Have you been holding off buying books? Don’t wait any longer. For the next
6 days, you can save on Books and eBooks with this Presidents' Day offer from
IBM Press. Now through February 21, buy any two eligible titles and save 40%
with coupon PDIBM. Start
Need some suggestions? I have a few for you!
by James Taylor
by Sandy Carter
by Kevin Maney, Steve Hamm, Jeffrey O'Brien
by Roger Johnson and Filip Draskovic
by Anthony Giordano
by Craig Mullins
by Barbara Klein, Diane Goff, John Butterweck, Kenny Blackman, Margaret
Wilson, Moira McFadden Lanyi, Rick Long, Sandy Sherrill, Steve Nathan
by Michael Biere
by Allen Dreibelbis, Eberhard Hechler, Ivan Milman,
Martin Oberhofer, Paul van Run, and Dan
by Eberhard Hechler, Martin Oberhofer, Steve Lockwood,
Michael Schroek, Mario Godinez, Klaus
by Matthias Nicola, Pav Kumar-Chatterjee.
Keep your skills sharp by reading books!
Yesterday I read this article “How Employers Can Help Solve the Skills Gap” by David Smith
which discusses the skills gaps that are appearing throughout the world. A
big part of the problem is the lack of corporate funding for education. This
leaves employees to take initiative to keep their skills sharp. But how does
one do so?
My suggestion is to get skilled digitally. IBM is good at digital…
have you noticed? And, I hope that I can give you some direction in
how to do this.
IBM Education is known for its high quality content and excellent
instructors. Take this education digitally, with your choice of the amount of
interaction you want.
Instructor-led online (ILO)
ILO courses are taught by a live
instructor with whom you can interact and ask questions using Voice Over IP
(VOIP). Courses are taught on a specific day and time, some of which may even be
scheduled after business hours to minimize time away from work. Most courses are
exactly the same as their classroom equivalent, including the course duration,
content, hands-on labs and student materials. ILO classes can be delivered in
both Public and Private settings.
Self-paced virtual (SPVC)
SPVC are online courses that include the
same quality course content, exercises and hands-on labs as our classroom
courses. These courses can be taken any time of day or night allowing students
to study when and where they want. Start your training by studying the lecture
content of the course. When ready, log into the lab environment to complete your
hands-on lab assignments working with IBM software. Self-paced virtual courses
are the perfect training method for students who can't travel or prefer the
flexibility of self-paced training. Experience this eLearning method with a free
Web Based (WBT)
WBT allows you to learn at your own pace and on
your schedule with training that is completely self-contained from your desktop.
Most courses provide introductory and overview training that serves as the
foundation for more technical and follow-on training. Courses include expert
instruction but do not include hands-on labs.
I hope you like reading as much as I do… because look at all the choice that
These very popular books have been digital for more than 40 years now! Here
are 10 that you may be interested in: http://ibm.co/hZDwXV
We publish books about IBM products and technologies via a bunch of highly
reputable publishers. Every one of these publishers creates their books in
digital format. Thanks to the popularity of iPads and Kindles, these books can
be inexpensive and available as soon as the printed versions are available.
Here are a few books that you may be interested in: Books, books, books
Electronic Book Libraries
There are three big electronic book libraries that I know of: Safari,
Books 24x7 and PacktLib. Sadly this is publisher-driven, so you will not be
able to find all possible books in any of these libraries. For instance IBM
Press books will be in both Safari and Books 24x7; MC Press books will be only
Books 24x7; and Packt books only in PacktLib. Check to see if you have a
corporate license to any of these libraries. If not, check out your university
or public library. You may be surprised at the number of technical books at
Flashbooks are short targeted books that are handed out to conference
attendees at certain conferences. We also produce these books in electronic
format for you to read them digitally. Here are a few you will want to check
out: Free e-book versions of Flashbooks
DB2 on Campus
DB2 on Campus Series of ebooks - Thanks to an amazing
team of authors led by Raul Chong, we have high-quality ebooks available for
university students to learn about DB2 and related products. The authors who
have worked on these books are experts in their area and they have volunteered
to share their expertise with you for no financial gain to themselves. The
authors can be found around the world, so as a result, you’ll see that many of
the titles have already or will one day be translated to another language. We
at IBM want to make sure that everyone in the world is able to benefit from the
knowledge that is being shared.
