Keep on Learning
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 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!
A search on dWorks for 'Content Manager' resulted in 4223 hits! I have excellent news for all those trained in using DB2 Content Manager V8.3. A new certification exam has been developed and recently released. Here are the details.
IBM Certified Solution Designer DB2 Content Manager V8.3
Objective: Enable database professionals to prove their competency on the industry most advance database technology to solve the critical business issue of managing and integrating all forms of information, including scanned images, audio, video and information from multiple sources.
The solution designer should have an in-depth knowledge of:
* core competencies in managing and installing
* functions specific to the CM Library Server, Resource Manager, System Administration, System Managed Storage, MS Windows clients and Content Manager eClient
64 multiple choice questions:
* High-level Design and Requirements Gathering (25%)
* Installation and Configuration (13%)
* Troubleshooting (10%)
* System Administration (17%)
* System Managed Storage (8%)
* Maintenance and Performance Tuning (8%)
* Content Manager Clients (6%)
* Solutions Integration (7%)
* Core Product Information (6%)
Pass rate definition 61%
Course: IBM Content Manager for Multiplatforms v8.3 Implementation and Administration
Course duration: 4.5 days
Course Abstract: The course provides you with an introduction to the specific concepts of Content Management v8.3 for Multiplatforms. Learn how to plan, install and customize an IBM Content Management system. Gain practical experience in configuring Content Manager to meet your enterprise needs through lectures and extensive hands-on exercises. The hands on labs for this course are taught in a Microsoft Windows environment only.
Sample / Assessment test
There isn't an IBM Press book that helps prepare for this exam, but with the number of articles on developerWorks, I hope that much of that can help. Stay tuned for a series of tutorials that are being developed now that will help.
If you are planning to attend one of the IBM Technical Conferences this fall, plan to take the exam while at the conference. As usual, all DB2, CM, Informix, U2, Tivoli, WebSphere, and Business Intelligence exams will be available to attendees for FREE.
IBM DB2 Information Management Technical conference
Featuring DB2, Business Intelligence, Informix, U2 & WebSphere Information Integration
September 12-16, 2005
IBM Content Management Technical conference
September 12-15, 2005
These conferences allow you to explore the enhancements in the DB2 information management software portfolio and how they can help address today's business. There are 100 sessions planned for you to enhance your knowledge of DB2 UDB for z/OS V8 and the most recent releases of DB2 UDB for Linux, UNIX, and Windows. You will have a chance to develop your skills in products and technologies, network with peers, meet developers on-site, get certified and enjoy pre-conference classes (at an additional fee), all designed specifically to enhance your learning experience.
svisser1 2700018UK9 Tags:  db2scert certification exam611 tutorials dba devworks 1 Comment 13,754 Views
Earlier I posted a blog about the DB2 10 Certification Tutorials for Fundamentals Exam 610 that are being published on developerWorks. There is also a series of tutorials that are being published to help you pass Exam 611- DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows DBA.
I’ll update this post as more tutorials are published. Here is what is available now:
(Update Feb 7: Part 2, Physical Design; Dec 6: Part 7, Security now available.)
DB2 10.1 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows certification exam 611 prep, Part 2: Physical design
Mohamed Obide, Consulting IT Specialist, IBM
Anas Mosaad, IT Specialist, IBM
Adel El-Metwally, IT Specialist, IBM
Mohamed El-Bishbeashy, IT Specialist, IBM
Summary: This tutorial discusses the creation of IBM DB2® databases, as well as various methods used for placing and storing objects within a database. This tutorial focuses on partitioning, compression, and XML, which are all important performance and application development concepts you need to store and access data quickly and efficiently. This tutorial is second in a series of eight that you can use to help you prepare for the DB2 10.1 DBA for Linux®, UNIX®, and Windows® certification exam 611. The material in this tutorial primarily covers the objectives in Section 2 of the exam.
Ramalingam Srinivasan, DB2 LUW Consultant, IBM
Summary: This tutorial is designed to introduce you to the skills you must possess to implement business rules in a DB2 database environment. This tutorial will also help you prepare for Section 3 of the DB2 10.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration certification exam (Exam 611).
DB2 10.1 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows certification exam 611 prep, Part 4: Monitoring DB2 activity
Mohamed Soliman, IT Specialist, IBM
Summary: This tutorial introduces you to the set of monitoring tools that are available with DB2 10.1 and to show you how each is used to monitor how well (or how poorly) your database system is operating. This is the fourth tutorial in a of eight that you can use to help prepare for Part 4 of the DB2 10.1 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows certification exam 611.
DB2 10.1 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows certification exam 611 prep, Part 5: DB2 utilities
Mohamed El-Bishbeashy, IT Specialist, IBM
Summary: Learn skills that help you to properly manage your DB2 database servers. This is the fifth in a series of eight tutorials to help you prepare for the DB2 10.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration (Exam 611).
DB2 10.1 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows certification exam 611 prep, Part 7: Security
Piotr Pruski, Technical Enablement Specialist, IBM
Andre Albuquerque, Technical Enablement Specialist, IBM
Summary: This tutorial introduces the concepts of authentication, authorities, privileges, audit facility, trusted context, RCAC, and LBAC as they relate to DB2® 10. It is the seventh in a series of tutorials designed to help you prepare for the DB2 10.1 for Linux®, UNIX®, and Windows® Database Administration (exam 611). You should have basic knowledge of database concepts and operating system security.
Darliene Hopes, DB2 Solution Migration Consultant, IBM
Summary:This tutorial is created to provide you with the process of configuring communications and the processes of cataloging databases, remote servers (nodes), and Database Connection Services (DCS) databases. You will also get introduced to DB2 Discovery and learn how to manage connections to System z and System i host databases. You will also learn about Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). This tutorial prepares you for Part 8 of the DB2 10.1 DBA for Linux, UNIX, and Windows certification exam 611.
Here are a few other blog entries about Certification that I recommend:
DB2 10 Certification Tutorials for Fundamentals Exam 610
Certification Offer: Assess & Save, until Dec 14, 2012
Three DB210 for LUW Certification Exams are now available
A new way to study for DB2 Certifications
Get Certified at the IBM Information on Demand Conference
How to Prepare to Pass a DB2 Certification Exam?
DB2 10 for z/OS Certification Roles, Exams and Study Materials
Certification Study Guides for DB2 LUW Exams
DB2 9.7 for Linux, UNIX and Windows: Certification Roles and Exams
Certifications: Beyond DB2
Certification Tips on the DB2Night Show
Web-based Training Courses to Consider
Certification Promotions and Discounts
How would you like to save 50% on an Information Management Certification exam? With the Assess & Save offer, you must take and pass an online assessment or "Practice test" to receive a voucher for 50% off the corresponding exam. That's a savings of $100 USD!IBM Professional Certification is the way for skilled IT professionals to demonstrate their expertise to the world. Certification validates your skills and demonstrates your proficiency in the latest IBM technology and solutions. This offer will make it easier for you to become an IBM Certified Professional: Assess and Save.
With Assess and Save, candidates who purchase ($10) and PASS an Information Management Online Assessment Test during the offering period, will automatically receive a 50% off certification voucher good for the corresponding exam. That's a savings of $100 USD!
An online assessment test is available for each Information Management Professional Certification Exam. These "practice tests" enable you to test your readiness for a minimal fee, helping you to be successful on exam day.
If you qualify, you’ll receive your voucher via an email within 10 days after completing and passing the online assessment test. Vouchers must be redeemed during the corresponding redemption period or they will expire.
For all the details see: Assess and Save
To help you pass the exams, I’ve written a series of blog entries that I hope you’ll find helpful:
Good luck on your exams!
The exam that you need to pass to start your journey on the road to DB2 Certification is the DB2 Family Fundamentals Exam 730. This exam only contains questions for concepts that are common across all platforms that DB2 runs on. There is a heavy SQL component to the exam, and most people who use DB2 daily should find this exam fairly easy. You’ll find it easier as well if you examine the objectives and use one or more of the listed study materials.
Database Associate Certification Role
Exam 730 – DB2 9 Family Fundamentals
Passing this exam will earn you the following Professional Certification: IBM Certified Database Associate -- DB2 9 Fundamentals and qualifies you to take a number of other exams that will lead to more DB2 Certifications.
Book: DB2 9 Fundamentals (Exam 730) Study Guide by Roger Sanders
This is the one that is known as the “red” book. It covers everything you need to know to pass Exam 730 which is the basic exam that is pre-requisite for all V9 and V10 DB2 Certification exams. The book includes sample questions at the end of each chapter with answers and reasons for the answers provided in an appendix at the end of the book. Roger was a member of the exam development team for Exam 730 and has written many of the questions you’ll need to answer.
These are free and can be found on developerWorks are very popular among the students who I see at the Toronto Lab. They are broken into individual units that match the exam objectives.
