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How far can an MCSE in SQL Server take me?

Hi guys,
I'm thinking of updating my database skills. So I was thinking of doing an MCSE in SQL Server.
What I want to ask, especially those living in Australia, will having this certificate help me a great deal? And what about oracle dba?, does it fair better then sql server on the market?.
I really need alot of advice on this so I can get a clearer picture of where I'm heading. Thankyou in advance..

Jade
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Aren't you talking about an MCDBA certification?

RP
Thursday, July 29, 2004

It'll probably get you a terrific code monkey job in Australia.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

sorry, thats what i meant. MCDBA! :)

Jade
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Do you have any work experience in SQL Server?

.
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Unfortunately no,  I'm very well versed in access, also I'm a recent I.T. graduate.

Jade
Thursday, July 29, 2004

From my experience, hiring managers view practical knowledge more valuable than certifications.  In fact, some people think too many certs are suspicious.

The Microsoft certification is particualrly notorious b/c, rightly or wrongly, it comes with the perception that the holder is a lightweight.

SQL Server may be popular in NT environments, but as far as databases go, it's hardly an industry leader.

If you want to work in the database domain, see if you can get a job with Oracle.  That would give you exposure to all types of db applicatiosn and environments.

noman
Thursday, July 29, 2004

"The Microsoft certification is particualrly notorious b/c, rightly or wrongly, it comes with the perception that the holder is a lightweight."

It has the impression of being lightweight when people with otherwise no credentials or experience believe that it makes them heavyweight. For some these certifications were seen as a "make money fast" route into the exciting career of IT. In other words if you have no specific training or experience, at best these certificates will get a tiny leg up into a very junior position. If you're experienced/specially trained, though, the certificates are just a basic sign of job professionalism.

"SQL Server may be popular in NT environments, but as far as databases go, it's hardly an industry leader."

You're right - DB2 is the market leader. DB2 has some 33% of the market, Oracle has 32%, and SQL Server has ~20%.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Try to research in your local area whether there's more of a market for SQL Server skills or Oracle.

MS certifications aren't highly valued in part because so many people cheat on them.  But I think there are still two good reasons to get certified if you are low on experience:  you can learn a lot while studying, and some hiring managers and HR personnel (ie non-technical decision makers) are unduly impressed by certifications.

Better yet, scrounge for some experience.  Build a database for your Aunt May to help organize her Hummel collection:  not only will you gain experience, you can call it "consulting" on your resume.

BW
Thursday, July 29, 2004

this is all very interesting, but from experience, which is more difficult to master, sql server or oracle?

Jade
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Does that bridge provide good cover from the rain?

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Oracle is sooo expensive to learn, it cost something like 12k aussie dollars to do the course.

Jade
Thursday, July 29, 2004

In my experience, Oracle pulls the bucks.  Sybase runs a distant second.

SQL Server is for running a web-site on a Windows box under IIS for newbies who don't know any better.  Scalability becomes a problem down the road.

Note these are not really MY opinions.  I think Access has enough horsepower for most small applications, MySQL works really well in the mid-range (less than a million records, less than 10,000 accesses).

I've never seen an MCSE certification requested on the jobs I've applied for.  I have been asked for Oracle and Sybase experience.  I have also seen Oracle trained newbies get positions.

Most Oracle training is designed for companies to send their already employed people.  I admit it sucks for an individual trying to 'break-in'.

AllanL5
Thursday, July 29, 2004

"SQL Server is for running a web-site on a Windows box under IIS for newbies who don't know any better.  Scalability becomes a problem down the road."

1999 called - they want their dated anti-SQL Server argument back. :-) Nowadays you can run SQL Server on single system boxes that rival the largest mainframes, and of course you've been able to horizontally partition for years.

You are entirely correct that for Microsoft shops developing with Microsoft technologies, SQL Server just happens to be a very tight fit, so even where as an RDBMS Oracle would be a slightly better choice from a DB only perspective, SQL Server often comes ahead when considered in an integrated environment.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, July 29, 2004

==> "Scalability becomes a problem down the road."

What world are you living in?

My largest DB at a customer site has tables with multiple hundreds of millions of rows. We're in the terabyte range with this one. Performance is awesome. Subsecond responses on queries joining a dozen or more of these tables together. Hundreds of concurrent queries running regularly, and at times, thousands. There's over 4,000 users in this thing, heads down all day. It runs 24/7 without a hitch.

Your argument was valid in the days of SQL 6.5 and prior (what, about 1997?), but at least since the release of SQL Server 7.0, you're making a bogus argument.

Scalability becomes a problem, only if you keep the darned thing running on your desktop machine. Otherwise, MS SQL Server can keep up with the best of 'em, and costs far less to boot.

Try this on for scalability:

http://www.tpc.org/results/FDR/TPCC/hp_superdome_win64_030828.pdf

Enjoy!

Sgt. Sausage
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Jade,

Firstly as a disclaimer, I work in a Oracle shop with some small SQL Server databases used mainly for web db's so the majority of my experience is with Oracle. I've completed both the Oracle DBA course through Oracle Education and the SQL Server DBA course through Dimension Data, both in Brissie.

DBA: I find the tools for SQL Server friendlier to use mainly because I actually do so little with SQL Server. I find the tools for Oracle harder to use in comparison, but find it much much easier to generate scripts in Oracle. One of the reasons is I prefer to use SQL in Oracle to do things like this: 'create table ' || table_name || '...' from dba_tables where owner = 'SYS' over using a stored procedure in SQL Server.

As a developer, i've found Oracle to be more logical and more consistent in the whole experience.

ko
Friday, July 30, 2004

Sausage, please tell me what hardware you are running on.

Formerly someone else
Friday, July 30, 2004

Take the course. SQL server was, and I think still is, a lot cheaper to buy and run than Oracle, and will do fine for nearly anything.
Also you can use Access to develop for it (though you can do that with Oracle under Windows as well).

Stephen Jones
Saturday, July 31, 2004

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