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Tharg
Tharg
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AKA Certification Tribulations

I've previous 2008 certification but, before Christmas, I failed upgrade exam 70-457 (by ONE question. gah.)

Next time round its a much better score. In retrospect, the fail was a good thing: its made me focus on weak points (namely T-SQL) which I now don't take for granted in a work environment

Next up: 70-458: I've been cramming and cramming on SSIS for weeks. Those Devs just hate me with my questions!

Anyway respect to the syllabuses (syllabi?) for these upgrade exams as its moved me out of my comfort zone but not sure how much BI/Dev stuff should be on my upgrade exams. Just my 2c.
Duran
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Hey,

How did you get on with 70-458? Just studying for this at the moment.

regards,
D.
Tharg
Tharg
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Not good, failed with 610. That's 610 on the SSIS Section (got over 900 on the Admin Section).

25 questions on each section so not a lot of margin for error.

I did a fair bit of study for this one but lack of day-to-day use is probably telling here.

Going to park this for now, best of luck with it.
Duran
Duran
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Well not good, but not that bad either. Don't stop now or you'll have to pick it all up again later, which is a hassle. What learning resources did you use to study for the exam?

Regards,
D.
Tharg
Tharg
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Thanks for encouragement but it will be a few months before I study again in earnest.

I started with Andy Leonard's excellent 'Stairway to Integration Services' here on SSC:
http://www.sqlservercentral.com/stairway/72494/

Also James Beresford has some excellent articles and examples on the SSIS Components (focus on SQL 2008 here but very useful)
http://www.bimonkey.com/support/ssis-component-samples-list/

Youtube has lots of free stuff of course which is just as well as the MCM program videos are of little use when it comes to the SSIS. Still very awesome for Admin stuff etc. so well worth bookmarking:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/ff977043

I found Rick Dobson's links on the 70-463 exam really helpful:
http://www.mssqltips.com/sqlservertip/2862/exam-material-for-implementing-a-data-warehouse-with-microsoft-sql-server-2012-exam-70463/

For a textbook I used 'Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Integration Services' (Wrox) which is both comprehensive and weighty.

Also as mentioned, pestering Devs :-D
dan-572483
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I also failed 70-458 last week, passing the admin section but failing the SSIS section (which is a greater challenge to me because I've had little need to use SSIS in my job).

I was disapointed with the feedback printout I was given. In the non-upgrade exams, you get a bar graph on each general topic covered so you can see the areas where you need the most improvement. On this exam, there was one graph for Admin and one graph for SSIS. I wish it was was a little more granular.
Duran
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Hey, I'm in the same boat, not used SSIS much, really want to though along with the rest of the BI toolset. I also have the Wrox book, but the 2008 version. I know that configuration files are a thing of the past and there is a different way of deploying packages. I wonder if the rest of the book will be useful.

Without giving anything away detail wise, did you get drag n drop Q's, or was it mainly the usual multiple choice?

I'm using the 70-463 book, along with transcenders for 463 and 461, and I have the Wrox pro admin book, also quite a weight.

I'll also do the Stairway Series as well, did the stairway series really help with the exam though?

Cheers,
D.

PS: Tharg, thank you for the links, that was very thoughtful.
Tharg
Tharg
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@Duran - you are welcome , just paying it back to SSC :-)

One other resource worth mentioning is the MS Learning channel. Each of the SQL 2012 exams have a prep video. Here's the one for 70-463: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siS_7pcj0yI which will have info on the format of the exam too.

Stairway Series: I found this really useful last year to get up to speed as it was a standing start for me on SSIS this time last year. Also the comments are always welll worth reading for the Stairway series. Just make sure you know what tools to use.

Somewhat obvious but when studying I still find myself refering to the objectives (for example http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/exam-70-463.aspx).

@Dan: TOTALLY AGREE on the exam debriefing, its woeful and has been since as long as I remember (over 10 years). Lately MS Learning are making a big play on social media about success stories but this is actually a learning opportunity missed. What is wrong with more detail on incorrect answers? At least break it down into specific areas is one idea:

"Implement auditing, logging, and event handling" - Poor 0/3
"Implement package logic by using SSIS variables and parameters" - Excellent 3/3

For feedback, a line graph does not cut it. Lack of feedback is a learning opportunity missed here by MS.
dan-572483
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Another note:

The 70-458 exam contained several questions referencing SQL Azure, but Azure is not mentioned in the exam objectives listed here

I'm not sure if these questions required Azure specific knowledge so I crossed my fingers hoping this was the case.
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