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"Cheat Sheet" for PowerBuilder/PFC "Help"

How to Study for the Sybase Certified PowerBuilder Developer (CPD)  Tests


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Good News...  The CPD Program [now under Sybase Certified Professional (SCP) Program]...

certic.gif (6998 bytes)
... is under new management

Currently, they are in the process of rethinking the entire certification program needs...

They are dedicated to making it work for you.
Stay tuned for updates on changes as they happen!

 

Excellent changes!

Other notes of interest...
 
Merris increased the maximum Migration test retake times (from 2 times max) to 4 times max!

 

In addition, she has changed any retake waiting period (from 90 days) to only 30 days.   (This applies to the Professional Test's old waiting period of 6 months as well.)

 

PB7 Sybase Sample questions are now available

 
Remember the tricky checkbox questions?  Merris changed the test-writing guidelines (for all future tests) so that it will specify how many boxes to check.
Prior to 6.0, there were two Associate tests (Fundamentals and Advanced Concepts) that you had to pass before you obtained the CPD Associate title.  With 6.0, you only have to pass one test.
There will not be a CPD 6.0 Professional (Application) Test.  The 6.0 application test got caught in the middle of the turnover.  In addition, the pre-release version was too similar to the 5.0 test.  Therefore, Sybase recommends that you basically take the 5.0 Pro test and then the 6.0 Pro Migration test to become a 6.0 Professional.  To clarify, there are "Certification Paths" clearly defined at http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1009635 .  For example:
If you are... then take these to become a CPDP6 
Uncertified  CPDA6, CPDP5
CPDA4/5 CPDP5, CPDP6Mig
CPDA6 CPDP5
CPDP4/5 CPDP6Mig
Currently, they cannot tell us the correct answers to a test because there is a limited set of questions.  (There are only 2 sets of questions.)  This will be taken into consideration for future tests, so that possibly future tests will have a bigger pool of questions.
The CPD department will seek feedback from TeamSybase and Certified PowerBuilder Instructors in order to judge the tests...   These are two solid control groups that should be a good indicator.  My personal hopes are that passing scores could perhaps be swayed from this.  We want the tests to be tough, but not so tough that the authorities cannot pass them.
There are new logos now (see below).  Because it is costly to do a massive mailing, the logos are available only by request.  Contact mailto:Rosalyn.Sarmiento@sybase.com .  Also, don't be alarmed if she asks for proof of your certification.  Unfortunately, the historical data is in limbo for a little while because the data is being converted to this new sytem...
Available now!...  Sybase Certification Management System -  This function will allow you to track your certification progress, update your personal data, and view your personal history for certification exams.
Note that the program is now managed by a totally new group of people, in a whole new era of programming.  The new people are on the opposite coast of the US (in CA vs. MA)...  And most of the new people work for (and have always worked for) Sybase, not Powersoft.  In addition, PowerBuilder is more of a mature product now, and a PowerBuilder programmer's responsibilities are growing.  So keeping these things in mind, there could be drastic changes now.  And I feel confident that they will all be good.

 

 


Official Study Guides and Info

There is a lot of info from Sybase Learning Center on preparing for the CPD Tests at:


http://www.sybase.com/education/profcert 
 and
http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1002813 ...(Be sure to download & print the Study Guide from here)

or by calling U.S.A. (800) 8-SYBASE [which is (800) 879-2273], option 2


From the web you can download some very detailed study guides for the CPD Tests.  In addition, there are some official Sybase Sample Exams at http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1010270 

Notes:
  • The CPD program in now under the umbrella of the Sybase Certified Professional Program.  So now technically, the program name and the titles have the word 'Sybase' in front of them.  However, the old terminologies still apply.  Here is a table to help clarify...
Certified PowerBuilder Developer Program Sybase Certified Professional Program - PowerBuilder Developer
CPD   (now under SCP) SCP-CPD
CPDA (still valid abbrev) Sybase Certified PowerBuilder Developer Associate
CPDP (still valid abbrev) Sybase Certified PowerBuilder Developer Professional
  • The new SCP Program logo looks like this  

And the new PowerBuilder Developer logos look like the above picture, except for these minor changes:  Along the bottom, rather than saying "Professional Program", it says only either "Associate" or "Professional".  Also, there is an added slim rectangle across the center that says "PowerBuilder Developer". 

