,
    José Antonio

    Comment by José Antonio Morcillo Valenciano — June 3, 2019 @ 2:21 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  3. I think it’s safe to say that everyone in Oracle community learned something from you. Most people learned from you more than what they learned from all other sources (including official Oracle documentation). But there’s still so much more we could learn from you, so I’m hoping this really isn’t a goodbye, and you’d still occasionally share your knowledge and enthusiasm with us, whether it’s in the form of books, articles or conferences talks.

    In any case, enjoy your retirement. I’m looking forward to your next tweets — whether they are about database internals or sourdough :)

    Comment by savvinov — June 3, 2019 @ 2:41 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  4. Wish you all the best Jonathan! Many Thanks for all the knowledge & insights you shared with Oracle community.

    Comment by Avinash Tripathi — June 3, 2019 @ 2:43 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  5. HI Jonathan, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. You are the best!

    Comment by Anonymous — June 3, 2019 @ 2:48 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  6. Thanks for your incredible contribution to the Oracle community – I look forwards to your future posts as an when you get around to writing them. In the mean time enjoy the books and wine.

    Comment by Anonymous — June 3, 2019 @ 3:01 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  7. This is the most unconvincing retirement I’ve ever heard. :)

    So you are retired, but you are still going to:

    – Answer questions.
    – Write posts.
    – Possibly write a book.
    – Present at conferences.
    – Possibly work if someone offers you something interesting.

    Enjoy your “retirement”. :)



    Comment by oraclebase — June 3, 2019 @ 3:09 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  8. Sour dough seems to be the common theme that robs the Oracle community of knowledge :-)

    Comment by Connor McDonald — June 3, 2019 @ 3:16 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  9. Echoing all the previous comments. Any attempt to ratify your contribution to the oracle community is superfluous. The body of work produced is so vast I know I’ll be learning from you for years to come. All the best for the future.

    Comment by gary — June 3, 2019 @ 3:20 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  10. Enjoy retirement – end of an era… Always found your articles and presentations very useful, and went further than most other resources at the time. Thanks

    Comment by Jon Mead — June 3, 2019 @ 3:25 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  11. Thanks for all you’ve done for the community, Jonathan. I hope you enjoy “retirement” as much as you’ve enjoyed probing the nooks and crannies of Oracle Database.

    Comment by Steven Feuerstein — June 3, 2019 @ 3:27 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  12. Best wishes for your retirement. I’m hoping it’s only going to be the “retirement” so that we all can be further learning from you.

    Comment by Nenad Noveljic (@NenadNoveljic) — June 3, 2019 @ 3:31 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  13. Jonathan, all the best in your new role, and thank you so much for everything you’ve done!

    Comment by Timur Akhmadeev — June 3, 2019 @ 3:55 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  14. Thanks for all the books, presentations, articles and blog posts over the years. Enjoy your retirement, but nevertheless I hope to see you at the Trivadis Performance Days in September.
    Cheers, Dani

    Comment by Dani Schnider — June 3, 2019 @ 4:01 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  15. Well …. your contributions to oracle-l and and your books and blog-posts will continue to be awaited !

    Comment by Hemant K Chitale — June 3, 2019 @ 4:13 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  16. Jonathan, I am really happy to hear that besides other activities, you will continue to be Oracle-active and we could still expect your awesome
    posts, answers, and, … yes :) … maybe books coming.
    I wish you all the best in all your other activities and I can only hope that maybe some time in the future we will have the opportunity to meet again,
    as we did back in 2015 … now that we are kind of “fellows” … retired people that just cannot stop Oracle-ing :)
    Thanks a lot for all the deep knowledge that you have shared with us along so many years
    and thanks in advance for all your future gifts for us all :)
    Remain always with us, the Oracle world would be much more poor without knowledge like yours :)

    Comment by Iudith Mentzel — June 3, 2019 @ 4:28 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  17. Thank you for all your contributions to the Oracle masses.

    Comment by Anonymous — June 3, 2019 @ 4:40 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  18. Welcome to the club!

    Comment by Günther Stürner — June 3, 2019 @ 6:05 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  19. Jonathan, your retirement is well earned, I hope it works out well for you.

    Comment by Jared Still — June 3, 2019 @ 6:50 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  20. Oh, and Thanks for all the fish.

