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Just a little venting

 
 
DalePres
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2004
or.. would you like a little cheese with that whine?

I'm going to take 70-320 this week... my third and, hopefully, final exam
for MCAD, though MCSD and renewing my MCSE and MCDBA still loom over my
head.

And with each exam, I have the same complaint. Microsoft sets the standards
and establishes the skill sets required to achieve certification. Having
done so, why do they not prepare training material that teaches those
skills. Teach what they test and test what they teach. If they did that,
they'd actually have much better control over the skill sets and technical
ability of their Microsoft Certified Professionals.

Novell does it.. Their white books teach everything they expect you to know
for the exams...

The whole "real world" component Microsoft tries to impart is not anyone's
real world since the exams are prepared long before anyone has enough real
world experience with the final release product to establish a definition
for real world. Or their real world experience is based on internal
experiences with in Microsoft... Like that's real world for the rest of
us...

And while the NDA is basically a good thing, it has ruined the whole idea of
newsgroups. Why bother to have these newsgroups? Because of the NDA no one
will even talk about the content of the exam in general terms for fear of
the MS hammer falling on them. There's no peer discussions of the exams or
certification processes going on here; there's only people repeatedly asking
the same questions that are clearly answered on the train_cert site at
Microsoft.com.

If you outlaw discussion about the exams, only outlaws will discuss the
exams.

Ok.... back to Kalani - second time through because I am trying to learn
everything under the sun since I don't know what else to do. Geeze, I am
tired of overstudying while the "outlaws" have all the answers before they
walk into the room!

Whew! I'm glad I got that off my chest.

Dale





 
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UAError
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-04-2004
"DalePres" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>or.. would you like a little cheese with that whine?
>
>I'm going to take 70-320 this week... my third and, hopefully, final exam
>for MCAD, though MCSD and renewing my MCSE and MCDBA still loom over my
>head.
>
>And with each exam, I have the same complaint. Microsoft sets the standards
>and establishes the skill sets required to achieve certification. Having
>done so, why do they not prepare training material that teaches those
>skills. Teach what they test and test what they teach. If they did that,
>they'd actually have much better control over the skill sets and technical
>ability of their Microsoft Certified Professionals.
>
>Novell does it.. Their white books teach everything they expect you to know
>for the exams...
>

In principle I agree but if we're looking for improvements
might as well go further - rather that tailoring towards the
exams which "samples" an extremely limited sub-set of
knowledge (of the technology), supply training material that
covers the "skills being measured" in detail - yes, it would
take longer to prepare but at least you would acquire a
knowledge base that is (more) well rounded and useful.

Maybe there is an ulterior motive of trying to promote the
courses that generate more revenue than books (which
probably generate very little if any).
>
>The whole "real world" component Microsoft tries to impart is not anyone's
>real world since the exams are prepared long before anyone has enough real
>world experience with the final release product to establish a definition
>for real world. Or their real world experience is based on internal
>experiences with in Microsoft... Like that's real world for the rest of
>us...
>

I might be missing your point here but ever considered that
everybody's "real world" is ultimately different? Any "real
world" conjured up by any testing organization will seem
artificial to a significant portion of the audience unless
you are really tightly focused on a particular application
area and the associated audience. As far as I can see there
really is no "real world" component in the certification.

What would you like to see? Something like the Java
Developer Certification?
http://suned.sun.com/US/certificatio...a_devj2se.html
Here you get a programming assignment which you need to
complete on your own time (though less than 12 months is
recommended) and if accepted you have a follow up exam where
you have to justify your design decisions (to ensure that
you are actually the author of the solution).

The programming assignment will probably not relate to
anything you deal with in your business life - so it will
still seem "artificial". And while this type of testing does
raise the quality of the certification it also becomes more
expensive as now at least one warm body who wants his/her
paycheck is evaluating your work and laying the foundation
for the essay exam and evaluating that too. Furthermore you
are now exposed to the risk of catching an evaluator on a
bad day were nothing but supreme excellence will do.

Yes, it raises the quality of certification but are you
willing to pay the price (higher exam fees, increased risk
of failure you have little control over, and even more time
to complete certification; we should be willing but what
business problem is certification solving? At some point the
investment into certification isn't worth it, especially as
technology doesn't stand still. Unfortunately there are very
few effective certification opportunities for "the craft" of
creating software solutions.)

