Hotsos Symposium Speaker – Kerry Osborne

Kerry Osborne is a returning Hotsos Symposium presenter.


Kerry OsborneKerry Osborne began working with the first public release of Oracle (version 2) in 1982. For the past several years, he has been focused on understanding Oracle internals and solving performance problems. He is an Oracle Ace Director and is a proud member of the OakTable network. He has also co-authored two books (Pro Oracle SQL and the recently released Expert Oracle Exadata).

Mr. Osborne is also a co-founder of Enkitec, an Oracle-focused consulting company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Keep up with Kerry at his blog,

Presentation Titles

Session 1: SQL Gone Bad — But Plan not Changed?

Session 2: Creative Problem Solving


Session 1: SQL Gone Bad — But Plan not Changed? — One of the most common causes for sudden performance degradation is unexpected SQL plan changes. While Oracle has introduced several options for monitoring and controlling execution plans over the years, there are certain situations where these tools fall short. The main culprit in some of these cases is that the tools rely on the plan_hash_value. Unfortunately, the plan_hash_value is calculated based primarily on the text of the plan steps and leaves out several key parts of the plan, the most significant being the filter and access predicates. This presentation will cover a case of a dramatic performance degradation that resulted from a plan change that was not reflected in the plan_hash_value. Techniques and tools for dealing with this issue will also be explored.

Session2: Creative Problem Solving — This presentation is really about problem solving. It's about how we think about problems and how we resolve those problems. Specifically, it is about how we solve problems involving complex computer systems. Over the years, I've been privileged to work with people that were incredibly good at solving problems and I've also worked with people that weren't. But it's been very difficult to tell which is which without watching them actually do what they do. I've worked closely with hundreds of extremely intelligent people. However, there seems to be little correlation between raw intelligence and the ability to quickly solve difficult problems. I've worked with lots of dedicated, hard working people as well. But this characteristic also does not always foretell success. Neither does having a stellar technical background with loads of experience. So why is it that some people seem to be gifted with seemingly super-natural problem solving skills even though their IQ's, work ethic and backgrounds are similar to other less successful problem solvers?

That's a question I've been trying to answer for a couple of decades. While I don't have all of the answers, I do have some ideas that I hope will be helpful for making you a better problem solver and a better judge of how others will perform when faced with difficult problems. A word of warning though: I am not a psychologist. I have not spent my career in pursuit of scientific proof of my opinions. Rather, I have spent my career solving computer problems and working with relatively large numbers of people that do the same. So, the opinions expressed in this paper are based solely on my observations and reflect my attempts to make sense of what I have observed.

Presentation Materials

Presentation materials are available online to attendees only.


The speaker schedule is as follows: