Later this year, Oracle will begin requiring people interested in gaining Java and Solaris certifications to attend “hands-on” training courses, at an additional cost of thousands of dollars. The new rule goes into effect Aug. 1 and regards Java Architect, Java Developer, Solaris System Administrator and Solaris Security Administrator certification paths, according to a notice on Oracle’s website.
Oracle Making Java, Solaris Certifications Pricier
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2011-03-03 7:55 pmFunkyELF
Oracle should be paying the developers to be certified. They should look at it like an investment to have all these people know your product.
Like most exams, you can train to pass the exam, but I got both SCSA and SCNA a year or two ago, and learnt a lot of new tricks (even though I’d been doing Solaris for 10 years)
I can see both sides of args for certifications, but personally, if your cv/resume is side by side against another and you have certification and the other doesn’t, I think that differentiator for you makes them valuable. YMMV.
I also think they are a good way of focusing the mind on learning a new skill with a distinct end point or deadline to meet (the exam!) and the sense of achievement as a result
Regarding the announcement, I think this is a really odd and disappointing move by oracle, and seems counter intuitive. How are they going to get the people in the emerging economies building their infrastructure on solaris by raising the price barrier? What about motivated individuals who like to formalise their skills, or who self-teach for the challenge, who suddenly are required to sit in a class for a week?
Perhaps it raises the “price” of solaris specialists in the near to medium term (good for me?) but this price and the reduced availability of specialists will drive system implementors to other platforms with cheaper labour/licensing/system costs. Oracle is very good at monetizing their IP, perhaps they have a plan for this.
I’ve been meaning to do SCJP for some time, just for the hell of it, but it seems unlikely now, as I’d struggle before Aug 1st. I think I’d be more inclined to go after one of the linux-certifications or something else next for my “collection”
2011-03-03 10:37 amKroc
How are they going to get the people in the emerging economies building their infrastructure on solaris by raising the price barrier?
Oracle donâ€™t have to, they operate at a high end and assume the low end is handled by everybody else.
India and Chinaâ€™s economies are rising and when companies there grow to a point that they need to do serious db stuff the low end canâ€™t handle, they will come to Oracle. (thatâ€™s Oracles stance, anyway)
Itâ€™s sad, but this is how the corporate world works and Oracle have no trouble gaining business.
2011-03-03 4:05 pmSoulbender
Exactly how is Java high-end?
Oh wait, it does hog all your memory, is unnecessary complex and makes you long for the clarity of Perl scripts. It’s got “Enterprise” written all over it.
2011-03-03 6:27 pmmoondevil
It’s high end in the context that nowadays almost all new software being written on the IT world is either Java or .Net based.
The multinational consulting company I work for, only gets projects in other languages, as “legacy” projects.
2011-03-05 12:29 amwerterr
I always wonder about that… what argument is there for only going down the Java and .Net road ?
Only thing I ever hear is that there otherwise scared that they cannot find personal to work on the project.
Which is not a very strong argument if you want quality personal anyways, if your looking only for code monkeys then maybe…
2011-03-06 11:42 amlevi
You would be ..oh.. so suprised how many hardware companies out there harbour monkey-programmers so they can only patch thier products. Everything else is beyond them. Going with the flow is only viable option for such companies. Some monkeys out, plenty of new cheap ones in. Management is happy. Customers complain as usual. Welcome to the real software world.
2011-03-04 5:23 amFlatland_Spider
Nothing beats Oracle when you have to do heavy database stuff. With DBs, people pay for that, and they should.
The problem is with Solaris, IBM and Red Hat will make sure Linux will scale from the low end to the high end, and Oracle is turning Solaris into a niche. It’s not going to be cost effective when Linux will be “good enough”, and there will be loads of cheap talent.
MS does this really well. They make sure there is tons of cheap talent which can implement their products.
Both of those countries could develop their own Oracle competitors. China is nationalistic/crazy enough that Beijing could mandate it and make it so. I can see China GPLing the whole thing and giving it away.
India may just want to bootstrap their own software sector. They aren’t going to be cheap labor forever.
Anyway, Oracle makes great dBs, but I see the Sun acquisition as being an expensive failure of an experiment for Oracle, in the long term. Linux/Windows and x86/ARM are good enough, and businesses won’t have to hire expensive niche talent. The only thing worth anything was gaining control of Java.
2011-03-03 7:34 pmSavior
I’ve been meaning to do SCJP for some time, just for the hell of it, but it seems unlikely now, as I’d struggle before Aug 1st.
According to the article and the notice on Oracle’s certifications page (http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?p…), the changes regard Developer and up, and hence SCJP is unaffected.
That said, I really fail to see how they hope to profit from this move. I certainly wouldn’t go for an SCJD now. I wasn’t happy about the news of Oracle acquiring Sun, and nothing they have done until now proved my premonition wrong.
I remember a time that the mere mention of Oracle in the IT shop was almost godly. People aspired to be Oracle certified and everyone liked Oracle products. Oracle was the company to look up to with a lot of respect and admiration. Now it seems they are rapdly becoming the technology to avoid. Oracle is seemingly becoming a bad word in the IT shop. Phrases such as “stay far from Oracle products” are becoming more common. I wonder if Oracle even cares about the reputation they are currently shaping of themselves in the IT world.
