Author: Brandye Barrington

Java Certification Provides a Bright Future

image borrowed from Oracle Academy blog

Marc Schröder, a student of the vocational school Berufsschule Freising in Munich, earned the Oracle Certified Associate Java SE 8 Programmer certification in Spring 2018. In a chat with Oracle Academy program manager Britta Wolf, Marc shared his testing experience, his motivation, and his future plans around certification.

Read Britta’s chat with Marc.

Marc always had a passion for computers, so the leap to earning certification while gaining his education was an easy one. Showing his dedication to his craft, Marc spent 6 months of intensive study for his first certification exam, while still attending school and working. Presenting his certification exam project to a large audience at a graduation school event in July, earned Marc a large round of applause.

“. . . certification was a good opportunity for me to consolidate and prove my knowledge. The Oracle certificate was a great addition to our Java lessons in vocational school.”

Related:  Oracle Academy and Junior Associate Certification Help Pave the Way to Princeton

Oracle Academy is a  membership-based program that offers educators and students computer science education resources to advance knowledge, skills development, innovation and diversity in technology fields. Educational institutions receive help for teachers to develop core computing knowledge and skills aligned to industry demands using current technologies–so they can teach students, empowering faculty members as they work to ensure students achieve post-graduation success.

Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields.

Related:  Oracle Foundations Certifications Support U.S. President Barack Obama’s “Computer Science for All” Initiative

Explore Java Certification for yourself!

 

An In-Depth Look at The Kaplan Way for Learning

contributed by Kaplan IT Training

 

To understand how Kaplan IT Training’s exam preparation product fits into your study schedule, you should first understand the Kaplan Way. The Kaplan Way is a comprehensive learning strategy that combines scientific, evidence-based design philosophy with a straightforward educational approach to learning. Learning science is grounded in research that provides evidence on how people learn. So to help candidates reach their outcomes efficiently and effectively, we employ a three-phase learning strategy: Prepare • Practice • Perform®.

 

When thinking of certification, the Prepare phase introduces the knowledge and skills needed through real-world work experience and/or classroom environment (whether traditional or virtual). This could also include projects, readings, video recordings, or labs.

 

The Perform phase is the actual certification exam, where you are tested to verify that you are qualified for that technology and/or job role. The certification exam is composed of objectives, subobjectives, and tasks on which you must demonstrate competence by meeting or exceeding the passing score published by Oracle.

 

But our focus is on the in-between Practice stage, which bridges the gap between the education in the Prepare phase and the high-stakes testing of the Perform phase. In Kaplan IT Training’s exam preparation, you apply knowledge and skills through reinforcing what you’ve learned well and identifying gaps in what you haven’t mastered yet. And throughout this process, you are given constant feedback to help you refine your study plan and build brain muscle for exam day.

 

In a nutshell, Kaplan IT Training provides an unflinching and honest assessment of where you’re at, so that you know how to prepare and gain the confidence you need to be successful on exam day.

 

More than Questions

 

At the core of our product is the question bank, which we call the QBank. Depending on which certification exam you study for, you may see anything from standard multiple-choice questions to advanced items with hotspot and list/reorder options. But at the core, there is a question stem, usually couched in some kind of real-world scenario, a set of choices or fill-in-the-blank, and a correct answer. The QBank is weighted the same way as the certification objectives, so the number of questions you’ll see is an accurate representation of what you’ll see on the live exam.

 

If you use the Quick Quiz mode, then you can go through the QBank as a simulated exam. It will be timed like the live exam, and you won’t be able to see which answers you got correct or incorrect until you go through the whole exam or run out of time. Although drilling through the QBank in this way helps you gain experience on how to take an exam, it does not delve below the surface of the questions.

 

For learning retention, the preferred mode is Custom Quiz. In this mode, you can choose the objectives and/or subobjectives you would like to pull questions from, and whether you would like to grade and see explanations as you go. At this you point, you’ll come to realize that there is a lot more going on than just question and answer. Our detailed explanations include not only the rationale behind the right and wrong choices, but also in which situations those wrong choices could become correct answers. This technique allows us to cover multiple concepts that you’ll see on the exam through only a single question! And of course, you will also find our official Oracle references for further information and study, if needed (see below).

