Kamran Agayev's Oracle Blog

Oracle Certified Master

Exclusive Interview with Laurent Schneider

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on September 7th, 2009

Last week, I’ve taken my first Interview from world-known Oracle Expert, Laurent Schneider 

author_pic_laurent_schneider2 Laurent Schneider is one of the most respected authors in Oracle technology, with many years of experience as a Systems Engineer and Database Engineer.

Laurent achieved the highest level of DBA certification in 2004, being the first Oracle Certified Master in Switzerland and recipient of the prestigious Oracle Technology Network ACE trophy.  
Laurent has over a decade of expertise in development – specializing in data warehousing and database modeling as well as database administration. He currently works for a successful Swiss bank as application architect/developer.

In his spare time, Laurent enjoys studying Chinese Chess strategy and has won the Swiss Championship. He lives on the sunny side of the Uetliberg with his wife Bertille, his daughter Dora and his son Loïc.

He is the author of the book “Advanced Oracle SQL Programming

Thank you Laurent for your time and consideration

Here’s our Interview :

Could u please provide answer to the following questions as follows:

  • Brief information about yourself and your family

I was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1971. At that time Unix was a baby and Oracle not even existed.

After my studies I move to Zurich to start working in Software Engineering.

I have two kids, Dora (7) and Loïc (6).

  • Your education

I have done my college in Geneva. Later I learned COBOL and other oddities in a specialized school to obtain the diploma of Programmer Analyst in Business Computing

  • Your experience with Oracle. When you started first? Has it been interest of your side or just a coincidence?

I was a Unix system admin and there was a vacancy as Data warehouse project leader in Zurich Financial Services. This was in 2000. I achieved the OCP 8.0 in the same year and 4 years later, I was the first OCM in my country

  • What was the motive behind to prefer Oracle? Who you have been influenced by?

I did some database programming in 1986, with Ashon-Tate Dbase 3+. It was about managing the library of my chess club and later the various teams. The program has been used for maybe 10 years.

In the middle nineties, I did some clipper in a non-profit organization to manage donations for Rwanda.

In 2000 for a mobile company I wrote a program with Sybase as database system. It was about retrieving financial quotes from your mobile.

Oracle University was quite effective, passing a dozen of OCP, OCM, OCE, OCA helped to gain a good overview of the features.

Thomas Kyte and Steven Feuerstein have been my Oracle heroes this decade.

  • Do you give lectures on Oracle?

Yes, I have been speaking in multiple locations, inclusive San Francisco, Stockholm, Baton Rouge and Zurich. I mostly spoke SQL MODEL – a 10g new feature and XML in the SELECT query.

  • Have you authored any book in Oracle?

Yes, one book called Advanced Oracle SQL Programming, the expert guide to writing queries, ISBN 0977671585. It is mostly a book for developers and anyone who want to write queries, join, aggregation and analytics.

  • Do you manage with your time as to read books on Oracle? What is the name of the book that you read recently?

On my bookshelf I have started to read Applied Mathematics for Database Professionals from Lex de Haan and Toom Kooppelaars. This was my price for winning the SQL Competition from Lucas Jellema. I have just started the two 11g books I have. I received Oracle 11g new features from the co-author and my best friend Lutz Hartmann. In addition I started the book Beginning Oracle Database 11g Administration that Iggy Fernandez sent me for finding the 1st solution in the NCOUG competition

  • What do you think on OTN forums?

I wrote more than 5000 posts. I am no longer a regular, I am currently quite busy with my new job. It is a large community which could be very useful if you have problem with an Oracle Product…

  • Do you refer to the documentation? And how often does it happen?

All the time… and I send correction too or bug to Metalink. Just check the contributor list in the SQL book :)

  • What was your greatest achievement as an Oracle DBA?

My Blog, my ACE trophy, my OCM certificate and my book. Moreover, the trust and respect from my peers

  • What is the next success you would like to attain and your efforts to this end?

I want to obtain investment banking skills to be able to understand what I am currently programming. I am looking forward for more training.

I wish I could do same language course to improve my pronunciation in English :)

  • How do you balance your daily life with your career?

At home, I am not doing Oracle. I am there for the kids. In the evening, I can have a beer with a colleague or two, and I play chess

  • Where and how do you spend your daily, weekly and annual holidays?

With family, we go swimming, walking and cycling in summer, and skiing in winter

  • What’s the best funny event you have ever faced in your life?

The free hugs campaign in New Orleans

  • What’s your favorite meal and non-alcoholic drink?

I like pasta with tomatoes sauce. I like Swiss fondue. I like German beer and Swiss wine.

  • What foreign languages do you know?

English and German. My mother tongue is French.


  • What are your hobbies? 

Chess, Adventures with kids

  • What would be your advice to the beginners in Oracle?

Buy a book from Tom Kyte and a book from Steven Feuerstein and start learning.

  • Would you like your children to follow in your footsteps or take a different path in life?

My girl wants to an astronaut and my boy is unsure if he wants to be a clown or a policeman

  • Do you have any followers of you?

I enjoy people sending me comments on my blog http://laurentschneider.com

  • What is your vision on the future of Oracle?

Promising, I suppose Oracle will remain a key player in the IT industry for a few decades

  • Could you please take a photo in your office near to your desktop?

No, I am not allowed to do this; it is against the bank secrecy.

  • What do you think I have forgotten to ask you?

Thanks for the interview, and all the best to your readers

11 Responses to “Exclusive Interview with Laurent Schneider”

  1. Emre Baransel Says:

    Thanks Kamran & Laurent;
    I had good time, reading about you..
    Best wishes, emre

  2. Ulfet Says:

    Kamran tebrikler, maraqli alinib.

  3. Surachart Opun Says:

    I like him… He’s a Excellent DBA.

  4. Aman.... Says:

    Cool! So the wheel is spinning now and we are going to see lots of great guys’s interviews soon :-) .

  5. Ulfet Says:

    Thanks Kamran, I think this interview will be more useful.

  6. ittichai Says:

    Thumbs up for both of you!

  7. Turkel Says:

    Thanks Kamran for a great activities like this. I hope one day i’m gonna take interview from first OCM of Azerbaijan(Guess who is he?) and publish that in my blog…:)

  8. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Thank you guys for your comments
    @Turkel – I don’t know who will be the first OCM in Azerbaijan, but I’ll try to be :)

    P.S. Ittichai and Aman – You’re on my list of interviewees, so be ready please :)

  9. Exclusive Interviews with Top Oracle Experts « Kamran Agayev’s Oracle Blog Says:

    […] Exclusive Interview with Laurent Schneider […]

  10. zekeriya besiroglu Says:

    keep walking kamran

  11. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Thank you Zekeriya bey. You’re also on my list so be redy for the interview :)

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