Friday, March 21, 2014

Famine to Feast -- Completing four new OCPrep Study Guides

I had big plans over the 2013 holiday season.  Oracle Certification had several new exams in beta. My goal was to write study guides for several of them ahead of time and have everything ready for when they were released to production. Life intruded. Well... strictly speaking, laziness intruded. I found it very easy to spend the holiday season relaxing and very difficult to stare at my laptop for hours on end tippy-tapping out study guides.

The sheer number of options caused a second problem. One of my great strengths is the ability to focus all of my attention on a single objective (something my wife will swear to... and swear at when she is trying to get that attention). Both as a developer and an author, I will sometimes get into a writing fugue where everything around me goes away and my productivity goes through the roof. Unfortunately, when I have numerous competing goals, my ability to focus on just one goes right out the window and I often dither between all of them.

This is not to say that I cannot multitask. I am great at multitasking... just so long as I only have to do one thing at a time.

The upshot is that when the middle of January rolled around, I had three books about a third completed and a list of potential study guides that continued to grow. Around that time, I was offered a voucher for the 1Z0-497: Oracle 12c: Essentials exam. One more target should have increased the logjam of potential study guides. Instead, it ended up fixing the problem. I had a hard deadline for completing that book... the end of the beta. I had scheduled my exam on February 21st, so I had to finish the guide before that date.  So I did.  Two of the study guides that I had partially complete were for 1Z0-060: Upgrade to Oracle Database 12c and 1Z0-062: Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration. Much of the research I had done while writing 1Z0-497 was applicable to them -- plus I was on a roll. I finished 1Z0-062 and published it. With my inertia now geared towards writing, I was able to finish the guide for 1Z0-060 and publish it. Then, with all of this Oracle 12c administration research sitting around in my notes (and my head), I went on to write the initial draft of the Oracle Certification Prep study guide for 1Z0-063: Oracle Database 12c: Advanced Administration. Oracle Certification has not even released the beta for that yet... but when they do, I'm ready.

Most of my posts on this blog exist to help Oracle certification candidates or to announce something new in the certification universe. This one was really for me. I will note however, that true to the promise I made in my first post of this blog... it is about Oracle certification, and it is not about what I had for breakfast, where I went on vacation or what amusing things my (nonexistent) cat did today.