Database Administration Certification Roles
You have a choice here. You can take V9 exams or V10 exams. My recommendation is to take the exam that corresponds to the product you are currently working with. If you already have a certification for DB2 V9, then give the V10 exams a try.
Passing this exam, along with pre-requisite Exam 730, will earn you the following Professional Certification: IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 9 DBA for z/OS
Book: DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration (Exam 732) Study Guide by Susan Lawson and Dan Luksetich
Passing this exam, along with pre-requisite Exam 730, will earn you the following Professional Certification: IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2 10 DBA for z/OS
Book: DB2 10 for z/OS Database Administration: Certification Study Guide by Susan Lawson and Dan Luksetich
This book is finished but has not yet been released by the publisher. I’ll update this post when it is released.
System Administration Certification Roles
Again you have a choice here since both the V9 and V10 exams are available for you to take. My recommendation is to take the exam that corresponds to the product you are currently working with. If you already have a certification for DB2 V9, then give the V10 exams a try.
Passing this exam, along with pre-requisite Exam 730, will earn you the following Professional Certification: IBM Certified System Administrator - DB2 9 for z/OS
Book: DB2 9 System Administration for z/OS (Exam 737) Study Guide by Judy Nall
Passing this exam, along with pre-requisite Exam 730, will earn you the following Professional Certification:
Book: Judy Nall is updating her V9 book and it should be published in 2012.
svisser1 2700018UK9 Tags:  iod crammer iod2011 iod11 conference certification db2 infosphere 1 Comment 9,555 Views
Once you register for IOD you’ll be sent a confirmation email that will tell you about the pre-conference education sessions that are available. Maybe you’ve heard of these before. They are full day classes that go deep in a particular topic. These classes have an additional cost.
Six of the classes are Certification Crammer Courses. These remain popular year after year and help you prepare to pass one of the free certification exams that are offered at the conference to attendees. These classes are taught by well-known experts who helped create the certification exam. Here are the six that are offered this year:
Congratulations to Judy Nall whose first book is about to publish. The book goes to the printer today!
by Judy Nall
This is an addition to the series of Certification Guides published by MC Press to support DB2’s popular certification program.
Not only was Judy part of the exam development team, but she is well known in the DB2 area as an internationally recognized lecturer, consultant, writer, educator, and DB2 expert. She is the president of Computer Business International, Inc., a member of the IBM DB2 Gold Consultants Group, and the recipient of an IBM Data Champion award for contributions to the IBM Data Management community.
This book was written with system administrators in mind, this reference offers information about both DB2 and z/OS operating systems as well as guidance for preparing for the IBM Certification Test 737. Helpful and thorough, this technical guide summarizes the new features of DB2 9 environments and provides essential system administration information, such as installation and maintenance procedures. With chapters on troubleshooting, performance and tuning, and securing and auditing, as well as practice questions, this reference is a one-stop shop for DB2 system administrators.
Other books that are part of this series are:
9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732
9 Advanced Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam
DB2 9 Fundamentals
Certification Study Guide
All of these books were authored by experts who were part of the exam development team, the structure of the book matches the exam objectives, and there are sample test questions to help you prepare for the exam.
Congratulations to Judy! Job very well done!
Check out this amazing contents that is sponsored by IDUG:
Tell us your best DB2 stories and win big prizes – yes, it’s as simple as that. In your own words, tell us your experience with DB2, and if our judging panel finds your story interesting you could be taking home a Wifi enabled Vizio HD TV or an Apple iPad.
“Do You DB2?” is open to anyone in North America – DBA’s, developers, testers, students, professors, or even managers, CIO’s and CEO’s. All we want to hear is your DB2 stories, whether technical or business oriented. (Make sure you check out the official website and rules. )
Speaking of IDUG, have you registered for the annual conference that is taking place in Tampa Florida from May 10 - 14? That's next week, so rush if you haven't yet registered. Check out my previous posts about this conference:
1) What sessions would a DBA like Rebecca Bond choose to attend? http://bit.ly/do7EjC
2) What sessions are being presented by IBMers? http://bit.ly/do7EjC
3) IDUG is all about the users! Don't miss a single presentation! http://bit.ly/a53P7k
4) InfoSphere is a hot topic. Check out all the sessions that are available. http://bit.ly/dwqDg3
5) At the end of each day, do some networking. http://bit.ly/ckk3xd
6) Take this opportunity to get certified... and do it for free! http://bit.ly/daNvdN
7) If you have registered, you are eligible to take an assessment exam for free. Those who are registered will get an email with the special promo code: http://bit.ly/dftRin
8) As usual, there will also be a bookstore on site. Check out the books that you should be able to purchase while at the conference: http://bit.ly/c2CdMy
So... DO DB2 (and Win)
and LEARN DB2 at IDUG :)
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.
Here is the recommended path I suggest you take to prepare for a DB2 exam:
* Exam 730 - DB2 9 Fundamentals
* Exam 737 - DB2 9 System Administrator for z/OS
a) Consider buying one of the Certification Study Guides to refresh and deepen your skills:
DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide
DB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731
DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736
DB2 9 Advanced Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 734
I hope you find this information useful! Good luck on your journey towards certification!
Yesterday I blogged about the benefits of getting certified.
Today I want to tell you about how to prepare to take and pass an exam.
How to Prepare to Pass a DB2 Certification Exam
1. 1. Read the exam objectives. The website ibm.com/certify lists the objectives for every IBM certification exam. Read these carefully as each question on the exam links directly back to one or more of these objectives! (That’s a huge hint!)
2. 2. Use the recommended study materials to refresh your skills. For each DB2 exam, you can find the recommended study material on this site: ibm.com/software/data/education/certprep.html.
3. 3. Take an assessment exam. These exams cost $10 per take. See ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html for the latest information.
4. 4. Take the test. Where? IBM exams are offered worldwide at Prometric Testing Centers. To find a site near you call 1-800-959-EXAM or visit www.prometric.com.
5. 5. If you do NOT pass, use the score report to determine the areas you need to increase your knowledge and start these steps over again.
6. 6. If you PASS, make sure you let your manager know! Your results are confidential to YOU and no one will know you passed unless you tell them!
** DB2 Certification exams are experience-based, so the more practical experience you have using DB2, the easier it will be for you to prepare and pass the exams.
In the past 10 years, I’ve met many people who have taken and passed one or more DB2 certification exam. I like to chat with people, so I usually ask them to tell me if they see benefits to passing an exam. I also meet with many people who are reluctant to take an exam and must convince them of the benefits. I’ll put a few of my findings in this post, but I hope that I hear from people if they agree or disagree!
People who are reluctant to take a certification exam are usually reluctant due to fear. Fear of failure, fear of taking a test, fear of having others learn their scores, or fear of being judged or ranked. I totally understand these fears! The first thing I want to stress about certification exams is YOUR SCORE IS CONFIDENTIAL TO YOU. Sure the score is captured by a computer system and is sent to IBM to be stored in a DB2 database, but we are governed by very strict privacy laws that prevent any of this information to be given to anyone except for the candidate who is taking the exam.
This should give you a sense of comfort that you can take the exam without anyone knowing. So if you fail, feel free to try again! Use the score report to help you strengthen your knowledge in the areas where you didn’t do so well. If you do pass the exam, you must tell your managers, customers, clients, etc. Only you can brag about your certification!
Another thing that you should keep in mind is that each exam has a cutscore assigned to it. You can think of a cutscore as the mark you must reach to pass the exam. To come up with a cutscore, we have a team of experts take the exam and then rank each question in terms of difficulty, importance to the job role, and frequency that the task is performed. As an example, the cutscore for Exam 731 is 59%. Since there are 64 questions on the exam, you must answer 38 questions correctly to pass the exam. As a result of passing the exam, you will be sent a certificate stating that you are now IBM Certified. Your certificate will look the same whether you score 59% or 100%!
I also suggest that you don’t play the “score” game. I’ve heard conversations where people are bragging about their score or candidates who are pressuring themselves to score better than one of their co-workers. I can tell you that most of the people bragging about their score are embellishing slightly! It’s best to not discuss your score in the first place.
One of the biggest benefits of passing a certification exam is that it proves that you are very proactive at keeping your skills up to date. Anyone can say that they know about the latest features of a product, but by passing a certification exam, you have validation that you do indeed understand the latest features. Although DB2 certifications are very popular and still growing in numbers, the number of people who actually [i]have[/i] a certification is a fraction of the number of people who [i]could[/i] have a certification. If you are certified, consider yourself as part of a relatively small group! A second benefit is that studying for a certification will expose you to areas of the product that you wouldn’t normally care about. Very few people have hands-on knowledge of EVERY feature in a product, so when studying for, and taking the exam, you will be exposed to more features than you normally use. Perhaps you’ll discover a feature that will really help your application or in the usage of the product.
One of the benefits that I mention to the developer in the Toronto Lab who create the DB2 product is that it will allow them to see the product as our customers use it. Not many of us in the Toronto Lab work as DBAs, so by passing the DBA exam, it exposes us to the tasks that DBAs must perform in their daily jobs. It seems to me that this will help IBM create better products! The same is true for those who are writing about the product, supporting it, testing it, or even selling it.
A team of us are trying to scientifically determine the actual benefits of being certified, but in the mean time, my team ran an informal survey asking what the benefits were. Here are some of the responses:
What do you think? Have you experienced any of these benefits? Are there other benefits that you experienced?
I’m looking forward to hearing from people.
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!
I've heard that the very popular DB2 assessment exams are still free through Self Test Software. Register to take the exams via this link:
Of course, they won't be free for long! I know this isn't happy news for anyone, but the exams are very, very popular, so we are unable to maintain them as free for the time being. The fee that will be charged is low at $10 per try, but I have been granted permission to give tips through my blog.
What I plan to do is to post an actual question or two from one of our assessment tests and point to the documents where you can find the answer to the question. I will continue to do this until I've covered a good portion of the questions on the assessment test.
I plan to begin by going through the assessment test for Exam 703 DB2 V8 Application Development Family. I've chosen this exam because I think there are many people who regularly visit developerWorks who are capable of easily passing this exam.
Come and take a look on Monday to see the first set of questions in this series.
svisser1 2700018UK9 Tags:  certification learning books blogs hands-on db2 training ibmblu webinars 19,132 Views
A few weeks ago, I started a discussion in the DB2 Professional LinkedIn group that turned out to be quite popular. Request to join the group so you can take part in this and other discussions.
My question: When you were using DB2 for the first time, how did you go about learning how to use it? If you are already an expert, what learning path do you recommend to any newbies who you may meet?
This blog entry summarizes the responses. The text in italics is a response from a group member to my question. The normal text is from me to give additional information, including links, about the response.
Essentially by installing it, supporting it and using it with the help of some very knowledgeable colleagues. Only once I'd been using it for some time did I go on a couple of courses to fill in some advanced gaps.
Here is the link to DB2 Express C which is free and allows developers to create database apps....http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/db2/express-c/download.html
I'm glad you mentioned certification. I helped many people earn a certification over my career at IBM and continue to encourage the students who work at IBM to pursue this path. Roger Sanders has made it easy for people to prepare for the exam with his study guides: http://www.amazon.ca/DB2-10-1-Fundamentals-Certification-Study/dp/1583473491 Although they are not free books, they are very valuable since they include sample questions along with answers. Read also Ember Crooks' blog about how to get certified: http://db2commerce.com/2013/11/26/ibm-db2-certification-why-it-is-worth-it/
I'm glad you mentioned webinars. I'm not sure if there is a product with more free education than DB2! IBM runs a regular Tech Talk series with very educational webinars, delivered by IBM experts: https://www.brighttalk.com/channel/7637 These webinars are recorded and can be watch anywhere, anytime. These are hosted on BrightTalk where IDUG also hosts presentations and recordings. And then there is our IBM Champion Scott Hayes who runs the very successful DB2Night Show Webinar. These are also free and recorded and include speakers from IBM, IDUG, and users of DB2: http://www.dbisoftware.com/db2nightshow/
I had forgotten about the DB2 Demo programs! Thanks for the reminder! Do others use these demos to help them learn how to do something on DB2?
Thanks to George Baklarz for the blog about these demos: http://ibmdatamanagement.co/2013/10/16/db2demo-updated-fordb2-10-5/
I'm surprised that books weren't mentioned earlier! Craig Mullins has done a fabulous job at creating books that have and will teach thousands! Craig's latest books were published via IBM Press where you can often get good discounts: http://www.ibmpressbooks.com/authors/bio/88e03c0d-e88a-49a8-b121-50484f7b670b If you are a member of IDUG, you can get a 45% discount on all IBM Press books.
