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RE: Real world OCP

From: Gait, Christopher <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 22:16:46 -0400
Message-Id: <>

I think the problem DBAs have with OCP is well founded. There are lot of people who acknowledge that we need certification/testing of some kind, but the tests Oracle provides for this stink. So let's work to replace those lousy tests, either by working on Oracle (not likely to succeed, since they use the OCP as a marketing tool and cash generator more than a testing system), or coming up with our own simulator that throws one curve after another at the examinee until they either walk out certified or run out screaming.

I just took the OCP for Database Operator. I did fine on it, but that's only because I used all the study guides. I barely would have passed without them because the stupid test was stuffed with such gems as how well you have memorized the GUI for Oracle Lock Manager. Never heard of that? Neither had I before studying for the test. It's part of performance pack (which we don't have and I suspect a lot of people don't have). The test was completely oriented toward one group: beginners who use NT and enterprise manager to do everything. Okay, there are a lot of those folks out there. But I'm seeing this tendency in the other tests as well. More and more pretty pictures, less and less UNIX command lines and SQL*Plus. The tests should be constructed so that an experienced DBA passes them without effort and a person who has memorized some facts from a prep book fails. The score you get should count for more. I would suggest having a testing program with three levels:

Enterprise DBA - (Master DBA plus hands on demo in a simulator and in front of a certification board)

DBA - (Master DBA and hands-on demonstration of abilities)

DBO - Like the current one, only not limited to NT and enterprise manager and more than a single written test, maybe the SQL/PL/SQL from DBA plus a hands-on demo on common tasks for a newbie.

There's more to being a DBA than the knowledge; there's care, tenacity, patience and a high capacity for caffeine intake. That's hard to fit in a test, but it can be part of a training program. Part of the secret of a physician's training is running the poor sods through internship with its rigorous training at low pay. There is an equivalent to this in IT, at least for some people, who work their way up through the ranks to the point where they know enough to run a large database without disasters, but there are also a lot of databases out there that are disasters waiting to happen or happening. We owe it to our profession to keep standards high. Received on Thu Jun 29 2000 - 21:16:46 CDT

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