I have just finished the MySQL 5.6 DBA Certification Exam Beta and my best advice is to study, study, study. The exam is in beta which means three things. The first is the exam is three hours long and it took me all that time to finish. Normally I am very fast test taker which has helped me earn three college degrees and enough computer related certifications to wallpaper a decent sized house. So if you are a slow reader, suck down a gallon of high octane coffee before your test appointment.
Secondly consider that some of the question will need to be cut out or reworked as the exam becomes production to fit the normal two hour test window Pearson View prefers. But in the beta period you over test and cut out the questions that prove less than satisfactory. So if you see a questions that triggers the ‘where the heck did they find that?’ reflex, you can hope that it gets determined to be a question to be relegated.
Thirdly and lastly is that while in beta you will not get your grade for several weeks. There is not immediate pass/go, pass/fail, or thumbs-up/thumbs-down. You will walk out wondering just exactly how you did. And you will also have some mental notes that you will want to go to the manual to crosscheck.
I have heard some say that because of a lack of a Certification Guide, that the only way to pass will be to take the DBA Class and that is bull cookies. I had access to the course materials (one perk of working for Oracle is the access to mountains of docs) and there are numerous items on the exam not covered in them or the class exercises. You had better go through the exam objectives with a fine tooth comb and spend a good deal of time on the new features of replication, performance schema, user administration, and everything else new in 5.6 or you will be wasting your time. I estimate that a complete certification guide for 5.6 would at least twice the size of the 5.0 version and kill off too many trees.
I do have a big hint. The PV testing software will let you right click on any item on the list of answers and strike it out to help you eliminate multiple choice options that are obviously wrong. So pick off the obviously wrong answers and mark the question for review if you get stuck.
So how does it compare to the ol’ 5.0 DBA exam? Well, the questions are much more rigorous in testing your knowledge but less picky on wording. Or to be more precise, the hard part is the material and not the way the questions are asked. In the past a candidate had to memorize a lot of minutiae and a little of that is still there. But the overwhelming majority of the questions cover items that a DBA will have to handle as part of the job.
And how does it compare to the ‘hands-on’ 5.1 DBA exam? Both measure practical DBA material and my preference will be on the hands-on approach. But you can not cover the breath of material as in the 5.6 exam with a hands-on exam.
This week I am presenting at the All Things Open conference (be sure to drop by the booth for some MySQl stickers!), the next is Strata in NYC, and then the North Texas MySQL Users Group on November 4th.
Come learn how to tune MySQL 5.6 servers, the basics of query optimization, and learn how to use the new Visual Explain with Workbench 6.0.
Date: Monday, November 04, 2013
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
6031 Connection Drive, Suite 900
Irving, TX 75039-
Event is free to the public but please RSVP
Pizza at 5:30 p.m. Presentation at 6:00 p.m.
Presented by: Dave Stokes, MySQL Community Manager North America, Oracle Corporation
I have have been receiving a lot of questions about the new MySQL 5.6 DBA exam. Sadly I can not answer a lot of the questions until after my exam in early November. However I do know some good things about the new exams.
First — No True or False questions. Oracle has set the standards on that policy and I had to update the ol’ 5.0 exams to make certain there the T/F questions were removed. Why is this important? Don’t you have a fifty/fifty chance on T/F questions? The trouble is that some of these questions were a wee bit tricky and needed parsing plus a full understanding of the subject to get them right. For fairness, it is easy to do without the T/F questions.
Second — No more pick up to N answers. Once again, for fairness.
Third — One exam for the certification. In the past the costs, not just financial, of setting up the second exam and studying for it turned off many candidates.
So what am I studying? MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator is a list of the items on the exam.
Under Architecture, that page lists the following
- Use MySQL client programs to interface with the MySQL Server interactively and in batch
- Describe how MySQL uses disk and memory resources
- List and describe key characteristics of standard MySQL storage engines including InnoDB, NDB, MyISAM, MEMORY, FEDERATED
Let’s take the first bullet point. How does one find the MySQL client programs? The are listed in the MySQL Manaual at http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.6/en/programs-client.html. So spend some time with mysql, mysqladmin, mysqlcheck, mysqldump, mysqlshow, mysqlimport, and mysqlslap. Read the man pages AND use the commands.
So one bullet point down, 21 to go!
Zendcon is a difficult conference if you work in an exhibit hall booth. At other shows, attendees ask general questions about MySql or how Oracle is guiding products. Zendcon is much more pointed. When is 5.7 multisource relication going to be available? How does Visual Explain work? How can I make sure replication goes back to semi-sync after going async? It is a great show but the level of questions are a notch or two higher than most other shows.
Proving this it is the show for in-depth technical information, MySql Connect finished with a bang. Six different two hour plus deep dive tutorials were offered and all had very good attendence. Many of the attendee were seasoned Oracle DBAs eager to gorge at this buffet of technical knowledge.
The crowd for Ligaya Trumele’s Getting Started
with MySql was packed with
Oracle DBAs who were amazed at the simplicity of the MySql architecture once they figured out the concept of multiple storage engines.
Luis Soares had a tutorial that was everything you ever wanted to know about 5.6 replication plus a look multi source that will be in 5.7. His discussion on how and when binlogs are written and the impact if that timing on replication was intense, detailed, and worth the price of the show itself.
Finishing a mentally overload day, I listened to Bernd Ocklin on MySql Cluster 7.3 and this product has really changed in the past few years. I highly recommend that you grab his slide deck on how Cluster partitions data.
Today is Tutorial Day at MySQL Connect 2013 and yesterday was a blur. The Replication Road Map session started my day and it covered the long term development goals for MySQL Replication as well as more information on the Fabric sharding tool. Joro presented an amazing session on new security features along with some great tips for DBAs. Sadly I had to miss the other sessions as there was a meeting of the MySQL Storage Engine Partners (thanks to all the attendees) and the Oracle User Groups. Like many of you, I will be spending time going through presentations online to catch up on the session I missed.
And please let us have any feedback on MySQL Connect 2013 that you may have as we are already looking at the 2014 show.