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!
Keep on Learning
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!
Paul Zikopoulos just reminded me of a series of articles that he's written that I'm sure you'll find useful. The articles will help you figure out which edition of DB2 you need. Check it out:
Do you know how to license a DB2 Connect Unlimited Edition for iSeries server? Did you know there was such a product? How about which edition of DB2 supports an authorized user? Do you know you can buy DB2 ESE on a per user basis (it's the answer to the last question). Do you know how you license high availability? Did you know how to license DB2 installed on a dynamic processor pool with a capped or uncapped partition? Are you aware that DB2 Everyplace is free with any DB2 Connect or DB2 server? Do you know how an idle DB2 machine isn't really idle, but it's considered the same as IBM SWG's Cold and Warm machines, but licensed differently?
You may be able to answer all of those questions, but I guarantee you that your clients can't. All of my packaging, licensing, and edition information articles have been updated for September 2005 (circa the DB2 UDB V8.2.3 code level).
You can quickly access these articles at the following URLs.
Which Distributed DB2 Edition is Right for You?
This popular article is updated with the latest news in product features, editions, and licensing for IBM DB2 Universal Database Version 8.2.3. The author lays out the options and includes a quick reference that maps typical user environments to the suggested DB2 edition. This article is available at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/0211zikopoulos/0211zikopoulos.html.
Comparing the Distributed DB2 Server Editions
In a side-by-side comparison table, author Paul Zikopoulos makes it simple to understand the basic licensing rules, functions, and feature differences between the members of the distributed IBMDB2Universal Database(DB2 UDB) server family. This article is available at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/0301zikopoulos/0301zikopoulos1.html.
Which Edition of DB2 Connect is Right for You?
DB2 Connect is IBM middleware for connectivity from distributed systems to zSeries and iSeries-based DB2 systems. This article introduces DB2 Connect at a very high level and discusses the different editions and pricing models to help you decide which edition of DB2 Connect is right for you. This article has been updated to include packaging considerations up to and including DB2 Connect V8.2.3. It's available at:
Licensing Distributed DB2 Servers in a High Availability Environment
Are you trying to ensure you're licensing your IBMDB2Universal Databasefor Linux UNIX and Windows(DB2) servers correctly in a high availability environment? Don't have the time nor the will to read through the announcement letters, PLETs, or your licensing sheets? Author Paul Zikopoulos explains it all in plain English. It's available at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/0301zikopoulos/0301zikopoulos.html.
DB2 UDB using Dual Core or Sub-capacity Licensing
Learn about some of the latest hardware technologies, namely dual core processors and sub-capacity partitioning, and their respective considerations when licensing a supported IBMDB2Universal Database(DB2 UDB) server product. This article is available at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0505zikopoulos/.
Stay tuned for information on the latest book that Paul co-wrote: Apache Derby -- Off to the Races : Includes Details of IBM Cloudscape
IBM Launched a whole series of Express editions of products to fit the needs of small to medium-sized businesses. Attend the webcast on Oct 12 to learn more:
Webcast: IBM Express Portfolio Announcements - Oct. 12
Designed, built and priced specifically to address the on demand business needs of mid-sized companies, the IBM Express Portfoliofeatures: relevant, scalable technologies that work with existing IT infrastructure; selected configurations that are easier to acquire, install and manage than traditional offerings; competitive pricing and enhanced availability; 100 solutions for mid-sized businesses, ranging from hardware and software to services, and; low-rate financing and simple, affordable leasing options. Register today for this live Web broadcast.
We also specially created the following book to support the express edition:
DB2 Express : Easy Development and Administration by Paul Yip, Kit Man Cheung, Jason Gartner, Clara Liu, Stephen O'Connell
Buy it directly from IBM Press to get a 30% discount:
What is in the book?
IBM DB2 UDB Express Edition Version 8.2 delivers everything small to medium-sized businesses need to accelerate time-to-value and dramatically reduce TCO in their database applications. Now, IBM's own experts show exactly how to get started with DB2 Express, and use it to develop, deploy, and manage superior applications from start to finish.
Like DB2 Express itself, this book cuts out the complexity--helping you achieve the full business benefits of today's most advanced database platform simply and quickly. You'll find step-by-step guidance and expert tips for every facet of DB2 Express development and administration, including: application design; development with both Visual Basic .NET and Java; security; deployment; performance tuning; day-to-day administration; and more.