Take Certification Exams
You could debate that this topic doesn’t belong here, but consider this: the
assessment and certification exams are delivered electronically. You can take
the assessment exams from anywhere, but you must be at a testing location to
take a high stakes certification exam. There are digital ways to learn and
assess your skills and many exams to choose from. Best of all, the
certification roadmaps take the guessing out of what you should study and what
is important. The Certification Roadmaps give you very clear guidance as to how
grow your skills. Here are a few blog entries you may want to read:
I personally enjoy webinars and find that they are an easy and effective way
to learn something new or to get deeper into a topic. There are so many choices
available that you could set aside an hour a week to catch them all.
DB2Night Show – This is a 2 session per week webinar
produced by IBM Champions Scott Hayes and Klaas Brant. Mondays are when the DB2
for z/OS topics take place and Fridays, the LUW topics. Here are replays of
the top rated shows from the past year on the DB2Night Show: http://bit.ly/i8qP49 and information about the
DB2Night Show's DB2's Got Talent Competition: http://ibm.co/hcCH90
DB2 for z/OS Series – You can find these webcasts
promoted by Surekha via her tweets: https://twitter.com/#!/IBMDB2.
TechTalks (Formerly Chat with the Lab) – This free
webinar series was designed to help you discover practical insights on
deeply technical topics, learn about breakthrough technologies, learn best
practices from the pros, chat with subject matter experts during live Q&A,
and access prior sessions in the OnDemand archive. See the replays of the "Chat
with the Lab" webcasts: http://ChannelDB2.com
Interact with a Community
PlanetDB2.com – Allow us to filter through
all the blogs that are on the web to bring you only the bloggers that talk about
our favourite subjects: DB2, InfoSphere, Warehouse, and other Information
ChannelDB2.com – The single largest
community of people working on DB2 and Information Management products,
world-wide. You’ll be able to build your network of professionals who work in
your country or who are interested in the same technology as you. The best
feature is the incredibly large selection of videos of people presenting about
this products. Once in awhile, save your eyes and tune into these
DB2Express-C – Maybe you’ve just heard of
DB2 or maybe you use a competitor’s product. No worries… give DB2 a try for
free. Find out for yourself how easy it is to learn and how much better it is
than the product you may be using.
Information Center – Perhaps I’m biased
since I worked for 6 years on the Information Development team that produces
product documentation, but I really think you’ll find the completeness and the
quality of this information to be outstanding. All of the information is
online, for every release, for free, and is updated regularly. The benefit of
the content being online is that you can search and easily find the information
developerWorks – You’ll find more
articles, blogs, tutorials and other training resources than you could possibly
consume in a lifetime! The link I’ve provided is for the DB2 Professional
Community, but you’ll be able to find technical information about all IBM
software products. Endless :)
DB2University.com – Some of the courses
are free, but not all. The idea behind DB2University is to offer you very low
cost training opportunities.
Facebook – if you participate in Facebook, do a search and
you’ll find IBM well represented.
Twitter – I tweet
and love it. I find that it is a very fast and easy way to stay on top of many
things that are going on.
Blogs – Follow my blog to
get tips like the ones you’re reading now.
So you see, there is much available for you to learn digitally. Try to fit
in a bit a time and you’ll be able to keep your skills strong.
Join Serge Rielau and Jon Lind for the next DB2 Tech
Talk (formerly known as Chat with the Lab) on Thursday Feb 23 at 12:30
pm ET. The topic: Solving Complex Data Warehousing Problems with Advanced Tooling of
InfoSphere Warehouse Advanced Editions
IBM InfoSphere Warehouse Advanced Enterprise Edition adds leading
architecture, performance, backup, and recovery tools that help increase
efficiency and reduce time to market through increased understanding of current
data assets while simplifying daily operations of managing complex warehouse
deployments. This session will explore in detail the tooling provided as part of
the InfoSphere Warehouse Advanced Enterprise Edition.
Delivered as part of the Advanced Editions, a comprehensive set of
warehouse packs enable you to deploy leading industry models and Cognos reports
to more easily understand and gain insight into your markets and campaigns,
customers, and supply chains. Whether its insight into customers, markets and
campaigns, or your supply chain one of the included Warehouse Packs has a model
ready to deploy and start loading your businesses data. The included Cognos
reports provide a set of sample reports that then can be enhanced and tailored
for your specific business needs. During this session we will examine the
functionality of these packs and show an example deployment.
