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Twilight of the Oracle University? #JoelKallmanDay


Like the fall and recent rise of the Oracle Ace program I wish there would be a rise of Oracle University. Here a few of my concerns.

I am sorry if you will feel bad or if you will be offended by this.

If you know how can I help to improve this situation, please let me know.

Oracle Learning Subscription

Imagine you buy the OLS for $4995 and as an unexpected bonus you will get a popup survey every few minutes. You are suppose to go through as much courses as possible in following 12 months to keep your investment worth it, so you will be spending a lot of time watching the courses and you will get and feedback survey at the end of every video and every chapter if not even more often. And the irony is that nobody will read it, nobody will listen to you. Al least it feels this way. And if you manage to get several cloud certifications in that year, all of them will expire in 18 months. I understand cloud changes quickly, but not everything changes and not this quickly.

Oracle joined the cloud era too late and I understand the pressure to catch up. But there is just too much focus on cloud. And according to rumours I got from multiple sources all people who cared already left the Oracle University and Oracle too. This is not something you want to hear.

What am I missing?

As a developer I am missing these certifications (and relevant courses):

  • SQL Expert, probably with focus on analytics and modern features
  • SQL Tuning Expert
  • SQL 50 years anniversary certification (in 2024, so they should start working on it)
  • PL/SQL Expert
  • APEX Expert
  • ORDS Specialist

Basically anything for developers beond basics.

There was a safe harbour promise on two APEX certifications this year. So far we got just one Foundation quiz with just a badge like the Explorer badges. That is far from a real certification. And the current APEX certification (1z0-760) keeps pushing the retiring date further and further so we most likely wont see a new APEX certification this year.

What else am I missing?

Certification audit

How about an exam/attempt audit? I would gladly pay a fee to get my exam evaluated by/with a human or a comitee. For example I think that the 1z0-913 PL/SQL Specialist exam has a questionable quality. I highly doubt that my exam result was that bad. I really know how to use CONTINUE in a FOR loop and yet it was marked as wrong. Same for many other questions. I would like to fill a complaint, but there is no recipient.

If you have spare $245 I dare you to try to pass it. Let me know your result.

Affordable trainings and not just for beginners

There is no affordable training for individuals (except occasional free cloud trainings). The official (Oracle) courses are very expensive and the price is the same if you are in USA or in India, which is a bit odd. If you manage to get it from your employer or to somehow finance it yourself, you will get great courses for beginners. But not so many for advanced users.

Advanced topics

So how do you become APEX (or SQL or PL/SQL) expert? Where can you get the advanced topics?

I would recommend:

  • reading blogs, follow
  • attending local conferences (or global if you can)
  • join user groups (ODTUG, UKOUG, INOAUG, whatever suits you...)
  • watch Office Hours
  • spending your free time by exploring (and trying) new topics/ideas as much as you can
  • find a mentor, let someone else evaluate your code
  • read books, there are few recent* interesting books available on Amazon

So to be an expert you have to crawl and collect breadcrumbs for years.

This a a line I did't published last year: May has been a tough month in many ways. Joel left us suddenly and he set bar very high. We should try to be like him. For me he represents all the best of humanity. I didn't met him personally but I will still miss him.

But I like this better: Don't compare yourself to others but try to be better than you was yesterday.