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RE: *** OCM Preparation ***

From: Mercadante, Thomas F <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 09:17:55 -0400
Message-ID: <DE8A21F8F1D0254EA4A9214D52AB2FEDAD5C4E@exchsen0a1ma>


Good points. Maybe my perception of what the OCM exam was testing is wrong. I guess I was thinking that it was more of a practical exam. And if that is so, then practicing DBA's would be more suited to passing it. But on the other hand, if it tests replication, then I would have a problem with it as I am not running a replication shop here.

Good points about the non-technical issues. That would be some test!

Tom Mercadante
Oracle Certified Professional

-----Original Message-----

From: Richard Foote [] Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 9:05 AM
Subject: Re: *** OCM Preparation ***

Hi Thomas,

Hold on !! You claim that the instructor was "a genius", "had the stuff down cold", "always had *the* answer" ...

Based on those credentials, you would certainly hope he would pass the practical exam. In fact, by knowing the solutions to the various exercises in the courses taught, it would be quite surprising if he couldn't pass the exam.

Thomas, what would be the "additional skills" required to pass the practical exam that a "practicing" DBA would have over someone who "only" had total technical competence with the Oracle database. I guess I'm in a unique position to answer my own question as in a previous life I was virtually "only" a non-practicing instructor for a number of years. Believe me, I've met many "practicing" DBAs, some who have over 10 years worth of "practical" experience (or 1 years experience 10 times over) who would not have a hope of passing the exam. Truly, being a practicing DBA is not certainty of technical competence, sad but true.

Unless the practical exam includes things such as having to deal with users with unrealistic expectations, how to deal with management when they force you down perilous technical directions, how to deal with Oracle support when you have an urgent itar that needs to be resolved, how to deal with developers who code with a view to functionality and not performance, how to deal with project co-ordinators that refuse to listen to inputs from DBAs until it's too late, how to deal with training departments when they don't have sufficient budgets for training, how to deal with the wife when you have to work back late again, etc. then having practical experience isn't really going to give you much of an edge :)

Technical competence *and* a wide variety of real life experiences is of course the perfect combination. However, as the exam only focuses on technical competence (can you create a database, can you backup and recover the thing, can you set-up a standby, can you resolve tuning issues, etc. etc.) then the practical experience side is not such an issue. Personally, I would set up the exam a little differently and have the wife on the phone wondering when you'll be home for dinner and an impatient user wondering when you're going to implement those materialized views in the test environment while you're trying to fix up a block corruption in production.

That would be a real life test indeed !!



One thing about the OCM that bothers me a little bit.

I recently took an Oracle course (9i exam cram). The instructor was a genius. Really. I thought he had the stuff down cold. Knew a lot about how Oracle works. A great instructor. Never said "I'll get back to you". Always has the answer (yes *the* answer). He talked a bit about the OCM exam. Said he took and passed the exam.

What bothered me was that he was not a practicing Oracle DBA - he was an instructor. Now either he has is a genius that can remember everything, or there is something I am missng about the exam. I thought the exam was about testing your skills. If this is so, then how can a non-practicing DBA pass the test?

Am I making any sense?

Tom Mercadante
Oracle Certified Professional

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Received on Mon Jun 21 2004 - 08:15:20 CDT

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