    Comment by Jared Still — June 3, 2019 @ 6:52 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  21. Enjoy your retirement and thanks for all of your contributions! Your book on cost based Oracle fundamentals was real eye-opened for me back when it was published! Also I met you briefly in Finland when you were delivering a seminar maybe 2004 or 2005 and as a junior DBA back then it was nice you took time to answer any questions I had. :)

    Comment by Simo — June 3, 2019 @ 7:10 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  22. Thanks for all your wonderful blogs we will miss them but hope sometimes we will get something interesting to learn

    Comment by PP — June 3, 2019 @ 8:28 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  23. Thanks very much for an insightful experience. Best of luck!

    Comment by Zafar — June 3, 2019 @ 8:37 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  24. I would be devastated to see you go, but I’m also leaving the Oracle world. I want to thank you for all you’ve done; I’ve learned more from your books, blogs and presentations than any other source. I don’t think I ever missed one of your conference presentations, and was honored beyond belief when you attended one of mine on performance tuning.
    All the happiness in the world in your retirement!

    Comment by jeffreyjacobs — June 3, 2019 @ 11:59 pm BST Jun 3,2019 | Reply

  25. Hello Jonathan :-),

    Yesterday evening I had known you wrote total two notes from “Feedspot today”. When I’ve heard you were going to be retired I know sooner or later this day will come. Enjoy for your retired life, your intention after retiring is really awesome.

    Thank you so much for a ton of contributing on oracle community and oracle-l. Every time I submit a thread on ODC you’ve minutely and seriously replied to me and in particular I always learn something new from you.

    FYI I’m looking forward to publishing your third Oracle new book.

    Best Regards
    Quanwen Zhao

    Comment by Quanwen Zhao — June 4, 2019 @ 3:04 am BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  26. Hi Jonathan,

    Probably, the most memorably and fan-boy moments for Amardeep and I were meeting you in-person in Hyderabad and spending the evening together doing the sight-seeing. Still those memories are as fresh in mind as it happened yesterday only and we shall cherish those moments for forever. Thank you so much for all the questions that you have answered, for all the knowledge that you have shared and above all, showing us how to be so much knowledgeable and yet, so humble, approachable and helpful to all those who need to be corrected, guided and mentored. I certainly wish that your “retirement” plans will work out just the way you have mentioned and it will be so good to read another book(having it autographed will be even better but one can’t be too hopeful always, isn’t it) reading the blog posts and above all, having you around in the Oracle community.

    Thank you once again and enjoy your retirement.

    King regards,

    Comment by Aman.... — June 4, 2019 @ 7:35 am BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

    • Thank you Jonathan for everything. Your comments on Oracle-L, OTN forums & books; everything has been a great source of information for the community. We are gonna miss you. As you mentioned, hope you will continue to write. Now even more as there will be no work pressure ;)

      Wishing you the best. Enjoy your retirement !

      Amardeep Sidhu

      Comment by Amardeep Sidhu — June 12, 2019 @ 4:52 am BST Jun 12,2019 | Reply

  27. Jonathan,
    good to know that you will continue to write here (and on ODC and Oracle-L): beeing a great admirer of your style I would miss your writing almost as much as your technical knowledge. Enjoy your retirement.

    Comment by Martin Preiss — June 4, 2019 @ 7:43 am BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  28. Jonathan,

    I join the chorus of praise and thanks for all your contributions and for the peerless example you have set. Having enjoyed your company a few times, what I am most grateful for is not what you have presented, posted or published but simply who you are.

    Since you’re not abandoning the Oracle community completely, we’ll “expect you when we see you”…

    May the future bring every possible delight to you and all you hold dear.

    Kindest regards,

    Comment by stewashton — June 4, 2019 @ 8:59 am BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  29. Times, they are changin’ …

    It feels like yesterday when I started reading columns from you and other people regarding Oracle (for example Tom Kyte, who also left the scene).

    In reality we’re now talking about almost 20 years. Now you too are going in retirement and so are other people around me, which I’ve worked with for a couple of years. Can’t say I like that change, but that is life. There’s a new generation taking over now, which I hope will learn from the experience of their predecessors – I’m doing the best I can, using the vast knowledge that you and others offer in your blogs and other sources.

    I still remember one talk in Vienna you did a couple of years ago (but can’t say what year or which session it was, so much for my memory) and your example “the DB is slow when it rains”. ;-) Good times.

