Have you taken IBM certification exams in the past, but don't remember what you've passed? Have you received the certificates that you are entitled to? Check on the Member Site for IBM Certified Professionals to see where you stand.
IBM's Certification Member Site allows you to:
* View your test and certification history, including shipping status of certificates
* Submit requests to merge multiple candidate/testing IDs
* View and update your demographic information
* Request additional copies of your certificates (softcopy via email or hardcopy)
* Download the IBM Certification marks to which you are entitled
Remember, certification results are confidential to you, so if you have earned a certification, the only way for your manager to know is if you tell them. I suggest that you print a copy of the certificate and give it directly to your manager.
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Matching: certification X
certmag.com just published the following article:
Database Administrators: Multitasking for Advancement
January 2006 - by Cari Mclean
Two of my workmates were quoted in the article.
Sue Myers, program director of information management skills at IBM.
Being proactive and agile in today's marketplace is essential to staying ahead of the technology curve. "We are on a cusp of a change in terms of how information is collected and how it is used," Sue Myers said. "So the opportunity for a DBA's future career growth is to step into that leadership position and to drive the strategic direction of where the data is goingn applications and the overall business environment."
Susan Dykman, information management certification program manager for IBM.
"Today, certifications for DBAs are the foundation required, and they are the proof of entry. We have done extensive looks into how employers value certification, and we have found if someone is hiring and the only difference between applicants is that applicant A has a certification and applicant B does not, the employer is going to pick applicant A," said Susan Dykman.
Read the entire article to get an idea as to how DB2 certifications can help you progress in your career as a DBA.
Happy New Year! I've been on vacation for three weeks, so its taking a bit of time to get through my email and other work.
One question that was emailed to me recently was asking about the availability of FREE sample or assessment questions. We used to have a set of free assessment questions available but now there is a $10 charge for each attempt. To access these exams, see: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html
An alternative to these $10 assessment exams is for you to borrow or purchase one of the study guides that provide a collection of sample questions AND answers. Here is a list of the books that I'd suggest:
For Exam 700:
Understanding DB2 - Learning Visually with Examples by Raul Chong, Dwaine Snow, Sylvia Qi, Clara Liu
DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Test 700 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
Teach Yourself DB2 Universal Database in 21 Days by Susan Visser and Bill Wong
For Exam 701 or 706:
DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Exams 701 and 706 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
For Exam 703:
DB2 UDB V8.1 Certification Test 703 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
For Exam 704:
Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 Universal Database v8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows, First Edition Dwaine Snow and Thomas Xuan Phan
These books range in price from $35 to $50 and contain the information to help you prepare for the exam PLUS 200 or so sample questions and answers per book. This sounds like excellent value for the price!
I wish you all the best for the coming year!
Yesterday I took part in an event that our skill resouces team ran to give information about certification testing to our 2500 employees of the Toronto Lab. I thought I'd share with you a few of the tips that I provided to these attendees.
Select desired certification by visiting http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/
This site was recently re-launched and is the best place to start to find out everything you will want to know about getting prepared to take a DB2 certification exam.
* Certification Roadmaps
* Complimentary Certification Tutorials
* Exam Preparation Documents
* On-line Assessment Exams
* Certification Guides
* Certification Process Checklist
Recommended Study Materials for DB2 Certification Exams
Exams 700, 701, and 703 each have a study guides written specifically for the exam. See http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/certify.html for a list of the books that are available to prepare for exams within each job role.
DB2 UDB V8.1 Certification Test 700 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
DB2 UDB V8.1 Certification Test 701 and 706 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
DB2 UDB V8.1 Certification Test 703 Study Guide by Roger Sanders
The series of study guides by Roger Sanders is recommended for those who need a quick refresh of the exam material. He includes sample questions and has focused the books on just what you need to pass the exams.
DB2 UDB v8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Guide, 5/e by George Baklarz, Bill Wong
DB2 UDB v8.1 Application Development Certification Guide, 2/e by Steve Sanyal, Kevin Gashyna, David Martineau, Mike Kyprianou
Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 Universal Database v8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows, 1/e by Dwaine Snow, Tom Phan
The series of Certification Guides is recommended for those who need to prepare for the exam, but also wish to have information beyond the exam for learning or reference purposes.
Yesterday Ambuj Goyal, the new General Manager for Information Management came to visit the employees of the Toronto Lab. Although I met Ambuj in Orlando and have attended some of his webcasts, this was the first time I heard him speak to a group.
