Welcome!

Related Topics: Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud

Linux Containers: Article

The MySQL Certification Program

Facts and Viewpoints from the Inside

For this installment of my recruiting/certification column, I have decided to turn my attention to the MySQL certification. It's another one of the open source-based certification programs that seems to be gaining a lot of traction in the marketplace. We, as most of you probably know, continue to see companies implementing MySQL as an alternative to proprietary databases on the market. As a result we have seen a dramatic increase in searches by companies looking for people with MySQL experience. Therefore, it's only prudent that we take the time out to learn more about this relatively new certification.

As with the previous article on the Zend Certified Engineer, ZCE, I have decided to take the same approach when exploring the ins and outs of the MySQL certification. In essence, I figured the best way to learn about the certification is to get viewpoints from people in the field. To learn the basics about the program, I spoke with Carsten Pedersen, who heads up the certification program for MySQL AB. From there, I exchanged e-mails with Ian Gilfillan of Independent Online, a leading newspaper in South Africa, and author of a book on MySQL to get an insider's viewpoint as to why he feels it is of value to spend corporate dollars on providing the certification for his employees. Last, I spoke with Mark Nielsen, who at the time of this interview was a MySQL DBA at Google and is now at CNET, to learn about the benefits he has gotten from being certified and how it has assisted him in his job searches over the recent past.

Interview with Carsten Pedersen of MySQL...

LWM: How long has the exam been in existence (Core and Professional)?

Carsten Pedersen: We started with the Core exam in the late fall of 2002. The Professional exam came into existence about half a year later (early 2003).

LWM: What is the number of certified MySQL professionals presently (Core and Professional)?

CP: To date, we have delivered more than 1,200 exams worldwide. About a quarter of these are Professional certification exams. It's been a slow start, but we're really seeing things pick up now. At our recent User's Conference, we had two certification tutorials and they were both among the ones most attended.

On our Web site (www.mysql.com/certification) you can find a list of certified people (it's incomplete, as not everyone wants their name published).

LWM: What is their breakdown of location? How many in the U.S., Europe, etc?

CP: North America accounts for about 50% of the delivered exams; of these, 85% are in the U.S. and 15% in Canada. In Europe, which accounts for another 40% of the exams, most are delivered in Germany and the United Kingdom. The remaining 10% are delivered across the rest of the world.

LWM: What percentage of the people move on to take the Professional certification exam after obtaining the Core certification?

CP: About one-third of the people who have the Core certification move on to attempt getting the Professional certification.

LWM: What is the pass rate of the number of people who take the exam (both Core and Professional)?

CP: For first-time exam takers, the pass rate on the Core exam is about 65%. For the Professional exam, this number is close to 50%.

LWM: What is the level of experience that you recommend for someone looking to take the exam (Core)?

CP: We recommend that those who want to take the Core exam have at least a few months worth of full-time experience, and those who go for the Professional title have six months or more of experience. But this is very hard to quantify: if you take one of our courses and do some intensive self-studying, you might be able to do the whole thing in three weeks. If you're learning on your own and not doing full-time MySQL work, it may take you many months to gain the knowledge and experience needed to pass just the Core exam. The type of work you do during the time you are getting ready for the exam also influences how much time you should expect to invest.

LWM: Do you advise people to purchase the study guide?

CP: Certainly! Of course, being one of the co-authors, I'm bound to say so. :-)

From what we are told the Study Guide does help those studying for the exams. I've also had many people telling me that it's one of the best sources around for learning the ins and outs of MySQL and (after the exams) a great reference tool. The main authors, Paul DuBois and Stefan Hinz, are both recognized as some of the best authors on the subject of MySQL.

There's good financial sense in getting the Study Guide, too. It contains a voucher that pays back 25% of the exam cost when you go to your first exam. For a lot of people, this means that you basically get the book at zero cost or some even get money back!

LWM: Do you happen to have any data that suggests the differentiation in salary levels for people with the certification as opposed to those without it? Any increase in compensation for people with Professional versus Core?

CP: We do not and, quite frankly, I doubt that any certifying body has the numbers to make such claims with any sort of reliability. Sure, there are studies out there claiming that certified people tend to get a higher salary. However, once you start digging into the background data, several questions on statistical validity and methodology raise their ugly head.

For MySQL certification, the problem is compounded with certification holders being spread across the globe - salaries and benefits vary too much from one area to another to make any valid comparisons.