    What I really want to say: Enjoy your retirement but keep “working”, whether it’s a new verison of Oracle DBMS or any other topic that keeps you interested.
    My hope is that I’ll see new and interesting entries in your blog until it’s my time to retire, selfish as I am. ;-)

    Comment by Clemens — June 4, 2019 @ 9:47 am BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  30. i would say YOUR retirement is only possible if you find a person that can replace 100% of your articles / blogs / posts / comments the next 5 years :-)
    Just joking, Thanks for all. Best wishes from Munich. If you ever want to taste a real beer:-), i would spend one, mayby two (but not in the small glasses you use …. )

    Comment by Marco Patzwahl — June 4, 2019 @ 10:24 am BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  31. You deserve this for sure and i wish you all the best. You were my insparation in oracle matters, the way you worked on problems and presented this to us, i learned so much from you. Thank you for this, i doubt that the level you set in this field will ever be reached again.

    Comment by chris — June 4, 2019 @ 11:29 am BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  32. All the best Jonathan! All the best!

    Comment by rsiz — June 4, 2019 @ 11:48 am BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  33. All the best for your retirement Thanks for all the posts that have made all of us better at what we do over the years. Keep on learning as long as you are able:

    “A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

    Comment by John Chamberlain — June 4, 2019 @ 1:00 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  34. My sincere thanks for beeing the Oracle professional you were and still are. You are a icon for all of us. If we have today several other Oracle gurus is mainly due your work and pioneering.

    Comment by Luis Santos — June 4, 2019 @ 1:40 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  35. Its been a pleasure reading your blog over the years and listening to your sessions. Best wishes on you’re retirement.
    I which I had know that you row. If your ever in Boston again let me know and I can get you out for a row on the Charles if you want.

    Comment by Dennis Ruane — June 4, 2019 @ 1:46 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  36. Enjoy your retirement Jonathan – you have earned it. Thank you for all your work is educating us lesser mortal in the ways of the Oracle database.

    Comment by John Hallas — June 4, 2019 @ 1:59 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  37. All my best wishes for a great professional, that is always helpful and respectful.

    Comment by Lisandro Fernigrini — June 4, 2019 @ 2:04 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  38. So I should bring my squash racket at next UKOUG conference then?

    Comment by Lasse Jenssen — June 4, 2019 @ 2:05 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  39. Congratulations on your decision, Jonathan. Have fun.

    Comment by brynlite — June 4, 2019 @ 3:38 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  40. Enjoy your retirement! And thank you for all the valuable insights you have shared over the years.

    Comment by Clifford Mathew — June 4, 2019 @ 4:27 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  41. Your Post have always demanded complete and undivided attention. Anything less I would the plot.
    I hope to keep seeing you at conferences and these blogs post rolling on.
    cheers Jon

    Comment by Faisal Ijaz — June 4, 2019 @ 5:10 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  42. Jonathan,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge for all these years. Your contributions made a big difference to me when learning about Oracle performance. Enjoy your well earned free time!


    Comment by Rob van Wijk — June 4, 2019 @ 5:50 pm BST Jun 4,2019 | Reply

  43. Jonathan, you will be sorely missed. We met in person and I still treasure your signed 8i book. I hope you will enjoy your retirement. If I am allowed to be so impertinent to make suggestions, Lake District is beautiful. If UK exists the EU and becomes the 51st state of the Union, I will retire there.

    Comment by mgogala — June 5, 2019 @ 2:38 am BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  44. So happy for you and SO jealous. I have been trying to finish a book for 6 months.
    Enjoy your time. You have earned it!

    Comment by Mia — June 5, 2019 @ 6:52 am BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

    • I wrote two books, one was loosely about Oracle, but I don’t find the effort worth while. I am writing articles instead, whatever I find interesting. Writing a book is a hard work, which takes slightly less than a year, and financial rewards are not particularly good. Speaking of articles, I am writing a blog entry about Oracle 19c HS (Heterogeneous Services) connecting to SQL Server on Linux. It will satisfy my inner feeling of being a good community member, but without the huge effort needed to complete a book. Anyone who has ever written a book, like Jonatha, Dom Brooks or Jared Still will tell you the same thing.

      Comment by mgogala — June 5, 2019 @ 1:07 pm BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  45. What they said … +42.

    Sounds like you’ll still be doing all the things we are all so grateful for…

    Comment by Dom Brooks — June 5, 2019 @ 9:23 am BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  46. About 5 years ago we had a brief chat at a UKOUG SIG event in Reading. You predicted then that you’d be out of work in….spookily…about 5 years. At the time you thought it would be NoSQL databases that caused the demise of your Oracle consultancy work. Who would have known it was squash instead! Thanks for all the hard work you’ve put into supporting the Oracle community. I learned enough about the Optimizer from your CBO book to carve out a career in Oracle application tuning, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. Enjoy rowing (really!?).

