It is exciting to announce that the DB2 Academic Certification program trained over 18,000 students plus more than 1,000 faculty members in 2011. Students were trained in 27 countries and more than 13,000 of them passed the certification exam. All of these participants completed at least 3 days of classroom content on databases and tried out their knowledge while doing labs using IBM's DB2 database for Linux, UNIX and Windows. They are now better equipped to use these critical database skills where ever their career takes them. Those that passed the certification exam have an IBM certification for their CV as an extra (but important!) bonus.
The updated Academic Initiative course, CE302A, was met with great enthusiasm. Having the course available on db2university.com at no charge also makes it a great resource for both faculty and students. (or anyone, really!)
Check out the article written on a faculty training class held in Pakistan, one of the new countries in 2011. It can be found at the end of the newsletter at this link
The other 26 countries included in the program this year are: India, China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Philippines, Korea, Romania, Thailand, Columbia, Vietnam, Denmark, Peru, Poland, Germany, Hungary, USA, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Malaysia, Czech Republic, Finland, Indonesia, Argentina and Turkey.
The certification exam is available in five languages (English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese).
For a limited time period, faculty members organizing a 302A course can receive up to two hard copies of each of the four books referenced in the course materials. The books and shipping are provided at no-charge. (In some countries, import duties will apply that must be paid by the receiver). The four DB2 on Campus 'Getting Started' books are 1) DB2 Express-C (English, Spanish or Chinese) 2) Database Fundamentals 3) Data Studio 4) DB2 Application Development.
Keep one copy for yourself as a reference. Then share the second copy with colleagues. Or lend them to students. Or offer them to deserving students. We know you will find great value in these reference books.
Organize your class NOW by following the steps on the Class Organization tab of the program page. When your request for DVDs and free certification testing is validated, you will be asked which books you would like to receive.
View the online versions of the books in the Resources section at DB2university.com . Don't forget to also check out the online version of DB2 Academic Certification course on DB2university.com. The course is in the DB2 Academic Training course in the DB2 section of the site and it is also an excellent additional resource that can be used in conjunction with the classroom course.
The updated version of the DB2 9.7 Academic Certification Program has been available in the Academic Initiative course materials section as course number CE302A for six weeks now. This updated version has great new resource materials that can be used both by faculty and students as they use the course content to teach or learn database concepts while simultaneously preparing for the DB2 Academic Certification exam.
Now there are printed versions available of the four DB2 on Campus books that are referenced in the course. The primary book, Getting Started with DB2 Express-C, is available in three languages (English, Chinese and Spanish). IBMers who are working with universities to teach a class can order up to two copies of each book as a reference book for the faculty member and only pay for the shipping. There are limited copies available, so don't hesitate to order books as soon as your class is arranged. Find the choices in the Book (Academic Use only) section of the ordering page
Don't forget to check out the DB2 Academic Certification course on DB2university.com. The course is in the DB2 Academic Training course in the DB2 section of the site.
It is very exciting to put in this update... We have been working hard to create an even better and easier-to-use DB2 Academic Certification program, and now it is ready!!
The updated DB2 Academic prep course, offered by IBM's Academic Initative as course CE302A (in the Information Management section of the AI courseware site), now includes some improvements that will really help both instructors and students.
The course modules are now aligned to other DB2 enrichment materials so you can read further about each of the topics in other books and EVEN using videos!
Each module has one or more videos that are available on the course DVD. In addition, the videos are available as part of the DB2 Academic certification course at db2university.com. If you want to hear the course materials as explained by subject matter experts, sign up to take this course. No charge to join db2university.com. No charge to take the course. Listen only to the modules you need.
Take the (free) assessment test that is built into the online course to help you determine if you are ready to take the certification test...
And that's not all...
A new module was added to show you how to troubleshoot problems. It is an excellent guide to the wealth of resources and tools available with DB2 to help manage enterprise databases...
And, one other exciting new module... There in an 'Introduction to Big Data' module' included to introduce a very current and exciting area that will continue to grow in importance : Big Data. Learn what is meant by Big Data and how Big Data is being managed today. There is a bright future for those who can work with 'Big Data' so learn about it now and be on the forefront of this new technology.
Congratulations to Norberto Gasparotto Filho, 1st place winner of the 'DB2's Got Talent' Contest! Well done, and enjoy your trip to the IDUG of your choice.
