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Oracle Databases IT

Oracle Database Certifications Are No Longer Permanent 108

jfruh writes: It used to be that you could get an Oracle database certification and declare yourself Oracle-certified for the rest of your career. That time is now over, causing a certain amount of consternation among DBAs. On the one hand, it makes sense that someone who's only been certified on a decade-old version of the product should need to prove they've updated their skills. On the other, Oracle charges for certification and will definitely profit from this shift."
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Oracle Database Certifications Are No Longer Permanent

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... that's what Oracle services cost. Maybe in time you'll need to indenture two children to them to be able to afford them :)

  • Key question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by abhisri ( 960175 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @05:30AM (#48147839)

    Will the DBAs actually need to take the test again and again, each time to keep their certification?
    Else all this is going to prove is whether you paid the tithe to oracle or not.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      presumably.

      or else you could maybe sue them for changing the contract retroeffectively? get your money back?

      • Re:Key question (Score:4, Insightful)

        by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @09:37AM (#48148885)

        It doesn't work like that. You would still have your certification. But it would be the old certification. What Oracle will do is issue their new improved updated latest whizbang certification 2.0.

        So you would have your DBA certification, and it would still be exactly what it always was, but you would not have the DBA 2.0 certification.

      • Actually, so far...I've not found any jobs that required any Oracle DBA certification as a requirement for work. Maybe for starting out, but for me, job resume experience is what sells you.

        I've never been certified, I've taken the classes in the past, but never got around to taking the actual exam, and I've never found it to be a job requirement, nor pay amount factor.

        I'm pretty much contracting only these days, so maybe the more beginner W2 jobs value this more, but for now, I find that in general, Oracl

        • by jgarry ( 126205 )

          Actually, so far...I've not found any jobs that required any Oracle DBA certification as a requirement for work. Maybe for starting out, but for me, job resume experience is what sells you.

          I've never been certified, I've taken the classes in the past, but never got around to taking the actual exam, and I've never found it to be a job requirement, nor pay amount factor.

          I'm pretty much contracting only these days, so maybe the more beginner W2 jobs value this more, but for now, I find that in general, Oracle Certs are about as worthless as MS certified engineer credentials. You just don't need them really.

          Oracle Partners [oracle.com] jobs require certs. This is of course all marketing, but marketing is lucrative.

    • Re:Key question (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:03AM (#48148107) Homepage

      A certification doesn't make you a good DBA. It only tells the employer that you have understood some basics.

      A good DBA is able to see what the best solution is for the company and the product it delivers. It's way more important to understand the demands the product have on the database than anything else.

      • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @08:55AM (#48148567)

        So that means you're not certified then?

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          Pretty much.

          They might impress idiots that aren't competent to judge your skills. That's great if you want to work for people like that. Otherwise it's a waste of time and money that could be used more effectively even in terms of professional development.

          The idea that a 15 year old cert isn't worth anything anymore is not really a surprising or newsworthy thing. It's hardly something for Slashdot to get excited about.

          It must be a slow news day.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        "A certification doesn't make you a good DBA. It only tells the employer that you have understood some basics."

        Nope sadly it doesn't even prove that! What it means is you can remember a set of questions and answers and quote them verbatim. I'd been working as an Oracle DBA for close on 15 years before I bothered to take my certs. I read the cert guide books, passed the practice tests. I then got hold of a lot of test questions to make sure I knew what to expect. When I took the real certs test 90% of the qu

    • Else all this is going to prove is whether you paid the tithe to oracle or not.

      I thought that's what certifications were pretty much for.

    • All you need to do is take a couple of upgrade exams, and pink unicorns will bombard you from the sky with suitcases of sparkly cash.

      See the alternate method at the bottom of this doc [oracle.com].

