I recently passed my MCS Developer certification test. Woohoo! My last Oracle certification was way back in 1999 when I got certified in Developer 2000. Back then it involved passing a series of tests covering PL/SQL, Reports and Forms.
The tests were taken at a Pearson testing facility under the watchful eyes of the test proctors “There will be no peaking at your neighbor’s test!” It wouldn’t have helped much to peak at my neighbor’s computer, because they were most likely taking a test on Accounting or for their GED. Times haven’t changed much since 1999 except the proctor now watches a bank of monitors each focused on the activities of a tense test taker.
As with most journeys, my path to certification started from being in a certain situation and wanting to get to a certain place. We had done a Mobile Field Service implementation at Restaurant Technologies where we got a taste of the possibilities of extending Oracle’s E-Business Suite (EBS) system to the field. In this case it was bringing Restaurant Technologies’ delivery drivers into the real-time world.
For example, billing changed from a next-day paperwork activity to an instantaneous event — customers would often receive their bill before the delivery driver left the parking lot. As they say, time is money and connecting your employees and customers to the grid saves a lot of time. So, that was the circumstance that led me and Traust to start working with Mobile solutions.
In early 2016, Traust decided to make a larger investment in Mobile by building expertise with mobile software in anticipation of the coming needs of our clients. A lot of our clients want to extend their EBS systems to the mobile environment, but it needs to have enterprise level security, branding, flexibility, and stability. The MCS platform fit that bill, so we took the plunge — signing up for our own licensed copy and making a commitment to mastering the technology.
There’s no better way to learn than through experience, so we dreamt up a couple of hypothetical business cases and got down to work. Our first lesson was learning what team players go into producing an app beyond the traditional rolls of Management, Functional, and Technical. Focusing just on the technical aspect, you really need an app developer whose sole responsibility is creating that visually appealing and useful app. Then you need a service developer who supplies everything that app will need. The domain of the service developer is the MCS cloud platform that provides user management, single sign on, cloud storage, notification management, and interfaces to the back-end systems (e.g. EBS, SAP, google-maps, etc.).
The MCS Developer exam is centered on the activities of the MCS Service Developer, but it also requires some knowledge of the duties of the app developer, system architect, and other team players. It is truly a comprehensive exam. Oracle provides a study guide with links to the particular YouTube videos and sections of the documentation that discuss each topic.
84 YouTube lessons on all aspects of MCS
MCS Certification Recipe
1. Create an app
3. Take the Pre-Sales and Sales MCS exams offered online to get a feel for the exam content and format.
4. Sign up for a test date at Pearson. It may be 2 to 4 weeks before you can get a seat.
5. Study for the exam by working through the study guide. You only need a 64% score and you can probably pass by only watching the YouTube videos. I spent 40 hours reviewing both the videos and the documentation and scored an 85% on the exam.
You can get a copy of a much longer “How To Pass the MCS Exam” by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It includes my notes on each of the MCS topics. Use it for passing your own exam or peruse it to get an idea of what MCS provides as a platform for supporting enterprise grade mobile apps.