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-   -   Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK? (http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t42788-re-does-mcad-mcsd-get-you-work-in-the-uk.html)

Kline Sphere 08-04-2003 08:33 PM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
>Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the
>UK? For me the answer appears to be a big fat no!


Microsoft certification means very little in the UK, even less than
back in the States.

Companies quite right seek both technical and business experience
first. Some companies, such as the company I work for, consider
business knowledge and experience far more important than technical
knowledge, as it is far harder to obtain than any technical know how.

You mentioned 'Recruitment agents' in your post. I never understand
why on Earth UK companies use them. They are completely and utterly
useless. My advice would be not to use them either, go direct to
source, cut out the middle man.

Paul Britton 08-05-2003 08:28 AM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
Yeah, I agree with you that experience is paramount, however there is
a problem in how to measure its quality and depth. The most efficient
and consistent frame of reference is through sampling an individual's
knowledge by testing them, i.e. certification exams. With the newness
of .NET certification it is more significant, the reality is the
breadth and depth of knowledge is not out there in large volumes
compared to other technologies.

I'm not specifically championing MCAD/MCSD. I believe that it's just
another benchmark in helping to determine an individual's potential
for doing a job. Similar to a degree being an indication of an
individual's ability to learn and digest knowledge, or a driving test
being a indication of someone's ability to drive a car. It is a part
of building up a profile of an individual.

In the UK, the recruitment agent is the main marketplace for
contract/freelance work. They are a necessary evil. And although I am
sure there are some decent ones out there, they tend to be one step up
from door-to-door salesman. However, a door-to-door salesman does know
the difference between a broom and a mop, whereas a recruitment agent
would not appreciate any difference between ASP and ASP.NET. They tend
to be young people with little IT knowledge or experience, working on
a commission basis, with little perceivable integrity.

And, unfortunately, it is these people who are the first that a
work-seeking contractor has to convince. The problem is heightened by
the fact that it is a buyers market at the moment (even though the UK
government thinks there is an IT knowledge shortfall and is
encouraging outsourcing to southern Asia, yet another gripe). To wade
through the piles of CV's these agents are performing arbitrary
sifting. But hold on, shouldn't they use MCAD/MCSD certification as a
means of sifting - well I don't think they do. Either, because they
don't know what it is (I guess about 80% of them) and the remainder
don't give it any credence.

I am not knocking MCAD/MCSD because I have enjoyed doing it. But at
the moment the perception of its worth is dwarfed by the perception of
"commercial experience". It really needs to be raised up to point
where it has some influence in the recruitment decision process.

Am I alone in this view?

Paul

emg 08-05-2003 12:31 PM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
I'm speaking from the U.S. here . . .

There's another thread here which discusses the concepts of a credential as
proof of capability (Required Certification , Unions . . .)

But I also look at certs a different way. You might be working in a VB 6
shop. They have no plans to move to .Net any time soon. However, you train
and certify anyway. At some point, you manage to convince your supervisor
to do one or two little projects in .Net. Voila! Commercial Experience!
It's a lot easier to pull this off when you are not asking your supervisor
to spend time and money to send you to class and theoretically, your
certification shortens the learning curve for the "real" project
considerably.

I realize this is a circuitous route to .Net experience but sometimes this
strategy works. Now this doesn't justify spending thousands of $$$ on "boot
camps" and other training materials. But at least it's a pro-active
approach to the problem.

As for working on certs while you're unemployed - - would you be better off
having done nothing during that time? Again, I'm not talking about spending
a huge wad of cash on classes, but working at home with some books and the
internet seems to me to be a very sensible course of action. At minimum it
gives you something to tell the prospective employer when he asks what
you've been doing with your time!




"Paul Britton" <paul.britton@brittonglobalinfo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:fa3a9c05.0308050028.5764baa8@posting.google.c om...
> Yeah, I agree with you that experience is paramount, however there is
> a problem in how to measure its quality and depth. The most efficient
> and consistent frame of reference is through sampling an individual's
> knowledge by testing them, i.e. certification exams. With the newness
> of .NET certification it is more significant, the reality is the
> breadth and depth of knowledge is not out there in large volumes
> compared to other technologies.
>
> I'm not specifically championing MCAD/MCSD. I believe that it's just
> another benchmark in helping to determine an individual's potential
> for doing a job. Similar to a degree being an indication of an
> individual's ability to learn and digest knowledge, or a driving test
> being a indication of someone's ability to drive a car. It is a part
> of building up a profile of an individual.
>
> In the UK, the recruitment agent is the main marketplace for
> contract/freelance work. They are a necessary evil. And although I am
> sure there are some decent ones out there, they tend to be one step up
> from door-to-door salesman. However, a door-to-door salesman does know
> the difference between a broom and a mop, whereas a recruitment agent
> would not appreciate any difference between ASP and ASP.NET. They tend
> to be young people with little IT knowledge or experience, working on
> a commission basis, with little perceivable integrity.
>
> And, unfortunately, it is these people who are the first that a
> work-seeking contractor has to convince. The problem is heightened by
> the fact that it is a buyers market at the moment (even though the UK
> government thinks there is an IT knowledge shortfall and is
> encouraging outsourcing to southern Asia, yet another gripe). To wade
> through the piles of CV's these agents are performing arbitrary
> sifting. But hold on, shouldn't they use MCAD/MCSD certification as a
> means of sifting - well I don't think they do. Either, because they
> don't know what it is (I guess about 80% of them) and the remainder
> don't give it any credence.
>
> I am not knocking MCAD/MCSD because I have enjoyed doing it. But at
> the moment the perception of its worth is dwarfed by the perception of
> "commercial experience". It really needs to be raised up to point
> where it has some influence in the recruitment decision process.
>
> Am I alone in this view?
>
> Paul