I'm not saying that the Microsoft Status Quo is ideal - far
from it - but careful what you wish for - there is no
perfect solution.

Maybe somebody thought that they could cut down on the
number of exam questions if many questions only addressed
20% of the esoteric niches of the technology - only
experienced individuals would ever run into these problems
right? This tactic does not address the problem of
braindumps. They really should significantly increase the
number of questions in their testbank to a point where it
becomes impossible to memorize them all (i.e. you actually
have to understand the technology); the majority of these
questions should address problems that relate to the more
mundane areas; maybe they should also increase the number of
questions on every test.
>
>And while the NDA is basically a good thing, it has ruined the whole idea of
>newsgroups. Why bother to have these newsgroups? Because of the NDA no one
>will even talk about the content of the exam in general terms for fear of
>the MS hammer falling on them. There's no peer discussions of the exams or
>certification processes going on here; there's only people repeatedly asking
>the same questions that are clearly answered on the train_cert site at
>Microsoft.com.
>

It the old signal to noise ratio thing - unfortunately the
signal is buried somewhere. Anyway the NDA basically
disallows the discussions of the questions as such. However
that doesn't stop anybody from recommending preparation
materials after they have taken the tests (just look at the
codeclinic links). Over the last few months there were a few
posts that suggested that Kalani's 70-315/70-316 coverage of
security was weak.
There was at least one post that pointed out the lack of
soap-header coverage in Kalani's 70-320 guide.
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=so...oft.com&rnum=1
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=so...phx.gbl&rnum=2
>
>If you outlaw discussion about the exams, only outlaws will discuss the
>exams.
>

You can still discuss the "Skills being measured" - which
are out in the open. However very few individuals are going
to be motivated to try to memorize 55-57 questions and then
cross-reference study materials and publish them. Apart from
the problems this creates. You are supposed to be competent
in the domain outlined by the "Skills being measured" - not
in the taking of the exam - any exam can only ever cover a
minute subset of the "Skills being measured".

The codeclinic links are a great resource when it comes to
the "Skills being measured" - unless you are merely
interested in passing the exam, rather than being proficient
in the "Skills being measured".

Kalani's guides supply you with a wealth of links to deepen
you knowledge in the relevant areas which you are free to
pursue. This is even more important when it comes to
Cornish's 70-300 exam cram. While the guide is only about
500 pages, exploration of the links at the end of the
chapters is essential (and sometimes time-consuming) as the
chapters themselves merely gloss over the material.

You are always free to ask for clarification on specific
items of the "Skills Being measured" and somebody
knowledgable may supply you with some relevant material.

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...3beff79&rnum=1
>
>Ok.... back to Kalani - second time through because I am trying to learn
>everything under the sun since I don't know what else to do.


Check the links at the end of the chapters (see if there is
some updated content). Scan the group's past 12-18 months on
google to discover shortcomings of the Kalani guides (some
reviews on amazon.com can be helpful to).

>Geeze, I am
>tired of overstudying while the "outlaws" have all the answers before they
>walk into the room!


While I can feel your pain - you can't dwell on it. There
are people that got all the way through medical school and
residency and who are still lousy physicians.

Yes, the certification is worthless (especially in the face
of braindumps) - on its own.

However make the most of it - show off your work experience
(on a resume) in the best possible way - i.e. how you where
instrumental in the solution of business problems through
cogent application of information technology. Then use the
certification to advertise:

Oh, by the way I am currently certified in .NET technology.

Once you get to the interview you should be able to run
circle's around those "outlaws" who were able to memorize
exam questions but have no idea what the technology's
strengths and limitations are.

Ultimately you are doing the certification for yourself - as
a milestone to confirm to yourself that you have now reached
the point that you have a basic understanding of the .NET
technology that allows you to use it (somewhat) effectively
as a tool in solution of business problems.
>
>Whew! I'm glad I got that off my chest.
>
>Dale


.... feel better now?
 
