So I had the pleasure of taking my first Oracle certification exam today: “Oracle Database: SQL Certified Expert”. I passed pretty easily, but am not very happy with the exam and the experience.
First, the test. I am sure I missed my share of question by not paying close enough attention to the details. However, I found myself staring blankly during at least 10 of the 70 questions. Not that I didn’t know the details, but rather I either didn’t really understand what was being asked or couldn’t make out at all what some of the answers were supposed to mean. I felt the language was extremely confusing. There was at least one question asking if something can be done with a function and I had to pick between 1) an answer of something I knew could be done with the function, but nobody in their right mind would use it that way or 2) an answer that sounded kind of right, but really I had no clue what the answer was getting at. I wish I was allowed to give specific examples. So to recap, I feel Oracle did a very poor job with this test. There are plenty of things I don’t know about the database, I don’t also need to miss an extra 7 or 8 questions because the question is written poorly.
Yet, somehow the test was still better than my experience. Literally in the middle of the test (question 34 of 70) my screen went black and I could hear several computers in the building beep like they were restarting. NOOOO!! Luckily my screen came back on and still had my test at the same spot, but was now frozen. The admin came and got me out of the testing room to sit while they had to reset their main computer system. To do this required their “computer guy” who was apparently in the back of the office. So I sat. and sat. and sat. Finally the computer guy comes strolling up after 45 minutes. He was talking to another employee about how often they have power surges that do this and basically bring their whole office down. He goes on to mention that while we were waiting on him, he was just in the back eating his lunch. After no more than 5 minutes of work of turning machines on and logging in, everything was back online. So to recap, not only do they not have anything like UPS backup, he also couldn’t take a 5 minute break in his lunch to come fix the problem and get the whole office back online. Sure I don’t mind extending my lunch another hour so you can eat yours without interruption.