The availability and integrity of data in operational data warehouses is
becoming more and more critical to the business enterprises requiring increased
SLAs. Solutions comprised of the Recovery Expert, Merge Backup and High
Performance Unload tools provide unique capabilities for changed data analysis,
elimination of physical or logical data errors and maximizing data availability.
We will examine in detail the features these solutions present and demonstrate,
through realistic user scenarios, the business value that can be gained by
complementing and extending your data management and recovery strategies with
DB2 Tech Talk - Solving Complex Data Warehousing Problems with Advanced Tooling of
InfoSphere Warehouse Advanced Editions
Date: Thursday Feb 23, 2012
Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Hosted By: Serge Rielau (IBM)
Presented By: Jon Lind (IBM)
Interested in Data Warehousing? Here are some of my previous blog entries on
Yesterday I read a blog entry by Sunil Soares called Big Data Governance. This caught my attention as both Big
Data and Governance are huge topics in the industry today. You may recognize
Sunil’s name, and let me remind you where you know his name from. Sunil is an
expert in the Information Governance area and has had two books published on the
This book was published last year and is selling quite well. I wrote a
lengthy blog entry about this book that I encourage you to read: Meet Sunil Soares - Selling
Information Governance to the Business: Best Practices by Industry and Job
Function. In summary this book discusses the best practices to sell the
value of information governance. The objective of the book is to provide a
representative sample, rather than an exhaustive list, of best practices to sell
the value of information governance within an organization. You should use these
best practices as inspiration for what might work within your organization. It
is important that you read chapters from industries and functions outside of
your own because there are a number of case studies that you might find useful
for your specific situation. The book contains more than 50 case studies and 16
This is a Flashbook that was published in 2010. Printed copies of this book
exist, but in small supply. Printed copies are handed at selected events, but
you can get a free e-version of the book: Information Management Bookstore. What’s the book about?
Briefly, according to Arvind Krishna, General Manager at IBM:
IBM has assembled a comprehensive approach to Information Governance
delivers the industry’s strongest portfolio of products, services, and best
practices to address every organization’s needs. This book provides a
set of detailed steps and sub-steps to implement an Information
program, as well as the associated automation provided by IBM
Beyond the blog entry that caught my attention, I found two articles also
written by Sunil:
Information Governance: Big Data and the Road Ahead
Smart meters and Big Data: A clear case for governance best
In Sunil’s words: I am starting to see a convergence of two major trends in
the marketplace: information governance and Big Data. We are coining the term
“Big Data Governance” to reflect this emerging trend. I define Big Data
Governance as the formulation of policy to optimize, secure, and leverage Big
Data as an enterprise asset by aligning the objectives of multiple
I’m looking forward to see how this convergence pans out. If you’re also
interested, I suggest you keep an eye on what Sunil comes up with. I’m sure
he’ll make this emerging trend easy for you to understand and implement.
Were you able to join today’s DB2 Night Show webinar? Today was the start of
this year’s very popular competition. If you missed it, I strongly encourage
you to watch the replay. Here’s what you’ll get:
Contestant 1- Richard
How to Find all DB2 Instances on an LUW Server
If you only have one instance, this is very easy to do and not really worth
talking about. But, if you have multiple instances and versions and fixpacks,
db2ilist is not that helpful. Richard suggest that you use a command to view
the DB2 Global Registry to see all the instances. This command only works on
Linux and Unix and is not documented. Richard’s presentation was very
informative and well laid out. The content focused on a little-known, but
Contestant 2 – Sameer
Physical DB Design is the Foundation of Your Database: Plan it
You may remember Sameer from last year’s competition. Sameer chose a very
broad topic and we’ve seen large books and 4-day courses that have covered this
topic. As a result of so much material to cover, Sameer wasn’t able to finish
in time. The presentation and material was very laid out and the tips that were
provided were well thought out and useful.
Contestant 3 – Douglas
Oracle to DB2: After Migration Tuning Tips
Douglas chose a great topic, in my opinion, and given the thoroughness of how
it was covered, I think that many people will benefit from this presentation.
