Here's what I sent him:
Start here:Any other pointers? I know there are tons of books so link them up if you feel they are worthy.
Oracle Concepts Guide - http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B28359_01/server.111/b28318/toc.htm
You don’t have to read everything, but it’s probably the best place to start. I’d be more than happy to answer some of the more “inane” questions (How do I do this? How do I connect? Etc).
Oracle Documentation (List of Books) - http://www.oracle.com/pls/db111/portal.all_books
Don’t be overwhelmed by that. It’s ridiculous how much stuff there is out there. I list some books out by discipline:
-- 2 Day DBA - http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B28359_01/server.111/b28301/toc.htm
---- Easiest place to start (after the Concepts Guide)
-- Oracle Database Administrator’s Guide - http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B28359_01/server.111/b28310/toc.htm
---- Definitely getting into the nitty gritty stuff here.
-- PL/SQL Language Reference - http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B28359_01/appdev.111/b28370/toc.htm
---- That should help you get started with PL/SQL if you so choose
For either role, the bible is probably the SQL Language Reference manual: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B28359_01/server.111/b28286/toc.htm
Usually what I do, is just download the software and try to get it running. It’s super easy on Windows, a bit more difficult on *nix environments (I just recently installed Oracle on Oracle Enterprise Linux, my first go at a non-Windows environment).
The documentation above is for 11g, the latest version. You can get the software here: http://www.oracle.com/technology/software/products/database/index.html I’d suggest installing EE, might as well go full boat. Plus, it doesn’t really make a difference resource wise. If you have 1.5 to 2GB RAM, you should have plenty. You can run an instance at about 512MB.
It requires an account (free) and they do not spam.
Also, try Oracle Database XE, a free (as in beer) standalone edition built off of the 10.2 kernel. Application Express is used as the front end (a pretty sweet GUI tool).
Hope that doesn’t scare you off too much. ;)