Note:  To request printer quality logos for your business cards, please contact mailto:Rosalyn.Sarmiento@sybase.com

  • Prior to 6.0, there were two Associate tests (Fundamentals and Advanced Concepts) that you had to pass before you obtained the CPD Associate title.  With 6.0, you only have to pass one test.
  • There will not be a CPD 6.0 Professional (Application) Test.  The 6.0 application test got caught in the middle of the turnover.  In addition, the pre-release version was too similar to the 5.0 test.  Therefore, Sybase recommends that you basically take the 5.0 Pro test and then the 6.0 Pro Migration test to become a 6.0 Professional.  To clarify, there are "Certification Paths" clearly defined at http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1009635 .  For example:
If you are... then take these to become a CPDP6 
Uncertified  CPDA6, CPDP5
CPDA4/5 CPDP5, CPDP6Mig
CPDA6 CPDP5
CPDP4/5 CPDP6Mig
  • The term 'Migration Test' is equivalent to the previous 'Maintenance Test' term.  They switched over to this new terminology to be consistent with the Sybase Certified Professional program.
  • You now have a choice of taking the test through Virtual University Enterprises (VUE) or Sylvan Prometric. It is the exact same test either way you take it.
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CPD Book

There is a very helpful book titled PowerBuilder Essentials - A Guide to the CPD.  This book even has some sample CPD Professional application tests to use to practice...

http://www.sys-con.com/books/books.htm ~ comes complete with a CD-Rom and two diskettes containing partial practice tests (PowerPrep Lite and PowerScore Lite)

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Are There Some Other Study Tools? - CPD Associate Level

There are a plethora of third party CPD (Associate) practice exams... with downloadable demos too...

http://www.certifyOnline.com CertifyOnline - CPD Online Courseware 

http://www.centrasoft.com/cpdbst50.htm CentraSoft's CPD Buster 5.0

http://www.powerconcepts.com/powerscore.html PowerScore 5.0 by PowerConcepts

http://www.docsoftware.com/ PowerPrep 5.0 & 6.0 by D.O.C. Software

http://www.applied-software.com/ CPD Online Class - by Applied Software

There are lots of ads in the PBDJ and PB Advisor magazines as well, for example PowerQuiz & PowerCD...

The way that I word using any of these tools to study, is just that - They are "tools to use to study with", not actual test questions, not necessarily similar questions... but they will "get you warmed up" and help you explore different topics and tidbits.  These tests should augment the PS study guide and help build up your confidence and make for some interesting chit chat in the breakroom <s>.

Even the official Sybase sample tests and study guidelines are simply tools, not actual specific exam material.

If you like "cute" and "entertaining", there are some cool CBT programs (altho' pricy) available, too.  You can learn bunches from just checking out the demos.  One demo that I liked was "Making the Most of PowerBuilder 5.0" by CBT Systems Ltd.  Order a demo from http://www.cbtsys.com/

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Are There Some Other Study Tools? - CPD Professional Level

CPD Pro 4.0 -

The aforementioned CPD book titled PowerBuilder Essentials - A Guide to the CPD contains some sample CPD Professional application tests that are very similar to the 4.0 actual tests...

http://www.sys-con.com/books/books.htm - PowerBuilder Essentials - A Guide to the CPD

CPD Pro 5.0 - Other than the official Study Guide (see above), I am not aware of any other preparation tools for the 5.0 test.  Please see my personal advice and recommendations below.

CPD Pro 6.0 - There will not be a 6.0 Pro test.  Instead, Sybase recommends that you basically take the 5.0 Pro test and then take the 6.0 Pro Migration test.  Please see http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1009635 for your personal Certification Path (depending on what certification level you are already at).

CPD Pro 7.0 - There is not a 7.0 Pro test in the sense of the old application-style test.  Instead, you simply take the "written exams"...  You need to take both the Associate and Professional exam if you are not already a CPD Professional...  Or simply the Professional exam if you are already a CPD Professional.  Please see http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1009635 for your personal Certification Path (depending on what certification level you are already at).  

Use the official Sybase Study Guide (along with the official Sybase Sample Exams if you wish) to study for the CPD Pro 7.0 written exam.

