For anyone who was at the IOD Conference last year in Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay, you'll remember how **tired** you were after walking the large distances! Do you want an interesting strategy to deal with the strain your poor legs and back will be under?
If you get certified at the conference or were previously certified, you are welcome to join the Certification Lounge. The Lounge will once again be featuring tables, chairs, food, beverages, and best of all.... free massages. We want to ensure that you are specially rewarded for earning your certification.
Prepare in advance to make sure that you can begin using the certification lounge from day 1:
Each exam has a time limit of 90 minutes, except the upgrade exam which has a time limit of 60 minutes. The number of questions and the cutscore for each exam varies. For example, exam 730 has 64 questions and you must score 59 percent or higher to pass it.
How do I prepare to pass an exam?Here is the recommended path I suggest you take to prepare for a DB2 exam:
1) Choose the exam you want to take based on your job role. The DBA and AppDev certifications first require that you are certified as a Database Associate. To help you decide where to start, see the certification roadmaps: ibm.com/software/data/education/cert-roadmaps.html.
2) Read through the exam objectives. Every question on the exam relates directly to one or more of the exam objectives. For a breakdown of the exam objectives and the recommended study materials, see ibm.com/software/data/education/certprep.html
Here are the exams that cover the DB2 9 product: * Exam 730 - DB2 9 Fundamentals
* Exam 731 - DB2 9 DBA for Linux, Unix, and Windows
* Exam 732 - DB2 9 DBA for z/OS
* Exam 733 - DB2 9 Application Developer
* Exam 734 - DB2 9 Advanced DBA for Linux UNIX and Windows
* Exam 735 - DB2 9.5 Developer. Although not specifically written for this exam, the book DB2(R) SQL PL: Essential Guide for DB2(R) UDB on Linux(TM), UNIX(R), Windows(TM), i5/OS(TM), and z/OS(R) (2nd Edition) might help you prepare for this exam.
* Exam 736 - DB2 9 Database Administrator for Linux UNIX and Windows Upgrade. See also Kate's blog entry about the upgrade exam!
3) If you are experienced with DB2 and feel that you are prepared to pass the exam based on what you saw in the exam objectives, take an assessment exam: ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html. You'll get a report after taking the assessment exam that can help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Assessment exams cost $10 per take, so if you really think you are ready, come and take the exam to see.
4) If you are NOT experienced with DB2, download a free version of DB2 Express-C and give it a try!
5) Decide on how you want to increase your skills: a) Consider buying one of the Certification Study Guides to refresh and deepen your skills: ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore.
For exam prep, the best books are these:DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide by Roger SandersDB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731 by Roger Sanders DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732 by Susan Lawson and Daniel Luksetich DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736 by Roger SandersDB2 9 Advanced Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 734 by Roger Sanders and Dwaine Snow.
All five of these certification prep guides were written by members of the exam development team. That is, they created the questions for the certification exam that you are about to take! Also, each chapter of the book corresponds directly to a section on the exam. So, if you take the assessment exam and find out that you are week on a single topic, you simply need to read the chapter that corresponds to the topic where you need improvement. Lastly, the authors created a set of sample questions for the book that provides you with the correct answer to the question as well as an explanation as to why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect ones are not.
For reference and guidance beyond the exam, I suggest the following: DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition) by George Baklarz and Paul Zikopoulos
b) For self-study, also check out the free tutorials that IBM provides for most of the exams. The tutorials are broken into hour long segments of information based on the exam objectives. If you have a great deal of experience, this may be all you need to prepare for the exam. To see the full set of exam prep tutorials that are available, see ibm.com/software/data/education/selfstudy.html.
c) Take an education class from IBM or one of its partners. These classes typically have a fee, even for employees, so check with management to see if you can take one of these classes. Classroom education is an excellent way to learn, but may be difficult to justify due to costs. Don't forget to look into ILO training as this type of training gives you all the benefits of classroom education, but eliminates the travel costs. The best place to start to determine the classroom education that best fits your needs is with the training roadmaps: ibm.com/software/data/education/roadmaps.html.
d) Take a pre-conference class at the ILO Conference:
DB2 for z/OS DBA Certification Crammer (Exam 732)
Speaker: Susan Lawson
This high level certification preparation review is intended to help you take IBM Certification Test 732, DB2 9 DBA for z/OS. Gain an intense overall review of those areas that are on the certification exam.
DB2 9 for Linux & Windows DBA Certification Crammer (Exam 731)
Speaker: Roger Sanders
This training is designed to introduce the student to the concepts a test candidate must know in order to take and pass the DB2 9 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Window certification exam (Exam 731). The material for this course is aligned with the 731 exam objectives.
6) If this is your first time taking a certification exam, review the steps on this site: ibm.com/certify/process/t_proc.shtml.
Can I gain experience by reading DB2 Forums and Blogs? Absolutely! There are several DBAs who firmly believe helping out on the various forums have helped us gain a deeper understanding of subjects that were on the exams. So, contribute to those forums. You're not only helping other people, you're helping yourself as well! Most likely you'll find members of the DB2 development team actively taking part in the forums as well.
Here are the sites that I recommend, at the least:Planet DB2 - a blog aggregator that combines DB2 blogs from around the world.IBM developerWorks - DB2 PortalIDUG – International DB2 User’s GroupMy blog: ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/susanvisserKate's blog: ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/katedawson
Enjoy the lounge!