The Blog from the DBA Classroom

By: Joel Goodman

Speaking on Ships can be Testing

Posted by Joel Goodman on 10/05/2013


1. The Ship

I took some time off working on the development of several Oracle Certification Exams to participate in the Norwegian Oracle User Group conference. Many other speakers and attendees have described the wonderful environment of the conference, comprising a land day in Oslo, followed by two days aboard the Colour Magic Cruise Ferry from Oslo to Kiel in northern Germany and back.

I had one talk on each day:

  1. Parallel Execution Master Class  – three hours on the first morning in the land day. Many people attended to “fill in the cracks” or Parallel execution and were also quite keen to understand the 11gR2 changes that permit automatic parallel execution. This talk covered:
    1. Parallel Execution Administration
    2. Parallel Execution Plans
    3. Parallel Query
    4. Parallel DML
    5. Parallel DDL
    6. Monitoring and Tuning Parallel Execution
  2. Global Resource Management in RAC – this was a conventional one hour talk on first day of cruise about the management and coordination of global resources such as:
    1. Global Enqueues
    2. Global Locks (Instance Locks)
    3. Global Buffer Cache
    4. Global Result cache
  3. Partitioning Master Class – this was a  two hour Master class on day two of the cruise for people with or without experience of partitioning and covered:
    1. All Table Partitioning Methods
    2. All Index Partitioning Methods
    3. Partition Maintenance Operations
    4. Partition Pruning (or Elimination)
    5. Partitioned Execution Plans

All the talks were well attended for the English Language stream, and I plan to do these at future conferences.

While at  the conference I made some new friends and enjoyed the company of  colleagues from past conferences too.

  1. Philippe Fierens – who attended my talks, discussed technology and philosophy at dinner and joined our group for drinks each night
  2. Jan Karremans – who exemplified the dedicated IT professional. Jan overcame getting motion sickness at sea to be at the conference and to share time with us at dinner and drinks
  3. Iloon Ellen-Wollf – from Oracle Support. I attended her talk on Oracle Public Cloud overview and learned a bit about how this offering works. I was pleased to see Oracle Support providing speakers to a User Group conference as this is not that common in my experience in speaking at such conferences.

2. The Exams

I have been working on various certification exam projects for Oracle in the past 9 months, either as an exam reviewer, or for some topics as one of the exam developers. some of the projects are:

  1. Certification projects for the next release of the Oracle Database Server.
  2. Development of the next version of Oracle Linux certification exams based on Linux 6
  3. Development of a certification exam for Oracle Database Cloud Admin
  4. Migrating the Oracle Certified Master Exam environment for Oracle 11g  to version 11..2.0.3
  5. Training the MySQL Developer Exam writing team in Oracle Item writing standards
  6. Training the MySQL Administration Exam writing team in Oracle Item writing standards
  7. Training the Solaris Exam writing team in Oracle Item writing

Exam development involves many steps from design of the blueprint for the exam right through to the exam going live, but the Subject Matter Experts who create exams must all be trained in the Oracle Item writing standards. This is a soft skill separate from the technical area of expertise. I have worked for many years with Julia Johnson, Global Director of Oracle Certification Exam development to create training guides, instructional videos and mentoring sessions, all with the aim of improving the standards of exam item writing.

One of the crucial stages in the process is the Beta test for any exam. So if you are interested in participating in the Beta programme for any Oracle certification, that is in Beta, please let me know and we can contact you closer to the time.

Joel

May 2013

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