Most of the talk was in regards to Information as a Service and what it means to our customers and what it means to those of us working on DB2.
Here is an external site that links to radio broadcasts, brochures, and webcasts, and more resources if you would like to do some research:
The definition on this website is:
Ensuring that information is available on demand calls for a new information strategy. Information On Demand transforms captive data into openly available information as a new service layer throughout the enterprise.
When I think of "on demand", I think of two recent changes in the certification area that were significant:
1) We used to use a test delivery software that required an administrator to enter demographic data for the test candidate and to run a program that would make the chosen test available for that candidate. When we were giving tests at a conference, the program ran very slowly and we were sometimes required to ask the candidate to come back the next day to take their exam. Occasionally an error was made and the candidate would show up only to find that the wrong exam was made available. This caused us to make the change, re-run the program, and of course, make the test candidate wait! Painful.
Now we use a test delivery software that I call "Exams on Demand". We log into a secure internet server, the candidate enters their own demographic information (less chance of typos) and then the proctor types in a secret code to start the exam of choice. If the wrong exam is selected, no worries... the proctor just enters another code and the right exam appears. Using this system has allowed us to give more than 1000 exams to candidates at a conference in 4 days. With the previous software, we could maybe give 500 exams and there was much grief, as you can imagine.
2) Certification certificates used to be snail-mailed to candidates who passed all the required exams. If you lived in the United States, you could get your certificate within 2 weeks, assuming that the address that was entered into the system when you registered for the exam was entered correctly! For some people in other countries, China, India, and even Canada! some certificates were taking 8-12 weeks to arrive in the hands of the candidate! Who knows why.... but we changed our model to deliver electronic certificates. Now, within a week of passing the exam and meeting the requirements to earn a certificate, we send you an email telling you the website where you can download a pdf version of your certificate. Once you get it, you can print it locally. If you don't want to print it immediately, you can always go back to the website to re-access it, any time you want.
These are not the examples that Ambuj is making to executives that he meets, but for those of us involved in the certification testing area, these are real improvements in the ability to access information when needed.
If you've taken an exam, but haven't received your certificate yet, log into our new "Member Site" internet application for certification candidates. At the Member Site, you can update your own contact information, including email, postal address and company name, as well as:
* View your certifications and successful exams
* Check the fulfillment status of your certifications
* Request softcopy or hardcopy certificates
* Request merges of multiple testing IDs
* Download the IBM Certification marks (logos)
To register for the site, visit: https://www.ibm.com/certify/members
CertMag's 2005 Salary Survey: Monitoring Your Net Worth
Overall, certified professionals this year enjoyed an average 16.4 percent pay increase from 2004, up significantly from last year's reported increase of 14.1 percent. The global survey clearly showed the value of qualified IT experts, with 23.4 percent of the respondents earning 25 percent or more in salary than they did in 2004.
CertMag editors surveyed 35,167 IT professionals in 170 countries around the globe. With 95.4 percent of those professionals holding technical certificationshe average respondent has 3.29 certifications. CertMag's 2005 Salary Survey was conducted over a six-week period from Aug. 19 to Oct. 3, 2005.
CertMag's 2005 Salary Survey asked respondents to evaluate and rank the training and study methods they used, as well as the quality of their primary certification's program. The survey showed, like previous surveys have, that on-the-job training, self-study books and practice exams are used and considered valuable among respondents. Seventy-three percent of respondents found on-the-job training very valuable or extremely valuable. Self-study books were ranked the second-most-valued preparation material by respondents at 71.1 percent, and practice exams were valued at 70.6 percent.
The highest-paid IT professionals in the survey this year live in Switzerland, with an average salary of $83,420, followed by those in Denmark and the United States, with $70,590 and $68,890, respectively. The United Kingdom, whose IT professionals were the fourth highest-paid in 2004, fell to the seventh position, while Japanese IT workers jumped from 10th place to fifth, with a surprising $14,300 increase in average IT salary.
Read it online, at http://www.certmag.com/articles//anmviewer.asp?a=1524&z=224.[Read More]
The latest edition of certmag.com has an article about using advanced certifications to advance your career:
After reading this article, I checked our database to see the how many people have been certifed at our Advanced DBA level (you need to pass Exam 704 after achieving a DBA cert): http://www.ibm.com/certify/certs/dbdvud81.shtml.
