A Database Journal Guide to MySQL Certification: Part 1, Core Certification

The value of certification

I recently arranged for
the developers at our company to get MySQL certified. From the employer’s point
of view, it was not the piece of paper I was after. Rather, the improved
productivity that properly-trained MySQL users could provide. The benefits have
been noticeable. The number of badly written queries has decreased, saving
everyone time and effort. The developers feel more confident using MySQL, and
can use features they previously had not known existed.

There are two sources of
MySQL certification that I know about. One is the Brainbench MySQL
3.23
certification, and the other one, much more well-known, and more
credible, is the official MySQL certification, which consists of two levels,
Core (for MySQL users) and Professional (for MySQL administrators). The
Brainbench one is rather outdated. Since the latest stable release, MySQL 4.1,
is two major versions away from 3.23, there is not much benefit to be gained
from the Brainbench certification. Also, Brainbench tests are seen as less
credible because they can be done online, without supervision, but this can
easily be overcome by an employer ensuring the test is done on their premises
(and Brainbench offers a free repeat test to employers if they wish to validate
an employees certification).

Nevertheless, the rest of
this article focuses on the official MySQL Core certification. What follows is
a reference for people studying for the Core certification, including a list of
topics covered in the Core exam, as well as resources from mainly the MySQL
site and Database Journal that you can use to enhance your studies.

MySQL Core Certification

The test covers MySQL
4.1, and tests the typical skills required by a MySQL usersomeone using MySQL,
such as a developer. In general, this includes data definition (creating,
modifying and deleting databases and tables) and data manipulation (inserting,
modifying, deleting and selecting data).

The complete list of exam
topics (as defined by MySQL in March 2005) follows, as well as links to
relevant Database Journal and other articles that can help you study this
topic:

Other resources

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Ian Gilfillan

Ian Gilfillan
Ian Gilfillan lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He is the author of the book 'Mastering MySQL 4', published by Sybex, and has been working with MySQL since 1997. These days he develops mainly in PHP and MySQL, although confesses to starting out with BASIC and COBOL, way back when, and still has a soft spot for Perl. He developed South Africa's first online grocery store, and has developed and taught internet development and other technical courses for various institutions. He has majors in Programming and Information Systems, as well as English and Philosophy. For 5 years he was Lead Developer and IT Manager for Independent Online, South Africa's premier news portal. However, he has now 'retired' from fulltime work, and is hoping that his next book will be more in the style of William Blake and Allen Ginsberg.

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