Douglas wasn’t planning on covering the whole topic in his 4 minute allotment,
but he did prepare material for future presentations if he is kept on as a
contestant. In this presentation he covered data type issues. A quote from
Douglas that I loved and Klaas repeated: Oracle on DB2 runs faster than Oracle
Contestant 4 – Lenin
Rooting out Transactional Log Full Error in DB2 LUW
Lenin’s presentation was very thorough and provided definitions and
examples. Martin thought that there might be a slight error in Lenin’s logic.
The slides were great, but he ran out of time. He also spoke faster than I was
able to listen.
Contestant 5 – Yonghang
Lock, Chain, and Deadlocks – In One Shot
Yonghang showed the many ways that problems can happen, gave examples and
excellent tips to overcome the problems. The commands that Yonghang researched
and presented today are new and not very commonly used. The presentation was
very well done.
The judges, Martin Hubel, Klaas Brant, and myself chose Richard,
Douglas and Yonghang to move onto the next round based on the relevance of their
topic and the quality of their presentations.
Do you agree with our choices? If you watch the replay, you’ll be able to
fill in a survey to let us know if there is someone else who should also move
on. Listen for the great tips and for your opportunity to advance another
Join us every Friday in February for contestant presentations. March is
reserved for the finals where those who have moved on will present a second time
and the listeners can choose the winner rather than the judges. The commitment
for March has lessened in that there will only be 3 shows in March rather that
the originally planned 5. We still have openings for a couple of contestants,
so if you’re interested, sign up to join!
Thanks to host Scott Hayes for this opportunity for me as a judge and
for the contestants for helping them build technical presentation skills that
are so valuable.
For details on the prizes for this competition… and a summary of last year’s
event… see my blog entry: http://ibm.co/AnZxb4
Crysta Anderson’s latest blog entry is a must read: Top Books for your MDM Library.
She’s mentioned several books that I know very well and also recommend. Her
post reminded me that I met author Larry Dubov at IOD last year when he
was promoting his latest book:
Master Data Management and Data
By Alex Berson and Lawrence Dubov
Expert Feedback about the Book:
“This is a great book about MDM and its impact on our businesses,
governments, and in many ways most of our lives. Written in a simple and
effective style, it tells the story of how Master Data Management works, what it
does, and why we should care very much how it is governed. If you have any
interest in MDM, Data, or Information Governance, read this book.” –Steven B.
Adler, CIPP, IBM Information Governance Solutions
“The authors have appreciated that MDM is a complex multidimensional area,
and have set out to cover each of these dimensions in sufficient detail to
provide adequate practical guidance to anyone implementing MDM. While this
necessarily makes the book rather long, it means that the authors achieve a
comprehensive treatment of MDM that is lacking in previous works. This makes the
book especially valuable as a reference work.” –Malcolm Chisholm, Ph.D.,
President, AskGet.com Consulting, Inc.
“In this book, Alex Berson and Larry Dubov convey the many facets of the
value of adopting master data management techniques while ably articulating an
implementation roadmap. By maintaining the need to incorporate business process
modeling, master data modeling, master metadata management, and data governance,
the authors properly frame the necessary ideas for organizational preparation
while still providing deep technical detail about both architecture and
algorithms. This book is a definite addition to the MDM body of knowledge.”
–David Loshin, President, Knowledge Integrity Incorporated
“Alex and Larry have done it again: published a very comprehensive, highly
applicable book on MDM and Data Governance that achieves an excellent balance
between thought-provoking academic treatment of some very technical subjects,
and highly relevant, usable advice on how to achieve success in implementing a
successful MDM and Data Governance program. This is a must-read for any program
sponsor, CIO, CTO, enterprise architect, information architect, data steward,
program manager or practitioner of MDM and Data Governance. This is not a
read-and-forget book, but a great reference manual. –Martin Moseley,
Chief Architect, CTO, Information Agenda Tiger Team, IBM Software Group
“This work is one of the most comprehensive, clear, well-researched, and
insightful guidebooks on master data management and data governance. Larry and
Alex did an exceptional job covering these complex topics from many viewpoints
including technical, business, architectural, security, industry, social,
international, product, and regulatory perspectives. I was so impressed at the
level of detail and how much is in this book. The book covers critical
principles, concepts, emerging trends, and misconceptions, based upon the
author’s extensive experience and research and clarifies keys in creating
successful MDM and data governance programs.” –Len Silverston,
Best-selling author of The Data Model Resource Book, Volumes 1, 2, and 3
“Clearly, Alex Berson and Larry Dubov were hard at work tackling the tough
topic of master data governance before the software vendor community had yet
found religion (as the market now has ‘active’, ‘passive,’ and my favorite
‘passive-aggressive’ data governance flavors among the many marketing
variations).” –Aaron Zornes, Chief Research Officer, The MDM Institute,
About the Authors
Alex Berson is an internationally recognized expert, thought leader,
author, and advisor in the areas of information management, information
security, advanced database technologies, SOA, CRM, data warehousing, mobile
computing, and transaction processing, focusing on building complex
groundbreaking solutions for financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceutical,
and technology companies.
