I just realized that I haven't blogged about our certification program in some time. I dusted off a blog entry I did last year, updated it, and voila, here it is:
DB2 has six current certification exams that each lead to a different certification role. The most common certification is IBM Certified Database Administrator. Here are the exams that cover DB2 9 content:
* Exam 730 - DB2 9 Fundamentals * Exam 731 - DB2 9 DBA for Linux, Unix, and Windows* Exam 732 - DB2 9 DBA for z/OS* Exam 733 - DB2 9 Application Developer * Exam 734 - DB2 9 Advanced DBA for Linux UNIX and Windows* Exam 736 - DB2 9 Database Administrator for Linux UNIX and Windows Upgrade
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.
To become certified as a Database Administrator, you must pass both exams 730 and 731. Exam 730 covers basic DB2 concepts like SQL, installation, packaging, security, and concurrency. Exam 731 is much more detailed and focuses on the job tasks that a database administrator does in his or her daily job.
Certification Tips Common questions about certification go something like this: Do I have to get certified?, Is it worth anything?, and How do I get it? I've put together answers to these questions along with some other advice that I hope you find useful.
Do I need a DBA Certification to get a job as a DBA?
Not always as it depends on a number of factors. If you've worked as a DBA before or have a degree in an IT related field, and have experience using DB2, you may not need to get certified. I'd recommend it anyway, as regardless of what you already know, you'll learn something new during the process of earning a certification that may be tremendously valuable to you or your company If you have an older certification, upgrading to the most current level is an easy way to ensure that you stay on the top of your game.
If your employer requires you to be certified, or a job you are trying to get lists certification as a requirement, then for sure you'll need to earn the required certifications.
If you have little experience using DB2 or if you have a degree in a non-IT field and you're trying to break into the database arena, it's generally a good idea to get a few DB2 Certifications so employers take you a little more seriously. For self-study, also check out the free tutorials that IBM provides for most of the exams. The tutorials are broken into hour long segments of information based on the exam objectives. If have a great deal of experience, this may be all you need to prepare for the exam. To see the full set of exam prep tutorials that are available, see ibm.com/software/data/education/selfstudy.html.
Classroom education is an excellent way to learn, but may be difficult to justify for some people due to costs. If you find that you learn most effectively through classroom education, encourage your employer to pay for them. Don't forget to look into ILO training as this type of training gives you all the benefits of classroom education, but eliminates the travel costs. The best place to start to determine the classroom education that best fits your needs is with the training roadmaps: ibm.com/software/data/education/roadmaps.html.
Is there an easier way to get certified, that doesn't include studying?
Not many things of value don't require an effort. There are sites on the web that claim to have the actual certification exam for you to buy and memorize in order to pass the exam. These are created by a previous applicant who shares knowledge of the questions on a certification exam with a third party. There is no noble purpose of this information sharing. It is cheating, pure and simple. IBM has a non-disclosure agreement that they make every exam applicant agree to before they allow you to take the test. Any person who creates or gives out questions or answers from a certification exam is in violation of the NDA and if you get caught "dumping", you're likely to have your certs revoked, at a minimum! And, if you get caught using someone else's dump, you'll get your certs revoked and will never be able to get certified through IBM again.
Further more, there's the credibility issue of this information. Most dumps are littered with errors, spelling and otherwise. There are a lot of companies out there that sell brain dumps, but just because you pay for their version of sims / exams, doesn't make it legal. Be very careful of cheap exam sims because they tend to be brain dumps. If you have any questions about the validity of a company's product, ask other people in the DB2 Forums or go to IBM directly. As mentioned earlier, DB2 exams are experience based, so lots of practice using the product in as many areas as possible, may allow you to pass the exam without studying.
If I take the assessment exams repeatedly, will I eventually see all the questions on the certification exam?In the past, IBM offered free assessment exams to all candidates. It seems that several people were taking these exams multiple times in a possible attempt to memorize all of the questions. The bad news for these people is that the set of questions on the assessment exams is different than the set on the certification exams. Also, memorizing the questions and answers will not help you learn the material at all! I suggest that you take at least one assessment test to see how ready you are, but only AFTER you have read the exam objectives and had either experience or training. By the way, the assessment exams now cost $10 per take, so that will help you limit the number of assessment exams you decide to take. Here is the site that will get you to the assessment exams: ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html.
Can I gain experience by reading DB2 Forums and Blogs?
Absolutely! There are several DBAs who firmly believe helping out on the various forums have helped us gain a deeper understanding of subjects that were on the exams. So, contribute to those forums. You're not only helping other people, you're helping yourself as well! Most likely you'll find members of the DB2 development team actively taking part in the forums as well.