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DalePres
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-05-2004
Good points, all of them, but I'll let you know Saturday if I feel better -
after the test - *laugh*

Dale


"UAError" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "DalePres" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >or.. would you like a little cheese with that whine?
> >
> >I'm going to take 70-320 this week... my third and, hopefully, final exam
> >for MCAD, though MCSD and renewing my MCSE and MCDBA still loom over my
> >head.
> >
> >And with each exam, I have the same complaint. Microsoft sets the

standards
> >and establishes the skill sets required to achieve certification. Having
> >done so, why do they not prepare training material that teaches those
> >skills. Teach what they test and test what they teach. If they did

that,
> >they'd actually have much better control over the skill sets and

technical
> >ability of their Microsoft Certified Professionals.
> >
> >Novell does it.. Their white books teach everything they expect you to

know
> >for the exams...
> >

> In principle I agree but if we're looking for improvements
> might as well go further - rather that tailoring towards the
> exams which "samples" an extremely limited sub-set of
> knowledge (of the technology), supply training material that
> covers the "skills being measured" in detail - yes, it would
> take longer to prepare but at least you would acquire a
> knowledge base that is (more) well rounded and useful.
>
> Maybe there is an ulterior motive of trying to promote the
> courses that generate more revenue than books (which
> probably generate very little if any).
> >
> >The whole "real world" component Microsoft tries to impart is not

anyone's
> >real world since the exams are prepared long before anyone has enough

real
> >world experience with the final release product to establish a definition
> >for real world. Or their real world experience is based on internal
> >experiences with in Microsoft... Like that's real world for the rest of
> >us...
> >

> I might be missing your point here but ever considered that
> everybody's "real world" is ultimately different? Any "real
> world" conjured up by any testing organization will seem
> artificial to a significant portion of the audience unless
> you are really tightly focused on a particular application
> area and the associated audience. As far as I can see there
> really is no "real world" component in the certification.
>
> What would you like to see? Something like the Java
> Developer Certification?
> http://suned.sun.com/US/certificatio...a_devj2se.html
> Here you get a programming assignment which you need to
> complete on your own time (though less than 12 months is
> recommended) and if accepted you have a follow up exam where
> you have to justify your design decisions (to ensure that
> you are actually the author of the solution).
>
> The programming assignment will probably not relate to
> anything you deal with in your business life - so it will
> still seem "artificial". And while this type of testing does
> raise the quality of the certification it also becomes more
> expensive as now at least one warm body who wants his/her
> paycheck is evaluating your work and laying the foundation
> for the essay exam and evaluating that too. Furthermore you
> are now exposed to the risk of catching an evaluator on a
> bad day were nothing but supreme excellence will do.
>
> Yes, it raises the quality of certification but are you
> willing to pay the price (higher exam fees, increased risk
> of failure you have little control over, and even more time
> to complete certification; we should be willing but what
> business problem is certification solving? At some point the
> investment into certification isn't worth it, especially as
> technology doesn't stand still. Unfortunately there are very
> few effective certification opportunities for "the craft" of
> creating software solutions.)
>
> I'm not saying that the Microsoft Status Quo is ideal - far
> from it - but careful what you wish for - there is no
> perfect solution.
>
> Maybe somebody thought that they could cut down on the
> number of exam questions if many questions only addressed
> 20% of the esoteric niches of the technology - only
> experienced individuals would ever run into these problems
> right? This tactic does not address the problem of
> braindumps. They really should significantly increase the
> number of questions in their testbank to a point where it
> becomes impossible to memorize them all (i.e. you actually
> have to understand the technology); the majority of these
> questions should address problems that relate to the more
> mundane areas; maybe they should also increase the number of
> questions on every test.
> >
> >And while the NDA is basically a good thing, it has ruined the whole idea

of
> >newsgroups. Why bother to have these newsgroups? Because of the NDA no

one
> >will even talk about the content of the exam in general terms for fear of
> >the MS hammer falling on them. There's no peer discussions of the exams

or
> >certification processes going on here; there's only people repeatedly

asking
> >the same questions that are clearly answered on the train_cert site at
> >Microsoft.com.
> >

> It the old signal to noise ratio thing - unfortunately the
> signal is buried somewhere. Anyway the NDA basically
> disallows the discussions of the questions as such. However
> that doesn't stop anybody from recommending preparation
> materials after they have taken the tests (just look at the
> codeclinic links). Over the last few months there were a few
> posts that suggested that Kalani's 70-315/70-316 coverage of
> security was weak.
> There was at least one post that pointed out the lack of
> soap-header coverage in Kalani's 70-320 guide.
>

