Oracle Recertification Requirement


I saw this post about the policy change this morning.

There is also a comment about it here.

You can be cynical about this and assume it’s a money thing, but I’m actually in favour of it. Red Hat have a recertification policy also. If you get your RHCE, you need to do another certification, even if it is just a one-off specialism, within 3 years or you lose your status.

In Oracle’s case, the recertification is based around retired exams, so it can be quite an extended time. If you take the 11g DBA certification, that’s been around for about 5 years and has still not been retired, so it will probably be around a 7 year recertification cycle for that exam. I don’t feel that is particularly excessive. Oracle’s release cycles seem to be slowing, so I don’t see this recertification being too much of an issue…

What this does mean is that people who did the 7, 8, 8i, 9i, 10g OCP and have never bothered to upgrade it should take OCP off their CV, but I doubt that is going to happen… :)



Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) Database 12c…


I just noticed the Database 12c OCP beta exams have started to appear (see here).

Not surprisingly, the multitenant option seems to be a big factor in the content of the both the Advanced Administration and Upgrade exam.

There are a few things that seem a little odd (to me) though:

  • Use Oracle Restart to manage components. Isn’t this a deprecated feature in 12c?
  • Configure and use Oracle Secure Backup. Do they mean Oracle Secure Backup Express?
  • Use Flash Cache.
  • Key DBA Skills (Upgrade Exam only). This whole section looks out of place to me for an upgrade exam.

Ignoring the “Key DBA Skills”, the upgrade exam contains about 49 bullet points, which means the production exam will on average have about 1.5 questions per bullet. The “Key DBA Skills” adds another 34 bullets, so now we are talking less than 1 question per bullet in the production exam…

There is enough new stuff to keep me writing articles for quite a while before I get in a position to sit this exam. I don’t think I’m going to be anywhere near ready before the end of the beta period, which is a pity. I think the only people who are likely to make the beta exam are those people who were on the database beta program, or people who are trying to wing it. Since I fit into neither of those categories, it looks like I’m waiting for the production exam…



PS. I wrote an Oracle Certification Frequently Asked Questions article a little while back.

RHCE Certification Articles (continued)…


I mentioned in my previous post on this subject that I had 5 more objectives yet to cover. The articles for those objectives have now been added to the website.

That completes the set!

The articles for both exams are available here. I also have a page listing the objectives for both exams, with links to each of my articles that cover them.

Now I just have to find the time to prepare for and sit the exams… :)



RHCE Certification Articles…


Just before I started my current job I was planning on doing the RHCSA and RHCE exams for a bit of fun. In preparation for that I started to write the revision notes for each of the exam objectives. I got to the end of the RHCSA exam objectives, then my plan kind-of stalled, what with starting the new job etc.

Over the Christmas holiday I got some time to start the notes for the RHCE exam. If anything, the syllabus for this exam is a little simpler as many of the sections follow the same basic format. This full list of RHCE exam objectives includes the links to all the articles I’ve written to cover the objectives. There are still 5 to complete, but hopefully I’ll get those done soon.

The new articles I wrote include:

Some of the existing articles on the site got some changes to reflect other objectives, including:

Remember, these articles are targeted specifically at the exam objectives, rather than trying to provide everything you need to know about the subject. In my opinion, some of the exam objectives are rather too simple, missing out the more interesting and useful features of the software. In some cases I’ve added some extra information beyond the objectives, marking it as not part of the exam, or linked or other articles that give some ideas of other uses.

Once I finish the next batch of articles, I guess I should consider sitting the exams. I’m pretty confident I could get through them now if I had access to my notes, but in the exam you just have “man”  and “info” pages, so I would have to commit some of the stuff to memory to get through them. Although I’ve been using Linux for over a decade, the fact I don’t do system administration on a daily basis means some of the more obscure tasks aren’t committed to memory.

It would be nice to get the articles finished and exams done before Oracle 12c is released, or I will be distracted for a while learning all that stuff. :)



Oracle Database Certified on OL6/RHEL6 (at last)…


I can hardly believe it. It’s finally happened!!!

Check out the story here.

The certification matrix on MOS is not updated yet, and those on RHEL kernel will have to wait a few more days (90), but at last we have some firm commitment. :)

From now on, the Oracle Linux errata are available free from In the past only the updates (5.6, 5.7 etc.) were available. This makes OL even more useful than before.

Thank you!



Update: Remember, if you apply the errata to OL6.2, you will have the same scsi_id issue I saw with 5.8.

A History of (my) Certifications…


I was chatting with the lady doing OCP Lounge registrations at OOW11. During this chat I mentioned I hadn’t received a certificate for the SQL Expert certification. It never crossed my mind to re-request it, since my certifications are visible on anyway. Yesterday, a DHL man delivered the missing certificate, which prompted me to look though my certifications and scan this image.

First, check out the card on the bottom right. I was unaware the “Expert” certifications had a different colour card.

Second, notice anything funny about the 9i DBA OCP certification?

It’s hard to believe it’s over 12 years since I first completed one of these certifications… :)



Oracle Database SQL Expert (1Z0-047)…


I can see this post degenerating into a rant, so I would like to preemptively appologize to anyone involved in the production of this exam. I’m guessing it’s a real pain to develop these exams, especially when some ass like me starts moaning about them. Added to that, I’m guessing the word “Expert” means slightly different things to different people…

I’ve been barking on recently that in my opinion, the most important skill required by any PL/SQL developer is SQL, with knowledge of PL/SQL itself coming in second place. Having recently taken the “Oracle Database 11g: Advanced PL/SQL (1Z0-146)” exam (mentioned here), I thought it was a little hypocritical not to sit the “Oracle Database SQL Expert (1Z0-047)” exam as well, so this morning I did just that.

Here are some of my thoughts on the exam, in no particular order of importance:

  • Regular Expressions: I think it is important that people understand what regular expressions can do and when it is appropriate to use them, but I don’t think it is necessary to test people on the meta-characters themselves. That’s what the docs are for.
  • Analytic Functions: No sign of them in my questions from the pool. Surely analytic functions are more important than regular expression meta-characters.
  • The majority of the exhibits were pointless. It seems like they were placed there to waste the time of people with bad exam technique, rather than to assist in answering the question. This was especially true of the schema diagrams, which I only referred to once when the datatype of one of the columns was important.
  • Several of the questions could be answered without reading the question at all, as the incorrect answers jumped out at you because they contained blatantly incorrect statements.
  • Several of the questions included the “ANY” and “ALL” comparison conditions, which are barely mentioned in the documentation (here)*. I guess these are only included in Oracle because the are part of ANSI SQL. I can’t remember ever using them in Oracle or seeing them being used by others. I have come across them in MySQL so I knew what they were for, which was fortunate.
  • There were lots of questions that included DML against inline views rather than directly against tables. It got to the point where I felt like, “If it’s got braces in it I’m going to tick it”.

I very quickly turned into a grumpy old man and started to rush through the exam, spending most of my time thinking about writing this blog post, rather than the exam itself. :)

In the end I got 96%, which I guess means I got 3 questions wrong out of the 70. Serves me right for rushing it so I could come home and bitch about it. :)

So I am now an “Oracle Database: SQL Certified Expert” as well as a grumpy old shite…



* Updated thanks to Pierre’s comment.