Oracle Certification

Is doing the OCP exams worthwhile ?
Yes, but not for the reasons you may be thinking. The OCP exams are a relatively cheap way of identifying possible weaknesses in your knowledge base on Oracle. For example, when I did the OCP, all of the database sites I had worked on did not use MTS and thus the exams revealed an area that could be "swotted up" on.

What does an OCP mean ?
Not much really. The exams could be passed with mediocre understanding of Oracle and some "cramming". (I would claim not be one of these people but you can make your own judgements from this site). Any employer that takes on a DBA purely on the basis of their OCP status probably will (and deserves to) get burnt

A good DBA will pass the OCP, but someone who passes the OCP is not necessarily a good DBA.
A true story…Question posted to a newsgroup:

  "What does ROWNUM mean?
   Signed XXX
   OCP 7, 8, 8i"

Are there any alternatives ?

I heartily recommend downloading the sample exams for the reason mentioned above. You can use them to identify areas upon which to improve. Unfortunately the number of employers who seem to insist upon OCP (and moreover think that OCP is the answer to all of their problems) seems to be on the rise


To Oracle’s credit, there has been a recent survey floating around trying to get a better handle on DBA’s do on a “day to day” basis.  Presumably this will lead to better examination material.

Openworld – Tuesday / Wednesday

Tuesday was dedicated to attending sessions.  Most were good, but there is that unfortunate thing when speakers are employees of Oracle.  You can tell by the occasional snippet of information that they are very sharp and very passionate about what they want to talk about, but that’s not necessarily what they’ve been given on the slides to present!

So sometimes these talks come across as diluted in their content, which is a shame.

Sting did a great job with his set, and the organisation of buses etc was amazingly efficient. I didn’t stay around for Tom Petty because it was getting pretty cold out there on treasure island.


Last day today….and then its back home to normality 🙂

Openworld – Thursday

Spectacular organisation by the Ace Director team (Lillian and Vikki) meant that my exit from San Fran went just as smoothly as my entrance.  A fantastic week.

So – its all about “c” now, Cloud Cloud Cloud.

On the last day, I saw some great sessions on security and migrating to Exadata.  The main hassle on the last day was the extreme cold in some of the halls.  Someone had (ala Spinal Tap) managed to turn all the knobs up to 11.  I felt a little bad because I had to leave one talk early – not because the content was bad (it was great), but it was just so damn cold!

Also a highlight of the week was a fantastic meal at Fiior D’Italia ( with Oracle friends Melanie and Tom.  If you are ever in San Francisco and looking for a great meal, make sure you give this place a go.

Oracle Openworld – Monday

Welll, today was a bit of a selfish day.  Didn’t really want to spend time on sessions etc, because I had my own session to give, and seeing as its been 7 years since I’ve given a talk at OOW, I wanted it to be “just right”.  So this morning was spent pretty much in the hotel room, doing rehearsals and timings, and then more rehearsals and timings…

But I think it paid off because

a) a good crowd turned up

b) they seemed to enjoy it

c) my timing was spot on, I finished with about 60 seconds left on the block

It was a nice feeling to have several people come up to after the presentation and take the time to say “Thanks”.


Other than that, I played “Oracle Tourist” and took the obligatory photos of the America’s Cup, the Oracle Boat and the like…Tomorrow is back to being a normal conference attendee, so time to plan out some sessions