It was also exciting for me to learn that IBM's Academic Initiative had played a pivotal role in Norberto's professional success. While a professor at the Dois Vizinhos campus of Unisep, in Brazil, Norberto was excited to use the Academic Initiative DB2 content to build knowledge and DB2 skills for himself and his students.
As Norberto comments, "Through AI, I was able to use great IBM-official content, which added much value to my classes. I was also able to take my first certification exam with discount, and that was certainly an additional motivation." Norberto now has 7 certifications, and he can now add his new honor to his collection of professional successes.
Faculty today can take advantage of the DB2 Academic Certification program to easily provide DB2 training to their students and prepare the students to take the 302 Academic Certification Test: DB2 9 Database and Application Development Fundamentals
Read more about the DB2's Got Talent contest and find links to replays of the videos.
Young professionals building successful careers using IBM Information Management products
Alexandre Marini – Informix DBA improving database performance in Brazil
Meet Alexandre Marini, an Informix Database Administer working in Campo Grande, the capital of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS). Alexandre received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Universidade Anhanguera-Uniderp in Campo Grande. He learned the core database concepts in his basic database class. His interest in the area led him to more advanced courses where he developed a deeper knowledge of databases and worked with a variety of database products. He actually began his professional database work while still in college. He began as an Informix 4GL developer and then moved into the role of an Informix DBA ten years ago, while still a student.
He currently works at the Local State Financial Department of Mato Grosso do Sul (Secretaria da Fazenda do MS). Read below to learn more about Alexandre’s role maintaining the government database systems and some of the technical challenges he faces on the job.
Typical day for a database administrator
As a database administrator, Alexandre is responsible for operating two types of systems for the MS government. The Informix-based OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) systems manage the daily transactions for tax documents in the state. These databases are integrated with the larger Brazilian national tax system. They are also connected into the mail system and aid in preventing tax evasion. Alexandre manages eight instances of the OLTP environment.
Alexandre also manages one instance of an OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) database. This instance is optimized for handling Decision Support System (DSS) queries that generate supervisory and executive management reports. The OLAP database contains historical data from the OLTP system and other data sources that enable the government to observe longer term trends and analyze metrics to make better business decisions.
Technical challenges on the job
Alexandre works hard to keep his databases healthy and fully available for his customers. He continues to improve his skills as evidenced by completing two Informix professional certifications last May (Informix Dynamic Server 11.50 Fundamentals and System Administration for Informix Dynamic Server)He also stays current with new Informix features and functionality. These skills helped him solve a challenge when a disk space problem shrank the amount of available disk space to a critically low level. Alexandre implemented the Informix Storage Optimization feature to compress the data and shrink the amount of disk space required for the database. This enabled the database instance to be back up and running smoothly on the existing, smaller number of disks in no time.
Alexandre loves the enthusiastic environment that surrounds his job and the atmosphere that encourages continued study and new technology skill growth. Alexandre describes his job environment, stating, “I’ve got great work friends here. We are always helping others, giving technical suggestions to help other teams improve their work quality and solve some of their problems.”
Alexandre is also very excited to be working with the Brazilian Informix User Group and increasing the visibility of this group within his work community.
Technical skills required on the job
The core computer science, database and operating system concepts Alexandre learned in school continue to be important for understanding and finding solutions to database management problems. He describes their importance, stating, “That gave me critical knowledge to recommend hardware and installation techniques to other teams, improving overall database performance.”
Why Informix over other databases?
During the acquisition period at the local state financial department in MS, the Informix family of products were highly recommended by other government bureaus in Brazil. Informix has been used there as the OLTP system since 1996.
Pride in accomplishment
Alexandre is proud of developing encrypted reports that prevent tax fraud. He is also proud to have implemented some Informix data replication features that improved the overall structure of the database system and lowered the amount of resources required to manage the database environment.
Alexandre continues to improve his database skills and is looking forward to continue to work with big enterprises, implementing high availability on environments, partaking in systems migrations, and spreading Informix features and benefits throughout the marketplace over the next several years.
Advice to peers pursuing a similar career path
Alexandre would give the following advice to his peers, “Make an effort to thoroughly learn all the concepts; this will help to apply your knowledge into different areas of technology.