Although I can't tell you how many certifications have been achieved, I can tell you that only 7% of those who have earned a IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 UDB V8.1 for Linux, UNIX and Windows have also earned the Advanced DBA certification.
I really believe that anyone who has passed Exam 701 also has a good chance of passing Exam 704. If you are one of these people, take the challenge and try Exam 704.
Exam 704 contains a total of 57 questions. Candidates are required to score 56% or better to pass the exam and will have 75 minutes to complete the exam.
Section 1 - Advanced Administration (32%)
Ability to design table spaces
Ability to create table spaces
Ability to manage table spaces
Ability to design buffer pools
Ability to create buffer pools
Ability to manage buffer pools
Ability to exploit intra-parallelism
Ability to exploit inter- parallelism
Ability to design and configure federated database access
Ability to manage distributed unit of work
Section 2 - High Availability (19%)
Ability to develop a logging strategy
Ability to use advanced backup features
Ability to use advanced recovery features
Ability to implement a standby database (log shipping, replication, failover, fault monitor)
Section 3 - Performance and Scalability (37%)
Identify and use configuration parameters that affect database system performance
Identify and use DB2 registry variables that affect database system performance
Knowledge of query optimizer concepts
Ability to manage and tune memory and I/O
Ability to analyze performance problems
Ability to manage a large number of users and connections
Ability to partition large amounts of data for performance
Ability to manage the number of partitions in a database
Ability to create and manage multi-dimensional clustered tables
Ability to determine the more appropriate index
Section 4 - Networking & Security (12%)
Ability to configure a partitioned database on multiple servers
Ability to manage connections to host systems
Ability to identify and resolve connection problems
Knowledge of external authentication mechanisms
Ability to implement data encryption
The best way to prepare for this exam is a combination of EXPERIENCE and STUDY. The only book that was written for this exam is:
Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 UDB v8 for Linux, Unix and Windows
by Dwaine Snow and Thomas Phan
Notice that this book has received 12 customer comments on amazon: all 5 stars, except one 4 star.
One of the features of this book that I want to make you aware of is that there are excellent sample study questions in the book. Each chapter contains several questions that are similar to the questions that you'll see on the certification exam. The authors then tell you which answer is correct, and why. Dwaine was on the exam development team and helped create many of the questions that are on the certification exam, so make sure you benefit from his knowledge by reading this book!
The first edition of the New DB2 Information Management Professional Certification On-line Newsletter is now available.
This newsletter was developed for IBM Certified Professionals who have successfully completed one or more certification exams. This newsletter will provide you with certification announcement special events, promotions, and other skills related news so you can stay in touch with IBM.
Check out the October edition at: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/cert-newsletter.html[Read More]
It is usually taboo to talk about how much someone makes, but still, everyone wants to know where they stand in terms of earning potential.
Certmag.com does an annual survey to find out if certifications increase a person's pay or not. The surveys have shown that a person who holds a certification is generally better paid than a similar individual who is not certified. The next logical question is, which certification results in the highest pay?
According to results from last year's survey, certmag says that IBM DB2 certified DBAs earn more than Oracle or Microsoft DBAs!
Enterprise Systems have also done a survey and have recently published their finding:
According to this, DBAs make more than most other IT professionals. Not a surprise, really given the skill and expertise required to do this job. The article also agrees with the findings from certmag.com and lists DB2 as the database where salaries are highest. Actually, DBAs on IMS systems are THE highest.
So, be proud of the fact that you work with DB2 and be proud of your certifications!
If you aren't yet using DB2 or certified, does this help convince you? I hope so!
The finally tally for exams last week was 951 takes! That is over a 4.5 day period. This is an amazing result -- and with the team we had delivery the exams, it didn't seem like overly hard work as it has in previous years.
Our z/OS exams were extremely popular at the conference as were the books. We completely sold out of the large quantity of the following three z/OS books we had at the show:
DB2 Universal Database for z/OS V8.1 DBA Certification Guide by Susan Lawson
The Official Introduction to DB2 UDB for z/OS Version 8 by Susan Sloan
DB2 Developers Guide, Fourth Edition by Craig Mullins
Of the 951 exams taken last week, 200 were specific to DB2 for z/OS DBA. 31 at the V7 level and happily, 169 at the V8 level. It seems that the move to V8 is on.
Curt Cotner and Willie Favero have both recently started blogs, so for technical information that I'd never be able to provide, check them out.
