DBA Certification

Career Development
1. When looking for a DB2 z/OS DBA, would you put the IBM certified resumes at the top of the pile? 2. Please classify in years experience or other simple form, senior DBA and professional DBA (I realize there are other factors, but just looking for what the average expectancy is)

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I would sort the resumes by technology and years of experience using it. Also would be the type of DBA I was looking to hire, for example do I want a DBA that will monitor databases and tune them for performance, reliability and security, do I want a Data Warehouse DBA, do I want a development DBA that will work with programmers to help them write the most efficient code possible. Those would determine how I sort the resumes. Certifications mean very little to me and have not really identified the best candidates in my experience.

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Certifications show a willingness to go the extra mile, but they also only show book learning. I do technical interviews. Give a scenario and let them explain it and what to do about it.

I know many people who have certs in database, and specifically DB2.
But I do not possess any certs. I’ve been working with DB2 on z/OS (and its predecessors os/390 & MVS) since 1987 (that would be version 1.2).

Some people like to hire folks with certs. Some do not care. I am one who does not care. I ask detailed, technical questions during interviews. Some people with certs cannot answer them.

The only time certs would matter to me is that it shows a willingness to follow up on your own. It shows some initiative. But it does not truly prove how good one is. It proves book learning. it proves some knowledge. But it does not prove the ability to think outside the box when you get a 3:00 am phone call.

It isn’t ALWAYS about the number of years of experience. Sometimes it can be the experience.

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  • EXPERTJohnBrandt
    I agree. I have over 20 years of experience on System/38, AS/400, iSeries (and newly renamed i5/OS). I don't have any IBM Certifications, but I've taught more than 20 of the Certification classes over the years. John Brandt iStudio400.com
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  • Pegasusdba
    While I am certified in Oracle database, I suppose the question applies.... I see certification as providing 2 advantages: 1) while you may know nothing of my experience and have a hard time validating it, a certification will at least show some degree of knowledge. You'd rather have that to protect you from a total liar. 2) it shows that I take my career seriously and am not sitting still on my skills. There is an interesting way to separate database administrators: a DBA and a DBBS The DBA is an administrator that interacts with management to help develop a strategy for db implementation and maintenance. The DBA models and provides tuning advice to developers. The DBA can effectively monitor the databases and develop appropriate solutions. The DBBS is a database baby sitter. They can install and maintain the current system, but have not gone beyond basic upkeep. HTH
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