Hands on training seems to be the most common answer! There are many courses on the bigdatauniversity.com site. I think more people should learn about the availability of these courses. They are free, but some are out of date. We're looking for people to update them... so if you're interested.... let me know. I use these courses to teach the students who join the DB2 team in the lab. There are exercises and tests to go along with the courses which help solidify the knowledge. There is also a series of free books that you can download and read: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/wikis/home?lang=en#!/wiki/Big%20Data%20University/page/FREE%20eBooks
IBM Redbooks! What a great resource. You can download them anytime you like as many times as you like and can read them on your reading devices... or computers. One of the best options is that you can search the entire book. This will help you get to the right content as fast as you can. Here's where you can find the full set of data related IBM Redbooks: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/portals/data
Thanks for the links for some of the great content to be found on developerworks. Too bad the name is misleading, but I'm glad you found it and recommend it. About 70 new articles are published every year on devworks in a "how to" format. If you go the technical library link, you can search on any term / product name and find a related article: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/
The certification tutorial series that was published on this site is also very popular: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/offers/lp/db2cert/db2-cert610.html
I haven't personally attended one of Klaas' events, but would like to go to lovely Holland in the spring to attend: http://www.kbce.com/news/db2-symposium-2015-netherlands/
Several people mentioned conferences. The best choices seem to be IDUG, IBM Insight, and DB2 Symposium. There is a different approach to each, but the common thing is you'll find many experts and learners at the conferences. From a DB2 perspective, we encourage our experts in the lab and our experts who are partners to create presentations to help attendees learn. A special mention needs to go out to IDUG. I think for anyone who has ever attended has noticed what a friendly family-like community they have going. This year there is one in Philadelphia and another in Dublin. There are smaller versions of these conferences call RUGs or Regional User Groups.... check out idug.org for information. Remember, if you attend an IDUG conference, then you're automatically a member. There are benefits to being a member, so click the link, sign in, and explore.
Jamie and Ember... teaching is one of the best ways to learn. Writing a book, blog entry, or a presentation will help you uncover a lot that you don't know. Researching to fill these gaps will strengthen your skills and help you become an expert. I'm sure Scott has many testimonials from the people who have taken part in the DB2's Got Talent Competition similar to this. Ember has certainly taken her own advice. Her blog series is one of the best available... and she helps others build their skills by allowing guest bloggers. Check it out: http://db2commerce.com/
Chris, your comment brought back fond memories. I was one of the people in the Toronto lab when the product moved from Austin to become DB2. A good portion of the development team is still the same as it was in 1991. You made me laugh the way you mentioned google! Did you know that searching on google will bring you directly to the product documentation, now know as the Knowledge Center? http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSEPGG/welcome
Glenn, you're right.. IBM offers great formal training. You can get a live instructor or take part in a class virtually. Explore the in-person and virtual courses IBM has available here: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/education/ For the latest in certification exams, including samples tests, see ibm.com/certify.
Agreed! With all the products and trial technologies on BlueMix, you have a personal sandbox to play in to explore. I don't think there has ever been a better time for hands-on learning.. for free: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/bluemix/
I joined the DBA ranks from the application ranks and got thrown into the fire right away. I had a little training from the other developers who had started the DBA team. Otherwise, I have been almost 100% self-taught. I learned a lot from reading "Understanding DB2: Learning Visually with Examples". I also googled a lot. Read blogs like db2commerce.com (a staple for me everday). Reading the Knowledge Center documentation. And joining dba.stackexchange.com. Being one of the earliest DB2 DBAs on the site forced me to learn a lot about the product in order to help others with answering questions. Participating in DB2's Got Talent and networking with other great DB2 DBAs.
It sounds like many people learned DB2 the way you did! The book you mention was updated and is often available at a discount: http://www.ibmpressbooks.com/store/db2-essentials-understanding-db2-in-a-big-data-world-9780133461909
Hint: if you're a member of IDUG... log into idug.org and you'll find a coupon for all all IBM Press books... for 45% off.
Roger Sanders is definitely a star of the community. Unfortunately he's not currently planning to write any more books, so he's working with other authors to continue what he started.
All really great advice!
Social media has turned a lot of the chatting with experts to an online format. This was true for the old style forums, but today your best places are in LinkedIN... there are many data specific groups for you to join and participate in. The great thing about the groups on LinkedIN.... is that nearly everyone is using that platform. Maybe not to the extent that they should, but they are using it. So, you'll see a Database Expert Group (https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=45183&trk=anet_ug_hm) that has nearly 20,000 members. For me, that's a way that I can reach people who are not yet fans of DB2... but who should be!
We also have our twitter ID where we give information, have discussions, and formalized chats. I try to live tweet the webinars related to DB2, so you get see the top points discussed in the webinar. Come and follow us on twitter and linkedIN, and join the conversation: https://twitter.com/IBM_DB2
This turned out to be a long post. I hope you find it valuable.