Welcome!

Related Topics: Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud

Linux Containers: Article

The MySQL Certification Program

Facts and Viewpoints from the Inside

Interview with Ian Gilfillan of Independent Online...

LWM: Could you tell me about your work/development environment and why the MySQL certification was/is important?

Ian Gilfillan: Back then I was IT manager of Independent Online, South Africa's premier news Web site, and we used MySQL and PHP exclusively. With resource constraints, we had a small team of developers, and they needed to be highly skilled and productive to cope with the workload. The MySQL setup was reasonably complex, with a number of replicating servers, and the development environment was also fairly complex, with a number of different systems. A common problem was developers writing inefficient queries, which then impacted a number of other systems. I decided to provide an incentive to the developers to improve their SQL skills, in particular by offering MySQL certification.

Another reason was to relieve some of the workload off myself. I wrote the book Mastering MySQL 4, and I also write a regular monthly column for Database Journal, and most MySQL-related tasks tended to get left to me. As IT manager I was required to do other things, so I needed to make sure that the rest of the staff felt comfortable taking these over.

LWM: Did you notice any improvement in the employees' work after being certified?

IG: It's fairly difficult to measure, as the developers' tasks were not repetitive and varied widely in scope, and were therefore not easily compared. The staff themselves said they felt much more confident afterward, and recommended certification for all new staff. They were also keen to work toward the professional certification.

LWM: How would you rate it in comparison to other certification programs that you have sponsored employees for in the past?

IG: I have not sponsored any other certification programs, although staff have attended courses. The training for the MySQL certification was done on their own (with some company time allocated), and I was more satisfied with the results of this than all the training courses staff have been sent to in the past.

LWM: Would you as a company/manager do it again? Future hires?

IG: I would undoubtedly do it again. Future hires were also put through the same process.

LWM: What were/are some of the comments about the exam itself (easy/hard)?

IG: Almost universally it was seen as harder than expected, or quite tricky.

LWM: Do you as a company tend to offer individuals higher compensation for having achieved the certification?

IG: No, we did not offer higher compensation.

LWM: Has the result of the company sponsoring individuals for the certification helped you in your recruitment efforts?

IG: I believe so. I have mentioned the program to potential new recruits, and it was positively received. Whether this swung a candidate in a particular case I don't know, but it was another positive reason to work for us.

LWM: In addition, has it resulted in the retainment of your top talent?

IG: I'm not sure, as it's difficult to measure this. I believe it was a relatively minor factor among many.

Interview with Mark Nielsen of Google...

LWM: Could you tell me why you felt that it was important for you to achieve the MySQL certification?

Mark Nielsen: I am very picky about certifications, as most of them are a waste of time. Most certifications seem to be driven to make the parent company money and are not designed to truly test candidates. The MySQL certification seemed to me to be the right combination of cost, the number of exams, and reasonably fair questions. Besides enjoying MySQL, I wanted to be certified in some sort of database technology. The other DB certifications just didn't appeal to me. MySQL certification appealed to me on many levels, just like the Linux certification from LPI appealed to me for operating system certification.

LWM: What prompted you to move forward and achieve the Professional certification on top of the Core?

MN: The company I was working for at the time was going downhill and wouldn't make critical technological shifts toward MySQL for the databases and WhiteBox Linux for its operating system (now I support CentOS and Ubuntu Linux as well). In order to not be in a position where my recommendation to use MySQL would be ignored, I figured getting certified in MySQL would add credibility toward my ideas.

LWM: How would you compare the MySQL certification to other certifications you have achieved?

MN: The only other certification program that I enjoyed was the LPI certification program for Linux. All the rest were either too primitive - they just steal your money or overinflate the true value of their tests. Most certification programs are viewed with disdain by most true computer geeks because most certifications don't mean anything. But to me, the LPI and MySQL certifications are fun; they test your skills and support open source technology. If nobody would ever have known I was MySQL certified, I would still have taken the tests just for myself.

