Secrets of Database Experts – with Oleksandr Denysenko

by Mirek Burnejko

Oleksandr DenysenkoThis is an interview with Oleksandr Denysenko – Oracle Certified Master, one of the hardest certifications to get.

Oleksandr live and work in Ukraine and he’s one of the 5 OCMs there. Great person, great specialist, who has big plans for this year. This is one of the most informative interviews here on IT Certification Master, so grab your coffee and let’s find out, what Oleksandr thinks about IT certifications.

In this interview you will find:

  • Is the Oracle Certified Master really that hard?
  • Should you invest in other skills or concentrate only on the Oracle world?
  • What strategy is the best for all who are preparing for Oracle certifications?

IT Certification Master: Oleksandr, it is a pleasure to have here a database expert. Tell us what was your first certification? Did you start your career with an Oracle certification?

Oleksandr Denysenko: I have earned my first certification in December 2000. It was OCP 8.0 DBA. I have started my career in 1995 as an Oracle developer, so certification came later. Actually, I was 2 years old DBA and 5 years old developer at the time of first certification. For now I have passed 16 exams and earned 12 different certifications.

ICM: You are on of these guys who has THE database certification – Oracle Certified Master DBA. Does OCM help with a career?

OD: I’m living in Ukraine and here and now OCM status doesn’t have any meaning, except when you are having beer with other Oracle’s guys. 😉 Actually here we have only 4-5 OCM DBAs in Ukraine and this status is mostly used by employers to promote the level of providing Oracle services, but not to gain the better salary.

ICM: On our list of the hardest IT certifications OCM DBA is on the 3rd place. What do you think about it? Is the OCM lab hard, or maybe preparation and cost of trainings are the biggest deal?

OD: I don’t think that it’s too hard, but I’m quite long with Oracle – so it may be easy from this point of view. I think that there may be much more OCMs, but exam cost + cost of two additional required courses significantly reduces possible audience.

Actually, after passing OCM, I think that I was ready to pass it without any preparation, but I have spent some time to prepare. The most hard part of exam was an stress just before an exam – after exam started everything went smoothly.

Another hard part was – “what’s next?” “Is it the end of my Oracle career?”. Candidates must have strong motivation!

Additional information about OCM 10g DBA exam preparation and passing suggestions You may find in my blog post written right after passing an exam – I have passed OCM 10g Exam. How to prepare?

ICM: Which certification was the most excited to learn and to pass?

OD: OCM was really unusual exam in the way of passing – it’s different! Quite interesting/hard exam was 11g Performance Tuning – it’s harder than average exams for now. Another interesting/hard exam was 10g Real Application Clusters – passing level was much higher than now. Actually, I think that passing levels for most actual exams it really low – 65%? Just guess 2 from 3! 😉

ICM: Do you think it is good to mix your skills or concentrate only on the database world or even only on the Oracle world?

OD: You have to concentrate on something to became an expert! Later You may do another things and became expert there, but don’t wast your time/force/money on too many directions, or You’ll not do it in best way!

Actually being an Oracle expert means that you are additionally at least good with Unix/Linux/Windows + Virtualization + Server Hardware + Storage subsystems + Networks. Is it not enough? I call it the borders’ knowledge! You may get any additional certifications with them if it’s required.

You have to concentrate on something to became an expert!

ICM: The most important question: Which certification is a must for all people who think serious about their job as database administrators and architects?

OD: You have to be OCP DBA, but being OCP DBA doesn’t mean that You are good Oracle database administrator – thanks dumps… For being architects You don’t have to be an OCP DBA, but You have to be a senior Oracle Developer with several years of experience and good understanding of modern software architectures, so it’s different people 😉

ICM: In 2012, what is the best start (what certifications) for a person, who seriously thinks about a pro career?

OD: If we are talking about Oracle direction – it’s still good way to go, I suggest to start with Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert
then DBAs may go to:
Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Associate
Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Professional
Developers go to :
– Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate
– Oracle Advanced PL/SQL Developer Certified Professional
– Oracle Application Express Developer Certified Expert
– Oracle Data Warehousing 11g Certified Implementation Specialist

ICM: Do you think the Oracle model with required trainings is good?

OD: I think that it’s quite good for restricting people to use only dumps and don’t have any knowledge/experience in their heads. With training requirements certifications costs much more, but as a result it leads to better level of average certified specialists. From the individual perspective it’s bad, but for certified community it’s good. One addition – I think that Oracle have to change/rotate exam question more often to harder brain dumping.

ICM: Do you have any other goals? New certifications, new skills?

OD: I have passed almost all exams for Oracle DBAs, but the rest are:
– Oracle Data Warehousing 11g Certified Implementation Specialist
– Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g Certified Implementation Specialist
– Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Master
– Oracle Certified Associate, Oracle WebLogic Server 11g System Administrator
– Oracle Essbase 11 Certified Implementation Specialist
– Oracle Identity Administration and Analytics 11g Certified Implementation Specialist
so I have some for next 2-3 years 😉

ICM: Thank you so much. What is the best place to find you?

OD: I’m at LinkedIN just for contacts + sometimes answering questions in special user groups. You may reach me at my blog. From time to time I speak at local (Ukraine) Oracle events.

PS: I really suggest reading next blog post: Oracle exam strategies to all who are preparing for Oracle certifications.
The most important suggestion are: “Answer the EASY QUESTIONS FIRST“, “Delete alternative choices which YOU KNOW ARE WRONG”, “Make BEST GUESS”, but read the whole article.

[This is part of the Interviews with IT Pros Series]