Here are the sites that I recommend, at the least:Planet DB2 - a blog aggregator that combines DB2 blogs from around the world.IBM developerWorks - DB2 PortalIDUG – International DB2 User’s Group
Is it true that the DB2 Fundamentals Exam (700 or 730) caters to an LUW audience?
Not at all. The DB2 Fundamentals Exam contains only questions that are true for each and every platform! In fact, I've noticed that people whose primary area of experience is with DB2 for z/OS find this exam pretty easy.
Recommended Learning Path for Certification:
Here is the recommended path I suggest you take to prepare for a DB2 exam:
1) Choose the exam you want to take based on your job role. The DBA and AppDev certifications first require that you are certified as a Database Associate. To help you decide where to start, see the certification roadmaps: ibm.com/software/data/education/cert-roadmaps.html
2) Read through the exam objectives. Every question on the exam relates directly to one or more of the exam objectives. For a breakdown of the exam objectives and the recommended study materials, see ibm.com/software/data/education/certprep.html
3) If you are experienced with DB2 and feel that you are prepared to pass based on what you saw in the exam objectives, take an assessment exam. You'll get a report after taking the assessment exam that can help you pinpoint your weaknesses.
4) If you are NOT experienced with DB2, download a free version of DB2 Express-C and give it a try!
5) Decide on how you best want to increase your skills, and test your level of skill achieved by taking an assessment exam: ibm.com/software/data/education/cert/assessment.html.
a) Consider buying one of the Certification Study Guides to refresh and deepen your skills: ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/
b) Take a free tutorial: ibm.com/software/data/education/selfstudy.html.
c) Take an education class from IBM or one of its partners.
6) Feel ready? Book your test! Testing centers are located around the world. Find a location closest to your office or home: www.prometric.com/ibm. If this is your first time taking a certification exam, review the steps on this site: ibm.com/certify/process/t_proc.shtml
Which book is best?
DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows: DBA Guide, Reference, and Exam Prep (6th Edition) by George Baklarz and Paul ZikopoulosWhat can you find in this book? Well, 1136 pages, for starters! As you can tell from the sheer size of the book is that you'll find much more than exam prep details! In fact, I would suggest that you continue to buy / read the Exam Study Guides by Roger Sanders to prepare for DB2 Certification Exams, but buy this book as your way to learn what you need to know, beyond the exams.
For exam prep, the best books are these:DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide by Roger SandersDB2 9 Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 731 by Roger Sanders DB2 9 Database Administration Upgrade Certification Study Guide for Exam 736 by Roger Sanders. You can find these books for sale at online book retails across the world.DB2 9 for z/OS Database Administration Certification Study Guide for Exam 732 by Susan Lawson and Dan Luksetich
You can find these books for sale at online book retails across the world.
PS: Check out Kate's blog entry with details about the upgrade exam: www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/katedawson[Read More]
Keep on Learning
The Information Management Technical Conference (IMTC) is taking place this week in Bangalore, India. Two of my colleagues, Susan Dykman and Bonnie-Lynn Murphy, are providing free certification testing for attendees. I've arranged for Shroff Publishers and Distributors Private Limited to set up a bookstore on site so we can showcase the large number of Information Management books that we have available to the Indian population.
Vineet Mishra, one of the attendees... has told me that the conference is quite useful and that he was amazed at the number of books that are available. One thing that I should make clear... these books are not just available to conference attendees, but we have them available in India... all the time. Just a URL away.
You may buy IBM Press books directly from Pearson Education India. Here you'll find primarily DB2 V8 editions of books, but soon the DB2 9 books will be available as well.
If you want printed IBM Redbooks at a very good price, see Shroff Publishing - Printed IBM Redbooks. Shroff Publishers is also selling the complete set of DB2 9 Certification Study Guides.
Please pass this information onto anyone who thinks that there is a lack of retail books to support DB2.... I'm trying to get every possible resource made available throughout the world!
PS.... See Kate's Blog: www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/katedawson[Read More]
Available now... an electronic version of the very popular flashbook by Carlton Doe: IBM Informix Dynamic Server: The Next Generation OLTP Data Server Technology.
Up until today... the only way to get this book and the excellent content inside was if you were attending an event where the book was being handed out. Now you can access and read the content at your convenience with this e-version of the same book.
What is a flashbook? A flashbook is a professionally published book that is roughly 100 pages in length and it introduces you to the latest release, in terms of the business value that the product will bring you and your company.
What is in this book: IBM Informix Dynamic Server: The Next Generation OLTP Data Server Technology? The major features and functions of the 11th version of Informix Dynamic Server (IDS 11), IBM’s lead data server for high-volume database applications in nonmainframe environments, are explored and explained in this handy guidebook. Security technologies offered by IDS 11—such as Label-Based Access Control and nonpreemptable connect and disconnect routines—are addressed, as are its newly enhanced Enterprise Replication and High Availability Data Replication capabilities. Oriented for both small business users and large corporate IT departments alike, this is the ultimate reference to one of the most stable, speedy, and adaptable data servers available.
