With the introduction of the 9i DBA Associate (DBA OCA),
you introduced an option to take an exam online [#1Z0-007
Introduction to Oracle9i: SQL]. How is that working out?
DiIanni: It’s actually working very
well. We’ve had a lot of real positive responses around that exam,
and there’s no indication that it has negatively impacted the
integrity of the exam or impacted the integrity of the certification
program. And it provides an opportunity for more people to take the
exam, [offering} a low barrier to entry to come into the
Right now, the exam only counts toward
the OCA DBA, and those pursuing the OCP must take the proctored
version, correct? Are you considering allowing the online version to
count toward the OCP as well?
DiIanni: No, it does count toward the OCP, so [OCP
candidates] can take that either online or they can take it at an
approved Prometric Test Center). Either medium in which they take
it, it still applies to their certification.
That one exam is also the first exam in the
Application Developer 9i Form certification. And we have also since
changed it to where it counts in the 8i certification track.
How does that work?
DiIanni: Well, in the existing 8i
DBA certification track, we had an introduction to Oracle SQL PL/SQL
exam. And then we launched this new exam, which is the only 9i SQL
exam, but it doesn’t have PL/SQL on it. We just thought that with
the DBA job role, DBAs really don’t need to know a lot about PL/SQL.
So we incorporated that Oracle 9i exam [into the 8i track] – you can
take one or the other now.
We looked at it and wondered are we really are going
to compromise the exam by putting it out there, or do anything to
diminish the value of the credential because it’s for all practical
purposes now a low stakes exam?…But the reality is that a lot of
people who are coming in for certification have probably had
exposure to SQL, so we feel like it’s not compromising the integrity
of the program.
What about the 8i track as a whole, how
much life do you think that still has in it?
DiIanni: I think we will probably
look at announcing our retirement for the 8i certification somewhere
in the January to March timeframe of 2004. When we announced the
retirement, we’ll give people a year to complete the track…We have
to give people the opportunity to migrate. Then it will be fairly
well aligned with our product releases as well…obviously then will
see greater adoption in 9i and then also with the release of 10g.