Dr. Larry Dubov is a recognized scientist, IT practitioner,
expert, and thought leader in the implementation of complex business-driven
technology solutions and products for financial services, banking,
telecommunications, and pharmaceutical verticals. His primary focus is on MDM,
Master Data Governance, CRM, data warehousing, operational data stores, and SOA.
Also from these authors:
It seems funny to write a “welcome to my blog” entry after blogging for so
many years! I’m sure I did such an entry when I first started my blog in 2005.
I know that I’ve written welcome-type entries after inviting many people at a
conference to read my blog.
My motivation is two-fold. 1) I’ve been reading Antonio Cangiano’s book
about Blogging: Technical Blogging: Turn
Your Expertise into a Remarkable Online Presence and 2) I’ve changed my blog
template and following the instructions in Bob Leah’s blog: Design @ developerWorks. Both of these talented bloggers
recommend this type of information, so here goes.
The purpose of my blog is to share information about education. I’ve spent
my long career at IBM in several “education-type” roles and am passionate about
learning, reading, and sharing ideas. I’m an avid reader and I’ve written 2
books that are long out of print but have leveraged my experience to help others
become authors. Prior to this job, I ran the DB2 Certification program which is
a method for learning and validating skills. As a direct result, you’ll see
many of my blog entries are about books, webinars, education in different
format, best practices, and yes… certification.
One of the things that I like to do, and people have told me that I’m good at
it, is to network. I really like meeting people and finding out who they are
and what they do. I’ve expanded my natural social skills to the social media
area… meaning blogging, tweeting, and using many popular social tools. The
personal network I’ve established has always helped me in my career in terms of
finding subject matter experts, reviewers, and authors. The virtual network
that I’m building on twitter and via my blog is my way of learning, but also
sharing what I learn in hopes that I help someone build their skills.
To get an idea of some of my blog topics, take a look at these:
If you like what I tend to post, I’d appreciate it if you “follow” my blog by
clicking the follow button at the top of the page. You can also make sure you
never miss an entry by subscribing to the RSS feed.
My twitter handle is susvis. Follow me there too!
Happy reading & sharing!
The initial response to DB2 10 has been extremely positive. An early adopter of DB2 10 said, “We could not have been more thrilled with all the performance improvements! There is definitely gold in this version and you don’t even need to spend time to find it. It’s truly right out of the box.”
Have you moved to 10 yet? Or looking at migrating to DB2 10 this year ? Join John Campbell, IBM Distinguished Engineer for a special 2 hour presentation on February 21st & 22nd: IBM DB2 10 Migration Planning and Very Early Experiences – PART 1 & PART 2. This will be a LIVE webcast with LIVE Q&A.
To help facilitate your migration, John Campbell will provide planning information about migrating to DB2 10 for z/OS from either DB2 9 or DB2 Version 8. This webcast will be a two part series on February 21st and 22nd.
Join us for this webcast series which will
- Share surprises, pitfalls and lessons learned
- Provide hints and tips
- Discuss enabling fast start
- Introduce and discuss some further enhancements
- Share the latest news about migrations
All participants will receive complimentary DB2 10 Migration Planning whitepaper written by John Campbell
IBM DB210 is here and while early adopters have already upgraded to the new version and are reaping the business benefits, others are just beginning to think about upgrading with DB2 Version 8 been withdrawn from marketing on April 30th 2012. Attending this webcast will give you valuable information for your migration. Bring your questions as there will be plenty of opportunity for live Q &A.