About the AuthorCarlton Doe is one of the five founders of the International Informix Users Group (IIUG) and has served as the IIUG president. He is the author of Administering Informix Dynamic Server on Windows NT and Informix: OnLine Dynamic Server Handbook.
Table of Contents1 - Introduction to Informix Dynamic Server2 - Security and Regulatory Compliance3 - Relieving the Load on the IDS Administrator4 - Better Business Continuity Using IDS5 - Easing Application Development
Pearson Education, publisher of IBM Press books, has provided a free eBook and author podcasts along with a 35% discount on selected books. * FREE 200-page eBook available for download. Check out important content from our new and classic DB2 and Information Management titles. Topics covered include: PureXML Storage Engine, Database Security, SQL PL Language Elements, and Data Mining to Improve Innovation. Download this FREE eBook to read about these important topics and more. * New Author Podcasts. We currently have 3 new author podcasts available on DB2’s Self-Tuning Memory Manager, Unlocking the Business Value in Unstructured Information, and Understanding DB2. Through March we’ll be adding more podcasts and articles on ITIL, Trusted Computing, Using DeepCompression to Supercharge your DB2 9.5 Database, and more. * 35% discount on 10 new and best-selling DB2 and Information Management books. Plus free ground shipping in the US. Visit the IBM Press Books site to download the eBook, hear the podcasts, and view the books on discount.
See also Kate's Blog: www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/katedawson[Read More]
Last week I blogged about a promotion by Pearson Education, publisher of IBM Press books, who has provided a free eBook and author podcasts along with a 35% discount on selected books. Today I want to mention a few other podcasts that you might be interested in:
1) IBM DB2 9: Is certification worth it?Listen to Roger Sanders and Kathryn Marquis discuss the value that earning a DB2 certification may bring to your career. As you may know, Roger is author of 4 certification guides and was also a member of the exam development team. You can find links to his books and more from our IM Bookstore site: ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/certify.html. Amazon.com has many reader reviews for Roger's book that you may find helpful in making a decision on which book to buy:
* DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide - 8 five star reviews* DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration: Certification Study Guide - 1 five star review* DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Database Administration Upgrade: Certification Study Guide - no reviews yet... * DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows Advanced Database Administration Certification: Certification Study Guide by Roger E. Sanders and Dwaine R Snow (Publishes - Jul 1, 2008)- no reviews yet... but after you read the book, come back and give your opinion
2) Listen to Heather Ramsey and Rav Ahuja discuss the DB2 9 Certification Program in the DB2 9 Certification Podcast.
3) Find links to the ILO and IBM Optimum podcasts from ibm.com/software/data/education
4) Join Kate and I on ChannelDB2 where you will find a number of interesting videos, podcasts and photos. Join as a member and get involved in the community.
5) Find related videos on YouTube.
6) If you're on Facebook, join the group IBM DB2 to connect with others who are sharing blog entries and videos.
7) I'm pretty new to SecondLife, but others have been active and you'll be able to find IBM and DB2 related information on this site.
See my blog and others on PlanetDB2.
I'm pleased with all the multimedia options that are available today to find out about new products and as training resources. I'm sure we'll see more of this in the future!
svisser1 2700018UK9 3,376 Views
For a limited time... possible till the end of March only... save 37% on the purchase of DB2 9 for Developers by Philip K. Gunning. From this site, download chapter 4 The Path to DB2 9 XML Capabilities to check out Phil's writing style and the content on XML.
See also the amazon site for this book to see the six 5-star reader reviews for this book.
For details on all of the books that are available for DB2 9.5, see ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore/.
Every thing is becoming green these day! Lucky me... I was born with green eyes... so I'm already in style!
In my role as Program Manager for IM Publishing... you can imagine that I love books. My office and cabinets are filled with them... and so is my house. Although you may not consider my habits green, in reality, I have reduced most other paper from my life. I read many magazines online. I rarely print an email or anything else for that matter. I recycle all paper I do end up with... like newspapers and junk mail.
I don't really like to read an entire book online, but when possible, I read what I can electronically before I make a decision to buy a printed book. For example, I will extensively research a book via the reader comments on amazon or other online site. For example, you can see that there are eight 5-star reviews for Roger Sanders book DB2 9 Fundamentals Certification Study Guide. Not that there is a comparable book to purchase, but if you read these comments, you may choose to buy the book.
