Study Group FAQ

Study Group FAQ’s

What are Study Groups?
What Study Groups Are Not
Who benefits from Study Groups?
What are the some of the benefits of Study Groups?
What certifications does Oracle offer?
What is a Subject Matter Expert (SME)?
What is the role of the Study Group Leader?
What is the role of Group Members?
How do I start a DOUG Study Group?

What are Study Groups?
An effective Study Group (SG) is really just an interactive discussion featuring lots of group participation, where the goal is to completely cover a specific subject and the purpose is to gain technical expertise in that subject, possibly (but not necessarily) in preparation for a certification exam.

SGs meet regularly, usually once or twice per week. They provide self-study motivation through peer-pressure, a study schedule, and completion deadlines.

SGs are a career enhancing tool to obtain certification or to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME). They are essentially free (although you will have to purchase your own study materials), but they are not a free ride. In other words, you get out of it what you put into it.

Most importantly, SG is a commitment. For a SG to effectively work for you, you have to be committed to doing the studying and attending SG meetings.

What Study Groups Are Not
A SG is NOT a lecture or a formal class. There are local schools, colleges and universities that offer formal Oracle training in a classroom setting.

And it’s probably NOT the study group you may remember from college or school, where we all sat around a table and didn’t speak, but just sat silently and studied our textbooks (which we could have done on our own anyway), or worse, a SG that degenerated into a chat session.

A SG is NOT something for nothing. You have to invest study time and effort before coming to the SG meeting to get real benefit from it.

Who benefits from Study Groups?
You can, if you have the desire to succeed, some self-discipline, and the ability to read and learn
on your own, with a little motivation from your SG.

What are the some of the benefits of Study Groups?
• DOUG Study Groups can help you get Oracle Certified !!!
• Advance your career
• Improve your marketability and earning power
• Help you stay on track and complete career goals on time
• Provide study motivation through peer-pressure, a study schedule, and deadlines
• Reinforce classroom training
• Deepen your technical expertise
• Expand your skill set
• You don’t really know it until you teach it (You don’t truly understand a subject unless you can fully explain it to someone else)
• Learn practical knowledge and valuable insights from other techies who have different experiences, viewpoints, and backgrounds from your own
• Broaden your circle of friends and professional colleagues
• A great way to network for jobs
• Excellent job interview preparation.

What certifications does Oracle offer?
• Database Administrator
• Application Developer
• Application Server Administrator

Oracle offers certifications at the Associate, Professional, and Master levels

(Starting with Oracle9i, at least one formal training course is required for certification).

What is a Subject Matter Expert (SME)?
Many employers search for (or develop in-house) experts in specific subjects important to their business operations. These highly coveted folks are commonly referred to as Subject Matter Experts, and are considered to possess highly advanced technical skills and knowledge. So, if you already have all the certifications and diplomas you can tastefully fit on your office wall, but still want to dig deeper into a specialized area, you might consider forming an SME Study Group with other like-minded experts. Some possible subject matter suggestions:

• Oracle Architecture
• Networking
• Parallel Databases
• Security
• Best Practices
• Applications and Development
• Database Tuning
• Oracle Collaboration Suite
• Applying Oracle technology to meet Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

What is the role of the Study Group Leader?
The SG Leader is essential in order for a SG to be successful. The leader arranges for a meeting place, such as a local library, home, or workplace conference room, and sets a schedule for the group. The SG Leader does NOT lecture to the group. Instead, he/she encourages interactive discussion and keeps the group on–track, on-schedule, and focused on Study Objectives / Exam Objectives.

ANYONE can become a SG Leader. If you don’t already have leadership skills, we can help you develop the skills you need to lead SG interactive discussions and keep the group on schedule.

What is the role of Group Members?
Being a SG Group Member is pretty straightforward: Study the assigned material prior to each weekly meeting. Practice what you’ve learned hands-on, if possible (Oracle can be freely downloaded and run on inexpensive hardware, and there is no substitute for hands-on experience). Come to SG meetings prepared to ask as well as answer questions. Participate in group discussion. And please, give your SG Leader support when asked and help lighten their workload. He/she works hard to make the SG a success. You can assist your SG Leader by helping to arrange, organize, and lead meetings.

How do I start a DOUG Study Group?
Determine what your goals are (for example, to become a certified DBA), and what time frame you want to accomplish your goals in (i.e., within six months or a year). Contact the DOUG Study Group Chair, and he/she will help you get started from there.