The MySQL DBA 5.1 Certification Exam is a big change from previous exams.
- No multiple choice, true/false questions
- Must be able to use MySQL
- You are given the answers (in most cases) and must change the database to meet expectations
- No study guide
The exam is divided into two sections -- mandatory and optional tasks. The mandatory tasks are core knowledge that every DBA should be able to perform even under heavy pressure, early in the morning, while suffering from sleep deprivation, or with a Dilbert style PHB looking over your shoulder. The optional tasks cover many different facets of MySQL.
Exam candidates will get their own MySQL instance with which to do their assignments. When they have completed all they can or time runs out, the instance is checked to see how well the DBA certification candidate was able to shape MySQL to what was desired. No more will you have to remember if the -p switch is for the port, password, or something else that begins with the letter 'p'.
Right now hands-on or performance based tests are on the bleeding edge of technology for testing companies (Pearson Vue, Prometric, Kryterion, etc.) are looking for robust and secure ways to offer these exams. So the DBA 5.1 Exam will have only limited availability until the exam vendors can support us. But the exam will be at the April MySQL Users Conference and part of MySQL for Database Administrator Classes.
If you are studying the MySQL 5.0 DBA material and are ready to take an exam, please do so! We will not be expiring these certifications and they are still a good judge of your knowledge of MySQL.
So why change the format at this time? How many times have you heard that a certification is not worth the paper it is written on? Funny the same folks do not say the same thing about car drivers licenses or pilot licenses. The reason is that for those certification there is a major component of hands-on testing. The folks who earn the MySQl DBA 5.1 Certification can really administer a database.
Employers will know that a job candidate with a MySQL 5.1 Certification has proven their proficiency with a real database under demanding circumstances. This certification is earned by hard work and not rote memorization.
I will miss the study guides and have found both editions to be valuable references. MySQl Certification will no longer have a hand in the process of creating the study guides and the previous authors are extremely busy. And with hands-on exams we can tell you want you need to do to pass the exam and that you will see in parts 2 and 3 of this blog.