Friday, May 30, 2008

MySQL Administrator and Future Exams

Many vendors are going to performance based testing, also known as hands on exams. Most of the criticisms I receive on a regular basis that that all Certification Exams are PICKY or rely too much on the memorization of trivia. 'Besides, a real {DBA|Developer} never uses most of those commands in Real LifeTM!'

Well, your next MySQL Exam just may eschew most of those complaints. Developers could be asked to normalize tables, DBAs could be asked to set up replication, and Cluster DBAs could be asked to set up a full cluster. There are many details to be worked out.

One of these details are tools that do not come with your MySQL Server. I find the MySQL Administrator a very valuable tool for quick, day-to-day DBA tasks. I am probably not alone in using it. But would it be fair to allow it on a hands on exam? How about other tools?

So, if YOU have an opinion, please let me know and help guide the MySQL 6.0 Exam development.

5 comments:

jaypipes said...

No, I don't think it's fair to use MySQL Administrator considering MySQL is no longer actively developing it. :)

David Daniel said...

My understanding is that the CLI is used a lot more in production than MySQL Administrator. If true, that might be another good reason not to test on it.

themattreid said...

MySQL Administrator is a tool best reserved for managing local databases when you have time on your hands.

When servers start needing real, in-depth work or you need to have many sessions open at the same time then the CLI is more more useful and much faster.

As such, a real DBA will have the necessary commands memorized for CLI work, unlike the crutch of MySQL Administrator - or any GUI tool.

Matt Reid
http://themattreid.com | http://mysql-dba.com

Carsten Pedersen said...

I don't necessarily see using a GUI tool as getting in the way of creating good exams. It would, however, be inadvisable to do so until those GUI tools are truly cross-platform, and support at least the major platforms on which MySQL runs.

And as pointed out by Matt, there are situations where the only way to get onto a machine in need is through telnet or SSH. Then you do need to know how the CLI works.

Jasper G said...

I also think being able to use the CLI shows more that the DBA is being able to do stuff. The CLI always comes with a server install. The GUI does not.

An exam should only cover the core, the solid stuff, not the new, edgy, once-in-thousand-situations coverage of features or tools. That's exotic and not useful.

To me, people who really deserve a certification are people who understand what they are doing, not only know where to click buttons.

I've seen people using GUI's and not knowing what's behind the forms and actions. That makes them helpless when something breaks and they do not have their 'tool' with them.

The CLI most of the times forces you to know the flow of a process and wich commands envokes certain results. The CLI gives you control from front to end and doesn't makes you dependent on a button being there or not.

- Unomi -