Full disclosure requires me to report, at the outset of this review, that I had the privilege to work for Larry Ellison and Oracle Corporation back in the mid to late 80's. During my time at Oracle, I enjoyed the unique opportunity to meet with Mr. Ellison on a couple of most memorable occasions. When I did, I always had the distinct feeling that I was in the presence of a genius. And indeed, I was.
In this unique, remarkable, and truly excellent book, Matthew Symonds captures, as well as a journalist could, what an amazing man Mr. Ellison is, and what an amazing company he founded and led to unbelievable success. Symonds also gives a truly special look inside the mind and character of the enigmatic founder of this software colossus.
Currently, I am working on a book on the Relational Model for Database. And I picked up this book by Symonds as part of my research. Having read "Softwar", I am well prepared to describe, with awe, the remarkable role that Mr. Larry Ellison played in making Dr. E.F. Codd's dream a reality. Indeed, as Codd provided the theoretical foundation for the Relational Model for Database, and fought valiantly for its acceptance, even unto his death, Ellison probably merits more credit than any particular human being for making the Relational Model a commercial reality, and success.
A common theme occurs throughout this wonderful book. The theme is that programmers, of which Larry Ellison is certainly one, are constantly playing the game of "I'm Smarter than You" whenever locked in technical debate. One of the reasons that Ellison is so disliked by many uninformed observers in the industry is that he nearly always won that game. And that sort of unparalleled excellence always seems to become the object of jealousy.
I strongly recommend this excellent book to any who would understand both Mr. Ellison and the history of his amazing company. God bless.
- Hardcover: 528 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (1 October 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 074322504X
- ISBN-13: 978-0743225045
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.7 x 24.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 839 g
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