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Re: How to confirm someone is an OCP?

From: Tom Swier <>
Date: 12 Jul 2002 06:26:24 -0700
Message-ID: <> (Mike Ault) wrote in message news:<>...
> Very interesting...seems most of the negative stuff comes from
> Oz...and Seattle which everyone knows is just Oz in the US...:)
> Actually I support the OCP as a "line in the sand" it indicates a
> certain committment to learning. Would I turn loose an OCP only DBA
> with my production database? No, I would not. At least it is better
> than the old Oracle Masters program.
> I encourage those who ask "should I?" because it indicates they are
> not sure of their abilities. OCP will help expose them to concepts
> they might not be exposed to otherwise. It gives a foundation to build
> on. If they don't build on it, that is their fault, not the fault of
> the program. How many of you have DBA intern programs? I'll bet none
> of you. If you want to really help get quality DBAs then provide a
> path:
> Classes
> to
> to
> Intership
> to
> to
> Senior DBA
> to
> DBA Curmudgen
> Mike Ault
> "It is better to light a light than to to curse the darkness"
> Daniel Morgan <> wrote in message news:<>...
> > Andy wrote:
> >
> > > I am going to be looking for a DBA soon, and it's occurred to me that
> > > if someone tells me they are an Oracle Certified Professional I think
> > > I'll want to confirm it.
> > >
> > > Do the Oracle Education people keep a record, and would they tell me
> > > if someone was an OCP if I asked, or would that come under some Data
> > > Protection Act (I'm in Australia)?
> > >
> > > Is there a certificate or letter I can ask to see?
> > >
> > > Not being an OCP myself, I don't know what to look for.
> > >
> > > Thanks.
> >
> > I would urge you to consider the OCP to be as valuable as the paper it is
> > printed on. Here (I'm in Seattle, WA, USA) we don't even ask about OCP
> > and other certifications as we have found out long ago that lots of
> > people can read a book, pass a test, and not necessarily have any actual
> > ability to do the job. Ask yourself, for example, would you want a
> > surgeon that had never had an internship? An MD has meaning. An OCP,
> > unfortunately, does not.
> >
> > Far better, when interviewing a DBA candidate, to have a clear
> > understanding of what responsibilities you expect them to perform (strict
> > production DBA), advisor to development and testing groups, lead code
> > reviews, advise on architecture, etc. Then have a half-dozen good
> > questions related to each proposed aspect of the job.
> >
> > There is nothing in the OCP that will teach the skills necessary to track
> > down scalability and security problems. There is nothing in the OCP that
> > will tell you that backup tapes should be tested regularly to see if they
> > actually work. Practical experience is the only thing that really
> > matters.
> >
> > Daniel Morgan

There are some very good comments in this thread. Too bad we can't get the HR people, those pushing the OCP, and various and sundry other folks to read it.  

IMHO, nobody should be able to claim to be OCP without practical, on-the-job experience. Who would be responsible for determining if the experience counts towards the OCP opens up a whole new can of worms. Average people like me can have no impact in this area but some of the heavy-hitters in this field should get together and push for it.

As has been said elsewhere in this thread, doctors have to go through a residency or internship before being allowed to practice medicine. An OCP DBA should be no different or the certification is meaningless. Aah, you say, but doctors are responsible for people's lives, DBAs are not. I would hope nobody would ever die as a result of the incompetence of a DBA but I'm not going to say it couldn't happen. I would say that a DBA could cost a company an awful lot of money if he/she didn't do their job. Whether management believes it or not, a company lives or dies by the skill of their IT staff.

Oracle appears to have begun addressing the weakness in their OCP program by requiring all new candidates for 9i certification to attend a class. See This is a step in the right direction (if it's not just a ploy to generate more revenue) but for what it's worth, my opinion is that you can't claim to be a certified professional if all you did was pass a test. Meaningful, verifiable, on-the-job experience under the supervision of an experienced, knowledgeable DBA is a must. I don't have the answer to the question of how to make this happen. I do agree with those posters here who say that currently, an OCP certificate is pretty good at covering that hole in the wall.

Tom Swier

    It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain Received on Fri Jul 12 2002 - 08:26:24 CDT

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