2011-03-03 1:59 pmZaitch
I wouldn’t disagree with you at all -I have heard the same said about the technology.
I worked for Sun for 10+ years finishing in 2009 doing systems engineering and OS deployment. I joined an embryonic small company. You’d think I’d be a textbook example of someone bringing the awesome power of Solaris into a new environment.
Instead, with all the problems/concerns around licensing and future availability I personally made the decision to move to debian/ubuntu for all our servers, postgres for the DBs, and to a lesser extent avoiding java for software. This was definitely a case where the technology took a back seat in the decision making.
It really pains me that I had to do this but the uncertainty and this kind of ad hoc policy change and encroaching charges could kill a small company if they were trapped.
Not to mention free is a good price in a small company.
2011-03-04 5:33 amFlatland_Spider
I’m in the same boat. I work for a small engineering firm, and I would love to ditch Openfiler (that decision pre-dates my tenure) and move our NAS over to Solaris for ZFS and better iSCSI support. Unfortunately, I can’t for the exact reasons you mentioned.
Our Red Hat/CentOS boxes work great, and we will probably stick with that. If OpenSolaris still existed, I might be able to slip some stuff in, but not now.
2011-03-04 2:38 pmKebabbert
OpenSolaris had some closed bits in it. But it is now forked by the community and it is called OpenIndiana. It is based on build 148 of the Solaris 11 source code.
The Oracle Solaris 11 Express distro, is based on build 151a. Not too many differences.
2011-03-08 1:11 amFlatland_Spider
Honestly, license politics had nothing . It’s about support contracts, future viability, and training.
There’s also Nexenta which is driving Illumos(sp?).
It’s still early, and I need to see if these forks are going to be around for a while and where they’re going to go. I’ll test this stuff out on my own, but not on boxes my company relies on.
2011-03-03 7:53 pmDelgarde
When they mostly stuck to databases, that was certainly true – they made a pretty good one, and someone certified in administering and tuning it was worth a premium.
Since they started going all expansionary and buying other companies left, right and center, not so much. The core database is still pretty well respected, but regard for their acquired products (from Sun, from BEA, etc) has certainly suffered.
2011-03-08 3:36 ambenali72
I agree 100%. Oracle Corp has been on a huge acquisition binge for the past several years, even while they aggressively optimize their revenues on the backs of their existing customers.
They seem intent on acquiring the reputation Computer Associates had for years in IT shops. They don’t seem realize how damaging this can be — CA is only now escaping this image after a decade of trying.
I’m not really sure how pissing off *all* of their customers fits into their business model… they must know something everyone else doesn’t.
Eh, the Java certifications aren’t worth the cost – never have been. We’ve never hired someone just because they had ‘official’ certification, and of those we’ve hired, the ones with certification have been no better or worse on average than those without.
I’m glad I took the SCJP a month ago. It already costs almost twice as much as last year, now it’s going to be even more expensive? Way to go Oracle.
And prometric sucks, if you miss an opportunity you have to pay the entire fee again to reschedule. OK, mistakes happen and you should pay for them, but the entire fee again? WTF?
Another fine example of greed is Spring certification, you have to take their class (I did, not the exam though) in order to be able to apply for the exam.
Edited 2011-03-03 21:43 UTC
… just go with BrainBench.
All of their exams are online, some are free, and the paid ones are relatively inexpensive.
And recruiters and HR people actually reference them.
Now certainly these exams aren’t as hard as the “official” exams, and you use whatever materials you want while taking the exam. So these exams don’t garner as much respect.
But exams in general really don’t prove much, other than the ability to cram, and general test taking skills. And the idea is to show your ability as a programmer, or DBA, sys admin, or whatever. But passing an exam shows nothing of the sort. It shows your ability to cram and memorize, practice, and your ability to take exams.
The questionable value of exams is especially true with software development. Software development is both a science and an art, and skills required are creativity, logic, and problem solving, none of which are really tested while taking an exam. Programming is much more than just rote memorization.
[soapbox]But unfortunately our education system is moving more in this brain dead direction, with the “no child left behind” testing obsessed nonsense.[/soapbox]
2011-03-04 2:40 pmFlatland_Spider
“Anyone one can get a bachelor’s.”
“Anyone can get a certification.”
Like anything, what you get out of it is equal to what you put into it. If you actually want to learn something, you’ll learn something.
I like certifications. They give me goals, show me where my gaps are, and they are a great way to get into a technology by giving me a baseline of knowledge.
Yes, there are assholes who just cram to pass, but there are people who use them as learning tools to measure themselves.
Programmers should probably go through something like astronaut training or boot camp.
“Bubble sort algorithm in C, now!”
“You’re loops aren’t tight enough, push!”
Edited 2011-03-04 14:41 UTC
2011-03-05 11:25 pmSoulbender
Programming is much more than just rote memorization.
Wow, just like so many other jobs.
Many organizations see certification as a way to build a large pool of qualified talent to support their software products.
Oracle sees certs as a revenue stream. Just check out how much it costs to become an Oracle-certified DBA. With Oracle it’s all about enhancing their revenue, and as far as the viewpoint of the IT talent goes, well, that’s just not a consideration.
Before you invest your time and money in beginning Oracle certification you might well consider this.