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=so...oft.com&rnum=1
>

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=so...phx.gbl&rnum=2
> >
> >If you outlaw discussion about the exams, only outlaws will discuss the
> >exams.
> >

> You can still discuss the "Skills being measured" - which
> are out in the open. However very few individuals are going
> to be motivated to try to memorize 55-57 questions and then
> cross-reference study materials and publish them. Apart from
> the problems this creates. You are supposed to be competent
> in the domain outlined by the "Skills being measured" - not
> in the taking of the exam - any exam can only ever cover a
> minute subset of the "Skills being measured".
>
> The codeclinic links are a great resource when it comes to
> the "Skills being measured" - unless you are merely
> interested in passing the exam, rather than being proficient
> in the "Skills being measured".
>
> Kalani's guides supply you with a wealth of links to deepen
> you knowledge in the relevant areas which you are free to
> pursue. This is even more important when it comes to
> Cornish's 70-300 exam cram. While the guide is only about
> 500 pages, exploration of the links at the end of the
> chapters is essential (and sometimes time-consuming) as the
> chapters themselves merely gloss over the material.
>
> You are always free to ask for clarification on specific
> items of the "Skills Being measured" and somebody
> knowledgable may supply you with some relevant material.
>
>

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...3beff79&rnum=1
> >
> >Ok.... back to Kalani - second time through because I am trying to learn
> >everything under the sun since I don't know what else to do.

>
> Check the links at the end of the chapters (see if there is
> some updated content). Scan the group's past 12-18 months on
> google to discover shortcomings of the Kalani guides (some
> reviews on amazon.com can be helpful to).
>
> >Geeze, I am
> >tired of overstudying while the "outlaws" have all the answers before

they
> >walk into the room!

>
> While I can feel your pain - you can't dwell on it. There
> are people that got all the way through medical school and
> residency and who are still lousy physicians.
>
> Yes, the certification is worthless (especially in the face
> of braindumps) - on its own.
>
> However make the most of it - show off your work experience
> (on a resume) in the best possible way - i.e. how you where
> instrumental in the solution of business problems through
> cogent application of information technology. Then use the
> certification to advertise:
>
> Oh, by the way I am currently certified in .NET technology.
>
> Once you get to the interview you should be able to run
> circle's around those "outlaws" who were able to memorize
> exam questions but have no idea what the technology's
> strengths and limitations are.
>
> Ultimately you are doing the certification for yourself - as
> a milestone to confirm to yourself that you have now reached
> the point that you have a basic understanding of the .NET
> technology that allows you to use it (somewhat) effectively
> as a tool in solution of business problems.
> >
> >Whew! I'm glad I got that off my chest.
> >
> >Dale

>
> ... feel better now?



 
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UAError
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-05-2004
"DalePres" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Good points, all of them, but I'll let you know Saturday if I feel better -
>after the test - *laugh*
>
>Dale
>


After Kalani (including working through the examples - and
looking the "what exactly is that good for" bits up in the
MSDN, you should be fine, especially if you supplement the
areas mentioned by others).

However, don't get rattled!

IMO 70-320 is the exam with the highests "psychological
warfare" component of the three .NET technology exams. It is
already a pretty mixed bag of technologies that didn't fit
under the more general Windows or Web applications heading.
It spans several technologies that each could be used as a
basis for an entire exam. That combined with usual helping
of esoteric questions to gauge your experience level can
quickly unsettle you. You'll probably find that you'll have
to rely much more on a thorough conceptual unterstanding on
how microsoft tends to structure their technology to solve
problems to narrow down the right answer - rather than the
spontaneous "I know that one" response.

That means you are going to have to watch your time
carefully. Right at the beginning (once you know how many
questions you are facing) figure out the average time per
question (usually 1.5 minutes) you can spend and figure out
some milestones - so many questions answered after 15, 30,
45 minutes and so on. Try not to spend the entire
time/question on each question - if you're getting close
force yourself to make a selection, mark it for review and
move on and don't dwell on it - you're probably doing better
than you realize. If you miss one of your milestones pick up
the pace, still spend the time on understanding the question
but force yourself to make a selection sooner, don't allow
second guessing to get in the way (you can always mark it
for review).

