RE: Certifications don't count!

From: Herring Dave - dherri <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 08:35:23 -0500
Message-ID: <>

I've got to agree on the whole "oracle answer" vs. "real world answer". I received my 8.0 certification as part of helping a large group of DBAs get theirs. I found that I could tell what the OCP test questions were looking for, even though I knew in the real world the OCP answer wasn't the best option, at least in our environment. I ended up teaching a course to all these DBAs on how all of what they learned in the process applies to our environment (you know, Oracle's 5 row EMP to DEPT queries vs. multi-billion row table joins).

So if I can summarize this thread correctly (and the previous thread on OCP/OCM, and the previous one to that, ...):

  1. Some recruiters and managers only look at certification for hiring.
  2. Some people are great test takers and can get certified with little to no experience.
  3. Some people are poor test takers or don't bother with certification yet are great DBAs.
  4. Some people lie about certification (either including it or hiding it).
  5. In the end, you need your interviewers to be as good at what they do compared to the DBAs at what they do, to get the people you really need for the job.

Personally, I never go off a script when interviewing DBAs. Instead I have them walk thru their listed experience and try to force them to give details. That always leads to interesting questions, answers, and hypothetical situations that usually uncovers the DBA's skills and viability for the position in question.


Dave Herring, DBA |   A c x i o m  M I C S / C S O 630-944-4762 office | 630-430-5988 wireless | 630-944-4989 fax

From: [] On Behalf Of Boyle, Christopher Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 7:58 AM
Subject: RE: Certifications don't count!

I am sure we all know someone that 'earned' their certification without touching a database just as I am sure we all know fantastic DBAs that aren't certified.  .  I got my certification VERY early in my career.  This was a good thing because the tests are looking for the book answers.  As I progressed I learned how to do the same task in more than one way but those newly learned methods would have been 'wrong' answers for the test.  From my experience an experienced oracle DBA or Application developer would have a much more difficult time passing the test for that reason.  Also from my experience having the certification qualified me to be considered for some jobs that I otherwise would not have been.  I still had to go to an interview and prove that I actually know what I am doing.  

Quite frankly, if you are basing a hiring decision on a single factor then you deserve what you get

From: [] On Behalf Of Helen Mitchell Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 5:29 PM
Subject: Certifications don't count!

I also am certified and am passionate about being a DBA.   After ten years of being a DBA both in both Production and Development environments,  I am still happy in my current job. Helen

From: [] On Behalf Of Mark Strickland Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 12:05 PM
Cc:;; Subject: Re: Certifications don't count! (from a good test-taker)

I'm certified AND I'm passionate about being a DBA.  However, I'm becoming less passionate about doing Production Support in a high-stakes, high-stress environment.  Probably happens to a lot of us sooner or later.  I figure that after nearly 15 years doing production support, I've probably got just a few more years left in me.  If I could do SQL tuning, er uh, I mean optimization all day, I'd be happier than a pig in, well, what pigs are happiest in.  Just innocently putting that out there.  I'm happy in my current job and not looking.  Just expressing a desire.


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Received on Thu Jun 12 2008 - 08:35:23 CDT

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