That said, I have indeed spoken with several people who have told me they got hired into a company or got a better placement within their organization because they had invested the time in studying for the exams. I have also heard from consultants who are convinced that they would not have landed a specific job, if they had not been certified. Mind you, in all of these cases, certification was only part of the overall picture they were able to present to their employers or customers - but they were indeed what put people "over the barrier."

MySQL is becoming more and more accepted in the enterprise sector, and here certification is the norm, not the exception. If you're to even be considered for a job with one of these companies, there's no way around getting certified.

LWM: Is it strictly a multiple-choice exam? If not, what else is involved?

CP: On the current exams there are also a few questions that will require you to "fill in the blank" with a word or two. However, for a number of reasons, we are moving away from this type of question and strictly into multiple choice.

LWM: Where is the exam administered?

CP: Our exams are mainly distributed through more than 3,000 Pearson VUE testing centers across the globe (www.vue.com/mysql). At times, we also offer exams during events such as the MySQL User's Conference and other conferences or trade shows.

LWM: Do you plan on collaborating with other vendors, such as Zend, to offer a certification that comprises more components of the LAMP stack?

CP: We have talked with both Zend and LPI about doing exactly that, but currently there are no specific plans to do this.

More Stories By Brent Marinaccio

Brent Marinaccio has been with HotLinuxJobs since its inception in early 2000. HotLinuxJobs is a recruiting firm that specializes in the placement of Linux/Open Source professionals. As director of open source recruiting, Brent has gained considerable insight in the subtleties of recruiting in the Open Source world.

Comments (2)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
For enterprises to maintain business competitiveness in the digital economy, IT modernization is required. And cloud, with its on-demand, elastic and scalable principles has resoundingly been identified as the infrastructure model capable of supporting fast-changing business requirements that enterprises are challenged with, as a result of our increasingly connected world. In fact, Gartner states that by 2022, 28% of enterprise IT spending will have shifted to cloud. But enterprises still must d...
Cloud-Native thinking and Serverless Computing are now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that pro...
The level of trust we have with individuals, businesses, and technology affects our lives daily. This is important to remember when discussing new technologies. For example, our level of trust is a critical factor when evaluating a new technology as a potential solution for providing business value. Given the importance of trust, imagine one's reaction upon hearing that blockchain is a "trustless trust" system. On the surface, that does sound like an oxymoron. This paper discusses how "trustless...
Public clouds dominate IT conversations but the next phase of cloud evolutions are "multi" hybrid cloud environments. The winners in the cloud services industry will be those organizations that understand how to leverage these technologies as complete service solutions for specific customer verticals. In turn, both business and IT actors throughout the enterprise will need to increase their engagement with multi-cloud deployments today while planning a technology strategy that will constitute a ...
Data center, on-premise, public-cloud, private-cloud, multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud, IoT, AI, edge, SaaS, PaaS... it's an availability, security, performance and integration nightmare even for the best of the best IT experts. Organizations realize the tremendous benefits of everything the digital transformation has to offer. Cloud adoption rates are increasing significantly, and IT budgets are morphing to follow suit. But distributing applications and infrastructure around increases risk, introdu...
Moving to Azure is the path to digital transformation, but not every journey is effective. Organizations that start with a cohesive, well-planned migration strategy can avoid common mistakes and stay a step ahead of the competition. Learn from Atmosera CEO, Jon Thomsen about the opportunities and challenges found in three pivotal phases of the journey to the cloud: Evaluation and Architecting, Migration and Management, and Optimization & Innovation. In each phase, there are distinct insights tha...
Most modern computer languages embed a lot of metadata in their application. We show how this goldmine of data from a runtime environment like production or staging can be used to increase profits. Adi conceptualized the Crosscode platform after spending over 25 years working for large enterprise companies like HP, Cisco, IBM, UHG and personally experiencing the challenges that prevent companies from quickly making changes to their technology, due to the complexity of their enterprise. An accomp...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
Andrew Keys is co-founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereum.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science" is responsible for guiding the technology strategy within Hitachi Vantara for IoT and Analytics. Bill brings a balanced business-technology approach that focuses on business outcomes to drive data, analytics and technology decisions that underpin an organization's digital transformation strategy. Bill has a very impressive background which includes ...
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure...
Most organizations are awash today in data and IT systems, yet they're still struggling mightily to use these invaluable assets to meet the rising demand for new digital solutions and customer experiences that drive innovation and growth. What's lacking are potent and effective ways to rapidly combine together on-premises IT and the numerous commercial clouds that the average organization has in place today into effective new business solutions. New research shows that delivering on multicloud e...
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...