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Certification Watch (Vol. 22, No. 37)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Oracle ponders the question of mandatory certification, Certification Magazine dissects the job responsibilities of a software engineer, and more.

Oracle Lifer Endorses Certification

 

Should IT certification be mandatory?The newest post to the Oracle Certification Blog has a tantalizing title that doesn't precisely come up again as you read through the text. The undeniably juicy headline to the post reads "We Demand Pilots and Surgeons Get Certified. Why Not Oracle DBAs?" It's an interesting question to ponder. An individual who travels by airline or visits the operating room, of course, is quite literally putting his or her life in the hands of a trained professional. We tend not to attach the same level of significance to our data, but it's at least interesting as a thought experiment to ponder whether we maybe should. The degree to which our legal and professional identities, our finances, our investments and liabilities, and much more is in increasingly tied to data should at least concern, if not frighten us. Guest blogger Jim Czuprynski, a four-decade Oracle specialist, opines heavily in favor of certification as an essential professional development activity. The constant fine-tuning of skills and incorporation of new knowledge demanded by certification improves both performance and employability. As Czuprynski sees it, if you aren't engaged in certification as an Oracle database professional, then you're doing it wrong. He doesn't directly address the question of mandatory certification teased by the title of the blog post, but you can certainly tell that he would grant the (theoretical) advantages of same.

 

Microsoft Spotlights Five-Step Plan for Certification Success

 

There's been a degree of confusion surrounding the whirlwind of changes that have stirred up the Microsoft certification program over the past couple of years. Certification levels and titles have come and gone (mostly gone), and emphasis on the various Microsoft technologies has largely shifted to Azure from (roughly speaking) everything else. There are still plenty of reasons to pursue Microsoft certification, of course, even if you aren't intending to hew to an Azure-centric career path. At the end of August, Microsoft certification executive Nancy Tandy dropped a post at the Microsoft Learning Blog that will surely be engaging and inviting for IT types who may have been steering clear of the general upheaval and kerfuffle. Tandy outlines a simple five-step process for anyone who'd like to enter the brave new world of Microsoft certification and find out what's been going on there for the past little while. The post incorporates a clear and comprehensible distillation of Microsoft's switch to role-based certification, and more or less walks through everything you need to do to get one of the (moderately) newfangled credentials on your résumé.

 

Learn from Your Certification Failures

 

It's almost axiomatic that you shouldn't give on certification because you didn't pass an exam the first time that you attempted. Test-taking failures can sting, however, and you might be tempted to pack it in at least temporarily. Arguing against the temptation to wallow in one's misery are two new posts to The CBT Nuggets Blog maintained by IT training provider CBT Nuggets. Titled "What I Learned from Failing the Security+" and "How to Deal with Failing the Network+," these two posts delve into the upside of getting IT wrong. Anyone who could use a dose of perspective, encouragement, and helpful pointers about rising above failure would do well to check out both posts.