LWM: Do you believe that the MySQL certification has assisted you in landing the job(s) that you have had since being certified?

MN: Yes. Most companies need a DBA and a programmer at the same time. Having the MySQL certification can be used as a political tool to convince HR and non-technical employees to hire a candidate as a DBA, when really the candidate can be used for other purposes as well. I used to be opposed to all certification processes, but certifications are a good way to get past non-technical HR individuals and managers who don't know how to filter out résumés other than by looking at certifications. It's just a fact of life.

LWM: What do you believe to be the greatest benefit of being MySQL certified?

MN: Personal achievement. I use certification programs to enhance my knowledge and keep my skills updated. That's why I retook the LPI Level 1 certifications. I didn't have to; I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Probably next year I'll get recertified in MySQL as well.

Summary
From these interviews, it's fairly apparent that the MySQL certification program is poised for continued success. The number of professionals that they are certifying continues to expand at an exponential rate. I personally believe that it's very smart of them to offer both a Core and Professional exam. Not only does it provide the corporation with an additional revenue stream but, more important, it increases our confidence in an individual's knowledge of MySQL since he or she has achieved the different tiers of the certification.

It was wonderful to learn firsthand about the benefits Ian has gained by getting his employees certified and how that has assisted him and his corporation in the recruitment of MySQL database professionals. I always applaud corporations that are willing to put the effort, both from a time and financial perspective, to better their employees by providing them with incentives to continue their education.

Last, it was interesting to hear Mark's take on how, by getting MySQL certified, it has assisted him in both a personal and professional manner. As he mentioned, we often get a lot of people telling us that they believe certifications are somewhat meaningless and a waste of time. However, as he pointed out, and truthfully I might add, whether you are in favor of certifications or not, corporations still value them. They are a means to demonstrate your knowledge and will never hurt you in your job search. If you are on the fence as to whether or not you think it would be a good idea to get certified, I always tell people to go ahead and do it, because it only can assist you in your professional career.

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) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
SYS-CON France News Desk 12/12/05 10:48:42 AM EST

Enterprise Open Source Magazine: The MySQL Certification Program. 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.

Enterprise Open Source Magazine News Desk 12/12/05 10:08:58 AM EST

Enterprise Open Source Magazine: The MySQL Certification Program. 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.

Latest Stories
"Storpool does only block-level storage so we do one thing extremely well. The growth in data is what drives the move to software-defined technologies in general and software-defined storage," explained Boyan Ivanov, CEO and co-founder at StorPool, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
ChatOps is an emerging topic that has led to the wide availability of integrations between group chat and various other tools/platforms. Currently, HipChat is an extremely powerful collaboration platform due to the various ChatOps integrations that are available. However, DevOps automation can involve orchestration and complex workflows. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Himanshu Chhetri, CTO at Addteq, will cover practical examples and use cases such as self-provisioning infra...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, provided some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacent...
Blockchain. A day doesn’t seem to go by without seeing articles and discussions about the technology. According to PwC executive Seamus Cushley, approximately $1.4B has been invested in blockchain just last year. In Gartner’s recent hype cycle for emerging technologies, blockchain is approaching the peak. It is considered by Gartner as one of the ‘Key platform-enabling technologies to track.’ While there is a lot of ‘hype vs reality’ discussions going on, there is no arguing that blockchain is b...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
The use of containers by developers -- and now increasingly IT operators -- has grown from infatuation to deep and abiding love. But as with any long-term affair, the honeymoon soon leads to needing to live well together ... and maybe even getting some relationship help along the way. And so it goes with container orchestration and automation solutions, which are rapidly emerging as the means to maintain the bliss between rapid container adoption and broad container use among multiple cloud host...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. 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 settle...
The need for greater agility and scalability necessitated the digital transformation in the form of following equation: monolithic to microservices to serverless architecture (FaaS). To keep up with the cut-throat competition, the organisations need to update their technology stack to make software development their differentiating factor. Thus microservices architecture emerged as a potential method to provide development teams with greater flexibility and other advantages, such as the abili...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.