Are you a fan of the US quiz show, Jeopardy? Then be sure to not miss the $1M competition between IBM's "Watson" computing system and the show’s two most successful and celebrated contestants -- Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Feb 14-16
Not only did Informix recently release a new, exciting version of their product (Informix 11.7), but the Informix team has also been busy adding classes to the Academic Initiative courseware site. Faculty and their students can now gain access to **SEVEN** additional Informix courses on the Academic Initiative web site. You can find these courses in the Information Management section of the Academic Initiative web site:
Young professionals building successful careers using IBM Information Management products
Darshan Vaishnav: DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows Young Professional
Darshan Vaishnav was born and raised inIndia, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from L D.College of Engineering. He subsequently moved to the United States and earned his M.S. degree in Computer Science from TowsonUniversity in Maryland. During his job search, he was approached by a company looking for a candidate with DB2 training and certification.
This inspired Darshan to begin certification training on DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows (LUW). He found the database product extremely interesting as well as easy to use. He earned hisIBM Certified Database Administrator for DB2 on LUW V8.1certification in 2004.Darshan worked as a consultant at several Fortune 500 companies before he moved to his current company, Marriott International, about 2 years ago. At Marriott, an industry leader in the hospitality industry, Darshan works as a senior database analyst in support of the Marriott.com website, where customers make business and personal lodgingplans online.
Typical day of a database analyst
Darshan supports the main production database for the Marriott.com website. He carefully checks and validates any proposed structural or functional changes to the database before the changes go live in the production database. He ensures that the changes will not harm currently used databases or processes.
Darshan also teams with other Marriott database application developers and testers to ensure they have proper authorization for their projects in the test, development and production databases that he owns. He must ensure, however, that they do not gain any level of access beyond their functional role.
Other daily activities include ongoing database maintenance tasks such as ensuring critical daily backups are successful and monitoring and adjusting database space usage.
Darshan is often called upon to offer suggestions about performance tuning issues, such as adding indexes, changing database parameters and modifying existing queries. Another critical task he owns is ensuring his databases are ready for potential disaster recovery situations.
Technical challenges Darshan faces on the job
Marriott.com is a highly visible asset of Marriott International as well as a very high volume website. Darshan must ensure that his databases are maintained to a high set of standards and that they are ready for any jump in traffic. The main challenges he has faced were ensuring that the databases were tuned to avoid locking problems while at the same time providing enough concurrency for various applications while also keeping daily maintenance jobs running smoothly. In addition, he must ensure that the nightly data refreshes to the production database are successful and performed on time. Darshan and his peer DBA also ensure the best query performance by making sure that all tables have current statistics information and that the tables are available at any point in time.
Interesting application of the DB2 database
Darshan makes maximum use of DB2 LUW's maintenance utilities. He is an avid believer that DB2 has fantastic maintenance strategies in their Runstats and Reorg commands. He created scripts to update statistics every day and performs reorgs every week. He explains how he also makes use of the aliases capability in the DB2 product, “An alias is a pointer used for an actual table and we used it in some special manner such that, when some maintenance is happening, there is no outage required and all important tables have the best possible performance.”
His largest accomplishment in his career to date
Darshan is very proud that his knowledge and support for the Marriott website databases has helped successfully maintain high availability over the last two years.
Darshan is also proud of an earlier project he accomplished prior to starting at Marriott International. The task was to convert databases at several hundred stores from Sybase to DB2 UDB. He carefully crafted several custom scripts and a set of steps to migrate the data. The migration occurred very effectively and accurately due to his skill and diligence on that project.
Advice to peers pursuing a similar career path
Darshan believes it is important for all database administrators to also have some understanding of the operating system where the database resides and how the database interacts with the operating system. With this knowledge, he describes the ease of learning DB2, "IBM's DB2 is less complicated than other database management systems. It is easy to learn and easy to get certified. The database is very responsive, very fast, and very efficient."
Positive impact Darshan's work has on Marriott customers
Darshan is very dedicated to maintaining the Marriott.com website and keeping it available for customers at all times. Darshan explains how he has made a positive impact on his customer's overall experience with Marriott.com. "I feel that when I work with the back end as a DBA, the front end (the Marriott.com website) gets better; the front end gets smoother. People can come on my website and book their trip very easily, without any issues and very fast. And they can get on with their lives. If it starts with a really good experience with my website, obviously they’ll be happy. So that makes me feel really very good."