Register Now: IBM DB2 10 Migration Planning and Very Early Experiences – PART 1 & PART 2.
Part 1 - February 21, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 4:00 p.m. GMT / UTC
Part 2 – February 22, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 4:00 p.m. GMT / UTC
The next Chat with the Lab takes place next Thursday, Jan 26 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm. Join Rav Ahuja and Bill Minor (DB2 Tooling Development Team) for a discussion about Advanced Recovery Solutions.
Date: Thurs, Jan 26, 2012
Time: 12:30-2:00 PM Eastern / 11:30 AM Central / 9:30 AM Pacific / 17:30hrs London / 18:30hrs Frankfurt, Paris / India 11 PM
The availability and integrity of data is critical to the business enterprise. When a problem occurs and your data is compromised or unavailable, it is paramount to be able to recover from such an 'outage' as quickly as possible. Equally important, is the ability to recover efficiently by quickly identifying recovery assets and minimizing the recovery scope, required resources and effort. This session will explore in detail the Advanced Recovery Solutions for DB2 LUW. The solutions are comprised of the Recovery Expert, Merge Backup and High Performance Unload tools. The Advanced Recovery Solutions for DB2 LUW provide unique capabilities for changed data analysis, elimination of physical or logical data errors and maximizing data availability. We will examine in detail the features these solutions present and demonstrate, through realistic user scenarios, the business value that can be gained by complementing and extending your data management and recovery strategies with these tools.
Presentation slides will be available for download from ibm.com/db2/labchats shortly before the webcast starts.
DB2 Chat with the Lab is a free webinar series from the IBM labs.
The chat is recorded and available for replay. Here are some previous chats you may be interested in:
For more information, see the DB2Channel.com page for DB2Chats.
SusanChat with the Lab: Advanced Recovery Solutions for DB2 LUW
Here are a few tips I’ve gathered over the years that may help you with your quest to get certifed:
- Most of the IM certification exams have 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.
- Make sure you check out the exam objectives before you study. Every question on the exam relates directly to one or more of the exam objectives. You can find the exam objectives by going to the specific page for the exam on this site: IBM Professional Certification.
- If you are experienced with DB2 and feel that you are prepared to pass the exam based on what you saw in the exam objectives, take an assessment exam. You'll get a report after taking the assessment exam that can help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Assessment exams cost $10 per take, so if you really think you are ready, come and take the exam to see.
- If you are NOT experienced with DB2, download a free version of DB2 Express-C and give it a try!
- Decide on how you want to increase your skills:
a) Consider buying one of the Certification Study Guides to refresh and deepen your skills: ibm.com/software/data/education/bookstore.
The Certification prep guides were written by members of the exam development team. That is, they created the questions for the certification exam that you are about to take! Also, each chapter of the book corresponds directly to a section on the exam. So, if you take the assessment exam and find out that you are week on a single topic, you simply need to read the chapter that corresponds to the topic where you need improvement. Lastly, the authors created a set of sample questions for the book that provides you with the correct answer to the question as well as an explanation as to why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect ones are not.
b) For self-study, also check out the free tutorials that IBM provides for most of the exams. The tutorials are broken into hour long segments of information based on the exam objectives. If you have a great deal of experience, this may be all you need to prepare for the exam. To see the full set of exam prep tutorials that are available, see ibm.com/software/data/education/selfstudy.html.
c) Take an education class from IBM or one of its partners. These classes typically have a fee, even for employees, so check with management to see if you can take one of these classes. Classroom education is an excellent way to learn, but may be difficult to justify due to costs. Don't forget to look into ILO training as this type of training gives you all the benefits of classroom education, but eliminates the travel costs. The best place to start to determine the classroom education that best fits your needs is with the training roadmaps: ibm.com/software/data/education/roadmaps.html.
- If this is your first time taking a certification exam, review the steps on this site: ibm.com/certify/process/t_proc.shtml
Can I gain experience by reading DB2 Forums and Blogs?
Absolutely! There are several DBAs who firmly believe helping out on the various forums have helped us gain a deeper understanding of subjects that were on the exams. So, contribute to those forums. You're not only helping other people, you're helping yourself as well! Most likely you'll find members of the DB2 development team actively taking part in the forums as well.
