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brainbench

 
 
jc
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      12-09-2007
I just certified brainbench in sql server 2005 programming and asp.net
2.0 Today. An recruiter requested that I take the those two and
VB.NET. I passed both exams easily just on working knowledge.

However, looking that the outline for vb.net, I think I'm going to be
in trouble. Seems real heavy in OOP and I anticipate lots things I
just don't store in my head. When it comes to vb.net, i have a huge
personal library of scripts that seem to cover most everything Ive
been doing for the last 3 years so I find myself mostly slapping code
together.

Any suggestions on how might be able to prep for it? Also, FYI, I've
got zero work on Winforms and Remoting. And I'm pretty sure my style
of debugging is not textbook. One observation about Certs (and I'm
also MCAD), If you are a solid developer with numerious application
developed under your belt in the technology, it's no guarantee you
will easily certify without hitting the books. However, the mere
effort to certify after real world experience can be a real eye opener
to technology you thought you really knew . I am proof you can build
real great systems by virtue of experimenting and prototyping alone.

BrainBench gives you 3 minutes a question. Which might not seem like a
lot, but I can usually find my answer online in 1 minute. Usually you
can discount multiple wrong answers by searching for them. A few times
I found the answer with less than 10 seconds to go. I do like the
brainbench format. Given the items below, where would be a good place
where I could enter something like "Garbage Collection" and expect to
see all the critical English that if I were brainbench I would want to
source my question from. I would imagine MSDN, but many of their
questions that seem official in nature did not come from those pages.

Here's the outline:

Number of questions = 40
Approximate completion time = 50.0 minutes
Test Type
Knowledge and Skills
Test Outline

Classes/Inheritance
Class Access Modifiers
Constructors/Finalizers
Garbage Collection
Inheritance
Interfaces
Polymorphism
Static vs. Instance Members


Consuming Resources
COM Interop
Global Assembly Cache
Threading
Using .NET Components
Using Web Services
Windows Native Calls

Data Access
ADO Providers
Data Adapter
Data Binding Controls
Data Command
Data View
SQL Server Access
XML Access



Debugging
Command Window
Configuring Debugging
Correcting Errors
Setting Watches
Tools
Tracing

Distributed Applications
Asynchronous Calls to Remote Components
Distributed Deployment Methods
Security



Language Fundamentals
Arrays, Collections, and Enumerations
Assemblies
Comparison
Error Handling
Functions
Loops and Branching
Operators and Operator Overloading
Properties
Scope
Types and Type Conversion

Web Forms
DataBinding
Dynamic Controls
HTML Controls
Intrinsic Objects
Web Controls


Windows Forms
Controls
Dialogs
Dynamic Controls


Thanks for any help or information.
 
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FrisbeeŽ
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      12-10-2007
"jc" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> BrainBench gives you 3 minutes a question. Which might not seem like a
> lot, but I can usually find my answer online in 1 minute.


This is the reason nobody gives brainbench any creedance whatsoever. I used
to be a brainbench promoter, too. I had well over 100 BB certs, but the
fact that the exams are not proctored makes them useless to employers,
unless they actually watch you take the exam. You're not supposed to be
googling the answers...

Were I you, used the BB certs for fun and practise. Do not mention them to
potential employers or you might get laughed out of the interview.


 
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jc
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      12-10-2007
> > BrainBench gives you 3 minutes a question. Which might not seem like a
> > lot, but I can usually find my answer online in 1 minute.

>
> This is the reason nobody gives brainbench any creedance whatsoever.


Actually I beg to differ a little bit here.

That you are able to find your answer online is much more real-world.
Personally I have no memory and any I've got left I'm saving for
important stuff.. like where Ieft my keys, or my ssn.

I do agree that Cert exams don't always predict the quality of an IT
professional, but when used in conjunction with other factors might
help weed out a given percentage of losers.

I use to work with a Sr level guy that did all the technical
interviews. On purpose his questions were never be tough, in fact they
were often very simply and basic. His tougher questions were more
about high level concepts to help expose real experience and not any
specific details... you know questions like.. What is the .NET
framework? or Explain DB Normalization.. I would always get a chuckle
when he would ask a person applying for a senior position a question
like, name 10 keywords in your language of choice and the person could
not do effectively answer it... interview over. I made a grown man cry
Today he would say.
 
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Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]
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      12-10-2007
"jc" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
> I use to work with a Sr level guy that did all the technical
> interviews.


[...]

> I would always get a chuckle
> when he would ask a person applying for a senior position a question
> like, name 10 keywords in your language of choice and the person could
> not do effectively answer it... interview over. I made a grown man cry
> Today he would say.


At that point, he should go make whoever did the phone screen go cry. What
kinda person were they letting past the phone interviews?

I would actually be somewhat upset if my time, as an interviewer or an
interviewee, was wasted that badly.