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Are There Any Magazine Articles on the CPD Program?

  CPD article by Bob Hendry in the August 1999 PBDJ magazine

  CPD article by Sean Rhody in a previous PBDJ magazine

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Sharon's Personal Advice on Studying for the CPD Associate Tests

My recommendation is to learn as much as you possibly can by using PowerBuilder's online Help and online documentation.  Be sure to read and study thoroughly the section of PowerBuilder's Help that talks about "What's new in PowerBuilder" for the particular release.  Not only for the maintenance exams, but the regular ones as well.

And, of course, if you are a PB newbie...  Be sure to attend the recommended Sybase training classes.  Although they are not prerequisites for the CPD, such courses as the FastTrack will start you well on your way for the first test.  But attending the class is not enough though...  Afterwards, you need to go home and STUDY the class materials thoroughly!  Do the labs and exercise questions.  Plus practice on an application that you build from scratch -  Pick an application that you can actually use yourself - like an Address and Label System.  Also be sure to play with all of the examples that come with PB.

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Sharon's Personal Advice on Studying for the CPD Professional Tests

CPD Pro 4.0 - Please see study tools above; That should get you there easily.

CPD Pro 5.0 - The CPD Pro 5.0 test is also an application test, like the 4.0 one.  However, for the 5.0 test, you do not begin from scratch when writing your application.  Instead, there is a PBL which includes an existing application.  This application is built on a very small class library set of objects (only a handful, don't worry).  Then, there are specifications given for how you must enhance the existing application.

To prepare, my recommendation would be to build a small application (like the 4.0 practice apps above) to warm up for it.  In your practice application, also try out some of the newer features that are mentioned in the official Study Guide, such as

Tabs, ListViews, TreeViews, RTFs, OCXs, DataStore caching, etc.

Also, when you start the actual test, do not panic when you read all of the enhancements that you will be needing to make to the application.  You will have three full hours, and it is plenty of time for you to complete it.  The specifications walk you step by step through each enhancement that you need to make.  So just take it one step at a time.  For the little ones that you feel "stuck" on, just skip them, and come back to them later...  Good Luck and Have fun!

CPD Pro 6.0 - There will not be a 6.0 Pro test.  Instead, Sybase recommends that you basically take the 5.0 Pro test and then take the 6.0 Pro Migration test.  Please see http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1009635 for your personal Certification Path (depending on what certification level you are already at).

CPD Pro 7.0 - There is not a 7.0 Pro test in the sense of the old application-style test.  Instead, you simply take the "written exams"...  You need to take both the Associate and Professional exam if you are not already a CPD Professional...  Or simply the Professional exam if you are already a CPD Professional.  Please see http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=1009635 for your personal Certification Path (depending on what certification level you are already at).  

By the way, the CPD Pro 7.0 exam is very similar to the CPD Pro 6.0 Migration exam.  So if you have already passed that one, it should be a breeze for you to upgrade to 7.0.  Good luck!

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Sharon's Personal Advice on Taking the CPD Associate/Professional Tests

I will warn you not to "overanalyze" your answers.  For in my opinion, to the intelligent, analytical minds, the questions can many times seem tricky ~ obscure ~ irrelevant ~&/or~ subjective!!

Watch out for those possible-multi-answer questions (checkboxes) that tempt you in to checking a box that sounds like it could possibly be true ~ although you have never even heard of it...  They'll get ya if you're not careful.  And if you check one checkbox wrong, you miss the whole question.  So forewarned is forearmed, okay? ... Good news!  Merris has changed their use of checkbox questions so that in all future tests it will say how many checkboxes you should check.  Thank you, Merris!

Now here's the most important advice that I have for all of you CPD seekers out there...

Don't feel bad if it takes a couple of tries, even for each step of the way...  For everyone I have ever known (myself included) took more than one try on most every PB test they took!!  Don't bet your self image on whether you pass or fail or whether it's going to get any easier...  Just go with the flow and turn it into as fun of an experience as you can. Okay? ...  Here is my most favorite CPD motivational advice...

I forgot where I saw this.  Some book or motivational infommercial.
One thing shared by all the successful people is not that they never fail, but
how quickly they recover from failure and make another attempt.