Here are the sites that I recommend, at the least:
I hope you find this information useful! Good luck on your journey towards certification!
See other blog entries about this topic:
PS… If you like this content, please follow by blog :) Next week’s theme? Either Best Practices or Books.
Keeping your skills sharp are extremely important and getting certified can certainly help you do that. But, we need to watch the amount of money we spend on everything these days. Good news: IBM’s certification program offers ways to help you keep the costs down while keeping your skills up.
Here are some ideas:
Take It Again is a voucher program
This promotion has been offered in the past and will happen again this year. The details on this year’s promotion are not on the web yet, but I’ve been told that they’ll be there soon. Here’s how the program works: With Take It Again you may purchase specially priced vouchers so that in the event you do not pass an exam on your first attempt, you may quickly and easily retake the same exam for no additional costs. Learn more about Take it Again!
Free or discounted exams at conferences
Conference fees and travel can be quite expensive, so to help, IBM quite often offers conference attendees a chance to take 3 exams free while at the conference and perhaps half price for further exams. Exam fees are normally $200 a take, so this can be an immediate $600 savings to you if you take the exams. Add this justification to your conference request and maybe you’ll be approved to attend the conference of your choice. Find out what conference have free or discounted exams.
Free Assessment Tests
Typically before a conference, the Certification team waives the $10 fee for the assessment exam in the 3 weeks prior to the conference. We want you to pass your exam and to help you do that, you are given tools to help you increase your skills before attempting a free exam at the conference. For the conferences that offer this program, you should be emailed a promotion code after you’ve registered for the event.
For less expensive study materials, check out my previous entries about electronic books, tutorials, product documentation, Express-C versions of products, free webinars, and WBTs:
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
I find it easiest to blog about DB2 certifications for a couple of reasons. Mainly because my former job was Certification Program Manager, so I was responsible for all V7 and V8 DB2 exams, including the first DBA exam for DB2 for z/OS. It is hard to get some of these details out of your head, so when I blog, this is easy.
Also, I work in the Toronto lab and am surrounded by DB2 experts in all categories of software development. Again, this puts DB2 on my mind more than any other area of IM. And finally, DB2 is the most popular certification program in IBM’s SWG. I hope that I was part of the reason for the massive popularity for some of the strategies I put in the place way back when, but who knows and who cares. I’m very pleased it is a popular program and as such, this again makes it easy to blog about DB2 rather than other IM programs.
But… certification does exist outside of DB2, and you should know about these as well. Here they are, but product group:
Dynamic Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
IBM Certified Solution Designer - InfoSphere Warehouse V9.5
Pass Exam 719 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes & Redbooks.
Information Platform Solutions
IBM Certified Solution Developer - InfoSphere DataStage v8.0
Pass Exam 418 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Solution Developer - InfoSphere DataStage v8.5
Pass Exam 421 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Solution Developer - InfoSphere QualityStage v8
Pass Exam 419 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Solution Developer - InfoSphere QualityStage v8.5
Pass Exam 422 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes, Product Documentation, and Redbooks.
IBM Certified Solution Developer - WebSphere IIS QualityStage v7.5
Pass Exam 416 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Solution Developer - WebSphere IIS DataStage Enterprise Edition v7.5
Pass Exam 415 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Solution Developer - WebSphere Information Analyzer v8.0
Pass Exam 417 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Solution Developer - WebSphere Information Analyzer v8.5
Pass Exam 423 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Developer - InfoSphere MDM Server v9.0
Pass Exam 420 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Application Developer
IBM Certified Application Developer - Informix 11.50
Pass Exam 556 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes, Product Documentation, and Redbooks.
IBM Certified Developer - Informix Genero
Pass Exam 559 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes and Product Documentation.
IBM Certified Database Associate
IBM Certified Database Associate - Informix Dynamic Server 11.50 Fundamentals
Pass Exam 555 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes and Free Tutorials.
IBM Certified Database Associate - Informix 11.70 Fundamentals
Pass Exam 558 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes and Product Documentation.