  • by Ivan Stepaniuk ( 1569563 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @05:33AM (#48147843)

    And I will certify your competence in anything. (Signed piece of paper included)

    • Exactly! Most certifications are just scam and pieces of paper to cover the ass of HR guys hiring without having a clue about the skills they are looking for. A convenient way to tell the boss they picked someone with the right technical skills, in theory. Taxes on revenues from governments are not enough, some companies managed to make their own.
      • I agree with you when it comes to third party certification courses, but not when its the company certifying you in its own products - they have a vested PR interest to not endorse people who can't do the job.

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          oh is that why projects with oracle certified people don't have huge cost overruns regularly?

        • Re:Give me $5.000 (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:10AM (#48148123)

          I agree with you when it comes to third party certification courses, but not when its the company certifying you in its own products - they have a vested PR interest to not endorse people who can't do the job.

          You don't work with Oracle do you?
          Their primary marketing slogan is: "Shut the fuck up and give us your money"

          • by David_W ( 35680 )

            Their primary marketing slogan is: "Shut the fuck up and give us your money"

            I thought it was "keep giving us your money until we say it is enough".

        • Years ago I took one of the Windows server 2008 courses. While I did learn a bit on how to manage CAs in Windows, all in all, it was a tremendous waste of time; equal parts obvious crap and annoying horn tooting ("Windows Server 2008 is the best server operating system on the market today" was literally one of the statements in the intro). It was an utter joke and worst of all taught very little that couldn't be find in other, more definitive sources. At the end of the whole process, I decided that Microsof

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, but to be fair experience on a CV usually equates to number of years a person has been able to bullshit through their previous job.

        Frankly almost everyone is fairly dull - if you think you're the exception, you're probably even less talented than those around you - and the majority misrepresent themselves, whether because they're outright liars or because they have an inflated sense of their ability and/or contribution to previous projects.

        And, yeah, I'm in HR. I value long probationary periods - paid

        • by Anonymous Coward

          And, yeah, I'm in HR.

          You are part of the problem with the hiring process these days. Human resources is staffed by idiots lead by a fool. Companies don't want the best person, they want the least expensive person. Human resources filters out the people whom should be hired.

        • by pla ( 258480 )
          If you're a seasoned systems software engineer whose background is entirely in software engineering, my first question will be: what that is new can you bring to us?

          How about, Able to do the fucking job without a "long probationary period ... while training is provided"? That do it for ya, hmm? No, no, you'd rather have your interest "piqued" than get a qualified boring individual to do the job your employer wants done.

          I realize what we do can often look like magic to those with no math or computer s
          • On the whole, engineers have a massively overdeveloped sense of meritocracy, unfortunately an ideal largely incompatible with "obey the most expensive suit".

            Well maybe, but it's a meritocracy based on principles somewhat socially orthogonal to the "real world", at least these days. I would think that adaptability to reality might be a bit higher on the "to do" lists of most engineers. Not to mention with all of the bad PR of "Gamergate" and how the "systemd" debate's been going, I think it can be safely sa

        • And, yeah, I'm in HR. I value long probationary periods - paid, of course, but at a lower rate while training is provided: IOW I care more about your reasoning skills than buzzwords on your resume.

          It's people like you that caused me to go through six months as an hourly employee, zero overtime allowed, no paid vacation, no PTO accumulation, no matching contributions to my 401(k), etc. During six months I could have accumulated over 60 hours of PTO, plus my official time as an employee starts after the six months when giving me the five years of service raise. I hate buzzwords as much as the rest, but you don't need a long probationary period to find out if an employee padded their CV.

  • Not a great loss... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jorgensen ( 313325 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @05:44AM (#48147871) Homepage

    I am an Oracle Certified DBA, and I do not consider this a great loss.

    For several reasons:

    • My (then) employer paid for the certification
    • I considered the certification test EASY. I had already been an Oracle DBA for about a year at the time (worked with Oracle products for about 5), and the test covered the stuff the manuals documented anyway. Anybody capable of digesting the Administrator's Manual should have no trouble on the test. The manuals were actually pretty good.
    • The certification is tied to the Oracle RDBMS version number. So being certified on an older version is of limited value anyway. (I know: The base RDBMS doesn't really change that much, but they wrap all sorts of nonsense around it)
    • Oracle is becoming increasingly irrelevant: MySQL (although now owned by Oracle too) takes the bottom end of the market share with ease, PostgreSQL the middle bit, and there are a lot fewer sales to be made at the high end.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The certification is tied to the Oracle RDBMS version number.