    Comment by Richard Kettlewell — June 5, 2019 @ 9:33 am BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  47. Thank you for all the work you have done! Have a great time.

    Comment by laimisnd — June 5, 2019 @ 11:35 am BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  48. All the best, my friend :-) I still remember when we met first time in 2002 in Steve Adams’ house and you some day later delivered your “when shit hits the fan”-presentation. But I don’t know if you and the junta accepted me as an OakTable member because of my two whisky bottles (one was an Ardbeg, 1975 if I remember) or my solution to your question “how can you prove how Oracle internally finds the key in the index leaf block”. But Mogens forwarded your comment to my solution that my investigation skills were a little bit unusual but brilliant. Thanks for that, the fish and everything. /Jocke

    Comment by Jocke T — June 5, 2019 @ 11:50 am BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  49. Love from India. Bhopal.
    Thanks for a wonderful body of work. U r my hero.

    Sunil choudhary

    Comment by Sunil Choudhary — June 5, 2019 @ 5:27 pm BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  50. Thanks Jonathan for the knowledge you have shared. Your “test cases” are goldmine! I have being mining and adapting them for my own purpose over the years. Merci

    Comment by Tobi — June 5, 2019 @ 5:59 pm BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  51. Enjoy your well earned retirement Jonathan. Thanks for your help along the way.

    Comment by Jeff Moss — June 5, 2019 @ 11:04 pm BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  52. I still remember reading the first article of yours in the 90’s when partitioning was released (8.0), while everyone cheered it, your article pointed out how the partition view (the only “partitioning” available until then) was superior in certain query performance with an example. I have been a follower ever since. I still have a copy of Practical Oracle 8i book of yours, which I consider is the best Oracle book that has some useful insights still valid even today.
    Thanks for all your contribution over the years, I learned a lot from your articles. I am glad you aren’t completely giving up, and would continue contributing online.

    Wishing you the best!

    -Madhu Sreeram

    Comment by Anonymous — June 5, 2019 @ 11:27 pm BST Jun 5,2019 | Reply

  53. Thank you for all the knowledge and enthusiasm you shared in your work Jonathan.

    Since I first met you in 1999 in Surrey you’ve been like a lighthouse in the journey of my career choices.

    Paolo Castelletti

    Comment by paolocastle — June 6, 2019 @ 7:29 am BST Jun 6,2019 | Reply

  54. Jonathan,

    Honestly, I’ve been pretty heads down busy lately, not attending many conferences or reading many blogs, but I saw your ‘in case you missed it’ Tweet, which lead me here.

    Congratulations on your retirement, or, as someone else said, ‘retirement’…. :-)

    It’s been a pleasure knowing you and learning so much from you over the years! I hope to see you at a conference in the future!


    Comment by Mark Bobak — June 6, 2019 @ 5:10 pm BST Jun 6,2019 | Reply

  55. Congratulations and thank you for the knowledge & insight you have shared.

    Comment by Anonymous — June 8, 2019 @ 12:55 am BST Jun 8,2019 | Reply

  56. I still remember when I started learning Oracle in earnest and I had two books constantly with me – the “Blue Book” (your “Practical Oracle 8i”) and the “Red Book” (Tom’s “Expert one-on-one Oracle”), whose cover images I still remember vividly nowadays (even if a few drops of water have passed under the bridge), and that bring back happy memories of the good old times.
    And I still remember your kindness in accepting to read my paper about the Histograms, even if you were very busy … not to mention all other interactions we had during those early, exciting years.
    So many thanks for everything, for all the fish and the pudding as well :)

    Comment by adellera — June 9, 2019 @ 9:42 am BST Jun 9,2019 | Reply

  57. Thank you for adding value.
    May God grant you, “relaxation I’ll be sitting in the garden watching the birds, drinking fine wine and reading a good book.” I will add “Vipassana” to this list.

    Comment by Anil Chanda — June 12, 2019 @ 5:00 am BST Jun 12,2019 | Reply

  58. Thanks for your incredible contribution to Oracle community.
    I learn so much from your blog and books (Cost base optimizer and Oracle core).

    You will be missed but hoping for more of your blogs in future :) never stop learning…

    I wish you all the best for your next chapter of your life.

    Comment by Henish — June 13, 2019 @ 2:56 am BST Jun 13,2019 | Reply

  59. Thanks for your contribution. I have learned so much from your blogs, books, and forum.

    Comment by kalpit — October 20, 2019 @ 11:16 pm BST Oct 20,2019 | Reply

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