 

Custom Quiz Screen from the 1Z0-808 Exam Preparation product.

 

But there’s more than simply a QBank in our exam preparation product. It also includes the following tools.

  • Performance Tracker: Track your personal progress and timings, and compare them to others using the same product.
  • Flashcards: Memorize critical concepts, commands, and configurations that you will need to know for exam day.
  • Study Calendar: Organize and optimize your study time.
  • DIscussion Board: Share study tips with other candidates and set up informal study groups to keep you motivated.  

And of course, you can download and print the QBank if you want to study offline. Think of our exam prep product as the Swiss Army knife—it fits any type of learner and any study schedule.

 

If you have a question on any of our content, we have dedicated subject matter experts that are only an email away. Don’t go into an Oracle certification exam cold. Go in prepared and confident with Kaplan IT Training!

 
 
 
 

Java Magazine Columnist Simon Roberts on the Value of Java Certification

Java Magazine subscribers, are likely familiar with the Fix This column created and maintained by Simon Roberts and Mikalai Zaikin. This regular column presents a short list of exam-level questions along with detailed answers. Simon and Mikalai have a long history with the Java technology and Java certification exams. 

I recently caught up with Simon via email and he was gracious enough to give his thoughts on Java skills and certification. Read the interview below to get valuable insight from a true Java insider.

Oracle: You created the early Java Certifications – what value do you see in earning a Java certification today? 

Simon: I think the benefits are the same today as they were back in 1996. One, of course, is that employers need effective ways to filter job applicants. Twenty years ago we used to joke that the qualification test for getting an interview as a Java programmer was whether you could fog a mirror held up to your face. But even when there are more jobs than applicants, employers and their HR departments need to slim down piles of applications to a level they can practically interview, and just like a degree, a recognized certification can be a useful tool for HR to achieve that. On that point, while many applicants will bring CS [computer science] degrees, it’s common to want someone who can hit the ground running using Java with a level of competence that isn’t assured simply by that degree.

The second benefit might be less obvious; different people have different attitudes to what I might broadly call “third party evaluation” of their skills. Some might find it threatening or perhaps even take offense at the idea of being asked to jump through a hoop. Others (and I think it’s probably obvious that I think this is a far healthier attitude) are intrigued at the opportunity to find out how they measure up to an objective, consistent, and widely recognized bar. They see it as a chance to find out how good they are, and to expose their own weaknesses with the deliberate intention of improving further. Often I can tell far more about a person’s work ethic and how they will work in a team from how they feel about challenges of this kind than from more direct questions, and in particular from questions about the technical knowledge that are otherwise core to an interview.

RELATED: Your Guide to Getting Started With Java Certification

Oracle: What do you believe is the value in keeping your Java Certifications current?

“. . . the deliberate intention to take a certification motivates us to put the study in, and that in turn avoids us simply muddling-through writing our solutions “the old way” even though that old way still works.”

Simon: Each major release of Java brings significant new features. Sometimes to the language, sometimes to the APIs, and often to both. While library features are often learned when the particular library is used, it’s best if programming team members are fully conversant with all the language features of the version their companies use. And again, the deliberate intention to take a certification motivates us to put the study in, and that in turn avoids us simply muddling-through writing our solutions “the old way” even though that old way still works.

Where frameworks are concerned, there’s often a lot of concepts at the heart of those frameworks, and understanding them properly is typically key to getting good performance and creating a system that’s as readable and maintainable as possible. So, again, programmers who plan to use these frameworks do well to look at the objectives of a relevant certification and spend the time studying that would be the normal precursor to actually taking the exam.

Oracle: How do you think recent changes in the Java language will affect employers’ demand for skills?

Simon: The changes in Java 8 open the possibilities of making clean, practical, use of some very exciting, and very effective, paradigms drawn from functional programming. Most organizations that I get to interact with are still struggling to get their entire staff base up to speed on these. From Java 9, it seems reasonable to expect that anyone involved in building libraries will need a good understanding of the module system, and there are of course more new features since then too, though the type inferencing possibilities for “var” might fairly be viewed as less dramatic than the lambda and modules ecosystems. But of course, all new hiring will result in one of two situations; the employer can either add more “seeds” with people who know the new features, or can create more demand for internal training with people who must also be trained up on these new features. As a result, it’s reasonable to expect that an employer will be more impressed by, and more interested in, the candidate who already has the new skills.  

