One of my Oracle heroes has died – farewell to Lex de Haan


On Saturday I was shocked to read the announcement in the newspaper of the death of Lex de Haan. Even though, after the earlier reports on his physical condition, it was not a real surprise, it was very sad news all the same. Lex was such a vibrant, energetic person, it is hard to believe he is dead. Lex was one of my instructors when I started doing Oracle in 1994, when he was working in Oracle Education in The Netherlands. Only later did I realize what an Oracle expert Lex really was. It also took a little while to find out how terribly nice he was – behind that somewhat imposing exterior. He was tall, wore a moustache and frowned a lot. However, like I said: he was incredibly nice.

Lex was an esteemed member of the highly regarded OakTable Network. He had started his own firm, NaturalJoin, and organized the OakTable seminars with high ranking speakers like Tom Kyte, Steve Adams and later this month Jonathan Lewis. The seminars are very well attended by a somewhat elite-crowd. And extremely well organized! He should have presented one himself, being a worldwide expert on SQL! We make grateful use of his book Mastering Oracle SQL and SQL*Plus, published in 2005 by the OakTable Press.

Within Oracle has Lex played an important role in Education around
the Oracle Database. A lasting memory of his involvement is his entry
in the EMPLOYEES table in HR schema:

WHERE employee_id = 102

----------- -------------------- -------------------------
------------------------- -------------------- --------- ---------- ----------
-------------- ---------- -------------
102 Lex De Haan
LDEHAAN 515.123.4569 13-JAN-93 AD_VP 17000
100 90


Thank you, Lex. For being the person you were. You will be missed a lot.


About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director and Oracle Developer Champion. Solution architect and developer on diverse areas including SQL, JavaScript, Docker, Machine Learning, Java, SOA and microservices, events in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press books: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook and Oracle SOA Suite 12c Handbook. Frequent presenter on community events and conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle Code and Oracle OpenWorld.


  1. Marco Gralike on

    I am deeply shocked by this news. I always enjoyed his part on
    where he spread his thought’s about SQL at every hour of the day, trying to help others
    with their problems (even during his own organized seminars). He made a big impression
    on me in a short time.

  2. I, too, am very sad to hear this news. I first met Lex back in the late 90s, when he took the initiative to organize trainings by yours truly at the Utrecht Oracle offices. Lex was a big man, with a big and wonderful singing voice, and a big heart. I always very much enjoyed my time with him. And, as Lucas, notes above, he was incredibly knowledgeable about SQL and the Oracle database.

    I will miss him and the world of Oracle technologists is smaller without him.

  3. Hi Lucas,

    I wonder how many of us Lex inspired? (and taught!) I was a SQL and PL/SQL instructor when I started at Oracle and Lex’s depth of knowledge was an inspiration to me back then. It was such a thrill to meet and then get to know him over the years.

    We will all remember him.

    Sue Harper

  4. Erik Kerkhoven on

    I am very shocked and sad about this news. I know Lex from the time I worked for Oracle EMEA. He was indeed a very nice person.

  5. I agree. Lex was incredibly nice and a gifted teacher. This is really a big shock.