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Certification Watch (Vol. 21, No. 49)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Oracle Certification highlights training opportunities for its top credentials, Red Hat seek its next Certified Professional of the Year, and more.

The Top Oracle Certs and How to Get Them

 

Getting a top certification can provide a career boost.Certification, like most things in life, often boils down to being a popularity contest. Everyone wants to know what's "hot," even if that doesn't always directly determine the course of one's training and study efforts. Hence, in a "give the people what they want" vein, a new post to the Oracle Certification Blog earlier this week draws a circle around five popular credentials and highlights best practices to preparing for and passing their related exams. The five key certs are Java Programmer, Oracle Database 12c Administrator, Oracle Database 12c R2 Administrator, Oracle Database SQL Administrator, and PL/SQL Developer. Among the recommended training and study best practices are such items as, "Get a focused and fast-paced review of exam materials with exam prep seminars," along with fairly standard advice about the importance of practice exams and planning. If you have an Oracle certification in your sights for 2019 — even if you're not eyeballing one of the aforementioned Top 5 picks — then you'll find some solid general advice here.

 

CompTIA Issues Holiday Reading List for IT Pros

 

Certified IT profssionals quite frequently do a lot of reading, even if it's mostly of study guides, technical product documentation, and the like. Books don't have to be about studying for certification to provide worthwhile reading, of course, and blogger Matthew Stern dropped in at the IT Career News blog of tech industry association CompTIA this week to offer a list of recommended "reads" tailored specifically to the interest of tech geeks. Stern's list can also double as gift guide for anyone who is playing Santa to an IT professional of the "impossible to shop for" variety. Some of Stern's recommendations are of (relatively) recent vintage, like Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End: A Novel with One Foot in the Future (2007) or Richard Powers' Gallatea 2.2 (2004). He reaches all the way back to 1954, however, for a deep-dive Hal Clement hard sci-fi recommendation, so you know (or can presume) his taste is legit. If you're look for something a tad more recent, Popular Mechanics listed the 16 best hard sci-fi reads of the 21st century just last year.

 

Virginia is for Lovers ... of IT Education

 

One of the cooler recurring features in Certification Magazine is the profiles of teachers from around the United States who are imparting technology skills to the next generation of certified IT professionals. There's one in every issue, and the spotlight from the Fall Edition falls on a dedicated IT instructor from Virginia, one Kari Miller. Ms. Miller started out teaching geography and P.E. to kids in Michigan, but joined the Navy to learn more about the then-blossoming field of electronics. That probably sounds like it happened a while ago, and one of the more intriguing aspects of Miller's journey to her current position teaching Computer Systems Technology at the Chesapeake Career Center in Chesapeake, Va., is how frequently she has reskilled or upskilled to stay afloat. Her story is both an engaging read and an instructive parable about what it takes to keep pace and stay afloat in the ever-changing IT realm.