RELATED:Boost Your Career Opportunities as a Java Developer

Oracle: As the demands for enterprise-level skills become more diverse and mixed — beyond just Java — how do you see the value of more advanced certifications changing?

Simon: New technologies; new frameworks, new language features, and new libraries, seem to be becoming increasingly complex (there are exceptions of course), and it’s probably fair to expect this trend to continue. They bring more and more foundation concepts, and bigger and bigger capabilities spread across more classes and methods. Demonstrating a breadth of knowledge against a recognized certification must surely be a more convincing way of claiming competence rather than building a couple of simple tests at home and then simply writing “experience with Xyz framework” on your resume.

Simon Roberts joined Sun Microsystems in time to teach Sun’s first Java classes in the UK. He created the Sun Certified Java Programmer and Sun Certified Java Developer exams. He wrote several Java Certification guides and is currently a freelance educator who publishes recorded and live video training through Pearson InformIT (available direct and through the O’Rielly Safari Books Online service). He remains involved with Oracle’s Java Certification products.

 

 

 

The Top Way to Keep Your Best Employees

Want to keep your best talent? Invest in their learning and development.

I read an article recently about recession proofing your organization with digital badging. The article made some great points about how the record low unemployment rate (3.9% in December 2018) may not last, with some analysts predicting a slow down in growth as early as 2020.

The article went on to point out that during the ‘Great Recession of 2008,’ employers who focused on training and developing their workforce over cutting jobs and focusing solely on the bottom line actually made financial gains. “On average, those top 10% of engaged employers posted profit gains of 26% through the last recession, compared with a 14% decline at comparable employers, says Jim Harter, Chief Workplace Scientist at Gallup.”

The author wrapped up the article with a compelling finding supporting training and digital credentialing. “When employees are trained on the job, an organization can save an average of $70,000 annually and receive a 10% increase in productivity, according to Forbes.”

This got me thinking. . .

Certification is a sound investment in any economy!

Oracle Certification has a well-established digital credentialing program. Surveys consistently show that having certified individuals in your organization increases productivity, customer satisfaction, and job satisfaction. It would stand to reason that if a focus on training and development could help to recession-proof your business by keeping your best talent and making them more productive, the same training and development could help keep your best talent during a time of economic growth.  

Related:  Digital Badges Are Now an Essential Tool for Employers and Candidates Alike

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, published January 9, 2019, the ratio of unemployed persons per job opening was 0.9 in November 2018. This means that there is more than one job opening for every unemployed person, which shows a dramatic decrease from Great Recession numbers, when there were more than six unemployed people for every job opening.

Related:  European Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Jobs are Booming, but…

Employment experts say that this is an excellent time to look for a new job. So, how do you keep your talent? Invest in them! Certification increases job satisfaction by giving employees more knowledge and skills to help them perform better. 

63.1 percent of respondents to Certification Magazine’s 2019 Salary Survey either agree or strongly agree that getting certified has improved their workplace productivity. A whopping 67.4 percent either agree or strongly agree that getting certified has increased their ability to solve problems.

Explore Oracle Certifications and start 2019 with a sound investment in your team!

Oracle Certification is No Joke for Wang Haizhou – It Led Him to a Career He Loves

OCM Your Life

by Wang Haizhou

Six months ago, I was just an ordinary junior student, sitting in my dorm every day, writing Java programs or flipping through the pages of Bruce Eckel’s “Thinking in Java,” sending out my resumé everywhere and chatting with my roommates. The only things I knew about databases were the basics of SQL and a rough idea of Oracle Database architecture. Although I had spent quite a bit of money learning Oracle, I really didn’t pay much attention to it. My career plan was simply to be a conscientious programmer, or better said, a conscientious programmer with some basic understanding of Oracle Database architecture.

My life was just like that: no Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and no Oracle Certified Master (OCM).

