Q&A: Everything You Need to Know About the MariaDB Certification Exam


In this third part of our pre-OpenWorks Q&A series, we’re talking with Catherine Trejo, who attended the 2018 MariaDB user conference as a customer and earned her MariaDB Certified Database Administrator Associate Exam at the show. She’s now a MariaDB employee, uniquely qualified for her role managing the MariaDB certification exam at OpenWorks 2019. Here’s the inside scoop on all things exam related.

Tell us about your job before joining MariaDB, and what drove your decision to take the MariaDB certification exam?

Prior to joining MariaDB, I was a Senior Database Administrator/Lead MariaDB Database Administrator at New York University for 17.5 years. I was responsible for ensuring 24x7x365 database availability and stable operation of the university’s central MariaDB servers for NYU Web and identity-management applications.

I decided to take the exam in order to prove my expertise and validate my skills. Additionally, earning your certification improves your appeal to potential employers.

The exam is tough. What were the key factors in your success with it?

I had a lot of years of experience to draw on, but I didn’t want to fall into the trap of thinking I could ace the exam based on that alone. I brushed up on the exam topics, paying special attention to the features I was not regularly using at work.

For the first time, certificate candidates will have 2 hours for the exam rather than 90 minutes. What’s behind that change?

Feedback from past exam takers indicated that they couldn’t type fast enough to beat the clock. We want this to be a test of your DBA skills, not your typing speed!

What recommendations do you have for people considering sitting for the exam at OpenWorks?

I can offer three major pieces of advice:

  • Don’t underestimate the exam.
  • Devote time for reviewing the topics that the exam will cover.
  • Give yourself a good chance of passing by:

– completing the MariaDB for DBAs training course or having at least one year of hands-on experience using MariaDB, and

– attending the hour-long Certification Preparation workshop at the OpenWorks conference.

Anything else you think prospective exam takers should know?

You have two chances to pass the exam at the show, so make sure you learn from your mistakes if you don’t pass the first time. Take some time to study topics that you missed the first time.

And finally, OpenWorks is the only place the MariaDB certification exam is offered. Aside from your certification, what did you get out of the show when you attended as a customer?

Valuable knowledge from all of the sessions and speakers, and great networking opportunities!