September 30, 2012

A secret treasure house of Oracle books

One of the most prolific publishers of Oracle technology and application books - Packt Publishing just published its 1000 cover. Packt books are written by experts, many of whom are Oracle certified professionals. The books full of tips and how-to about new features and functionality that are not covered in-depth in user manuals.

A treasure house of Oracle books is the online library of every Packt publication. To celebrate the 1000th title, Packt is offering free access to the library for a peek at the gems for a 7 day period. Also, one can download one free e-book.

Packt supports many of the Open Source projects covered by its books through a project royalty donation, which has contributed over $4,00,000 to Open Source projects up to now. As part of the celebration Packt is allocating $30,000 to share between projects and authors as part of the weekend giveaway, allocated based on the number of copies of each title downloaded.

Dave Maclean, founder of Packt Publishing based out of Birmingham, UK spoke recently to the media: “At Packt we set out 8 years ago to bring practical, up to date and easy to use technical books to the specialist tools and technologies that had been largely overlooked by IT publishers. Today, I am really proud that with our authors and partners we have been able to make useful books available on over 1000 topics and make our contribution to the development community.”

May 19, 2012

Meet The Experts: Matthew Morris

OCP Advisor interviewed Matthew Morris, one of the earliest Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) and now a popular author of OCP study guides. Matthew was among the first hundred to be OCP DBA certified on Oracle 7.3 and has since upgraded his certification to releases 8i, 9i, 10g and 11g. 

OCP Advisor: Hello Matt, on behalf of OCP blog readers we are delighted to have you as our featured Oracle Expert. Please tell us something about your professional experience.

Matthew Morris: In early 1996, I started working for Oracle Support as part of the RDBMS Server Technologies team.  Over the first few months, I read every Oracle Press book I could get my hands on from cover-to-cover! I was the top rated support analyst and was asked to develop and deliver courses for team members.  After four years of DBA support, I changed my focus to PL/SQL and Web development.  I developed database tools and applications to assist managers and analysts in the Oracle Support team.  Currently I work at Computer Sciences Corporation and is responsible for developing custom database applications using PL/SQL and Oracle APEX. 

OCP Advisor: Please tell us about your Oracle Certification path and what motivated you on this path.

Matthew Morris: Two years after I started working for Oracle, Oracle Certified Professional program was launched.  Sylvan created at testing center in our office building. I was interested in demonstrating my knowledge, so I took and passed all four of the OCP DBA tests. I learned that this made me one of the first hundred people to become an Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)! Later that year, Oracle introduced the Oracle Developer Certification and I took the four developer tests in a single day and became one of the first hundred Oracle Certified Developers.  Since then, I have tried to keep my certifications current. 

OCP Advisor: You are a popular author of several Oracle Certification guides. Please let us know how you started writing them.

Matthew Morris: In May 2011, I developed a study guide for 1Z0-050: New Features for Administrators.  Then in late 2011, I began studying for 1Z0-450: Oracle Application Express 4: Developing Web Applications.  For almost every exam, my preparation includes creating a study sheet with key testing points.  For 1Z0-450, this sheet rapidly became much larger and more elaborate than usual.  It seemed reasonable at the time to go the extra mile and make it into a publishable study guide.  Ultimately, I found that doing this did not add an extra mile but rather an extra ten to fifteen miles!  However, once it was published, the result was heartening.  I modified the 1Z0-050 course material I had developed earlier into a second study guide and published it as well.  Since those first two, I have published study guides for the SQL Expert and SQL Fundamentals exams. Currently, I am developing exam guides for the OCP DBA I and DBA II exams.

OCP Advisor: Please share with our blog readers about the content of the Oracle Certification Guides you have published?

Matthew Morris: The Oracle Certification Prep series targets two groups of candidates.  The first group consists of Oracle professionals who want to get certified in a subject they are experienced in and would like a reference guide to help them ‘bridge the gaps’.  The second group are those who are already using another source of information in their study plan but would like to have a second reference.  It is especially valuable for candidates using only Oracle documentation but would like to have an inexpensive reference against which to determine how well they did.  To help both these audiences, the study guides present information about the test topics in a very condensed format.  The intent is to deliver facts that candidates need to know, functions and features they need to recognize, in a compact format enough to revise several times.  

OCP Advisor: What advice do you have for candidates preparing for an Oracle Certification exams?

Matthew Morris: From the posts on the various certification forums I frequent, there are many candidates who are studying just to pass the exams rather than to gain knowledge.  Learning how to pass a test does not prepare someone to perform well at professional level.  Use the opportunity when studying for Oracle certification to make a concerted effort to learn the concepts first.

OCP Advisor: Please share with our blog readers one habit that has contributed most to your professional success?

Matthew Morris: Setting a realistic expectation determines whether you succeed or fail.  I try to set a reasonable time frame and give my very best to deliver ahead of every deadline. 

February 1, 2012

Thanks Google Adsense! Sponsors Wanted!

Hundreds of clicks every week on this blog adds pennies to the dollar. The generous folks at Google Adsense check the meter reading and send in a small check once in a few months (actually when the total crosses a hundred dollars).
This blog is a not-for-profit exercise and I hope to pay back the amount I received from Google in the form of Oracle Certification Exam Vouchers for a lucky reader or two. Greatly appreciate the Pay Per Click (PPC) spend of Google advertisers on my blog.

On a related note, the blog author invites sponsors to display their ads on the blog in return for sponsorship of exam vouchers to our loyal readers. Corporations interested in sponsorship may e-mail OCP Advisor at

January 31, 2012

OUM Certified Implementation Specialist Certification

Oracle is shortly launching the production release of Oracle Unified Method (OUM) Certified Implementation Specialist Certification. OUM certified professionals would be skilled in Oracle’s all inclusive methodology. The certification covers the core features the Oracle Unified Method suite including Focus Areas, Uses Cases, and Requirements Gathering. The certification proves a baseline of the consultant’s knowledge and allows the implementation team to work as a cohesive team from day one.

This certification is available to all candidates but is geared toward members of the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) who are focused on selling and implementing this technology. OPN Members earning this certification will be recognized as OPN Certified Specialists, which helps their companies qualify for the Oracle Unified Method Specialization.

There is only one exam for this certification called Oracle Unified Method 5 Essentials (1Z0-568). Details about the exam is available in the OUM Exam Study Guide. Oracle provides OUM training for partners. DevelopMentor is offering OUM training to the general public. For details about the OUM training, click here. The blog author attended the Level 3 training at Oracle Global User Group Leaders Conference in 2011. Read his OUM blog and begin your certification journey for OUM.

Have you taken the latest survey from OCP Program team?
Click here to take the Oracle Certification Program Salary and Satisfaction Survey 2012.