Kline Sphere 08-05-2003 12:55 PM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
>I'm not specifically championing MCAD/MCSD. I believe that it's just
>another benchmark in helping to determine an individual's potential
>for doing a job.


The Microsoft certification has been losing it's worth for years, now
it's at the point of no return. The reason is simply down to the way
in which the exams can be passed by anyone, with or without experience
in IT. Simple look at the brain dump sites and the companies that sell
the questions and answers.

So why on Earth should a company take notice of them when their is no
guarantee whatsoever that the holder actual possesses the required
understanding.

>In the UK, the recruitment agent is the main marketplace for
>contract/freelance work. They are a necessary evil.


As I said completely ridiculous. When I want a plumber, I don't go to
'agency' to get one for me at additional cost.

Maybe UK companies have plenty of money to waste. My experience of
software devolvement in the UK is that it's a totally shambles, so
it's no surprise companies continue to waste money.

On 5 Aug 2003 01:28:09 -0700, paul.britton@brittonglobalinfo.co.uk
(Paul Britton) wrote:

>Yeah, I agree with you that experience is paramount, however there is
>a problem in how to measure its quality and depth. The most efficient
>and consistent frame of reference is through sampling an individual's
>knowledge by testing them, i.e. certification exams. With the newness
>of .NET certification it is more significant, the reality is the
>breadth and depth of knowledge is not out there in large volumes
>compared to other technologies.
>
>I'm not specifically championing MCAD/MCSD. I believe that it's just
>another benchmark in helping to determine an individual's potential
>for doing a job. Similar to a degree being an indication of an
>individual's ability to learn and digest knowledge, or a driving test
>being a indication of someone's ability to drive a car. It is a part
>of building up a profile of an individual.
>
>In the UK, the recruitment agent is the main marketplace for
>contract/freelance work. They are a necessary evil. And although I am
>sure there are some decent ones out there, they tend to be one step up
>from door-to-door salesman. However, a door-to-door salesman does know
>the difference between a broom and a mop, whereas a recruitment agent
>would not appreciate any difference between ASP and ASP.NET. They tend
>to be young people with little IT knowledge or experience, working on
>a commission basis, with little perceivable integrity.
>
>And, unfortunately, it is these people who are the first that a
>work-seeking contractor has to convince. The problem is heightened by
>the fact that it is a buyers market at the moment (even though the UK
>government thinks there is an IT knowledge shortfall and is
>encouraging outsourcing to southern Asia, yet another gripe). To wade
>through the piles of CV's these agents are performing arbitrary
>sifting. But hold on, shouldn't they use MCAD/MCSD certification as a
>means of sifting - well I don't think they do. Either, because they
>don't know what it is (I guess about 80% of them) and the remainder
>don't give it any credence.
>
>I am not knocking MCAD/MCSD because I have enjoyed doing it. But at
>the moment the perception of its worth is dwarfed by the perception of
>"commercial experience". It really needs to be raised up to point
>where it has some influence in the recruitment decision process.
>
>Am I alone in this view?
>
>Paul



emg 08-05-2003 03:07 PM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
> >As I said completely ridiculous. When I want a plumber, I don't go to
'agency' to get one for me at additional cost. < <

Yes but how many plumbers do you hire each month? The reason US companies
went to agencies was so they could spend less time reviewing resumes,
interviewing candidates and negotiating job offers. The agency does a
certain amount of screening. The screening may be high-quality or
low-quality (usually low). However the employer is spared the necessity of
scanning thru the hundreds or thousands of resumes that come flooding in
when a job is posted. Also, the employer specifies a bill rate and the
agency knows often they cannot move off that rate. Again, time saved going
back and forth. The agency handles it all.

