I sat (and passed!) the 462 exam today. Yay! Glad to have it done, but also glad to have gone through it. It was a lot harder than I was expecting. It was stressful, challenging and most of all it was a really important eye-opener. Let me explain what I mean…
I went into the exam feeling confident. Having worked through the exam prep book and trawled MSDN and Technet for additional material, I felt confident with the concepts and the theory. And I am the kind of person who is pretty good at applying it once they understand the theory. But I was given a lesson today – in the DBA profession, there is absolutely no substitute for practical, hands on experience!
- Think you understand TDE? Great – go and do it!
- Feeling comfortable with SQL Agent jobs? Great – make some! And then – find some that don’t work, roll up your sleeves and troubleshoot them! (My earlier post about SQL Agent jobs was a life saver today)
- So you know all the various ways of getting data into and out of SQL Server… try them all! Why has bcp been around for so long? Build yourself a nice little SSIS package and massage some data into SQL Server.
Here is what someone else has said about these exams:
the basic requirement for passing the exam is to have hands-on experience
(Venu’s SQL Server blog, http://venusql.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/how-to-prepare-for-70-461-exam/)
And it isn’t as simple as making replication work – it is about fixing it when it all goes horribly wrong. Sure you can build an application and a connection to SQL Server, but what do you do when it all goes pear-shaped and it is shaping up to be a horrible day in the office?
Last week, my manager told me:
An experienced DBA has done ‘it’ dozens of times over. A great DBA has had ‘it’ break, and then had to fix ‘it’ dozens of times over.