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Re: How to confirm someone is an OCP?

From: Joel Garry <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 19:50:51 GMT
Message-Id: <>

On 12 Jul 2002 06:26:24 -0700, Tom Swier <> wrote:
> (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

Mike, would you encourage me? I've finally gotten around to taking all the exams, but I was too busy being a DBA to finish it before the 7.3 expired. So now I have to take the upgrade. So I'm taking 8i upgrade, since at least I have experience on that and it isn't entirely foreign. After taking those 9 classes at IOUG, I couldn't help but feel that for production DBA work 8i is still going to be around for a while, with opportunities for upgrade to 9i if I luck into a situation that isn't stuck on not upgrading (talk about double negatives... :-) .

So, I'm not only sure of my abilities, I know my limitations. My problem is, I know too much and have done too much. In an interview situation, some mid-level DBA might ask me a simple question, and my brain will lock up, simply because it is something I've done in-depth years before but not recently. Then they say I don't have enough experience! Also, I feel pretty strongly that methodology trumps trivia, yet what does every DBA test actually test...

>> they might not be exposed to otherwise. It gives a foundation to build

Yes, I have taken stuff on the tests that I have never seen anyone use, and am not likely to! To be fair, they have also exposed me to some stuff that I have previously taken classes on and totally forgotten about, that is likely to be forced upon me in the future (like MTS, which I have seen in a number of places where apparently someone implemented it, then realized it is not designed for the best performance and so unimplemented it...).

>> 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
>> OCP
>> to
>> Intership

I mentored DBA's in a place that had an internship program. Well, they wanted to think it was, but the reality was they would arbitrarily jam in people who had no interest in being DBA's, and expect me to teach them. Add in a strange combination of egalitarian and military management, and you wind up with drama that would transport Samuel Beckett to tablespace looney.

>> to
>> DBA
>> to
>> Senior DBA
>> to
>> DBA Curmudgen

On usenet, anyone can be a Curmudgeon!

>> 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.

Funnily enough, when the OCP stuff was first being bantered about in cdo, I predicted it would tend to prejudice against those with experience. I did not expect it to get this reputation!

But a more cynical viewpoint might be that Oracle just didn't really care, they wanted third parties to grow the market so they could corner it when they could create the opportunity.

>> >
>> > 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.

Whenever I feel frustrated with my work, I just think of my wife's work - if she screws up, people can die.

>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

I have very low expectations of this, since the skills of teaching are so different than the skills of DBA. I've seen people that are good at both just get worked to death.

But I'm really pissed that I'm unlikely to be able to take the 9i upgrade before they implement the new class. I don't have that kind of money just laying around anymore, and I never seem to work for anyplace that would allocate that kind of money and time.

>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

What would he have made of usenet?


These opinions are my own.                                       Oracle and unix guy.                       Remove nospam to reply. 
Yes, I need a job.
Received on Tue Jul 23 2002 - 14:50:51 CDT

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