Scams Cast Doubt on

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-11-19 Print this article Print

Legitimate Educational Alternatives"> There is a wide range of Oracle training—training that ranges from "Oracle for Dummies" books sold in corner bookstores to non-Oracle University instructor-led classes that can cost about half that of Oracle University classes. Many, if not most, of these non-Oracle University choices are completely reputable, according to Cushing Anderson, an analyst with IDC, in Framingham, Mass. But the activities of one such as Haskins throws such legitimate, moderately-priced training venues into disrepute, Bobrowski said. "He has essentially tarnished small, independent training providers who are trying to be out there and provide alternatives for something they otherwise couldnt obtain," he said. "Thats a huge disservice to us."
According to a Channel Insider story Linux certifications can also pay off for IT professionals .
In one case, DBDomain was contacted by an individual who had been burned by OraKnowledge. The individual asked that DBDomain provide references as well as assurances that the outfit knew what they were doing and had quality material. DBDomain was happy to provide all that, Bobrowski said, since the companys "not going anywhere." "Were happy to stand by our product and do right by our customers," Bobrowski said. "But there are obviously others out there who arent going to do that." Haskins himself would likely agree with that assessment, having told that he shed the OraKnowledge branding and set up a fictional security expert named Robert Allen because his own name became too much of a negative burden. Whereas the DBDomain customer learned the hard way what questions he or she should have asked before purchasing Oracle training from OraKnowledge, others should learn the questions before losing the money, Bobrowski said. To that end, DBDomains site offers a three-page, downloadable list of 20 questions to ask training vendors. Here is a sampling from that list:
  • Who developed your Oracle training? (Dont settle for vague statements here, get names.)
  • What are the credentials of that person, or those people? (Ask about technical and teaching credentials; get URL if published on Web.) If courses were developed "with" Oracle Corp., what exactly does that mean? (Did the company get Oracles class notes and rewrite them into CD or online training; if so, who exactly rewrote the training notes?) Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

    Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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