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Get Where You’re Going

Training and certification decisions are key junctures on your career path.

By Bob Rhubart

May/June 2015

Look around you. How did you arrive at the spot you currently occupy? I’m not talking about your GPS coordinates. I’m talking about where you are in your career. Somewhere along the timeline that connects the latest version of you with your various prior releases are points at which you made certain decisions—among them choices about training and certification to enhance your skills and your marketability.

Curious about how community members approach those decisions, I set up a thread in a discussion forum on the Oracle Communities website and sent out an open invitation for people to tell their stories.

My goal is to achieve excellence in everything I’m doing. ”–Andre Araujo,
Senior System Engineer, Oi S.A.

Andre Araujo, senior system engineer at Oi S.A., a Brazilian telecommunications company, has earned certifications as an Oracle WebCenter Content 11g Presales Specialist, Oracle WebCenter Portal 11g Presales Specialist, and Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture Presales Specialist, among others. This year he plans to add Oracle Certified Associate, Oracle Certified Java Professional, and Linux Professional Institute certifications. “My goal is to achieve excellence in everything I’m doing,” he says. “As a systems and operations engineer, every day comes with a new challenge. To meet these challenges, I must know a little bit of everything.”

Antón R. Yuste, a solutions architect at Optare Solutions, holds Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper Implementation Specialist, Oracle Communications Converged Application Server Implementation Specialist, and Oracle Communications WebRTC Session Controller Sales Specialist certifications. “The implementation specialist certifications are the best I’ve achieved,” he says. The courses were instrumental in increasing his understanding of how to deploy those products. The certifications “help raise the visibility of my skills, increase access to industry opportunities, and also help my company on its path to gaining Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized status.” Next up on his list to pursue are Oracle Communications Session Border Controller Certified Implementation Specialist and perhaps Cisco Network Programmability Design Specialist certifications.

Oracle ACE Associate Rodrigo Radtke de Souza is a consultant, solution architect, and software development advisor at Dell. “For me, certifications were always a very good way to consolidate my knowledge around a specific technology. Back in the days when I was a Java developer, I wanted to be sure that I knew the details and nuances of that technology.” He credits the Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP 6) and Sun Certified Web Component Developer (SCWCD 5) certifications as essential in achieving that goal. But his journey didn’t end there.

“When I migrated to Oracle development, Oracle Database SQL Expert certification helped me to create a solid knowledgebase around the basic principles of SQL,” he says. His latest certification is Oracle Data Integrator 11g Certified Implementation Specialist. “Having a certification,” he says, “allows you to demonstrate to others that your knowledge is compatible with market expectations for that technology.” For his next round of certifications, Souza has his sights set on Oracle Hyperion Planning, Oracle Essbase, and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.

The stories of these three individuals represent their specific interests and strategies. Architect Enterprise Applications with Java EE and SOA Adoption and Architecture Fundamentals are the most popular courses among Oracle University’s architecture-related offerings. Not surprisingly, database courses are the most popular overall.

Oracle ACE Director Eric Helmer, vice president of Global IT Services at ADI Strategies and a board member of the Oracle Applications Users Group’s Oracle Hyperion special interest group, highly recommends database certification as a starting point. “Every enterprise solution has a database back end,” he explains. “I guarantee it will not be long before you will grow into corporate systems and solutions that could catapult your career in myriad directions. It happened to me.”

If you plan to load yourself into the career catapult, what target will you aim for? What skills, certifications, or other enhancements do you plan to add to You 2.0? Join the discussion and share your plans: bit.ly/1EyeYhN.

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