Instead of buying the printed copy, however, you may want to read or browse the electronic version of the book. All retails books about IBM software is in electronic format. You can buy PDF versions of some books directly from the publisher... for example, Understanding DB2®: Learning Visually with Examples, Adobe Reader, 2nd Edition. If you have a subscription to Books 24x7 or Safari, you can also read entire books electronically or search through a library of books for a specific topic. If you work for IBM, you likely already know that IBM has a company-wide license for Books 24x7... if you need information, let me know. These sites quite often have trial periods, so you can see what the electronic books are like before you sign up for a subscription.
Amazon Kindle and other reading devices are becoming much more accessible and affordable. If you don't know what Kindle is... read the reader reviews on amazon and you'll learn all that you need to know. The thing that you should know about IBM books... is that they are ALL Kindle ready. I'm looking forward to the day when kids in school have their books on a device such as this so that they aren't forced to carry heavy knapsacks around any longer!
If you consider IBM Manuals and IBM Redbooks... you can easily make a case that IBM was on the "green" bandwagon long before it became cool. On top of all that great information, you can also find e-books, articles, and tutorials for nearly every topic that exists!
Even IBM Training classes are becoming "green". I've mentioned ILO several times... but what could be greener than taking a class while staying at home. No need to travel anywhere!
I'm sure many more examples can be mentioned. I'm pleased with the progress being made but only wish I could afford a kindle!
Maybe it's a bit sad that in the book world, a book that was published in 2004 is considered a classic! But with the number of new books being published on a daily basis... such is life!
Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors (2nd Edition) by Gretchen Hargis, Michelle Carey, Ann Kilty Hernandez, Polly Hughes, Deirdre Longo, Shannon Rouiller, and Elizabeth Wilde.
I have this book on my desk and think fondly of the team of people who wrote the book. Seven talented women from IBM wrote the book using their collective years of skill that they built working in Information Development. Sadly, Gretchen is no longer with us and several of the other authors have since retired from IBM. But, we can still benefit from their learned experience.
The book was so well-written that amazon displays 20 reader comments... most of them four or five star reviews! I recently went back to the author team to ask whether an update was needed. The answer came back... NO. The content is still very relevant and useful to anyone who is writing or reviewing technical content.
Who is writing technical content these days? I would have to say... just about everyone! Yes, the talented people working on the Information Development team are the leading contributors as they write the product docs, online help, and more. But... I write a blog, friends of mine write articles, tutorials, white papers, and IBM Redbooks. I work with many technical people and ask them to write books.... or chapters of books. Not many of these people took actual training to write about technical subjects, so this is very much a skill that people build over a number of attempts via trial and error, repeated writing, and learning from reviews.
I also ask many people to review chapters of books before they are published. Developers working on IBM are constantly asked to review documents to ensure that they are technically accurate. For that matter, developers are required to write technical specs before they design and code.
So, really the answer is just about everyone is required to write or review as part of their technical career. Do you feel qualified? Help yourself... and increase the quality of your work, with the help of this book. It is one of the books that I'll forever be proud to be part of... in the small way that I was.
Read the customer comments on amazon regarding this book, and take advantage of the 35% discount you can get when buying this book directly from the publisher.
Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors, 2nd Edition
* List Price: $49.99 * Your Price: $32.49 (Save 35%)
Another classic IBM Press title is An Introduction to IMS by Dean Meltz, Rick Long, Mark Harrington, Robert Hain, and Geoff Nicholls
I love this quote that Dean Meltz has as his signature line in his emails:
Do you bank? Do you use ATMs? Do you use the internet? Then you've used IMS. Nothing has ever compared to the reliability and speed of IMS.
This book was published in 2005 and provides the insights and skills you need to succeed--as an application designer, developer, or administrator. I've been told that there are still quite a few older installations of IMS. This book is critical for the people working with the older version and can help you understand why an upgrade is desirable and will help you to understand the latest features.
This book is one of the featured titles that Pearson Education is offering to you at a 35% discount:
Introduction to IMS™, An: Your Complete Guide to IBM's Information Management System
* List Price: $69.99 * Your Price: $45.49 (Save 35%)
Complete IDUG's Data Professionals Survey and Enter to Win $200
Complete the IDUG survey Evolving Skills and Roles of Data Professionals and earn a chance to win a $200 American Express Gift Certificate.
In addition to being entered in the prize drawing, those who complete the survey will also receive the Final Report of the "Evolving Skills and Roles of Data Professionals" survey results free by email when the study is completed.
The sweepstakes period ends on April 11, so please complete the survey today. The survey requires approximately 5-7 minutes to complete, and all responses are anonymous. All email addresses supplied will be used only for the purposes of communicating results of the prize drawing and distribution of the Final Report.
All correspondence related to this survey is confidential and will be emailed directly by IDUG. Unisphere Research, publishers of Database Trends and Applications magazine (to subscribe click here), will gather the information and prepare the report as a service to IDUG. A complete listing of sweepstakes rules can be found at the link above.