UK Oracle User Group

Book review - The Oracle Opportunity by Aidan Duffy

The Oracle Opportunity

15 April 2014

UKOUG members; Gautam Praktash of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ciaran O'Sullivan of Bord Gais Energy, Julian Ford of Claremont and Vijaya Kumar of Monarch Group Management review this book on behalf of other UKOUG members

We offer UKOUG members the opportunity to review books by Oracle authors and in return, they can keep the copy of the book completely free of charge.

One book available to our members is The Oracle Opportunity by Aidan Duffy, Oracle Consultant and UKOUG member.

Read our member's review of this book below and decide whether purchasing the book is worth the investment for you.

Gautam Praktash of PricewaterhouseCoopers gave the book 4 out of 5 stars

This book is an informative introduction to the Oracle consulting word. The book covers a wide range of topics including skills recognition and development, networking, Oracle overview, typical project lifecycle and finding the right job. I found the book easy to read and can imagine that it would be a boon for someone considering becoming an Oracle consultant. It is a hard topic to write about without overwhelming someone starting their career as a consultant and the author has a done an excellent job in keeping the content simple. Being a fan of bullets and flowcharts, I found the content to the point and very helpful.

I particularly enjoyed the practical tips which Aidan has shared in the aptly named 'Additional from the frontline' sections spread out throughout the book.

I did think that a number of diagrams in the book lacked relevance (like the LinkedIn and project relationship diagrams) and it felt that they have been placed just for visual appeal. I also felt that the first chapter with the definitions of skills felt like very text-book and nothing that particularly added to the book. Don't let the first chapter dissuade you though! This book might just help you take the big step and become an Oracle consultant!

Ciaran O'Sullivan of Bord Gais Energy gave the book 5 out of 5 stars

Aidan's book is written from the point of view of an E-Business suite consultant, but almost everything he says crosses over to most IT consultant roles. His style is clear and simple to follow and the book is a worthwhile read. We have all had to RTFM when we don't know something technical, this is the book that you should RTFM for the day to day oracle consulting work.

When I read the book I was not long into a new Oracle Apps DBA role after leaving a fairly secure environment. Reading the book actually gave me peace of mind as it correlated heavily with what I was seeing on the ground. The book has a wealth of common sense tid-bits that you're not normally told and could only learn with experience that I was glad to see documented.

The book gives a crash course in project lifecycle and project teams that filled in some much needed TLA gaps for me. There's a good bit of experience related information added like who to expect to be working with and how team dynamics can play out. From a career development perspective there are pointers to help with the recruitment process right up to building relationships in your current role.

In summary I enjoyed the book. I can see myself keeping it handy as a reference guide for different situations in my career. I would recommend it to anybody in a technical IT career, but most particularly to people starting out.

Julian Ford of Claremont gave the book 5 out of 5 stars

The ability to pass on knowledge, hard won through years of experience, should always be commended and encouraged.  Aidan Duffy's book aims to do just that, converting Oracle project experience in to wisdom that those just embarking on an Oracle consulting journey would drink down in one easy sitting.  It's written in an easy to absorb format, free from pretentious or heavy handed wording.

The overall tone is conversational and Aidan's credibility shines through with each chapter, from improving your CV, experience and skills; understanding an Oracle project and terminology; and even the thought processes required in evaluating a contract offer.  This conversational style makes a great contrast to the usual dry Oracle tomes and almost feels like the dictation from a series of interviews from the senior project consultant from a comfortable stool at the hotel bar.

I have slight reservations about the overall structure; with little scene setting before leaping in to the detail of the skills you may have or need.  Also many of the Chapters could be grouped together to allow easier review, and several diagrams don’t appear to add weight to the text - Number of LinkedIn users in China anyone?  Although, as the text flows smoothly on, these tend to be only minor distractions.  Additionally, Aidan clearly has a great grasp of the skills required to have made a real success of consulting over the last few years so it would have been great to see him discuss the future - his insight around the changing face of IT projects, delivery engagements and project roles would have been of real value.

It should also be noted that this text is clearly aimed at the "Independent Consultant" - but given so much is relevant to all consultants, I would love to have seen more specific discussion around the differing skills, styles and experiences involved to progress a career in both the corporate, independent and indeed client-side Oracle consulting landscape.  I'd also have liked some friendly recaps or highlighted reminders if this was to become a truly useful reference guide to which you  would return over and again.  But perhaps that is the point, this is not an academic guide nor a personal memoir - it is a short, easy to read guide that sets the scene and provokes thought in areas that even experienced consultants might not have stopped to think on.  And on that basis, it is much recommended.

Vijaya Kumar of Monarch Group Management gave the book 4 out of 5 stars

I would say its an interesting book with simple language which is understandable for any level of consultant in oracle space..

Its worth reading this book once at least when you get a chance. I felt if I adopt few pointers it makes lots of difference in day to day life of consulting.


To see other reviews of this Oracle title on Amazon, please go here

If you are a UKOUG member and would like to review Oracle books on behalf of other UKOUG members then keep your eye on this page of our website for future available book review opportunities. We'd like to thank Aidan Duffy for giving our members the opportunity to review his book and a huge thanks also goes to Praktash for taking the time to review the content of this book. We hope you'll find their insights helpful.

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