by Feng Zhen
It has been a month since my OCM exam, but I still remember it vividly.
I took the exam on October 23 of this year, as I had just started my 4th year in university. Needless to say, I had no experience at all. By comparison, other testers were older than I was and had much work experience. I felt very nervous and not confident enough to handle emergency situations. Fortunately, the teachers in the training courses were very good, and my fellow classmates offered me helpful solutions to many problems, which boosted my confidence in passing the exam.
I believe that many people have the same question during training: "Which one should I actually learn, Oracle or MySQL?" It is true that MySQL is very popular right now, and more and more people are learning it. I’d like to use my own experience to help future students potentially answer this question.
In fact, when I first started, the question of whether to learn Oracle or MySQL had been bothering me for a long time. I asked myself if it was worth it to spend so much time and effort learning Oracle. But, after finishing the exam, the doubt gradually disappeared as I started my job hunt and went through a series of interviews.
My first interview was with a state-owned enterprise (SOE). Most SOEs use Oracle. Although there is a growing trend toward MySQL in SOEs, the core database technology remains Oracle. The questions I was asked during the interview were all related to Oracle: for example, "Can you tell us your thoughts on optimization?" As it happens, optimization is something we talked about all the time in our training courses, sometimes using concrete examples. It is not difficult to develop your own opinion on this subject, so long as you pay attention to topics like this and work through them. My later interviews were with internet companies, where the processes were different from those of SOEs. The questions were more specific, and because internet companies commonly use MySQL, they asked me more MySQL questions. However, if you know your way around Oracle, you can handle most MySQL questions with ease, because there are many similarities between them; just some basic prep work on MySQL before the interview should suffice.
I also want to advise those who are still not sure whether to learn Oracle or MySQL, as I used to be, not to worry too much. No matter which database you primarily learn, you will likely end up having to learn the other one as well. What matters in today's job market is not only talent but also versatility. In the end, what we learn is just a product. The most important thing is to grasp the core principles of relational databases and learn new things faster based on what we already know.
I have now started my business internship. It was not easy at first. I needed to know a variety of systems and interact with MySQL. Although it is similar to Oracle, there are many specifics that require time to learn. Therefore, the OCM exam is just the beginning. It can only promise us a good start but cannot guarantee our future. If we want to be DBAs, we must be ready to learn all the time, and if we want to distinguish ourselves on this career path, we must put in more effort than we might with others.
* This article was provided and authorized by Oracle Certified Master Union. To reprint, please contact Oracle University and indicate the source.