Darshan understands the importance of staying current with additional database training, and he has also completed his "IBM Certified Database administrator for DB2 V9" certification. This allows him to understand the ongoing feature additions to DB2 LUW and implement the appropriate ones for his databases. This dedication to his company and to his skill development makes Darshan an outstanding example of a successful DB2 Young Professional!
Kudos to the AI team and the IBM Innovation Center in Hungary! They held two additional training and certification testing sessions in October for the Information Management DB2 Academic Associate Certification program. They took the time to get feedback from the students on the program, and provided the following write-up and pictures:
Because of the big demand from university teachers and students for the DB2 Fundamentals and Application Development workshop held at the Budapest Innovation Center, we decided to add two additional courses in October (5-7 and 19-21 October) for those whom we could not participate in September.
We had 42 participants from 7 universities at the two October workshops: Budapest University of Technology and Economics (7), University of Debrecen (1), Eötvös Loránd University (9), Dennis Gabor Applied University (3), West Hungarian University (1), University of Óbuda (1), Pannon University (1), Peter Pazmany Catholic University (1), University of Pécs (2), University of Szeged (1) and College of Dunaújváros (1).
This time we were interested in the participants’ opinion about the course so you can a read a short review of student feedback below.
Where did you hear about the course?
Most of the students heard about the workshop through their university correspondence list and some of them through ONIK (which is a group for university informatics students) or the IBM Academic Initiative newsletter sent to faculty members who belong to this free program.
Why did you apply for the course?
Because we were interested to learn more about IBM’s DB2 software and to widen our knowledge, as this was a unique education on a topic that we don’t learn at the university. It was also tempting because the course and the exam at the end are free and the certification we got can be put on our CV as well. For those who already worked in the database area, it was a good way to deepen their knowledge.
Did you learn database management earlier?
There is basic database management at almost all universities; most students learn SQL as part of that course. But this was the first time that we could try a database program in practice, with the integrated hands on labs that are included as part of this program.
Were you aware of the DB2 product before this course?
Students were familiar with the DB2 name, but they did not have the chance to use the actual software previously. Editor’s note: Students attending the course each receive a DVD to keep that contains a Linux virtual image of the DB2 Express-C and Data Studio products. Students can continue to use the software after the course for other school projects and for further learning and investigation
How could the DB2 course material be used further in your university?
It could be made available as an optional lesson or practice lab in the curricula. Also, if there would be more posters about IBM software at the universities, students would be more aware. Editor’s note: Faculty members, the course is organized in modules with appropriate teaching materials, scripted notes and integrated hands on labs so that it can be easily incorporated in your curricula. The DB2 Academic Associate Program site contains additional information on this program
What was your opinion about the workshop?
It was a very useful course with good atmosphere at a pleasant place. According to some participants it’s a pity that these three days are so tough and it would be much better if they could learn for one week in the late afternoon and evening hours. According to others it is great that the course was scheduled into the three full day course. It was much more convenient for those who come from the countryside or who work and have to take some days off. Editor’s note: The course can be organized a number of ways to best meet the needs of the faculty and students. It was also very positive that we could meet the IBM HR colleague so we could get a more complete view about the career opportunities at the company. The server room was also very popular among us as we don’t get a chance everyday to see such large capacity servers.
How hard was the exam?
The exam itself was not so difficult as more than half of the participants passed it, but it was hard that the questions were in English and we had to take the exam on the last day of the course. Editor’s note: The exam is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese. It would have been much better if the exam had been a bit later so we had more time to prepare for it (such as for the university exams). But some other participants were very happy that the exam was at the end of the course as they didn’t have to come to Budapest from the countryside next time or to take some day off in case of working somewhere.Editor’s note: Students passing the certification exam can use the candidate ID they receive via email to enter their CV into the IBM Student Opportunity System (SoS). IBM Customers and Business Partners can also search this database to find students who have skills in IBM products. Student who have passed this certification test can be found by searching under ‘Types of Certifications’ for the ‘IBM Certified Academic Associate’ certification in the ‘–IBM INFORMATION—‘section. SoS link: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/university/students/sos/index.html
Where will you be able to use what you learned?
It will be useful to be able to list this course and certification when we apply for job. It will also be useful at our workplace (for those students also working). The content is also good to learn because it covers content that is common to any relational database. One thing is for sure: it was worth coming to the workshop.