Oracle Certification is No Joke

The change came on a day in April — April 2, to be specific. Good that it was April 2! One day earlier (on April 1 – April Fool’s Day) and I would have felt I was fooling myself. After all, I didn’t want to waste the 8000 yuan I spent registering for the OCP exam, which was not a small amount of money for a university student who was not yet financially independent. On that morning, I put aside all my Java-related study materials and focused my efforts on Oracle Database architecture. In the past, I had needed to take a break every hour when I was writing code. But that day, I was surprised to find that I managed to sit at my desk from 8 am to 11 pm — and I did that every day for a whole week. After that, I made the bold assumption that this must be something I loved! At that time I had also been looking at various articles and videos about Steve Jobs and had found that he always said, “Do what you love.” What’s more, OCP training courses were added to the Oracle Workforce Development Program (WDP) I was in. That’s when I decided to give up Java and start learning databases. As a result, I didn’t touch Java for six months!

Some days later, I happened to be invited to a lecture, and that’s where I met Teacher H. It occurred to me that I had read quite a few of his blogs on ITPUB, and I felt that I could trust him. As a result, I became the only attendee that day who registered for his OCM training courses.

Related:  Oracle Certified Master – An Unforgettable Journey

There were some interesting stories in the process of my registration for the training courses. I was told by the staff member in charge of the registration that they would call me in two weeks to make sure I would be attending the courses, but after a month I still hadn’t heard anything from them. I started to wonder whether they had forgotten me. If  they had, then the spark of interest in databases inside me would have been extinguished before it could even start burning! I was debating whether to get in touch with Teacher H when, to my amazement, Teacher H contacted me! Upon hearing that the induction session would be held in Beijing, I finally knew what had happened. I probably hadn’t gotten the call because I lived in Tianjin, and the staff members had likely assumed that I would not be interested in courses in Beijing. However, they had completely underestimated my enthusiasm — they didn’t know I’d been studying Steve Jobs and that I was very motivated. My conversation with Teacher H was short but uplifting. Basically, it went: “Are you in?” “Of course!” “Then we’ll start this week!”

Back then, Beijing was very new to me. I had only been there twice. Each time, I told people I was going to Beijing for a trip, but actually I was going to see my girlfriends. In Beijing, as far as I could remember, for two yuan you could take any metro train on any metro line. Amazing! You can go anywhere you want to go, for just two yuan! I’ve never viewed myself as smart, but I do think I have talent. By that I mean I am always clear about what I should do and uncompromisingly confident that I can do it best. Wherever I am, Tianjin or Beijing, it’s just not a problem at all.

One Step at a Time to Oracle Certification

Learning OCM was not easy, especially when I first started. I felt completely lost in topics like operating systems, databases and VMs. No one is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and the only thing you can do is to walk one step further than others every day. Taking the advantage of my youth and my manageable workload, I kept on studying from 8 am to 10 pm every day, trying to figure out every exam objective, as well as tackling operating systems, VMs, OCP, etc. When I had questions, I didn’t like to ask other people right away, because I didn’t think it would help me remember the answers over the long term; I preferred to Google them first. Sometimes when I was reading the answer to a question on Google, I would have a new question and then I would Google the new one, and so on and so forth. It might take a day to solve a problem, but in the process my knowledge would have broadened. However, you can’t always trust the Internet. I would highly recommend hands-on practice as much as possible, because seeing is believing. If I found a really good answer, I would save it for reference.

Oracle Certification Exam Results Best All Other University Exam Results

The only thing I was proud of was that I didn’t bother my teachers too much with the OCP stuff — but I was bothered a lot myself. Our OCM exam was initially scheduled in mid-July. I had to take the OCP exam, CET 6 and the final exam, all at the same time. I had less than three weeks to prepare for all of them, so I forced myself to schedule the OCP exam preparation in two time slots every day: 6:30am to 8:00am and 11:00am to 1:30pm. My definition of OCP at that time was “Obligation, Confidence and Patience.” Later on, our OCM exam was delayed for some reason, but I took the OCP exam as planned and passed it. This experience has become the treasure of my lifetime. As my friend Xiaoyu said, ‘If you can survive this, there is nothing you can’t overcome in the future.” It is also worth noting that the result of that final exam was the best out of all my university exams.

As I mentioned, our OCM exam was delayed, which was not a bad thing for me because at least now I would have enough time to prepare for it. After months of hard work, I had a whole new mindset. If the OCP exam had been about obligating myself to face it, the OCM exam to me was really an obligation. I had learned to be responsible for my own future. There were a lot of times when I needed to discipline myself and to endure loneliness, but I managed to review everything every two days, making note of the points I didn’t understand and studying them carefully. To me, OCM meant “Obligation, Confidence and Mastery.”