      So why make it time limited as well?
      It's not that you're suddenly not proficient anymore in version X when version X+1 or X+2 comes out.
      This isn't just Oracle though, others do it just the same.

      • by will_die ( 586523 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @06:55AM (#48148089) Homepage
        Oracle already has the version in the name of the certificaton.
        That certification is good for the lifeof the product what is changed with the time limit is that with an active Oracle certification you get access to software and some other services. If you don't keep the certification active you lose that access.
        So my old Oracle DBA certification of Oracle 7 (15+ years old???) will no longer give me access to the web site and software unless I upgrade the cert however I am still certificated as an Oracle 7 DBA for as long as I want to claim it.
    • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:39AM (#48148223)

      Oracle is becoming increasingly irrelevant....

      I snuck PostgreSQL into the organization in 2005 to handle certain Web activity. It worked great for years, and my boss later decided to use it for other projects that were slated to use Oracle. All of those projects were so maintenance free at the database end that we later decided to replace Oracle with PostgreSQL for all of our database needs.

      We found that the Oracle "features" we paid for failed when they were needed most, and therefore didn't work as advertised. PostgreSQL's replication and standby features would have been good enough.

      I use PostgreSQL for all of my low end needs, too. I tried MySQL off and on for years, and it is still a terrible database (alter the data to fit the contraints!) when data are important. Even more exciting, though, is that PostgreSQL is slowly adding high-end features into its core infrastructure. And those features adhere to the PostgreSQL ACID philosophy.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      Postgresql will soon own the low and middle end RDBMS market. Oracle and DB2 fight for the high end, but Postgresql and NoSQL databases are rapidly encroaching on that market too.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This isn't like getting a degree in maths - IT changes significantly over a 3 to 5-year period and it seems reasonable that somebody presenting themselves as "certified" actually be certified in a version of the technology which isn't 10 years old.

    "On the other, Oracle charges for certification and will definitely profit from this shift."

    So do Cisco, Microsoft, Red Hat, NetApp and every other technology vendor I can think of. They all charge for the exams and the courses. Are you implying that shouldn't be

    • No, we imply when you are working with a product your CV should be enough to certify you are knowing it. Also, do you think a product change so much someone already certified with a older version cannot learn the new version quick enough to be productive? Were do you learn new versions of products if not in your working environment? Will the employers required to pay certifications for their employees each time they upgrade from a old version to a newer one? If yes, what is the difference between hiring som
      • by kronix2 ( 802708 )
        "No, we imply when you are working with a product your CV should be enough to certify you are knowing it."

        Sounds like you've never recruited. The CV is used to filter out candidates who don't meet the requirements for the role, whether they're lacking experience, a qualification or the ability to write a comprehensible CV. The content of the CV is validated during the interview process - it's extremely rare that somebody gets a job offer based purely on the content of their CV. People lie about skills, e
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @05:48AM (#48147889)

    Certification are just an excuse to get more money from people who have already paid for your product. It is an excuse to not offer proper training and documentation for your product in the first place.

    • Yes and no, sometimes, in some cases.

      There's no doubt that some certification schemes are worthless.
      There's also no doubt that in nearly all cases someone who hasn't done a certification can be in many ways better than someone who does based only on experience, reading, and figuring things out themselves.

      But there are some cases where you want people to have a minimum level of competence and one of the easy ways for companies to offload the checking of this is to rely on certifications.
      There's no doubt that

  • Citrix, Microsoft, Cisco, Juniper.... They all do it, why not Oracle? A person who worked on Oracle 8 may or may not know about the extra features in data guard in V11......