--
Chris Mullins


 
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jc
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      12-11-2007

> At that point, he should go make whoever did the phone screen go cry. What
> kinda person were they letting past the phone interviews?
>
> I would actually be somewhat upset if my time, as an interviewer or an
> interviewee, was wasted that badly.
>



Perhaps a bit insensitive.. but I was just a spectator. Interviews
always tend to be about the perception of the interviewer. But there
is a truth about our industry and craft. There are many many wannabees
and the line between Senior, mid and entry level is often is very
blurred and depends on the shops skill level. If you interview enough
and you have good communication skills and sound confident you will
eventually be offered a technical job without having to field a single
technical question. And if you work in enough places you will meet
people in technical positions that have no business in them. My
experience has been that the Politics and Loyality game is a live and
well in IT departments everywhere.

So my point is.. brainbench does not guarantee level, but it is a step
in the right direction. And I would imagine in a shop where there
might not be any real experts, they can use all the help they can get
evaluating candidates.

I think the above is why so many companies use recruiters and 3 month
temp to hire options.
 
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Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]
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      12-11-2007
"jc" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> So my point is.. brainbench does not guarantee level, but it is a step
> in the right direction.


We used brainbench for quite some time, and were happy with it. As the
person responsible for hiring, I've actually taken just about all of the
..Net related BrainBench tests, as I was unwilling to make someone take a
test I hadn't seen myself.

The benefit we got from using BranBech was overall pretty good:
- It would seperate the "full of crap" candidates from the real candidates.
As long as it wasn't taken as the only measure, it was a great data point.

- I quite liked being able to see how a candidate responded to a particular
question. In an in-person interview, I often asked them the questions they
got wrong.

- The single biggest indicator was actually non-technical. "If you want a
job with us, take this test in the next week or so, then we'll have an
interview." An amazing number of candidates never even bothered to attempt
the test. This was great, as it really indicated that they weren't
1 - serious about the posistion,
2 - were not capable of taking direction
3 - couldn't meet a schedule at all.

> And I would imagine in a shop where there
> might not be any real experts, they can use all the help they
> can get evaluating candidates.


Yea. I've got no issue requring exams of some sort as part of an interview
process. It can't be the only indicator, but there is good data to come out
of it.

On an amusing personal note, I enjoy the interview process. When I go into
an interview (on either side) I like to wear one of my "VS-Live, Speaker"
shirts (or something similar). It's very amusing to see this put people
off - they're often embarassed to ask me "easy" questions, and become
hesitant to challenge the answers I give. I don't quite know why this amuses
me so much (probably a character flaw!), but it sure does.

(One of my criteria for working somewhere, is that I like to work with
people smarter and more knowledgable than me. This is how i grow and
improve, so it's an important thing to me. Finding out if a particular place
qualifies is important. I love to train, teach, and mentor people, but I
need to learn too!)

> I think the above is why so many companies use
> recruiters and 3 month temp to hire options.


I think there are alot of reasons for that. This could certainly be one of
those reasons.

--
Chris Mullins


 
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Blackmetal
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-11-2007
Well, some of us might like it or not, but the truth is that Brainbench is
heavily used specially by recruitment agencies. I have gone through some
processes where I have been tested in Brainbench and I don't even need to
wait to the 3 minutes timeframe per question finish to get the next question
or even search or google.

the point is, if someone has the experience and the base theory to support
the foundation, you don't need to google for your answers. When I take a
test, I don't worry on getting the top scrore because for me, a test is a
challenge for my experience, in other words: I know, or I fail, that simple.

I always read histories about people worrying about scores and concepts and
in real life you have to be very assertive in the solution you provide to
your employer or clients and as I said at the beginning, if you like or not,
Brainbench is still used even to get the phone screening.

I have a job on which nobody is firing me and I'm not even looking for
another job, but If I'm invited to take the assessments, I do it and
sometimes, I end by refusing to get the job because of that infamous reason:
3 or 6 months temp to hire.

In my specific case, I don't need three months to show you what I can do in
a project and that title: 3 or 6 months temp to hire just irritates me.
"jc" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>> At that point, he should go make whoever did the phone screen go cry.
>> What
>> kinda person were they letting past the phone interviews?
>>
>> I would actually be somewhat upset if my time, as an interviewer or an
>> interviewee, was wasted that badly.
>>

>
>
> Perhaps a bit insensitive.. but I was just a spectator. Interviews
> always tend to be about the perception of the interviewer. But there
> is a truth about our industry and craft. There are many many wannabees
> and the line between Senior, mid and entry level is often is very
> blurred and depends on the shops skill level. If you interview enough
> and you have good communication skills and sound confident you will
> eventually be offered a technical job without having to field a single
> technical question. And if you work in enough places you will meet
> people in technical positions that have no business in them. My
> experience has been that the Politics and Loyality game is a live and
> well in IT departments everywhere.
>
> So my point is.. brainbench does not guarantee level, but it is a step
> in the right direction. And I would imagine in a shop where there
> might not be any real experts, they can use all the help they can get
> evaluating candidates.
>
> I think the above is why so many companies use recruiters and 3 month
> temp to hire options.



 
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