Related:  This Top Oracle Certification Gave Lu Haichao Confidence and Maturity

Hard Work Pays Off

I don’t want to say much here about what the actual exam looks like and what you need to pay attention to, because I will go over everything in detail with you before the exam if you attend the same course I did. Otherwise, how could I feel a sense of accomplishment as a teaching assistant? In the one and a half months after the exam, I was anxious every day waiting for the results. I was really worried that I wouldn’t pass. I was even ready to retake the exam. But on the evening of October 4, I received a congratulations email from Oracle. It was a little overwhelming for me. I remember reading it five times before I could be sure that it was about me, that it was about OCM… and that it was about me passing the OCM exam.

Six months went by so fast. Now, looking back, I can still feel the incredible sense of fulfillment. I woke up every morning and felt that there was something to look forward to, because I was doing what I loved, and I also made a lot of friends. In my eyes, the whole OCM exam process is like life writ small, and I really enjoyed it.

I know I should end here, but it has just occurred to me that my primary school Chinese teacher used to tell us that a good ending should bring out the theme of the story and link with the beginning, thus elevating the whole text. Therefore, let me say: the title “OCM Your Life” is meant to suggest that you look at your life as a happy Obligation and be Confident about it, until you are able to Master it someday.

Start your own Oracle Certified Master Journey.

*This article was provided and authorized by Oracle Certified Master Union. To reprint, please contact Oracle University and indicate the source.

Oracle Certified Master – An Unforgettable Journey

Sometimes A Memory Is Not in The Past

My Journey to OCM Certification

by Li Yan

The two-day Oracle Certified Master (OCM) exam is over. I didn’t say “finally” because it’s been an unforgettable journey, and I don’t expect it to end. I don’t want to get overly emotional, but, looking back, there are some things I still can’t forget. I thought that I was going to be walking on air after the exam, but now I feel somewhat empty. It is not because of the mistakes and imperfections in the exam. Life is flawed, so why should we insist on perfection? We need to learn to fail gracefully. No, it’s just that I don’t know where to go after finishing an assignment or getting something done. Is my life just one challenge after another?

I am trying to settle my mind, to condense this experience into words, for those who are learning and preparing for the OCM exam, for those who have passed the exam and also for myself. I won’t be discussing the actual exam here.

The whole story: an exam triggered by a joke

This entire exam was triggered by nothing more than a joke. I once asked Kamus to give me an OCM credential, which I meant as a joke, but it ended up leading to a long series of events. After that joke, I somehow managed to register for the training courses along with a lot of friends, and met Master H, who was said to be shy and introverted. Then I decided to take the exam because I saw my course mates had all registered for it, making me feel that I ought to do it as well. I used to be an unreliable Database Administrator (DBA) and was now a supposedly reliable little leader, so I don’t have the incentives that other people do — for example, the ability to job-hop, earn salary increases or gain respect. As Teacher Gao said to me, “No wonder you are in no hurry to take the exam.” In this sense, the reason that I was taking the courses and the exam was not ambition — even I didn’t know why I did it.

Related:  The Craziest Experience of Zhuang Hui’s Life Provides Good Advice For OCM Exam Preparation

I started feeling the pressure after registering for the OCM exam on June 28. Once I’d registered and paid the money, the pressure was on. As luck would have it, it was my busiest time of year. Our company had adopted a new system, and we could be expected to work overtime on any given day, so it was really not easy to make time for practice. It was true that I had two months to prepare, but time flies, especially when I was so busy every day — I could not believe how fast time went by.

Finally, I was able to ask for some leave, so I could study in the classroom, which was my lifesaver. I worked alongside my classmates, discussing problems, answering questions, helping and motivating each other. I tried to get rid of my nervousness and bring out the best in myself to adjust to the needs of the exam. As far as I could remember, I had never felt nervous in my life until now, so I wondered if there was something wrong with me.

