By Deiby Gómez
Ever since I started my career in Oracle technology I’ve always wanted to deliver the best support to my clients. I have wanted to solve the problems quickly. I am not afraid of new challenges, I am not afraid to start looking into a problem that I have never seen before; on the contrary, I am happy to look into unfamiliar problems because they are opportunities to learn. Following that approach, and to comply with my commitment with my clients, I started to look into Oracle certification program. I began to learn what Oracle University was about, and the paths to get certified.
I started my career with Oracle Database 11g. Then, because of the clients I was doing work for, I extended my knowledge to 10g and even 9i, and the oldest version I had was 8i but with few tickets on it. At the moment, the newest version of Oracle is 12c and all the certifications are already available for 12c. You can even get certified in a specific release, like OCP on 12cR2. I recommend that you get certified on the most recent versions of the technology you are interested.
Anyhow, since I came into Oracle technology on 11g my path to get certified was the following:
So I worked hard to pass the following exams. This should give you an idea of the time it would take to progress through the certifications:
Additionally, I became an Oracle ACE in 2013 and an Oracle ACE Director in 2015. I also was a technical reviewer of the book "Oracle Database 12c Release 2 Multitenant" and a co-author of the book "Oracle Database 12c Release 2 Testing Tools and Techniques for Performance and Scalability".
After all this hard work, I can tell you why certifications are important.
Of course, this is a personal opinion. At the beginning of my career I started getting certifications frequently in order to get a salary hike (like the most people that are starting a career) , but after two certifications I changed my thinking and started to enjoy the path because it was aligned with what I wanted to deliver: to fix problems quickly and deliver excellence to my clients, which is the right approach. It's all about the enjoy the journey!
When preparing for a certification, you have to build several environments, practice installations and different rman scenarios, test every Oracle database feature and ASM feature. You find errors, and investigate how to fix those errors. While investigating the problems you will read blogs, Metalink notes, whitepapers, Oracle Press books, Oracle University manuals and even videos on YouTube! You will spend several hours and days in front of a computer practicing. You’ll study so hard that when you are in front of the computer actually taking the exam, it’s anticlimactic – just a set of some questions that you already know how to answer. You’ll feel like it’s a time sink to sit in front of that laptop taking the exam because you already know you’ve got the knowledge. Yes, you do have the knowledge, but you still have to pass the exam to prove it. And once that certification is in hand, it is proof of all the preparation and hard work that help you deliver better support to your clients.
So the advantages I can highlight from the perspective of a consultant are:
And perhaps much more! But those are just the advantages for consultants. There’s another beneficiary of your certifications; namely, the company you are working for. I became part of Nuvola Consulting Group in 2016 and since then we’ve gotten several clients on board (YAY!). Still, I can tell you why certifications are important for organizations:
In Guatemala, for example, the country where I am currently living, I have observed that certifications are more important to hiring companies in the IT industry than a bachelor’s degree. For non-IT companies, it may be different, but in Latin American IT companies this is common. And over the years I have seen many students starting early in their college years and getting certified to increase their expertise in a single technology (Let's say Java, etc). I’m included in this group, because I started working with Oracle technology professionally before completing university. IT industry wants people very specialized in a single technology or product and ready to get involved in projects.
Certifications are important for consultants and also for the companies to we work for. The industry wants specialized people. The IT industry is growing fast, with some of the largest companies in the world today being in IT, and they’re demanding certified people. This is an opportunity that you have to take advantage of: Get certified!
About the Author: Deiby Gómez is an Oracle ACE Director from Guatemala, he has the certifications Oracle Certified Master 11g and Oracle Certified Master 12c. Deiby Gómez currently works for Nuvola Consulting Group, a Guatemalan company that provides Consulting Services for Oracle Products. He is the winner of “SELECT Journal Editor's Choice Award 2016”. Deiby has been Speaker in Collaborate in Las Vega USA, Oracle Open World in San Francisco USA and in Sao Paolo Brazil. Twitter | LinkedIn