IBM's own DB2 specialists demonstrate how to use DB2 Express' graphical tools to manage DB2 more easily than any other full-function relational database. Along the way, they help you make the most of DB2 Express' powerful "autonomic" features for self-administration, self-tuning, and self-healing to drive down costs throughout the entire application lifecycle.
This book will help you:
* Understand DB2 Express architecture and its implications for development and administration
* Install DB2 Express, create databases, and master essential DB2 Express tools
* Work with database objects: schemas, data types, tables, relationships, views, and indexes
* Develop VB.NET applications with ADO.NET and the DB2 .NET Data Provider
* Develop Java applications with JDBC and SQLJ
* Leverage DB2's concurrency model to design efficient transactions and improve user experience
* Introduce database functions, stored procedures, and triggers to improve application design
* Generate and manipulate data efficiently: LOAD, IMPORT, exporting to Microsoft Excel, reporting, and more
* Tune performance: optimize your configuration, analyze SQL with Visual Explain, and optimize SQL with Design Advisor
* Secure your applications: authentication, authorization, group privileges, and more
* Deploy to production, and master silent DB2 installations
* Define a solid database maintenance plan that fully leverages DB2 Express autonomic features
* Troubleshoot DB2 Express and avoid common pitfalls
Whether you're a developer, administrator, IT manager, or end-user, this definitive single-source guide will help you achieve results fast... and maximize DB2 Express' business value, every step of the way.
About the Authors
Paul Yip is a database consultant at IBM Canada. As a member of IBM's Channel and Partner Enablement Team, he works closely with partners, ISVs, and integrators to develop and tune third-party products for DB2. He coauthored DB2 SQL Procedure Language for Linux, UNIX and Windows (Prentice Hall, 2003) with Clara Liu.
Kit Man Cheung, member of IBM's DB2 Tools Development Team, has deep technical insight into DB2 Version 8.2's new GUI tools.
Jason Gartner, member of IBM's DB2 Tools Development Team, has deep technical insight into DB2 Version 8.2's new GUI tools. He is Development Manager for DB2 administration tools.
Clara Liu is a database consultant at IBM Canada. As a member of IBM's Channel and Partner Enablement Team, she works closely with partners, ISVs, and integrators to develop and tune third-party products for DB2. She coauthored DB2 SQL Procedure Language for Linux, UNIX and Windows (Prentice Hall, 2003) with Paul Yip.
Stephen O'Connell, member of IBM's DB2 User-Centered Design Team, has worked on the DB2 Web client and many other IBM-wide DB2 initiatives.
Last week I posted about DB2 for z/OS books and mentioned Craig Mullin's book. Unfortunately I mentioned the 4th edition instead of the 5th. Here are the details on the 5th edition:
DB2 Developer's Guide (5th Edition)
by Craig S. Mullins
I added a link to the right hand side of this page to link to his book. Its now on sale at amazon for 29% off.
Also, I mentioned that Curt Cotner has a blog. The address is: http://email@example.com
I've also added a link to the right for your future reference.
Thanks to those who gave me comments to correct these ommissions.
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]
This week the IMS Technical Conference took place at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose. Although I wasn't able to attend the conference, I arranged for each attendee to get a complementary book:
"An Introduction to IMS"
Dean Meltz, the lead author for the book, was available to sign the books for the attendees.
I also arranged for Sharon Qi to sell IBM Press books at a discount. We didn't sell many books, but hopefully more people are now aware that there are books available.
Sharon tells me that many of the attendees were asking for more books on IMS. I'd like to have more published as well, but it mainly depends on how well the current book does.
Besides this book, there is a landing page on dworks for IMS content: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/products/ims/
There are also serveral redbooks:
If you're interested in more books about IMS, let me know what kind of topic you are interested in.
This book is on my mind this week:
Self-Service Linux: Mastering the Art of Problem Determination
by Mark Wilding, Dan Behman
The publisher sent me 40 copies of the book to send to people who helped review the book or to people who will read the book and tell others about it. Yesterday Dan Behman came by and signed more than 20 copies of the book and I'm hoping to see Mark Wilding some time today. Once they are signed, I'll send them to the many people who helped with the creation of the book.
Publishers are always looking for people who are interested in reviewing books: both books that are published or about to be published. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, let me know. Opinionated people are always welcome!
Speaking of reviews, check out the reviews that are on amazon now for the SSL book. The book has two very positive comments so far.
CASCON, The Centre for Advanced Studies Conference, is taking place this week in Toronto. CASCON is the premiere computer science and software engineering conference in Canada. This conference is an excellent venue for exchanging ideas, showcasing results, experiences and tools, and networking with researchers and practitioners from academia, industry, and government.
