Thursday, December 18, 2008

Upgrade exam or not to have upgrade exam

The MySQL 5.1 DBA exam is in alpha-test right now and some of the reviewers have had questions about upgrade exams. The new exams are no longer multiple choice. They are based on a candidates performance with a real database on a virtual server.
In the past I have stated that there was not going to be an upgrade exam. This was due to the change in exam format and the history of previous upgrades not being popular. Less than forty folks took the Core to Dev upgrade exam (about 5% with that certification) and the numbers are worse for the Pro to DBA upgrade. Why spend time on something that is not going to be cost justifiable?

But my reviewers are trying to convince me to have an upgrade. It would not be that much more work to offer a hands that could be taken over the Internet. You would have to SSH into a remote server and would have an hour to complete 3-5 short tasks featuring MySQL 5.1 new features. Hopefully you still remember your 5.0 knowledge.

So, would you a) want a 5.0 to 5.1 upgrade exam and b) what would be a reasonable cost?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Certification Magazine's 2008 survey

Certification Magazine has published their 2008 salary survey. But it is more than just a salary survey. Responses from more than 150 countries revealed some very interesting information.

Who has the certifications: 60% percent of those surveyed were in their current job for less than four years. The majority were in IT for less than a decade. But the majority had at least three certifications:

Who paid: 48.3% have their employers pay for their certifications.

How did they study for their exams: Over 48% used self-study books. Practice exams and on-the-job training were used by over 66%. About 75% viewed their prep materials as good or better.

What are they being paid: Figure 7

So what catches your eye in this survey?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Your help is needed on the MySQL 5.1 Developer Exam

The news of the MySQL 5.1 GA announcement brought many emails asking about the 5.1 exams. First, let me state that if you are studying for any 5.0 exam please keep on with your plans. The 5.1 DBA test is inching closer to alpha test and will not suddenly pop up without warning. It is on the way but most of you will not get to see it until well into 2009. Watch this blog for updates on how the testing is proceeding. Help the dolphinsSecond, the 5.0 exams will not be disappearing anytime soon. Nor will they start 'expiring'.

But I do need help with the new 5.1 Developer exam. The new exam will be part multiple choice and part 'hands on' or performance based testing. Like 5.1 DBA exam mentioned earlier this year, I need the help of some of you to take a look at the new material and judge its relevance. No, getting a peek at this material will not help you with the new exam when you sit for the test. But if you want to help define just what it means to be a MySQL Certified Developer, this is opportunity knocking hard at your door.

So what does it really mean to be a MySQL Certified Developer? Below is a list of what an attendee at a MySQL for Developers class should be able to accomplish at the end of that class. But how many of you hard core coders do all or most of these tasks on a regular basis?

What task can you hand off to your local DBA or do you do both jobs? Are any of these items too simple, too complex (optimization?)? Is anything missing? What do you do to ascertain the skill level of someone who shows up at your office who wants to be a developer?

So put in your views in a response to this posting or send an email to Certification @ with the subject of 'DEV51help'

  • Describe the MySQL client/server architecture
  • Understand the steps necessary to invoke MySQL client programs
  • Utilize the general-purpose mysql client program to run queries and retrieve results
  • Perform queries and analysis of data utilizing the MySQL Query Browser graphical user interface (GUI)
  • Explain the MySQL connectors that provide connectivity for client programs
  • Select the best data type for representing information in MySQL
  • Manage the structural characteristics of your databases
  • Manage the structural characteristics of the tables within your databases
  • Utilize the SELECT statement to retrieve information from database tables
  • Utilize expressions in SQL statements to retrieve more detailed information
  • Utilize SQL statements to modify the contents of database tables
  • Write join expressions in your SQL statements to obtain information from multiple tables
  • Utilize subqueries in your SQL statements
  • Create views utilizing SELECT statements to produce "virtual tables" of specific data
  • Perform bulk data import and export operations
  • Create user defined variables, prepared statements and stored routines
  • Create and manage triggers
  • Use the INFORMATION_SCHEMA database to access metadata
  • Debug MySQL applications
  • Configure and Optimize MySQL