Team: all of you

I am lucky because all along the way I have had a very collaborative team. At my company, my office colleagues are all very supportive, reassuring me that I can ask for leave. In Oracle Workforce Development Program (WDP), we called our exam prep team “Team Fun.” During stressful times, all my teammates had their own ways of making us laugh. We were always chatting and laughing, even outside of Oracle University. Even the teachers were amazed by how much fun we’ve had. We had our “funny duo” of Uncle Yang and Aunt Niu, and our “crazy duo,” the handsome Mr. Xie and the great Mr. Yan. We are classmates, comrades in arms and friends forever.

Related: This Top Oracle Certification Gave Lu Haichao Confidence and Maturity

Thank you: remember forever

I got acquainted with this Oracle-authorized WDP in 2010, when I decided to purchase Oracle’s third-party services. What I saw from them was not just technical proficiency and professional integrity, but a dedication to technology and a readiness to share. After my first conversation with the management team, I knew that it would be a good choice. Over the last few years, I have learned a lot from them and have enjoyed a harmonious atmosphere.

Finally, I want to thank our fellow friends who took the exam on September 5. Your help gave us so much comfort, and we look forward to your perfect Show Time.

“A clear goal, some hard work, a pleasing result, an unforgettable memory.” I am now especially impressed by these words.

I want to say that this memory is not in the past; it is a mark that will remain in my heart forever.

I also want to say to my course mates: it is really nice to know you all.

Start your own Oracle Certified Master Journey.​

*This article was provided and authorized by Oracle Certified Master Union. To reprint, please contact Oracle University and indicate the source.

Oracle Academy and Junior Associate Certification Help Pave the Way to Princeton

Zach Dinch, the first in his family to attend college, became one of fewer than 800 students out of over 5,400 global applicants for the class of 2022 to win early admission at Princeton University. 

Hard work and dedication led Zach to this point. The path wasn’t always easy and early roadblocks in his educational career nearly knocked Zach off course.  An honors Oracle and AP Calculus AB teacher helped turn things around and gave Zach confidence in his skills.

Related: Oracle Foundations Certifications Support U.S. President Barack Obama’s “Computer Science for All” Initiative

Discovering an affinity for SQL lead Zach to take courses in Database Foundations, App Development Foundations, and Developing Chatbots. Soon after, he earned the Certified Junior Associate certification. He went on to continue his Oracle education with Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals I, a professional-level course that Zach plans to use to earn the Oracle Certified Associate level of certification.

Read Zach’s story.

The mission of Oracle Academy is to advance computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields.

Related:  Five Job Categories Increasingly Requiring Computer Science Skills

In the past year, Oracle Academy worked with more than 15,000 educational institutions across 128 countries, supporting more than 6.3 million students worldwide to prepare them for careers in our technology-driven global economy.

Learn more about Oracle Academy.

 

Lin Cong Solves a Major Database Issue With Skills Learned While Preparing for OCM Exam

There is a little something for everyone in this post written by Lin Cong, Oracle Certified Master! The story begins with sage advice about preparing for the Oracle Certified Master exam. It goes on to give a detailed account of an actual issue solved by Lin (failures and all!) with skills and knowledge gained while preparing for the OCM exam. 

by Lin Cong

Here are some ideas Database Administrators (DBAs) may not have been exposed to without pursuing training and certification:

  • Training and certification can improve your technical skills.
  • Getting an OCM certificate increases your odds of being recognized by the companies in the industry.
  • OCM training is a tough process. Getting the OCM certificate validates your efforts and boosts your confidence.
  • Getting the OCM certificate inspires you to continue learning. OCM represents the highest level of certification in Oracle databases, but I know very well that I don’t have all of the corresponding skills, so the only way to avoid hearing things like, ‘Can’t you solve the problem? You’re an OCM!’ is to keep learning.