    • No no no, you've got the complete wrong idea. this an article about Oracle remember, Oracle is practically sign convention for bad business at this point, if any other companies emulate them then everyone must be doing it wrong.
    • That is the case but I have been skating on my Oracle DBA certification from Oracle v7 for years now.
    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Probably someone who was certified under 8 and worked continuously in the field is as up or more up on V11 than a newly certified person.

      I got my MCSE back in the '90s, before there was all the stink about test dumps and such. Oh, and back that long ago, it had no expiration. So yes, MCSE for life. They later changed it, but since I didn't sign new ToS, I don't have to put any caveots, reservations, or expiration on it. The current Oracle guys can do the same.
  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @06:27AM (#48148015)

    So Oracle certifications just lost the 'D' in ACID ... that's just LOL!

  • Been a dba for 15 years. Only the lowest paying jobs care about certification. I dont know anyone who wastes money on this. Companies never pay for it. Its a waste of money. No one checks either. You can just lie. Its mainly the low end pmps who want this.

    Dont waste your money and just ignore it.

    • What IS a good way for someone with no work history to show competence with dba/sql? I have been working on sql statements as a generalist and was wondering at what point and how I should put it on a resume.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The best certifications in computing come from your own actual experience. When I joined the World's Largest Software Corporation to work on the Largest Software Project in the History of Mankind, I asked them if I should get some certifications. They laughed and laughed, said it was just a marketing program, and not to waste a minute of my time on them. Being an actual software development engineer there was all the certification I was ever going to need, because for every 1000 resumes they received, they

  • Freudian slip (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RDW ( 41497 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @07:43AM (#48148235)

    On the other, Oracle charges for certification and will definitely profit from this shift.

    I had to re-read that sentence - the first time I didn't notice the 'f' in 'shift' and thought the summary was unusually direct.

  • Yes, certifications are not free, but compared to Oracle's total revenues, they are a drop in the proverbial bucket. It would not surprise me if they did anything better than break-even on the program... I just checked, and an Oracle exam voucher is all of $245, even for a proctored exam, and business partners get discounts. And a bunch of that money goes to Pearson to run the tests. On top of that, while I'm not an Oracle guy, other vendors I work with hands out free vouchers like Halloween candy if yo

  • That's exactly what it is about: profit. Oracle sucks!
  • by dheltzel ( 558802 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2014 @08:49AM (#48148519)
    . . . with 17 years of experience with Oracle, and I refuse to ever get certified. It's how I weed out the stupid companies. If a job description even mentions that they prefer an OCP, I skip it. Very few senior roles mention it at all and it has never come up in an interview.

    I suppose that for someone starting out with almost no Oracle experience it might be worth doing, but it's like your high school GPA, mentioning it a few years out makes you seem desperate and needy.

    The only OCP's I know work for Oracle, I think they make you get it if you work for them. I know they don't require it to get a job at Oracle. It really is a worthless cert if you know what you are doing. Experience and good references/referrals will trump a piece of paper every single time, except for companies a true hacker would not want to work for anyway.
  • Bah, I'm still dealing with Oracle devs that don't use ansi join syntax, use NVL instead of coalesce, love using Not IN clauses, and can't make a human readable tab indented query to save their lives. I'd swear they let tools build queries for them. Not sure, as I refuse to use Oracle's craptastic tools unless there is no other quick way. I can't even get these people to use the oracle psuedo-standard of 'y'/'n' for a boolean flag (or even 1/0), because oracle still doesn't have a boolean data type. So damn

  • Every place I've been around doesn't care if they're super current. Now that all the vendors are doing expiring certs, expired certs are still certs in the eyes of most hiring managers. "Oh yeah you know Jimmy is Cisco certified but I think it expired last year or something. We'll get him into update it eventually" is the general tone you hear from the managers. If the cert even matters, if you passed a test 2 years ago and it's $5,000 to stay "current" I don't think many managers care, if they care about c
  • Cisco has pulled stuff like this for a while, but VMware this year did the same shenanigans. I'm seeing this being a growing trend for larger company certifications.
  • definitely profit from this shaft ."

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