Here is a link to give more information: https://www.ibm.com/ibm/cas/cascon/
Yesterday I had lunch with Stephen Perelgut who ran a workshop on popular technologies such as blogging, podcasting, and RSS feeds. Stephen is running two sessions this week, and both are full to capacity. I was too late to sign up for either of his workshops, so I'm not able to attend. Stephen tells me that he may run another session in the Toronto Lab for employees in a few months.
After lunch I met with Dr. Imran A. Zualkernan who is working on a technology to turn flow diagrams into test questions. Dr. Zualkerman showed me this technology in action using a flow diagram for a few DB2 UDB task. Seems interesting, but I don't think it's ready for prime time use yet. I'll provide some user scenarios to Dr. Zaulkerman so he can further test this technology. Using this technology might be helpful when creating sample study questions. We'll see.
I spent the afternoon in a Women in Technology Workshop: Tenth Workshop on Women in Technology: Global Transformation for Women & ICT.
This workshop discussed the ongoing action needed to transform the global position of women in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The speakers/facilitators included: Claudia Morrell, Kelly Lyons, Sophia Huyer, and Ann Holmes.
It is conceived as a follow-on to the First International Symposium on Women and ICT that took place June 12-14, 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Two hundred and fifty participants, representing six continents and 29 developing and developed countries, including leaders from business, government, non-government agencies, and education, gathered to explore concrete ways to increase girls' and women's participation and leadership with Information and Communication Technology in order to effect economic, social, and political change.
The focus of the CASCON session was to discuss the messages that should be presented at the second United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis 16-18 November 2005. The goal is to change the gender disparity evidenced in Women and Information Technology: Fast Facts at http://www.umbc.edu/cwit/fastfacts.html and planning for continuing action.
Some interesting facts:
* Computer-related occupations, 2004, U.S.
* Computer and information systems managers, 31.0% female
* Computer scientists and systems analysts, 29.4% female
* Computer programmers, 26.7% female
* Computer software engineers, 25.0% female
* Computer support specialists, 29.7% female
* Database administrators, 33.6% female
* Network and computer systems administrators, 20.3% female
* Network systems and data communications analysts, 21.9% female
* Operations research analysts, 43.0% female
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005
The database area has had very highly ranked women running the business until recently: Janet Perna and Pat Selinger. Both of whom have recently retired.
I can't say that I've overly passionate about this subject yet, but it does bother me to hear that fewer and fewer women are going to university and even fewer are choosing technical degrees. There are lots of studies that try to figure out the reason for the decline as well as many programs in place to help. One of the things that we discussed yesterday was the need to figure out what programs exist around the world and to share these ideas so we can make programs accessible to people every where in the world. A portal is being designed, so hopefully that will help.
Kind of in line with this topic, last night I volunteered to help out at a Girl Guides event in support of a technology badge. This is one of the many programs that IBM takes part in to encourage girls to take an interest in technology.
Yesterday I participated in a workshop about business blogs - The Business of Blogging: Being Social in a Pervasive, Networked World.
The speakers discussed the history of blogging, tools that are available, research on who is blogging, as well as the issues of using blogs for business.
Speakers included Alvin Chin and Mark Chignell from University of Toronto, Joey de Villa from Tucows, Ian Graham from BMO Financial Group, and Veronica Holmes from Bell Canada.
From the research, it was shown that people who read blogs are highly educated people in their 30s or 40s who earn high salaries. Primarily, bloggers are looking for information that is hard to find in other places. You can see why businesses are getting more and more interested in setting up blogs to support their products / services.
For more information on CASCON, as well as details of all the conference proceedings, see https://www.ibm.com/ibm/cas/cascon/[Read More]
For the past few months I have been thinking about the value of podcasting in relation to promoting technical books. Last week at CASCON the idea came up again, so I'd like to get your opinion on the idea.
My goal would be to put the preface of new books into podcast format. The preface of the book should answer the question, do I need this book? My vision is to have a podcast that is only a few minutes in length, for each book.
As a new book is published, a podcast would be made available. This would work well as a subscription series in that it would help people stay on top of the newest releases as they are made available.
Most book prefaces are written in a conversational manner, so I believe that this would make for an easy and interesting way to learn about the need for the book.
Whose voice should do the podcast? I'd prefer to have the author of the preface do the recording, but would do it myself if necessary.
