Interview with An IBM-Certified Professional
- Posted Friday, 18 November 2011 15:07
IBM-Certified Professional Kathy Lisle still has the laminated wallet ID card she received from IBM when she earned her first IT certification in 2001. Now with more than a decade under her belt and too many certifications to count, Kathy shares her advice with WhyITCertify.com and other IT professionals for staying current in the industry, prepping for IT certification exams and utilizing those credentials to further their IT careers.
Certified Professional: Kathy Lisle
Job Title: Database Administrator - DB2 for z/OS
Current Employer: CTG (Computer Task Group)
- IBM Certified Database Administrator
DB2 10 DBA for z/OS
- IBM Certified Database Administrator
DB2 9 DBA for z/OS
We wanted to know what drove Kathy to earn that first certification, and what advice she has for other IT professionals pursing certification. Here’s what she had to say:
WhyITCertify: Why did you decide to earn your first certification?
Kathy Lisle: My first certification was IBM Certified Solutions Expert, DB2 V7.1 Database Administration for OS/390. I earned it at the IDUG (International DB2 Users Group) North America Conference in May, 2001. Certification was still a rather new concept on the mainframe, so my employer at the time didn't especially care whether I was certified or not. I think I took the exams mostly to prove to myself that I could do it.
WhyITCertify: What is your most recent certification?
Kathy Lisle: I earned my DB2 9 DBA for z/OS last May. Once again, I took advantage of both the education and the free exams offered by the IDUG conference to update my certification.
WhyITCertify: What advantages do you feel IT certification provides?
Kathy Lisle: I think the greatest advantage to certification is that it demonstrates a certain level of expertise and commitment to your profession. It's especially helpful when non-technical people are screening the resumes of technical people. In my experience, other technical professionals usually assess you more on your ability to discuss your accomplishments and your approach to solving problems, but the certification can open the door to talk with those techies.
I can't really think of any down side to certification unless you focus on it to the exclusion of other ways to advance yourself. It's important to remember that certification should be a means to an end, not the end in itself.
WhyITCertify: Have your employers supported your efforts to get and stay certified or left it up to you?
Kathy Lisle: My current employer definitely supports my certification efforts. CTG enabled me to go to IDUG on "company time". I asked to be sent because I wanted the educational opportunity. HR became more enthusiastic, though, when they found out that I could get certified while I was there. Needless to say, they were quite pleased when I came home with two certifications: one for the DB2 version that our client is currently running, and one for their upcoming version.
WhyITCertify: What is your favorite form of exam preparation?
Kathy Lisle: In preparing for my most recent exam, I used a little bit of everything. The Certification Guide for DB2 10 hadn't yet been printed, but I borrowed a DB2 9 certification guide to study features that I haven't personally used. That was helpful for general background. An exam preparation "cram course" identified nitty gritty details that I needed to master. Presentations at the IDUG conference helped cement some aspects of the new version in my mind. For me, I think it was helpful to prepare using a variety of methods; each one helped me pick up on some details.
WhyITCertify: Do you plan to earn additional certifications in the future?
Kathy Lisle: In the technical world, a certification isn't worth much if it's old … I'll continue to update my certifications as long as I'm a DB2 professional.
Article by Anne Martinez
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