For me, the certs are going to be more of a means of filling in the (huge) gaps in my knowledge.
I'm totally self-trained on this, and it's mainly been by means of "well, that didn't work, what did I do wrong?" That means there are areas I haven't messed with, because they haven't exploded yet. So to speak.
For example, you mentioned replication in your article. My one experience with replication was set up by someone else, and was a disaster. All I did was turn it off and remove it from the database and tell that guy to never, ever, ever touch my databases again. Never. Ever. So, I know how to turn replication off. That's it on that subject.
I'm really more of a database developer with some slight knowledge of administration. I do administer databases, and got a passing grade on the Brainbench test on that (3.something grade), but I've never had to recover a badly crashed database, never yet set up mirroring (though I'm currently working on a project to do exactly that), never set up a cluster, etc. I have some theoretical knowledge on some of these things, but I don't even know how big the holes in my knowledge are.
Thus, I'm hoping that studying for and getting certs will help me to target the important aspects of what I don't know. I can study forever on my own, but it's hard to figure out how important something is in that kind of vacuum.
As I mentioned, I ended up being a "DBA" by accident. Seven years ago, I was a sales/marketing person, and I created a database to track my own customers and their orders. A year later, with everyone in the company using my database, I ended up being a full-time dev/admin for that database. (You should have seen the first version of the database. Not even 1NF. It was horrible! But it got the job done.) That background has the advantage of being able to very, very easily translate user-needs in very precise specifications for coding, but it does mean that my knowledge is heuristic in nature, and lacking in large areas.
(My education is in management and business administration, so that also helps in determining what software should do and so on, but again doesn't help when it comes to the day-to-day of being a DBA.)
- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
Property of The Thread
"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon