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Koenig ReviewI first discovered Koenig on the web about 1 year prior to enrolling on the Oracle OCP course with 10g – normal track...

Mark Hankey (United Kingdom), Oracle9i Forms Developer (OCA & OCP);Oracle10g DBA OCA & OCP 16 Apr to 24 May 2007

Koenig Review

I first discovered Koenig on the web about 1 year prior to enrolling on the Oracle OCP course with 10g – normal track. My reasons for enrolling were to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of Oracle and to complement my 5 years Oracle work experience in order to improve my earnings potential and prospects. I choose Koenig based on price and exotic location ( Goa). Prior to starting my course I had never been to India before and had heard many tales about the culture shock I was to expect with the usual “Deli-Belly” and “Don’t drink the water” cautionary advice.

The culture is obviously different with the traffic being notably chaotic and some parts of the environment quite disorderly (and dirty) as compared to the west. There is obvious poverty in Goa, but at least not as severe as one might expect. The weather (check http://weather.msn.com/monthly_avera ges.aspx?wealocations=wc:INXX0169 for Panjim) was very nice whilst I was staying in Goa (except for right at the end of May, which was the last few days of my course). The hotel I stayed in (Prainha) had a lovely, peaceful location, ideal for study and relaxation. The other good thing was there was a small group of about 6 of us all studying at Koenig, this acted as a sort of support group as everyone on the courses were all in a similar situation.
The set up at Koenig works quite well, the choice of a number of hotels with daily taxi to and from the training centre and also an “allowance” of money to cover basic meal costs included within the price (this was very basic and probably would require supplementing). The training centre is fully air conditioned and well equipped (PC’s are approximately 2 years old technology) the internet is often quite slow in comparison to the speeds we are used to in the UK.

The training is the same as you would receive anywhere in the world with the testing centre an official Prometric Online Testing Centre. Our trainer was very knowledgeable and a very intelligent guy. He had very good English and could even understand me from Wigan! He was also very patient and quickly gauged at what tempo the course should proceed. This was particularly welcome as when training under such intensity for several weeks on end, both motivation and energy levels can be up and down. The admin and support staff were very helpful and nothing was too much of a problem. Technical support was on hand and was quick and timely in response to any technical issues.

The Hotel Prainha was quite basic but adequate with a.c, (sometimes) hot and cold shower and helpful, polite (albeit sometimes slow) staff. The location of the hotel was brilliant with well kept gardens, swimming pool and backed on to a small section of beach. After spending a couple of nights in a hotel in the centre of Panjim I found this hotel to be an ideal location for study. There was also a small group of Koenig students who stayed there whilst I was doing my course, I found this very helpful as we were all in the same situation. One thing to note is the electricity in Goa can go off without warning, usually for about 5mins with some major downtime at weekends. It is worth keeping the laptop fully charged and also inquiring if there is going to be downtime at weekends, if there is you can use the offices at Koenig that have back up power as do some of the hotels in the town.

The food in Goa is very tasty with seafood being popular and western dishes all available very cheaply. I had an upset stomach for about 4 days out of 45 days in week two, after this I was fine and could pretty much eat whatever I wanted. If you are going to take anti-malaria drugs then take MALARONE, these are by far the best with the least side effects (none in my case) albeit much more expensive. The cheaper ones caused almost everyone who I spoke to bad side effects.

Overall my experience with Koenig & Goa/India was very positive and a very worthwhile experience. I believe it is a very good way of studying and attaining certification as by the end of it you literally eat, sleep, breath and live the subject. This would not suit everyone and it is definitely !NOT A HOLIDAY!. I personally studied 7 days a week, 9-5 in the office then 3-5 hours in the evening and all day (except for 1 day at the beginning) Sunday for 40 days, as did the majority of the students who I got to know. One very important point to note with Oracle is that after the 1 st module, if you fail, you cannot retake an exam straight away. You then have to wait either 14 or 30 days to retake the failed module. This can pretty much sabotage the outcome of the training as some modules are pre-requisites to later module exams. So, no pressure! This fact made me stay focussed and do as much as possible to successfully complete the course. I managed to gain my 9i OCA, OCP and 10g Upgrade in 40days. Not bad for a lad from Wigan! But I’m glad I choose the normal track and not fast or super-fast track as I feel this would not have been as rewarding and very high pressure.