jueves, 11 de septiembre de 2014

Extreme Certifications – OCP Release Jumping with 1Z0-034 and 1Z0-067

Extreme Certifications – OCP Release Jumping with 1Z0-034 and 1Z0-067

Guest Post from Matthew Morris of the Oracle Certification Prep blog.
I was recently asked to submit a guest post for this blog about the pros and cons of the two new OCA to OCP certifications currently undergoing beta testing. Since I have been following those exams from before they were officially announced, I was happy to do so. In May, I speculated on my own blog about the possibility of a cross-version OCA-to-OCP exam following a teaser comment that was made in the LinkedIn OCP group. When the exams were announced in late June, I wrote about my first impressions of the announcement and what the new tracks meant for OCAs certified in older releases. In the months since that post, I have researched both exams and have a reasonably detailed picture of the subject matter being tested in each.
Before I start making comparisons, it is necessary to define exactly what the alternative to these exams would be. There is often more than one potential upgrade path between database releases. The grid below contains what I consider to be the most likely paths that Oracle Certified Associates in 9i, 10g and 11g would take to become 11g or 12c Oracle Certified Professionals.
11gOCP12c OCP
9i OCA1Z0-052, 1Z0-0531Z0-062, 1Z0-063
10g OCA1Z0-043, 1Z0-0501Z0-043, 1Z0-060
11g OCAN/A1Z0-053, 1Z0-060
On the Positive side…
As the grid shows, the traditional cross-release upgrade paths all require two exams. Most of the advantages of taking either 1Z0-034 or 1Z0-067 stem from consolidation to a single exam. The benefits from upgrading via the 034/067 exams include:
  • Cost – A single exam means only one exam fee. In addition, if you normally purchase preparation materials, you will only be doing so for a single exam.
  • Time – While both 1Z0-034 and 1Z0-067 contain more topics than either of the individual exams in the legacy upgrade paths, the fact that you can focus on a single exam has the potential to reduce the time spent preparing.
  • Focus –The 1Z0-034 exam includes only topics relevant to the 11g release of Oracle and 1Z0-067 includes only topics relevant to the 12c version of the database. 10g OCAs upgrading to a later release will normally take 1Z0-043 and 11g OCAs upgrading to 12c will normally take 1Z0-053. If their goal is to be the best 11g/12c OCP possible, taking a test that focuses on that release is the better solution.
On the Negative Side…
There is no such thing as a free lunch. These exams can help OCAs in older releases to upgrade for a lower cost, but there is still a price to be paid.
  • Size – Both of these exams are considerably larger than either of the single exams of the conventional upgrade path. Exam candidates must be prepared to invest more time than they normally would for a single exam. If you typically allocate six weeks to prepare for a single exam, then you should plan to invest at least nine to ten weeks for these. Candidates that try to get by with their standard prep time are likely to find themselves in deep trouble on test day.
  • Return – The 10g and 11g legacy paths in the grid above result in candidates holding OCP designations in two releases of Oracle, 10g/11g plus the target release. The 034/067 exams will result in only a single OCP credential. Candidates will remain an OCA in the older release.
  • Difficulty – Having looked at the material covered by these exams, I can state with confidence that they will be more difficult than either of the individual exams of the legacy upgrade paths. This means that certification candidates need to be extra vigilant in preparing for them.
Both 1Z0-034 and 1Z0-067 borrow heavily from earlier tests offered by Oracle. For 1Z0-034, the test developers from Oracle Certification cherry-picked topics from the 10g Admin II (1Z0-043) and New Features (1Z0-040) exams, along with the 11g Admin I (1Z0-052), Admin II (1Z0-053), and New Features (1Z0-050) exams. 1Z0-067 contains most of those same topics, plus a number from the 12c administration exams (1Z0-060, 1Z0-062, and 1Z0-063), and several topics that are brand new. The end result is that both exams present a very comprehensive set of topics to certification candidates. Additional information about the two exams can be located at the following links:
Numerous times I have seen posts on various forums by Oracle Certified Associates specifically requesting exams that would allow a cross-release upgrade to OCP. The Oracle Certification program listened and has responded. So long as certification candidates make use of these new paths with eyes wide open, the exams have the potential to provide a faster, cheaper route to enhancing their Oracle credentials.