Vendor-Neutral Database Cert Debuts

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First Vendor-Neutral Database Professional Certification Hits Market



Team Database, the International Association of Database Professionals,
introduced the vendor-neutral Database Industry Certification Exam. This
exam is the only requirement for the Certified Database Industry Expert
certification and is one of multiple requirements for Team Database’s
premier-level credentials.



“There are quite a few folks who are intimidated by technical
certification exams,” said John Lambert, president of Team Database.
“Ours are intended to be a little easier. The main way we make them
easier is by making them cover a smaller amount of information per exam.
We intend for our exams to cover a broader range of information than
someone would typically study for a Microsoft or an Oracle DBA exam.”



The Certified Database Industry Specialist is the first certification
available from Team Database. This credential measures candidates’
knowledge of the database industry, database issues and basic relational
database technology. The only requirement is the Team Database Industry
Certification Exam, which goes live today (June 17). The exam is
available in the United States and Canada through Prometric Testing
Centers and will be available internationally by the end of the year.



“Our study materials are broader than a single vendor’s exams,” said
Lambert. “For instance, Microsoft won’t tell you that they’re not the
number-one vendor for transactional systems. They also tend to focus on
the daily working tasks of DBAs. We cover broader issues, like project
management and ethics for business professionals. It’s not intended to
make people experts in those areas, but just to make sure they’re
familiar with those things. They’ll be able to understand what other
people are talking about when they’re using terminology they might not
otherwise be familiar with.”



Team Database is developing four other vendor-neutral database
certification exams to support its 10 new certifications. In addition to
the Certified Database Industry Specialist, Team Database will offer
four other novice-level credentials: SQL Query Specialist, Data Modeling
Specialist, Database Programming Specialist and Decision Support Systems
Specialist. Team Database’s premier certifications include Database
Professional, Data Modeler, Database Programmer, Database Architect and
Database Expert. These credentials require anywhere from six months to
five years of experience and a combination of exams from Team Database
and other certification providers.



For more information, see


A Career in Quality Assurance



Cheryl Mesick, a senior quality assurance analyst, wrote to ask about
certifications for quality assurance (QA). Since this is a topic we
haven’t covered in detail, I figured I’d explain QA first.



According to, “…quality assurance is any systematic process
of checking to see whether a product or service being developed is
meeting specific requirements.” Companies have a lot of resources tied
up in developing their products and services, and QA is a way of making
sure their customers are going to be happy before the product is even
delivered. QA professionals are engaged in the business of making sure
that what we get is what we’re supposed to get. 



So what certifications are available for these professionals?



The Quality Assurance Institute (QAI) offers two: the Certified Software
Quality Analyst (CSQA) and the more advanced Certified Software Test
Engineer (CSTE). See for more information.



The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is not really IT-specific, but it
does offer numerous certifications, at least one of which could be of
particular interest to QA pros: the Software Quality Engineer
Certification (CSQE). See for more information.



Atlanta-based Software Testing Support Inc. (SofTest) provides two
certifications. The Certified Software Tester (CST) is designed for
professionals who want to get into the testing field or for those who
are in the field but need certification. The Certified Software Test
Analyst (CSTA) is designed for candidates with at least four years of
experience who want to build on their foundation of QA knowledge. See for details.



And if you don’t want to go to class, but would rather certify online,
check out Brainbench offers the Software
Quality Assurance exam, which tests your knowledge of maintaining
quality throughout the development life cycle. This test is meant for
professionals working in software quality control or software



If any of you readers know of a QA certification I missed, write me at


More Simulations for Cisco Cert Exams



In March, Cisco Systems Inc. started adding simulations to its exams,
beginning with the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). Cisco
claimed that simulations would be added to other certification exams
with time, and the time has apparently come. As of June 5, 2002, there
are new exams available for Cisco’s three professional-level
certifications. Three of the four new exams will now include simulation
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