Let me know what you think. I may go ahead and do a pilot of one of the books and post it on this site. The next book in my realm that will publish is Apache Derby -- Off to the Races : Includes Details of IBM Cloudscape http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131855255/102-8524566-1932154?v=glance&n=283155&s=books&v=glance.
The great buzz around the book Self-Service Linux : Mastering the Art of Problem Determination continues:
"This is definitely my choice for best book of the year. Yes, I know we have a few months to go, but I can't see this getting beat out. Buy this today; you will not regret it. "
The book is available on amazon.com for a discount of 34%. If you have read the book, add your review as well
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!
Sam Poon dropped by today to take a certification exam and reminded me about a recent article that he and Cindy Wong had published on developerworks, called:
"Recommended reading list: DB2 UDB for Linux, UNIX, and Windows database administration"
This reading list covers primarily articles that you will be able to find on dworks, as well as a couple of websites and redbooks. I'd like to add a few additional resources to the list for your awareness.
1) Website: DBA Central - Resources for IBM Information Management database administrators
Bookmark this page to keep up to date with all the latest information that a DBA will find essential.
2) Webcast: The Future of the DBA, November 1.
Join Evan Bauer as he discusses the value of a DBA to the IT organization in these days of new initiatives that lead to the reduction of operational and admistrative costs. Register for the webcast, listen to it, and perhaps you'll be one of the people who is awarded a free IBM Press book. You can register for the webcast from the DBA Central: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/zones/dba/.
3) Retail books:
High Availability Guide for DB2
by Chris Eaton and Enzo Cialini
Start-to-finish guide to delivering high availability with DB2 Universal Database for Linux, UNIX and Windows. Written two of IBM's leading DB2 high availability experts,
thoroughly reviews options related to both the database engine and the underlying platform, and addresses the entire lifecycle, from planning and architecture through day-to-day administration.
DB2 Universal Database V8 Handbook for Windows, UNIX, and Linux
by Phil Gunning
Written by a leading database consultant to help the DBA on the front line. The real-world examples make it easy to learn how to leverage the powerful features of DB2 UDB V8.
DB2 Universal Database V8.1 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Guide, 5/e
by George Baklarz and Bill Wong
Straight from IBM, the ultimate guide for running DB2 V8 and preparing for the IBM DB2 UDB Database Administration Exam! This definitive reference and self-study guide covers every aspect of deploying and managing DB2 Universal Database V8, including best practices for DB2 database design and development; day-to-day administration and backup; and much more.
Whether you're a DBA, a developer, a DB2 certification candidate, or all three, DB2 Universal Database v8 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Guide is the one book you can't afford to be without.
Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 Universal Database v8 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows, 1/e
by Dwaine Snow / Tom Phan
Whether you're a long-time DB2 UDB professional or an experienced DBA who's migrated from another database platform, there one sure way to demonstrate the highest level of skills in DB2 UDB database administration: pass the challenging IBM DB2 UDB Advanced Database Administration Exam.
This book is a guide to administering the advanced features of DB2 Universal Database Version 8. The book will discuss how to build a database in order to ensure optimal performance. It will discuss the manner in which to build table spaces and assign bufferpools based on the system usage and underlying disks system. The book will discuss the functionality built into DB2 to ensure system availability and will clustering and fail over discuss configuration options. The book will also discuss how to monitor a DB2 UDB system to determine if any bottle necks exist
All of these books can be found at the DB2 Bookstore: http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/ref.html
Happy Reading![Read More]
Apache Derby -- Off to the Races : Includes Details of IBM Cloudscape by Paul Zikopoulos, Dan Scott, and George Baklarz publishes tomorrow, Nov 2, 2005.
Details about the book:
Apache Derby is the world's only open source, pure Java, fully transactional relational database. It's small enough to be embedded directly into your Java applications, providing a local data store that requires no DBA support. Powerful enough to support a wide range of traditional applications, this database ships as the default database for WebSphere Application Server and more than fifty other IBM software products. Apache Derby is built on the mature IBM Cloudscape code base IBM recently contributed to the open source community. The IBM Cloudscape code was nominated and won Developer.com's Product of the Year 2005 award.
Paul, Dan, and George have written a comprehensive guide to making the most of Apache Derbynd its commercial counterpart, IBM Cloudscapein any development or production environment. This book systematically introduces the Apache Derby/IBM Cloudscape technology: where it fits and how to install and configure itnd how to build robust business applications and Web services with it, one step at a time.