I once heard thru the grapevine of a company that had an open position that
fit my skillset very well. I sent them a resume and received a polite
refusal. Six weeks later they hired me thru a recruiter. The HR person was
convinced that in the long run, the recruiter saved them time and money.
Their recruiter was the only route into that company.


"Kline Sphere" <T> wrote in message
news:el9vivc8usf693lsonjfha748ps28ld3gj@4ax.com...
> >I'm not specifically championing MCAD/MCSD. I believe that it's just
> >another benchmark in helping to determine an individual's potential
> >for doing a job.

>
> The Microsoft certification has been losing it's worth for years, now
> it's at the point of no return. The reason is simply down to the way
> in which the exams can be passed by anyone, with or without experience
> in IT. Simple look at the brain dump sites and the companies that sell
> the questions and answers.
>
> So why on Earth should a company take notice of them when their is no
> guarantee whatsoever that the holder actual possesses the required
> understanding.
>
> >In the UK, the recruitment agent is the main marketplace for
> >contract/freelance work. They are a necessary evil.

>
> As I said completely ridiculous. When I want a plumber, I don't go to
> 'agency' to get one for me at additional cost.
>
> Maybe UK companies have plenty of money to waste. My experience of
> software devolvement in the UK is that it's a totally shambles, so
> it's no surprise companies continue to waste money.
>
> On 5 Aug 2003 01:28:09 -0700, paul.britton@brittonglobalinfo.co.uk
> (Paul Britton) wrote:
>
> >Yeah, I agree with you that experience is paramount, however there is
> >a problem in how to measure its quality and depth. The most efficient
> >and consistent frame of reference is through sampling an individual's
> >knowledge by testing them, i.e. certification exams. With the newness
> >of .NET certification it is more significant, the reality is the
> >breadth and depth of knowledge is not out there in large volumes
> >compared to other technologies.
> >
> >I'm not specifically championing MCAD/MCSD. I believe that it's just
> >another benchmark in helping to determine an individual's potential
> >for doing a job. Similar to a degree being an indication of an
> >individual's ability to learn and digest knowledge, or a driving test
> >being a indication of someone's ability to drive a car. It is a part
> >of building up a profile of an individual.
> >
> >In the UK, the recruitment agent is the main marketplace for
> >contract/freelance work. They are a necessary evil. And although I am
> >sure there are some decent ones out there, they tend to be one step up
> >from door-to-door salesman. However, a door-to-door salesman does know
> >the difference between a broom and a mop, whereas a recruitment agent
> >would not appreciate any difference between ASP and ASP.NET. They tend
> >to be young people with little IT knowledge or experience, working on
> >a commission basis, with little perceivable integrity.
> >
> >And, unfortunately, it is these people who are the first that a
> >work-seeking contractor has to convince. The problem is heightened by
> >the fact that it is a buyers market at the moment (even though the UK
> >government thinks there is an IT knowledge shortfall and is
> >encouraging outsourcing to southern Asia, yet another gripe). To wade
> >through the piles of CV's these agents are performing arbitrary
> >sifting. But hold on, shouldn't they use MCAD/MCSD certification as a
> >means of sifting - well I don't think they do. Either, because they
> >don't know what it is (I guess about 80% of them) and the remainder
> >don't give it any credence.
> >
> >I am not knocking MCAD/MCSD because I have enjoyed doing it. But at
> >the moment the perception of its worth is dwarfed by the perception of
> >"commercial experience". It really needs to be raised up to point
> >where it has some influence in the recruitment decision process.
> >
> >Am I alone in this view?
> >
> >Paul

>




Maria 08-06-2003 08:29 AM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
Agencies CAN work, but it takes effort on both sides.
A few years back our company used to have a pretty good
working relationship with one of the UK-wide agencies, for
hiring contractors. We had a single point of contact
within the agency and they would conduct interviews with
the candidates and check their references before taking
them on their books. If a person turned out to be
unsuitable after all (yes, it did happen occasionally that
someone managed to bluff his way in) the pseron would be
sacked by us and dropped from the agency's list. We would
make the agency aware of likely projects in the pipeline.
If we needed someone the agency would only put forward a
handful of people and they would all be worth considering.
It saved us a lot of time. Our contact in the agency would
know 'their' people by name and would keep in touch with
them during the contract, not just when it was about to
expire. But all this was couple of years ago, and after
several mergers/takeovers the HR department in our company
now has very different procedures.

Tore Bostrup 08-07-2003 03:55 AM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
The use of recruiters is a matter of practicality and economics. Some
companies wouldn't dream of using a recruiter, and some companies use them
almost exclusively. Just because you think it is ridiculous doesn't mean it
always is, or that everybody agrees with your point of view.