Good Luck.
 
Reply With Quote
 
DalePres
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2004
This will be about my 15th or so MS exam.... And I get nervous about every
one even though I've never failed. Though 70-029 I only passed by one
question.

Anyway... *looking at the clock*.. back at it.

Dale

"UAError" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "DalePres" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >Good points, all of them, but I'll let you know Saturday if I feel

better -
> >after the test - *laugh*
> >
> >Dale
> >

>
> After Kalani (including working through the examples - and
> looking the "what exactly is that good for" bits up in the
> MSDN, you should be fine, especially if you supplement the
> areas mentioned by others).
>
> However, don't get rattled!
>
> IMO 70-320 is the exam with the highests "psychological
> warfare" component of the three .NET technology exams. It is
> already a pretty mixed bag of technologies that didn't fit
> under the more general Windows or Web applications heading.
> It spans several technologies that each could be used as a
> basis for an entire exam. That combined with usual helping
> of esoteric questions to gauge your experience level can
> quickly unsettle you. You'll probably find that you'll have
> to rely much more on a thorough conceptual unterstanding on
> how microsoft tends to structure their technology to solve
> problems to narrow down the right answer - rather than the
> spontaneous "I know that one" response.
>
> That means you are going to have to watch your time
> carefully. Right at the beginning (once you know how many
> questions you are facing) figure out the average time per
> question (usually 1.5 minutes) you can spend and figure out
> some milestones - so many questions answered after 15, 30,
> 45 minutes and so on. Try not to spend the entire
> time/question on each question - if you're getting close
> force yourself to make a selection, mark it for review and
> move on and don't dwell on it - you're probably doing better
> than you realize. If you miss one of your milestones pick up
> the pace, still spend the time on understanding the question
> but force yourself to make a selection sooner, don't allow
> second guessing to get in the way (you can always mark it
> for review).
>
> Good Luck.



 
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The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2004
>What would you like to see? Something like the Java
>Developer Certification?


that approach is a million times better than the approach taken by
microsoft. I've done the Java (Sun) developer exam and I found it
easy; it was easy because of my real world experience which easily
enabled me to performed the required tasks. However, without that
experience, the exams (even the programmer exam) would have been far
harder, certainly dumpers would have their work cut out passing those
exams. Maybe this is why the certs provided by Sun, IBM, Oracle,
Cisco, Ericson, blah,blah,blah are more appreciated than ms certs
(unless that is, the holder works for an ms partner body shop).

For ms, any fcukwits can (and do) pass their exams, which is why ms
certs are worthless and 'certify' nothing. The only winners are
scammers who sucker sad fools into buying the 'products' (ha,ha). If
an IT 'professional' cannot pass these exams, then I wonder how they
would get on writing a twenty thousand word dissertation on a chosen
software development process? In any case they have know place in IT.

You only have to look and the utterly stupid questions posted to this,
and other cert groups, by people wanting to become an mcp. Dear lord
enough is enough.....

Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
 
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The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2004
>Maybe there is an ulterior motive of trying to promote the
>courses that generate more revenue than books (which
>probably generate very little if any).


I also believe in this type of conspiracy theory. After all why are
the ms training books so crap, when in general, their other books are
excellent?

Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
 
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The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2004
>Yes, it raises the quality of certification but are you
>willing to pay the price (higher exam fees, increased risk
>of failure you have little control over, and even more time
>to complete certification


Quality before quantity; ms should not be churning out mcp's in the
same manner as the red army did in WWII.

If I was many years younger, I certainly would want a certification
which actual meant something, and would quite happy let my employer
pay for me to achieve it!

Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
 
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The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2004
> They really should significantly increase the
>number of questions in their testbank to a point where it
>becomes impossible to memorize them all (i.e. you actually
>have to understand the technology);


No, the exams should be written. Whereby the test taker not only has
to answer the questions and also has to explain and describe how they
arrived at the answer. Those simple point 'n' click exams, as you say,
simply require one to memorized the types of answers expected, thus
the question can be answered and a full mark given without the
question actually being understood.

Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
 
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The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2004
>Why bother to have these newsgroups?

What else, other than for amusement!

Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
 
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