Exam Cram: Preparing for the MySQL 5.6 certification exams
As noted in earlier posts, exams for the MySQL 5.6 Developer and DBA certifications are entering a beta period, allowing candidates to register for the exams at steep discounts from normal certification exam fees. I’ve registered to take both exams late this month, and – like Moritz – I’m starting to prepare for the exams now. For those considering sitting for the exams, my plan is to document my exam preparation in a series of blog entries. This won’t be a formal or official study guide, but I hope it will prove useful to those preparing for the exams during the beta period (or those who come later). That said, I’m fortunate to have some great resources to help guide my preparations, and hopefully these will benefit others as well.
What to study
This is almost universally the first question asked by candidates – what do I need to know to be successful? There’s fortunately a really direct answer to that question found in the Exam Topics tab of the web page devoted to each Oracle certification. For quick reference, here are the pages for the MySQL 5.6 Developer and MySQL 5.6 DBA exams. These topics are the “exam blueprint” – every single question asked on the exam is tied to one of these topics. You’ll notice that the exam topics are not concrete nuggets of knowledge (“the default value for max_connections is 151 in MySQL 5.6″) – they are action-oriented – things a successful candidate will know how to do, not just know. You might find it interesting (and perhaps useful) to compare these exam topics to those for the soon-to-be-retired exams (DEV 1, DEV 2, DBA 1, DBA 2) – because the old certification exams covered similar content scope spread out over two exams instead of one, the topic guides are a bit more granular. At the same time, certain topics have been emphasized or de-emphasized.
The exam topics not only map directly to every single question on the exam, they also map to content found in the corresponding training courses. That makes the training – either instructor-led or online virtual delivery options – a great way to get up to speed on MySQL 5.6 quickly. Even if you don’t register for the training (and you should consider it – read about Ben Krug’s experience with the MySQL for Beginner’s course), you’ll find the Course Topics tab on the web pages for the MySQL for Developers and MySQL for Database Administrators informative.
I noted earlier that the MySQL Support Team was instrumental in authoring much of the revised exam content. While I no longer manage that team, some of them still talk to me (go figure!) and have indicated they would be willing to help me pass the exams they helped create. Others, such as Oracle’s MySQL Community Manager Morgan Tocker, have also agreed to share their exam prep efforts.
I hope this series of blog posts will prove useful in preparation for the MySQL 5.6 certification exams.
I’ll update this section as posts are written for each section of each exam.
- MySQL Architecture (Developer Section 1) – Added 10/17/2013
- General MySQL Syntax for Developers (Section 2) – Added 10/23/2013
Here’s a list of blog entries by others preparing for the certification exams I’ve found useful:
- Writing a .NET application for MySQL – by Daniël van Eeden
- Stored programs – by Morgan Tocker
- Dave Stokes highlights changes in the way cert exam questions are asked.