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Most people I know who have worked as DBA:s for many years do not have certifications. It seems like the certification is used not to show that you are a professional, but that you have ambitions to get a position as a DBA. With that in mind, perhaps a better job requirement would be that candidates not have certifications.
Most people I know who have worked as DBA:s for many years do not have certifications. It seems like theI don't know what is the total count of 'most people' in your above statement, but the chances of it being a statistically significant number of DBAs is slim. I've worked with Oracle for over 17 years, am currently employed as a DBA/Developer and I continue to pursue certifications. I don't do this t get a position as a DBA -- I have one. My primary purpose is to keep learning new information about Oracle.
certification is used not to show that you are a professional, but that you have ambitions to get a position
as a DBA. With that in mind, perhaps a better job requirement would be that candidates not have certifications.
As an example -- right now I'm working towards the SQL Expert certification. I am really good at SQL tuning. In my previous position, I routinely re-wrote SQL that had been created by a prior developer that resulted in statements that ran in a tenth the time. That said, while I use explain plans in my tuning process, I have never really read them. Prior to preparing for this exam, I used them to get a feel for what was happening with the statement and use that to begin the process of tuning. I have intended to learn more about execution plans for years... but never got around to it. Now, having studied them in depth for this certification, I know much more about execution plans and feel much more comfortable reading and interpreting them. It doesn't matter if any hiring manager ever notices or understands that line on my resume -- I'm a better SQL developer for having prepared for this certification.
As a senior DBA, I have been in the position of evaluating prospective hires in the past, and almost assuredly will be again in the future. Looking at the certifications that candidate have tells me something about the information that they should be aware of if they passed the exam honestly. If someone has worked as a DBA for years, but has no certifications, I can only guess from their descriptions of previous positions what information they should know. In either case I ask questions to ensure that they really know what their resume indicates they should. However, I like seeing people that show an interest in learning new skills.
Matthew, your response is particular interesting to me right now, as I have been reviewing customer testimonial videos taken at OpenWorld last year. We interviewed a handful of certified professionals last year at OOW and asked them questions like, "what is the value of your certification." To a person, they indicated that certification keeps them up-to-date on the new features of each release. Now, most of these folks have been certified DBAs over several versions, but that response was not something I'd expected - I'm not a DBA. But I thought it was interesting.
Certification is so much more than just a piece of paper. Now, if we can get the dump-users to see that!
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...that response was not something I'd expected - I'm not a DBA.I actually do more development work than DBA work, but the same basic inertia applies to either one of them. You do today what worked yesterday, and tomorrow you'll do the same thing for the same reason. When a new feature comes out, you are too busy to learn it today or tomorrow. Maybe next week after the big release/monthly backup/fiscal year end, you will take some time to see if the feature is worth implementing. Right now, you do what you know works.
Certifications come with a laundry list of information to be learned for the exam. Some of them I'll already know fairly well. Others I won't know, but really aren't applicable to what I'm doing (at the moment, anyway). Still others will be something I don't know but will find useful immediately. In all cases, by studying the topics, I make myself more knowledgeable in my chosen field. The certification is just the carrot on the end of a stick. It's a tangible reward to make me do what I really should be doing anyway. In addition, since my employer reimburses me for the certification tests under its Educational Assistance Program, not making use of that perk means I'm leaving money on the table.
...Now, if we can get the dump-users to see that!I have sympathy for them in one respect. A Google search for any test ID will return so many brain dump results that it canl make the unwary believe they are legitimate. I submitted feedback to Google a couple of nights ago about the problem. Google does like returning valid results, so they might actually police themselves. When someone from the OraFAQ forum let me know that Amazon had an advertisement for a brain dump provider on the same page as one of my study guides, I reported it to them. Amazon removed the ad within 48 hours.