Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cluster exam update, part II

I am going through all the MySQL Cluster 5.1 DBA exam questions to bring up up to date with the latest release of the software. Part of this is reading all the comments exam candidates have left for a question, looking at what percentage of folks answered it correctly, and then making sure that the questions is still valid.

MySQL Cluster has been rapidly evolving. It used to be impossible to use OPTIMIZE TABLES or create TEMPORARY tables with Cluster. But now both work and these two questions with high pass rates need to be removed.

Oddly some of the lowest percentage correct questions are some of the most generic questions. And these go into the pile to be updated.

The vast majority of the questions on the exam are generic and still are valid today. The goal is to have the exam updates ready to go by the end of the calendar year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Updating the Cluster DBA Exam

It is time to update the MySQL Cluster exam. The current exam was written when the Cluster software was at version 5.1 and 7.0.5 is available for download. Reviewing the old exam questions shows some of them are badly dated.

But updating the exam requires more than simple edits of the questions. The MySQl 5.1 Cluster DBA Certification Study Guide is the book to use for studying for the exam. And having a study guide is a vital tool for those of us who prefer to self study for an exam. Sadly, some of the authors are no longer with Sun and I am sure those still around have minimal spare cycles in their schedule.

And it would be a waste of time if the revised exam is based on a version of software that is soon to be superseded. The Cluster product has evolved rapidly since it was introduced at a users conference years ago in Orlando and each release provides more features.

My 'virtual cluster', a Mac laptop with VirtualBox data nodes, is running a 6.0.x version and needs to be updated. I encourage those using any of the MySQL Study Guides to use the software with the examples in the book. Sometimes you can learn more by 'fat fingering' a command or finding something destined for the book's errata than reading the text alone.

But the first step is reviewing each question and determining if it requires updating. And, as the old adage goes, even the longest journey starts with the first step.

Monday, August 3, 2009

July was one of the best months for MySQL Certification

270 folks took MySQL Certification exams in July and 118 earned certifications. This is our best month outside of our annual Users Conference. For the fiscal year, MySQL Certifications were up 150.27% over the previous year.

Since the program inception, we had almost 8,000 exams taken and over 3,300 certifications. Not bad but it pales in comparison to Java exams and certifications.

Prometric is our new testing partner. Those of you with unexpired Pearson VUE vouchers can request a exchange by contacting Certification@sun.com with your Voucher ID number. And those of you wishing to sign up for the exams (they are part of the Sun 310-series at http://www.prometric.com/Sun/default.htm) need to contact you local Sun sales office to purchase a voucher.

And the North Texas MySQL Users Group meets tonight -- see http://www.northtexasmysql.org for details.