In fact, here is a another little tip...  If you don't swing it the first time...  *Immediately afterwards*, go to a quiet place, alone, grab a beer or beverage of your choice and jot down every piece of any Associate question (or Professional application specification) that you can remember...  Use this as your study guide for round two!

Now, if you miss the CPD Professional Test by only a few points, make sure that you schedule a followup phone meeting with the grader (phone number found on your letter) to discuss what points were deducted.  After your phone meeting, if you still feel that your solution was valid, then be sure to write a formal letter to the CPD Review Committee. I wish I had actually done that...  I drafted two or three, but I gave up too soon....because I felt beaten from the phone interviews and debates.  Please do not let that happen to you, and I personally will feel that the world is a better place.

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Sharon's Personal Advice on Coping

And if you get flustered from "failing", well, just come back to this bookmark and do some venting...  Write me a little note, and I will comfort you even 8-) ...  Or practice whining like, for instance, say, "Gee, wish someone would make them more realistic and not so harsh, but maybe it is just a sign of the times.  I personally wish that they would just double the price and be better at helping us to be able to get it the first time!  Sure would be more positive ~ more encouraging ~ more humane ~&~ less frustrating..."  Or, heck, maybe even try some constructive criticism feedback directed at the Sybase people that can do something about it!  Sam Lakkundi at  mailto:Sam.Lakkundi@sybase.com , Rosalyn Sarmiento at mailto:Rosalyn.Sarmiento@sybase.com or the Certification Administrator at mailto:cert_admin@sybase.com or at 1-800-8-SYBASE (1-800-879-2273) appreciate your constructive feedback.  They will actually listen and try to improve things for you and the next person.


And, when you step up to the CPD Professional level of testing fun...
Let this first phrase be your mantra and the second phrase simply make yourself laugh at yourself 8-)
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Sharon's Personal CPD Humor!

Here's a note that I wrote the night (early morn aft) of the same day that I finally passed the CPD Pro 5.0 Maintenance Test...  It's called "Zen and the Art of CPD Maintenance - We're having fun NOW!" ~~ Click Here

May it help you on your CPD path... ~sb

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Sharon's Politically Correct Footnote

But, now in Sybase's defense though...  What I have learned, and come to realize and accept, is that Sybase strives to keep up the value of the CPD title.  And as a side effect, the title becomes harder to achieve.  See, I actually like the fact that it is hard enough to make it actually mean something...

But my main concern has always been that there was not much that a person could do to prepare for the tests... because there were no sample tests that really paralleled them, and the study guide was broad and vague, and well, who has the time to sit and memorize the entire PowerBuilder Online Help file and Online Documentation?  ... However, now that I see that Sybase has made a major commitment to remedy these problems, and indeed now I have seen actual improvements, I personally feel much, much more relieved.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.......

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And, in closing, please bear in mind, one thing is for sure… You will learn *a lot* from your CPD Test experience!


Good Luck! 8-)

~Sharon
CPD-P

 

Feel free to write me at mailto:"Sharon Weinstrom Buntz" <sbuntz@texas.net>

Alex's pic of Sharon in Houston
~~ Special thanks to Vaidyanathan Sriram for his inspiration for this little write-up! ...
And thanks to Jesse Morales, Daniel Fox, Mark Guo, Pat Catanzaro, Ken Yates, Bob Fields,Cindy Houck, Ian Ross, Sumit Basu, Dean Ames, Sheldon Shulman, Cecil O'Brien Owens, Jr. and Kambiz Khatami's inspiration to keep it updated and helpful.

~~ Special thanks to Boris Gasin, Judy Cote, Michael Campbell, Greg Nieman, Kent Marsh, Todd DeRosa, Larry Cermak (and several other TeamSybasers) as well as my incredibly patient husband, John, for helping me thru my personal CPD drama!

Sharon (the crazy chick
from Texas) ...
Alex, "PFC God", and
founder of CPD Program,
shoots this pic in Houston
(at Steve Benfield's class)

[Here's Alex and Steve's
picture from the awesome
class, too
]

[Conf'97 CPD Test
site & administrators...
Nancy Cowen...
Nancy & Grace]

Take me to "I would like to learn PFC. Where Do I start?", please...

 

 

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