Saturday, April 20, 2013

How to Dump Your Oracle Career in One Stupid Step

There have been a number of articles written about how you really shouldn't use brain dumps when preparing for certifications. Heck -- I wrote one just under a year ago. I can't honestly claim that I believe writing one more will magically convince someone who is planning to use illicit materials that this is 'A Really Bad Idea'. However, the recent surge in requests for brain dumps on what is effectively the official LinkedIn group for Oracle Certified Professionals (or at least the only one directly linked from the Oracle Education website) made me want to do something -- however futile.

My youngest daughter has a problem with doing things she knows are wrong and then lying about it. One of the most irritating things about the situation (and about dealing with liars in general) is the automatic assumption that I am dumb enough not to recognize the lie. My daughter is eight. Her lies are pathetic. She steals candy then leaves the wrappers in her wastebasket. She doesn't put her clothes away and dumps them behind her bed. She doesn't do her homework but claims that she has. The lies are transparent as soon as I see her wastebasket, look behind the bed, or glance at her workbook.

People who use brain dumps think they are being clever by taking the easy method to pass an exam in order to get a certification that effectively lies about their skills. In reality they are following the same basic thought process as my eight year old. I have been working with Oracle for over seventeen years. Do you honestly believe that I cannot determine whether or not someone is knowledgeable about Oracle?  Prospective cheaters might ask why they should care what I can do. They should care because it is people with experience like mine that generally make the decisions about who gets hired. I have been part of that decision making process in the past and I am sure that I will be again in the future. There may be companies out there where human resource personnel with no knowledge of Oracle hire the DBAs (I hope I never work for one).  However, for the most part junior DBAs and developers are interviewed by senior DBAs and developers.  Senior personnel know how to do their jobs and can generally figure out when prospective (or new) employees can do theirs.

Let me make it perfectly clear that experienced Oracle professionals detest people that cheat on certification exams. These people are treating us like we are stupid and it is extremely irritating. The vast majority of people looking for brain dumps are individuals with little or no database experience that are trying to get their first job working with Oracle. The reason for this is because anyone who has worked with Oracle for any length of time knows that getting the paper without the knowledge is not only useless but actively dangerous to their career. If you get a certification that indicates you have knowledge of a topic, and then demonstrate in your work environment that you do not have that knowledge, this is a bright red flag that you either lied or cheated. When you raise that flag, you are likely to get fired.

What absolutely astounds me is the number of people who request these materials from their LinkedIn account. This account is what most employers will first see when researching your background. I will certainly perform such a check. If I see a candidate has requested dump material, their resume will be trashed immediately. You might as well put as part of your profile summary "I lie on my resume and cheat on tests. If hired, I will probably steal office supplies and key my manager's car."

I cannot think of any way to make it clearer. No one with so little Oracle knowledge that they need to use dumps is likely to get through an interview with me. If someone does and I find out about it after they are hired, I will do my level best to see that they get fired and I will report the incident to the OCP fraud team as well. I am fairly certain that my attitude is typical of the professionals that are employed as senior Oracle DBAs. Cheat if you must, but do not bother sending your resume to any company I am associated with.