Buy it from amazon.com and get a 34% discount on the regular price of $39.99 USD.
IBM developerWorks Peer Advisors Network
IBM developerWorks has created a new program for people who enjoy sharing their opinions and experiences. The first initiative is centered on using and advising others regarding IBM Cloudscape v10.1, a commercially supported release of Apache Derby.
For more information about peer collaboration, see http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/newsletter/devcom/email/eng/20051031_dW_Peer_Advisory_DB2_webversion.html
Developerworks also has a Cloudscape portal that you may wish to check out: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/zones/cloudscape/
For our book of the month, we've been able to get an electronic coupon and free shipping for buyers in the US:
Save 35% on Apache Derby -- Off to the Races and preview a sample chapter! Visit http://ibmpressbooks.com/title/0131855255 and enter case-sensitive coupon code CLOUDSCAPE at Step #3 during checkout to redeem.
While you're on the IBM Press site, sign up for the newsletter to keep on top of all the new releases (I will typically only tell you about the data ones) and become a member to qualify for a 30% discount on all IBM Press books.
What technical books have you read this year that have been well-written, helpful, and worth the money?
I'm putting together a list of the best books of the year and would like to have your input. Put a comment in or send me an email, but I'd really like to hear from you.
Also, I'm planning for the books that will be published next year, so if you feel that there is a gap of information on a topic, let me know and I'll see what I can do!
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]
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
A few months ago I mentioned that our IBM Press books were available in Books24x7 and Safari... today I saw that Developerworks has set up a special offer for people to try reading and searching retail books online through Safari. Give it a try:
Sign up for a complimentary trial of Safari Books Online e-reference library
Safari Bookshelf is an electronic reference library that perfectly complements dW broad portfolio of tools for developers. Unlike an online bookstore, Safari is a fully-searchable virtual library that houses thousands of technical books from industry leading publishers as well as hundreds of articles from developerWorks! Check out Safari today and register for a complimentary test-drive of the service! http://ibm.com/developerworks/ecma/campaign/er.jsp?id=119960
Note, if you are an IBM employee, you already have access to these books through Books24x7. See the link posted on the right hand side of this page.
To all my American friends: I hope you have a fun and safe Thanksgiving! (Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving on Oct 10.)
My team is doing a book promotion in conjunction with these two webcasts:
Webcast: The Future of the DBA
Hear Evan Bauer, of Fanzilli/Bauer Technology Partners and Managing Director of Sona Mobile, discuss the evolution of the DBA career based on changing dynamics of IT organizations and the opportunities which exist for DBAs.
Webcast: Java database development with DB2 UDB, Cloudscape, and Informix Dynamic Server (IDS)
Are you up-to-date on the latest advances in Java database development using IBM database servers? Learn about the latest topics for database development using JDBC, SQLJ, and server-side Java stored procedures/functions during this webcast.
Listen to the replay to find out about the promotion.
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.
I wanted to point out these Application Development ebooks to you:
These eBooks (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/db2/library/techarticle/dm-0511appdev/)take you through a guided tour of your chosen programming model and the accompanying native support enablement that comes with IBM DB2 Universal Database. You'll quickly find that the interfaces, the tooling, and the help are all cognizant of your choice of programming model. When it comes to application developers and DB2 UDB, you truly can have your cake and eat it too. When it comes to application developers, no other database provides the level of tooling and language integration like DB2 UDB. Whether you want to write your applications in an Open Source language like PHP, you're exploring the world of Web services vis-a-vis a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), live for Java, or love .NET, the DB2 UDB database platform is there for you. See for yourself just how easy it is to develop applications for the DB2 platform!
Just a side note on one of the authors: I recommended Paul Zikopoulos as a guest lecturer at Queen's University. Paul did an amazing job and the Queen's professor said that Paul was the best guest lecturer he's had in over 10 years! If you get a chance to hear Paul speak, I suggest that you take the opportunity. If that's not possible, I suggest that you pick up one of the many retail books that Paul's been involved with:
Apache Derby / Cloudscape - Off to the Races
The Official Guide to DB2 V8
In his Monday, December 05, 2005 blog entry, Ravi reviewed the Self Service Linux - Mastering the Art of Problem Determination book. Here are some of his comments:
Things I found interesting in this book
* This book takes a practical approach to problem determination and solving.
* Is peppered with sample code and walk throughs which I found useful in understanding a problem. I especially liked the presentation of strace and gdb.
* Concepts are explained in a simple and lucid manner keeping complex jargon to a minimum.