If you weren't able to attend the conference, you can still buy the books (http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/ref.html#zos) or take the exam at a location near your office, but for a fee (http://www.ibm.com/certify).
I'm getting prepared to work at the IDUG Symposium in Toronto next week (http://conferences.idug.org/techsymposium/2005/index.cfm
). Were not giving free exams at this conference, but I'll be building awareness for the skills programs that we have and will be directing people to the Canadian Pearson bookstore. The publisher is planning to have a promotion on z/OS titles in honour of the conference. Check it out: http://www.pearsontechnology.ca/DB2.
That's all for now. Have a great weekend!
875 exams taken after 4 days! Very steady business. We offer DB2, WebSphere, Lotus, Tivoli and Rational exams, but clearly this is a DB2 crowd! We offer all the exams to help people become cross trained in all SWG products.
I had dinner with Roger Sanders last night. I first met Roger years ago just after he published his first book about DB2. I'm glad that I was able to work with him on the three Exam Study guides that he wrote for our Version 8 exams and I'm working very hard to get more book projects for Roger.
Roger tells me that he gets lots of reader feedback about his sample questions and how useful readers find it that he explains the reason an answer is correct. I'm sure that now that IBM charges $10 per take on the assessment exams, more people will choose to use Roger's books for his assessment questions as well as the content of the book.
One of the projects I got involved with in January was to set up a program for Russia to get more people trained and certified. I suggested that we translate Roger's Exam 700 Study Guide along with a few other materials. I am happy to say that Roger's book is now available in Russia and that Roger has been invited to run a crammer course to a select group. It is great how quickly we were able to make this initiative a reality! If we are successful in getting people certified at the entry level, we'll continue the program and focus on Exams 701 and 703.
I was also privileged to meet several people from Brazil this week. We talked at great lengths about the various ways we can increase certifications there as well. I fully believe that you can't just throw a test at someone and hope that they pass. You need to build a program around the test, similar to what we are doing in Russia: a book that people can read and keep to refer to over time, hands on experience, and if possible, training sessions. And then the exams. I am very hopeful that we will be able pull something together for Brazil and other countries as well.
I'm writing this entry on Friday morning at 9:00 am and we have a room filled with people who are currently taking an exam and another room full of people waiting to take their exams before heading home. It has been a very successful week and I look forward to working at next year's conference planned for Dallas in August 2006.
We gave another 200 exams on our third day. This brings the total number of exams given this week to over 600! We've been giving free exams to the attendees of this conference for more that 7 years now, so the attendees look forward to this offer.
Our exams normally cost $150 per try, so many conference attendees use this savings as a way to justify their conference fees. There are attendees who have taken and PASSED more than 5 exams this week. That is a significant savings for their companies, just in terms of the exam fees.
Also because our free testing is an annual event, people are coming prepared. I find that our first day pass rate for exams is extremely high largely due to the fact that people are preparing to take the exams before they come. We also run pre-conference exam crammer courses on the Sunday before the exams begin and I find that these people usually do well on the exams. This year we had Susan Lawson, Roger Sanders, and Bob Snell teach the crammer courses and those who attended them found them to be very useful.
The passing rate seems to fall as the week progresses though. I think this is due to the fact that people have passed the exams that they really wanted to pass and begin trying exams that they aren't fully prepared for. This is fine since each exam can be taken twice while at the conference and the score reports help people pin point the areas where they need to do more studying.
I had a few people comment that they aren't fans of certification exams because they know others who have passed an exam simply by reading a book. Although I'm sure it happens that a person passes an exam by reading a book, I find that our exams are experience-based and tend to be very difficult to pass simply by reading a book. In fact I have found that there are people who have worked on DB2 products for years but their focus is so narrow that they need to broaden their understanding of the product by reading books or taking classes before they are able to pass the exam.
The class we ran for the CM exam seems to have been successful. We had 40 people attend a three hour session after the conference ended for the day. Most of these people came to take Exam 443 as it was a very busy day for us!
The bookstore closed at the end of yesterday with not a single z/OS book remaining! Perhaps this means that the adoption rate for DB2 z/OS V8 is increasing! Susan Lawson's certification guide, Craig Mullins' Developer Guide, and Susan Sloan's Official Guide were the three top sellers at the conference. All three titles sold out of the copies the publisher brought to the conference and many orders were placed for books to be shipped directly to the reader.
That's it for today. Only half a day left at CMTC and a day and a half at the Information Management Technical Conference.