IBM Certified Solutions Expert
IBM Certified Solutions Expert - Red Brick Warehouse V6 System Administrator
Pass Exam 914 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Solutions Expert - Informix 4GL Developer
Pass Exam 913 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified System Administrator
IBM Certified System Administrator - Informix Dynamic Server V11
Pass Exam 918 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes and the following book:
Administering Informix Dynamic Server: Building the Foundation by Carlton Doe.
IBM Certified System Administrator - Informix 11.70
Pass Exam 919 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes and Free Tutorials.
IBM Certified Specialist - Netezza Platform Software v6
Pass Exam 553 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes and Product Documentation.
IBM Certified Specialist - IBM Optim Implementation for Distributed Systems (2009)
Pass Exam 551 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes and Product Documentation.
IBM Certified Specialist - InfoSphere Optim for Distributed Systems - V7.3.1
Pass Exam 552 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes.
IBM Certified Specialist - IBM solidDB and IBM solidDB Universal Cache
Pass Exam 550 to earn this certification. Study resources include IBM classes and Product Documentation.
After writing this, I realized another reason why I tend to focus most of my blogs on DB2 Certifications. The only products with published certification guides are DB2 products. I know of some related books that go with many of these products, but I can’t say for sure if they would be helpful in passing the exams. Watch for a future blog entry that lists the books that do exist for these products.
PS… If you like this post, consider following my blog. More like this to come in the future! Thanks!
I like that my blog entries this week have all had the theme of certification. Maybe I could do week long themes for blog entries this year….
Anyway, after I posted my Cert 101 blog entry, I was informed by Scott Hayes, host of the DB2 Night Show that Roger Sanders is his guest on next Friday’s show.
An In-Depth Look at DB2 Certification
Insider Secrets and Tips for DB2 LUW and z/OS
with IBM Champion Roger Sanders
Friday, January 20 from 11:00 – 12:00 EST.
If you are interested in getting certified, and I think you should be if you are working with a product as complex as DB2, you should join this show. Roger has been involved in the DB2 certification program for years now. He takes part in the exam development as a subject matter expert. He and the other experts create the questions that appear on the exam.
Roger takes creating questions very seriously since once he’s finished creating questions for the actual exam, he makes up a whole set of sample questions that appear in his books. He gives you the answer to the questions in the book and explains why the correct answer is correct. I think this is a great way to learn the material, don’t you?
Roger also teaches this material in the form of a Crammer Course. Many DB2 conferences throughout the year my feature Roger and his Crammer Course.
See my previous certification entries:
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
PS… If you like this post, consider following my blog. Thanks for reading!
Over the past week, I've written several entries to help you get certified. This posting lists all of those entries and makes it easy for you to navigate through some of the material. I'll repost or update this entry as I go. I hope you find this useful.
Previously I blogged about the benefits of getting certified. If, after reading that, you decide you want to earn a DB2 certification, what is the process?
Choose Job Role
First you need to decide what job role you’d like a certification for. For many people this is easy. If you work as a DBA, get the DBA certification… easy. But some people end up performing multiple roles in the course of their job. The primary job roles that affect DB2 users are: Academic Associate, Database Associate, Database Administrator, Advanced Database Administration, Systems Administrator Solutions Developer, and Application Developer.
My suggestion? If you are a student taking database courses, start with Academic Associate. From there start with Database Associate and the other job roles that may interest you. If you work with DB2 in any manner, start with Database Associate. These two job roles are least specific and can be taken by a very wide audience. The others will need much studying and / or experience in order to achieve.
Choose Exam Release
Many of the exams are available for different product releases. My suggestion would be to take the release that you are currently using. If you’re using DB2 9, you’re best choice would be to take the V9 exams.
Once you’ve decided on a certification role and exam, follow these instructions:
1. Read the exam objectives. The ibm.com/certify website 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. 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. Also see these blog entries:
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. 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. 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. 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!
Once you’ve achieved a certification, your certificate will be sent to you via e-mail (or you will be sent instructions on how to retrieve the certificate from the Certification Member Site, if this is the first certification for this candidate/testing ID).
7. Determine if you want to take another exam to earn another certification.
** 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.
Occasionally throughout the year, there are promotions available that you can take part in. You may find that there are free exams offered at a conference or user group meeting that you are attending, discounted vouchers, or take it again offers. I suggest that you check the promotion site to keep up to date with current offers.