by Li Yan
The two-day Oracle Certified Master (OCM) exam is over. I didn’t say “finally” because it’s been an unforgettable journey, and I don’t expect it to end. I don’t want to get overly emotional, but, looking back, there are some things I still can’t forget. I thought that I was going to be walking on air after the exam, but now I feel somewhat empty. It is not because of the mistakes and imperfections in the exam. Life is flawed, so why should we insist on perfection? We need to learn to fail gracefully. No, it’s just that I don’t know where to go after finishing an assignment or getting something done. Is my life just one challenge after another?
I am trying to settle my mind, to condense this experience into words, for those who are learning and preparing for the OCM exam, for those who have passed the exam and also for myself. I won’t be discussing the actual exam here.
This entire exam was triggered by nothing more than a joke. I once asked Kamus to give me an OCM credential, which I meant as a joke, but it ended up leading to a long series of events. After that joke, I somehow managed to register for the training courses along with a lot of friends, and met Master H, who was said to be shy and introverted. Then I decided to take the exam because I saw my course mates had all registered for it, making me feel that I ought to do it as well. I used to be an unreliable Database Administrator (DBA) and was now a supposedly reliable little leader, so I don’t have the incentives that other people do -- for example, the ability to job-hop, earn salary increases or gain respect. As Teacher Gao said to me, “No wonder you are in no hurry to take the exam.” In this sense, the reason that I was taking the courses and the exam was not ambition -- even I didn’t know why I did it.
I started feeling the pressure after registering for the OCM exam on June 28. Once I’d registered and paid the money, the pressure was on. As luck would have it, it was my busiest time of year. Our company had adopted a new system, and we could be expected to work overtime on any given day, so it was really not easy to make time for practice. It was true that I had two months to prepare, but time flies, especially when I was so busy every day -- I could not believe how fast time went by.
Finally, I was able to ask for some leave, so I could study in the classroom, which was my lifesaver. I worked alongside my classmates, discussing problems, answering questions, helping and motivating each other. I tried to get rid of my nervousness and bring out the best in myself to adjust to the needs of the exam. As far as I could remember, I had never felt nervous in my life until now, so I wondered if there was something wrong with me.
I am lucky because all along the way I have had a very collaborative team. At my company, my office colleagues are all very supportive, reassuring me that I can ask for leave. In Oracle Workforce Development Program (WDP), we called our exam prep team “Team Fun.” During stressful times, all my teammates had their own ways of making us laugh. We were always chatting and laughing, even outside of Oracle University. Even the teachers were amazed by how much fun we’ve had. We had our “funny duo” of Uncle Yang and Aunt Niu, and our “crazy duo,” the handsome Mr. Xie and the great Mr. Yan. We are classmates, comrades in arms and friends forever.
I got acquainted with this Oracle-authorized WDP in 2010, when I decided to purchase Oracle’s third-party services. What I saw from them was not just technical proficiency and professional integrity, but a dedication to technology and a readiness to share. After my first conversation with the management team, I knew that it would be a good choice. Over the last few years, I have learned a lot from them and have enjoyed a harmonious atmosphere.
Finally, I want to thank our fellow friends who took the exam on September 5. Your help gave us so much comfort, and we look forward to your perfect Show Time.
“A clear goal, some hard work, a pleasing result, an unforgettable memory.” I am now especially impressed by these words.
I want to say that this memory is not in the past; it is a mark that will remain in my heart forever.
I also want to say to my course mates: it is really nice to know you all.
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