Related:  Liu Denfeng Gives Advice on Beginning Your Own Exciting Journey to OCM Certification

Things learned through OCM prep that will help other DBAs:

  • The nine scenarios in the OCM exam constitute the core skills that an excellent Oracle DBA should have. In OCM prep, you need to connect the individual elements of what you have learned and go through it again systematically.
  • The Oracle official documentation is must-have material in OCM prep. I had not read the official documentation before, but after going through the process of OCM prep, I am now able to solve the problems I encounter in my work and study by referring to the documentation rather than relying on searching the internet. This has saved me much time and effort.
  • Through repeated training, I have memorized the most frequently used commands, so that I do not have to refer to the documentation or the manual, making me seem more professional at work.
  • The biggest reward of OCM prep is not the final certificate but the awareness of the value of persistence. I believe that every OCM trainee of Vastdata Education has experienced the transition from spending over 10 hours on the first scenario to finishing it in less than an hour. Only the participants can understand the hard work required to accomplish that transition. Work hard and get a little closer to your goal every day, and someday you will find that the goal which used to be far away is now within your grasp.

Related:  See How Franck Pachot Stays One Step Ahead With Oracle Certification

Tips for preparing for OCM exams – mentorship-type information:

  • The official documentation is crucial. The answers to all exam questions can be found in the documentation, so it is vital to memorize every concept.
  • Try to remember all the commands. Given the exam’s time limit, it is not possible to refer to the documentation for every question.
  • Repeated practice is an absolute necessity; practice makes perfect.
  • Master all the keyboard commands and have a decent knowledge of Linux.
  • Be detail-oriented in your practice. Pay attention to the mistakes you have made, and try to figure out their causes and solutions, as they may come up in the exam.

Use this advice to start your own Oracle Certified Master journey!

QUESTION: How did you solve a business problem using the skills you’ve learned along your professional journey?

A case of production data recovery (where I applied what I have learned in practice for the first time)

  1. Background

On the evening of day “T”, I got an unexpected call from the development manager and learned that the operator had accidentally double-clicked on batch processing while running the EOD processes, causing sysdate to switch to T+2 (it should have been T+1). The boss asked if the database could be restored to what it was before the batch processing. Upon hearing this, I felt as if I had momentarily lost my reason . Although I knew that theoretically it could be restored to any point in time, if there was an RMAN full backup with archive logs (I learned this from training courses), but I had never tried it before. I was very nervous.

I designed the disaster recovery system for the company. The specific strategies are as follows:

  • Take an RMAN full backup at 1:00 am every day (including archive logs and control files)
  • Delete archive logs after a successful backup
  • Configure retention policy to a recovery window of 30 days
  • Create two physical standby databases using DataGuard
  • Delete archive logs from the physical databases using the script I wrote, which deletes archive logs daily after they have been applied.
  1. Recovery process

Preparation

  • Instruct field personnel immediately to stop operations on the database (that had already come a bit late,:another operation had occurred after the error. The right thing to do is to shut down the applications right away to avoid any further change in the data)
  • Make sure that there had been no operations on the production database and that the database was restored to the test environment
  • Establish the specific point in time it needed to be restored to: 19: 49:42
  • Set up a test environment with sufficient disk space

After the preparation, I started the recovery process. The first thing that occurred to me was to immediately take a full backup of the database using RMAN, and then to restore the backup data into the test environment. But this approach turned out to be wrong, because that full backup was taken after the mistaken operation, and the database could not be restored to an earlier point in time using archive logs with the existing data. In other words: if you want to return the database to a specified point in time, you must have a full backup of the database before that time. Therefore, my first trial of database recovery ended in failure.

In my second trial of data recovery, I found the RMAN full backup taken at 1:00 am that day and restored the backup to the test environment.

Production environment: RAC + ASM.

Test environment: single-instance + file system.

  • First, create a parameter file for the test database matching that of the production database (The contents of the parameter file will not be detailed here)
  • Restore the controlfile from a specific backup piece:

  • Mount the database:

  • Specify the catalog for the backup set:

  • Specifying the catalog for archive logs:

  • Restore the database:

  • Relocate database rename file:

  • Open the database:

  • As of 00:00, the database was successfully recovered. 
  1. Conclusion
  • When there is a need to recover the database due to mistaken operations, the applications must be stopped first, and any other operations on the database must be stopped as well, to prevent further issues.
  • The purpose of backup is recovery. No matter how well the backup strategy is written, it is a total waste if it does not work at the time of recovery.
  • Backup and recovery tests should be conducted for a variety of situations on a regular basis. Emergency plans should be prepared and practiced so that there is no disorderly haste at the time of recovery.

Start your own Oracle Certified Master journey!

*This article was provided and authorized by Home of Oracle Certified Master. To reprint, please contact Oracle University and indicate the source.

