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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Braindumps and Certification

I saw a post recently that said that braindumps were the best way to prepare for certifications. It was posted from a certification vendor, so take it with a grain of salt, but I think a lot of people think this.

That somewhat torques me off. I understand that certification can help someone get a better job, and it is good for a career. That’s fine, and I understand that if you are out of a job, or searching for a better job, that the price of the exam seems a little steep, and if you fail, you are out a decent amount of money. An exam costs $125 in the US, and that’s not an insignificant amount of money.

However.

We have enough people that don’t know what they’re doing. We have lots of people that struggle in their jobs, and often then don’t know what to do. Their bosses and co-workers aren’t happy. The struggle and get stressed, and they complain about their jobs. Stability is lower, software quality slides along the floor, and it’s a bad fit.

Not everyone falls into this category, but having taken quite a few exams, I’d say that if you have some knowledge of SQL Server, and you work through a lot of exercises from any certification book, you’ll be fine. It’s hard, but it’s supposed to be. You’re supposed to be competent if you pass the exam.

Finding ways to pass without being competent, or searching for a guarantee, isn’t good for your career. And it’s certainly not good for mine. Every person that passes who doesn’t really understand what they’re doing makes certifications that much more of a joke, and that much less valuable to employers.

Which is the point for most people. They get the certification so that employers will be *more* likely to pay them more.

Do yourself a favor. Study for the exam, learn how to handle the objectives, and then take your chances on the exam.

There are a number of deals for second takes as well, so be on the lookout for those.

Comments

Posted by Antony on 22 September 2010

Couldn't agree more, Steve. I have done a few of the certification exams, and I spent a long time studying and practicing, using it mainly as encouragement to learn about the parts of SQL Server I don't deal with every day.

Certifications are considered useless by my current employer, as they have had job candidates with certifications, who when faced with the typical order/orderline schema in an interview question, couldn't string together a basic Select.

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 22 September 2010

I have to agree.

Posted by surendra.anne on 23 September 2010

I do agree. This applies for all certifications like Microsoft etc. And sites that give dumps for the examinations. Let them teach the fundamentals.

Posted by cppwiz on 24 September 2010

I totally agree. However employers have to be smart enough to ask the right questions when interviewing someone with certifications.

Question #1: How did you prepare and study for certification?

Question #2: How many times have you failed an exam?

These two questions can weed out almost all of the braindumpers...  interview over.

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