* Though entry level programmers will find this book a bit on the far side, more experienced people can look forward to gaining a lot of knowledge from this book.
All in all a good book worthy of a place in the reference book shelf of a programmer or system administrator.
See http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/ for the full review.
Details on the book can be found on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/013147751X/102-8524566-1932154 where you can currently get 34% off the retail price of the book!
Apache Con starts this Sunday in San Diego: http://apachecon.com
George Baklarz, one of the authors of "Apache Derby-Off to the Races", will be at the conference giving a free copy of the book to each attendee!
If you are not attending the conference, we've set up an electronic coupon that gives you a 35% discount and free shipping in the US. See http://www.ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/ for details.
I've made this book the Recommended Book for December" as well.
"Apache Derby-Off to the Races," includes details of IBM Cloudscape. Derby benefits include running on both Linux and Windows and supporting JDBC, SQLJ, PHP, Python and Perl--open source at its finest. The book illustrates all the basics of the database and provides an extensive overview of all the APIs supported by IBM Cloudscape. Sample applications are worked throughout the book, and the reader may apply skills learned immediately.
Here is a list of the top ten best-selling DB2 books for this year:
1) DB2 Universal Database V8 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Certification Guide, Fifth Edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0130463612
2) Understanding DB2: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131859161
3) Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 Universal Database v8 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0130463884
4) DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Exam 700 Study Guide: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131424653
5) DB2 Universal Database V8 Handbook for Windows, UNIX, and Linux: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0130661112
6) DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Exams 701 and 706 Study Guide: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131840487
7) DB2 Version 8:The Official Guide: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131401580
8) DB2 for z/OS Version 8 DBA Certification Guide: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131491202
9) DB2 Universal Database V8 Application Development Certification Guide, Second Edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0130463914
10) DB2 SQL PL, Second Edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0131477005
Note, I don't have data for the non-IBM Press books, but I'm sure some of them have sold very well:
DB2 Developer's Guide (5th Edition): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0672326132
Sams Teach Yourself DB2 Universal Database in 21 Days, Second Edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0672325829
Thanks to all who have bought these books and have helped make them successful!
I prefer to send people to amazon and its related sites for people to purchase technical books for their great prices, ranking and review system, and international presence. Outside of amazon, I would recommend the following places:
This is the "bookstore" that my team maintains. We choose a new title roughly every month and usually link from the book to amazon.com.
This is the site that is maintained by IBM and is updated with the latest on the IBM Press books that are available.
This is the site that our publishing partner, Pearson Education, updates. From here you can get a newsletter, purchase books, get chapter downloads, and more. Quite often we'll point to this site if we have an electronic coupon that we are promoting.
If you DO NOT reside in the US and would like to purchase books in your local currency with lower shipping costs, use this link. From here you can get to our Canadian http://www.pearsontechnology.ca/DB2/ or European http://www.pearson-books.com/ibmpressbookshop/ IBM Press pages. We've also listed the books that are available in translated or low cost editions with details as to how you can order them.
5) http://safari.informit.com/ or http://www.books24x7.com
For electronic versions of books see either of these sites. IBM employees have a subscription to books 24x7, but many universities, colleges, and business have a subscription to Safari. Both engines allow individual subscribers as well.
If you work for IBM, go to this site for details on how to access employee purchase sites.
I'd like to say that you can also buy technical books in bookstores, but this is usually only true for mass appeal books. One day I hope that DB2 books move into this category!
If you have another favourite place where you buy books, share your information.
The three-book set of certification study guides written by Roger Sanders have been bundled together for a special price on informit.com and ibmpressbooks.com:
Are you preparing for DB2 certification? Improve your readiness with this collection of books. Author Roger Sanders is a DB2 expert who was involved in the development of these exams so you'll get sample questions straight from the source! Each book covers all the material you need to pass version 8 certification exams 700, 701, 703, and 706.
Included in the bundle are the following three books:
* DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Exam 700 Study Guide
* DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Exams 701 and 706 Study Guide
* DB2 Universal Database V8.1 Certification Exam 703 Study Guide
Author Roger Sanders was a member of the DB2 Version 8 Exam Development team, so he was an ideal person to write these study guides. Also, if you ever read one of Roger's books, you'll know first hand how good he is at explaining complex topics.
Besides being the only set of books that focus directly on what you need to know to do well on the exams, these books contain hundreds of assessment questions to help you gauge your readiness to take the real exams.
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!
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.