This Top Oracle Certification Gave Lu Haichao Confidence and Maturity

My journey with OCM

by Lu Haichao

I can’t be part of your past, but I surely will not miss your future.

In a word,

I wish we had met earlier.

– Nan Kang Bai Qi, Still Life Days (“Fu Sheng Liu Ji”)

The first time I heard about Oracle was at an informal Oracle training program at university. Back then, my conception of Oracle was rather shallow. I thought that it was nothing more than just writing and executing a few SQL commands and didn’t realize how short-sighted I was.

After that, I didn’t touch Oracle until I entered the workplace. I had to engage in Oracle work because of my job, making me realize how interesting and fascinating it was. I also got to know more about Oracle by teaching myself. However, being in the position I was in, I also needed to learn things like Linux, AIX and VMWare ESX and to know something about hardware, like servers and storage. This reduced my time to learn Oracle, so I only had an incomplete understanding of it. Though I didn’t have much time to practice and delve deep, I still managed to get the Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) credential in 2015 based on what I had learned, bringing my study of Oracle into a new phase. I had a very confusing time after that. I wanted to study further, but I was afraid that I couldn’t keep up with the pace, because I had been teaching myself and didn’t have my own learning system. I was also taking my financial situation into account. Hesitating like that for about a year, I finally made up my mind to learn Oracle Certified Master (OCM) and to take the OCM exam.

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I found an Oracle authorized Workforce Development Program (WDP) through the internet and using recommendations from my friends. At that point I just thought it was very cool and must have many talented people, but not much else. At the end of April, I was allowed to audit an Oracle class given by Teacher H. I remember that session was about performance tuning. To be honest, I had been a little worried that I couldn’t keep up with the teacher’s pace, because I didn’t have a good basic knowledge of Oracle. But Teacher H was good at making complicated things simple and getting the principles across. Every point was clearly delivered. I said this to many people: “I’ve attended quite a few Oracle classes, but Teacher H was the first one who could make things so clear.” I really wished that I had known about Teacher H earlier, because that way, I could have improved myself earlier. But it was not too late. Just as what is written in Still Life Days, “I can’t be part of your past, but I surely will not miss your future.” I started working very hard, and I believed that I could learn so much from the marvelous Teacher H. I also became more confident in myself. As a result, without any hesitation, I registered for the training courses.

At the beginning of May, I started learning Oracle and preparing for the OCM exam.

The OCM exam requires a wide range of knowledge and covers different aspects of Oracle. When I started, it was very tough. Though I learned the theories fast, thanks to Teacher H’s instruction, practice was another thing. It was quite often that I still couldn’t figure out a scenario after a whole night working. It was really tiring. Luckily, I had encouragement from my friends and my teacher, who supported me through the whole process. From scenario 1 to scenario 9, each was an unforgettable memory. After managing to finish all of the scenarios for the first time, I really felt like I was flying. Things got much better the second time. There were still lots of errors, but I enjoyed the process of improving my skills and troubleshooting all kinds of problems. I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment, almost like I was invincible.

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I got my OCM certificate and jacket on December 6. I thought I would be jumping for joy, but I wasn’t. Instead, I was thinking about the more than 200 days and nights since I had started learning OCM, from struggling with a weak foundation to making rapid progress and laying a solid foundation for further study. I didn’t how many experiments I had done and how many difficult problems I had dealt with. I just knew that it was the encouragement and inspiration from Teacher H and all my friends that kept me going through these days and nights and made me into a new version of myself in six months, more confident and more mature.

Looking back at this journey, the person I want to thank the most is my teacher. I also want to thank my comrades-in-arms for sharing with me the difficult problems in their practice and how to solve these problems. It is fair to say that I can’t imagine how I was able to go through all this without their company.

“I wish we had met earlier” is not just about my teachers, but also about my friends, with whom I worked toward the OCM exam, and about my dedication to learning Oracle.

Finally, I want to share with you one of my favorite sayings and hope it will inspire you as much as it does me: “As long as we are persistent and hardworking enough, together we will shine magnificently!”

Start your own Oracle Certified Master Journey.

*This article was provided and authorized by Oracle Certified Master Union. To reprint, please contact Oracle University and indicate the source.

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