If I need a plumber, I either have a recommendation that I trust (hiring
through networking), or I call a company. I don't interview the plumbers.
In some cases I may obtain multiple estimates, and base my decision on
those. At other times, I expect that the company I call only employs
capable plumbers able to handle the task at hand. If not, I will complain,
have the case remedied, and depending on how the case was resolved, I may
become an ex-customer and a negative reference for that company.

If I have used a company that I have been satisfied with in the past, I will
trust them to send me a plumber that can do the job, regardless of whether
it is the plumber I dealt with previously.

The same is true with recruiters. When a company calls on a recruiter, they
trust that the recruiter will be able to provide them with a capable
individual. Although the process is a little longer than with the plumbing
company and may involve interviewing two or three candidates, it can usually
be done in a matter of a day or two. While there may still be some time
before the selected candidate can start (existing commitments, current jobs,
typically about two weeks in the US), the time to compose an advertisement,
publish it (at least locally, job ads in newspapers typically run only
Sundays), allowing reasonable time for applicants to respond, receiving and
reviewing the applications, writing response letters, checking references
and calling the top candidates for interviews can take a long time. Some
companies are set up to handle this either through additional overhead in
HR/personnel departments, or by processes and preexisting templates that
help in the various tasks. Other companies are not, or they can not afford
to wait for an extended period before hiring people. In these cases, using
recruiters make a lot of sense.

Regards,
Tore.


"Kline Sphere" <T> wrote in message
news:7civivcrgaog2seeo365umnkvdppkvsc9e@4ax.com...
> >I once heard thru the grapevine of a company that had an open position

that
> >fit my skillset very well. I sent them a resume and received a polite
> >refusal. Six weeks later they hired me thru a recruiter. The HR person

was
> >convinced that in the long run, the recruiter saved them time and money.
> >Their recruiter was the only route into that company.

>
> Completely and utter ridiculous.
>
> When the company I work for look to hire people, they hire the people
> they believe are best. There is no way the company would trust any
> part of the selection process to a third party. It is the people that
> make the company, whether they be IT people or core business
> professionals. This has nothing to do with costs, simply that the
> company knows the type of people they want and no recruiter has the
> same level of experience in our field of business as we do.
>
> >Yes but how many plumbers do you hire each month?

>
> What does that have to do with it?
>
> The company have no need for temporary employees of any description.
> However, when I was in the UK back in 97, my company tried to hire a
> interbase expert on temporary contract. They tried several so called
> 'agencies' and got nowhere, just dozens and dozens of completely
> unsuitable cv's, clearly the product of a five second search with
> their 'buzz word' searching tool. In the end they hired a guy from the
> States to come out help out.




Kline Sphere 08-07-2003 09:35 AM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
>The use of recruiters is a matter of practicality and economics. Some
>companies wouldn't dream of using a recruiter, and some companies use them
>almost exclusively. Just because you think it is ridiculous doesn't mean it
>always is, or that everybody agrees with your point of view.


Absolutely.

As I said if companies have money to burn or are too incompetent to go
about the selection process in full, that's fine. The company I work
for would never allow a third party to be involved in what amounts to
the success and prosperity of the core business. Maybe that's why they
have a very low staff turn around and are unaffected by the so called
'down turn' in IT.

Kline Sphere 08-07-2003 09:44 AM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
>Agencies CAN work, but it takes effort on both sides.
>A few years back our company used to have a pretty good
>working relationship with one of the UK-wide agencies, for
>hiring contractors. We had a single point of contact
>within the agency and they would conduct interviews with
>the candidates and check their references before taking
>them on their books. If a person turned out to be
>unsuitable after all (yes, it did happen occasionally that
>someone managed to bluff his way in) the pseron would be
>sacked by us and dropped from the agency's list. We would
>make the agency aware of likely projects in the pipeline.
>If we needed someone the agency would only put forward a
>handful of people and they would all be worth considering.
>It saved us a lot of time. Our contact in the agency would
>know 'their' people by name and would keep in touch with
>them during the contract, not just when it was about to
>expire. But all this was couple of years ago, and after
>several mergers/takeovers the HR department in our company
>now has very different procedures.


I would except that for temporary contracts, initially you may need to
approach an agency. One you have a list of people you are happy with
you approach those people directly for future work. You don't want to
keep going back to the agency to get different people which you have
no idea what they are like, which one assumes would involve some kind
of interview process.

Back in the States where my company is based, they have several
freelancers who are approached when required. The company no these
people's quantities and certainly don't go through an 'agency' or
selection process.

Kline Sphere 08-07-2003 09:57 AM

Re: Does MCAD/MCSD get you work in the UK?
 
>If I need a plumber, I either have a recommendation that I trust

Relating that statement back to contract/temporary/freelance, if you
have a recommendation, you would not go to an agency/recruter, but go
straight to the source.


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