Notes about OCP
Posted: June 7, 2008 Filed under: links, musing, ocp, tips
Hey, I passed my OCP exam today. Now I just need to take care of the hands-on course requirement and you’ll be reading the blog of an Oracle Certified Professional. It is more interesting already, right?
I already explained my study method when I took the OCA. This time I followed a similar plan, with three main changes:
- I did not hike up Mount Shasta the weekend before the exam.
- When I studied for the OCA I already knew all the material before I began studying. Simply because I spent years installing and maintaining Oracle. For the OCP, most of the material was new. I was completely unfamiliar with RMAN, MMON alerts, flashback database, recyclebin, IOT, clusters and resource manager. This meant that I had to do a lot more practice in order to feel comfortable with all those tools. I spent an entire weekend backing up and restoring with RMAN, and it was time well spent.
- I followed good advice from my favorite OCM and studied quite a bit from Oracle’s official documentation. Mostly the backup and recovery guides. I found them way more accurate and more readable than the exam guides, and as an added bonus – you can send to Oracle any problems you find in the doc. I enjoy complaining about mistakes so much that the study process was actually fun.
Which brings me to a very important point – when you take mock exams from any of the study guides, verify each and every one of their answers with the oracle docs or with a live system. I found about 15% mistake rate in their answers, and you really don’t want to memorize the wrong things.
Its unbelievable, but I can honestly say that I’m a much better DBA now that I’ve studied for the OCP. I’m much more comfortable with most backup and recovery scenarios (Few years ago I caused unnecessary data loss while recovering a corrupt data file, simply because I did not know not to restore redo logs!) and I know how to use new important features that I didn’t know about before (or at least didn’t look into seriously).
So, my two cents for value of certification for employers debate: DBA with four years and experience and an OCP is probably better than four years of experience and no certification. I know I am.
What’s next for me? My team lead wants me to go for OCM. I’m not sure I’m quite there yet. I’m thinking of 11g upgrade and RAC Expert certificate. But before all that, I promised myself a white-paper and a presentation this year.
Lots of good posts this week:
Tanel Poder wrote an incredible V$ sampling query. Its simply brilliant. He also showed how to use his Snapper tool to find who is generating excessive redo and saved me a long session with logminer last weekend.
Steven Feuerstein shows how to run OS commands from PL/SQL.
Happy birthday to Syed Jaffar Hussain!
Alejandro Vargas posted a good RMAN practice.
Rob Van-Wijk wrote nice string aggregator using model. (Because Oracle SQL programmers do it with models!)