Another 200 exams taken on the second day of the conference! That brings our two day total of exams given to 400! We appear to be on our way to breaking our previous record of conference exams.
Lots of action in the bookstore as well. Many people are choosing to purchase one of the Sanders study guide or the certification guides rather than paying $10 to take an assessment exam. The study guides have a set of assessment questions that explain reason an answer is correct. This may be more helpful to prepare for the exam than taking the assessment exams on their own.
Another observation: For those of us in Canada, we're used to having two prices on any book we purchase: a US price and a Canadian price. These prices are set when the book cover is produced and the Canadian price is set based on the exchange rate at that time. Several of our very popular books were published 3 years ago when the Canadian dollar was very low compared to the US dollar. As a result, a $50 book in the United States costs $90 in Canada. The current exchange rate is about 20%, so these prices are very much out of whack. Unfortunately prices are not changed until a new edition is published, so the Canadian buyer must pay the price listed on the book. One way around this is for Canadians who are attending the conference to purchase the books while they are here. They will need to carry the book back with them, but they will pay the US price and get a 30% conference discount. So that $50 book will cost $35 US plus the exchange rate, so about $45 Canadian. What a great deal!
Yesterday morning I administered exams at the Content Management Techical Conference which is being held at the Swan. Business is slower here, but there is lots of interest in the new Content Management Exam 443: DB2 Content Manager V8.3. There was a course in the evening from 6:30 - 9:30 to help people prepare for this exam. I'll let you know tomorrow if that changes the results at all.
That's all for now. Back to networking with people at the conference.
This week I'm in Orlando working at the DB2 Information Management Conference. My main role at the conference is to administer certification exams to the attendees. The exams are normally $120 - $150 each, but are free to attendees this week.
Business is strong! We've given nearly 200 exams in the first day! Many of these exams are at the entry level which means that we still have many new people to our certification programs. The passing rate is also quite good, with a 72% overall.
My second role at the conference is to promote the DB2 books that we've published. We have a bookstore set up that is managed by Pearson's Kathleen Addis and Jamie Milazzo. All books are offered at a 30% discount and they're selling well. The series of study guides by Roger Sanders are selling very well since these books are very well-written and include sample questions that can help readers gauge whether they are prepared to take the exam.
My third role is to network with people! This is one of my favourite things. I was able to connect with many people who I've known through the conferences I've attended through the years, but also I've met many new people.
Someone I met yesterday told my that he has two book favourite DBA books that he "never leaves home without!". These are the books:
DB2 Universal Database V8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Guide, Fifth Edition
Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 Universal Database v8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows, First Edition
I agree with him totally and wanted to share this with you.
I spoke with a few people about promoting the DB2 Express book and the future Cloudscape book. I have quite a few ideas that I'll share with you later once I gather more ideas.
If you are at the conference, please stop by and say hi! If not, I hope you can attend one in the future.
Invest in Your Skills and Learn about new functionality, VERY QUICKLY!
Buy one or more of the best selling DB2 UDB Version 8 books from IBM Press:
DB2 Universal Database V8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Guide, 5/e
by George Baklarz and Bill Wong
DB2 Version 8: The Official Guide
by Paul Zikopoulos, Roman Melnyk, Dirk DeRoos, George Baklarz
DB2 SQL PL: Essential Guide for DB2 UDB on Linux, UNIX, Windows, i5/OS, and z/OS, Second Edition
by Zamil Janmohamed, Clara Liu, Drew Bradstock, Raul Chong, Michael Gao, Fraser McArthur, Paul Yip
Upgrade your certification, very quickly: If you are currently certified as an IBM Certified Solutions Expert - DB2 UDB V7.1 Database Administration for Linux, UNIX, Windows and OS/2, you qualify to take the upgrade exam: Test 706: DB2 UDB V8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Upgrade. If you have the V7 pre-requisite certification and you pass Exam 706, you will qualify as an IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 Universal Database V8.1 for Linux, UNIX and Windows. Exam 706 has 30 questions and is focused on the changes from DB2 UDB V7.1 and DB2 UDB V8.1 - http://www.ibm.com/certify/tests/obj706.shtml.
For further details on migrating, see a tech note written by DB2 support experts:
I'm getting ready to go to the Tech Conference in Orlando next week. Make sure you look for me at the free certification lab. We're hoping to give more than 900 exams next week!
Susan Visser[Read More]