Just a little venting

Discussion in 'MCSD' started by DalePres, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. DalePres

    DalePres Guest

    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
    DalePres, Jul 4, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. DalePres

    UAError Guest

    "DalePres" <> 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/certification/java/java_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=&rnum=1
    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=s...=&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=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&th=1ab76f2c23beff79&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?
    UAError, Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. DalePres

    DalePres Guest

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

    Dale


    "UAError" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "DalePres" <> 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/certification/java/java_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=&rnum=1
    >

    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=s...=&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=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&th=1ab76f2c23beff79&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?
    DalePres, Jul 5, 2004
    #3
  4. DalePres

    UAError Guest

    "DalePres" <> 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.
    UAError, Jul 5, 2004
    #4
  5. DalePres

    DalePres Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "DalePres" <> 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.
    DalePres, Jul 6, 2004
    #5
  6. >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
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 6, 2004
    #6
  7. >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
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 6, 2004
    #7
  8. >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
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 6, 2004
    #8
  9. > 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
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 6, 2004
    #9
  10. >Why bother to have these newsgroups?

    What else, other than for amusement!

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 6, 2004
    #10
  11. DalePres

    Eric Guest

    UAError wrote:

    > What would you like to see? Something like the Java
    > Developer Certification?
    > http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_devj2se.html
    > Here you get a programming assignment which you need to
    > complete on your own time (though less than 12 months is
    > recommended)


    I like the way Oracle certifies people at the master level. You have to
    go to Chicago in-person for a couple days, where they have a lot of
    hands-on tasks for you to complete. There's very little info available
    ahead of time (but there is a big outline like the one MS provides).
    It's a "put up or shut up" kind of test. It is a bit expensive, but
    that certification carries a lot of weight in the industry! You can't
    cheat. For developers, they would require us to make complete apps -
    including the DB tables and SPs.

    Eric
    Eric, Jul 6, 2004
    #11
  12. >I like the way Oracle certifies people at the master level. You have to
    >go to Chicago in-person for a couple days, where they have a lot of
    >hands-on tasks for you to complete. There's very little info available
    >ahead of time (but there is a big outline like the one MS provides).
    >It's a "put up or shut up" kind of test. It is a bit expensive, but
    >that certification carries a lot of weight in the industry! You can't
    >cheat. For developers, they would require us to make complete apps -
    >including the DB tables and SPs.


    Exactly.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 6, 2004
    #12
  13. DalePres

    UAError Guest

    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere <.> wrote:

    >>I like the way Oracle certifies people at the master level. You have to
    >>go to Chicago in-person for a couple days, where they have a lot of
    >>hands-on tasks for you to complete. There's very little info available
    >>ahead of time (but there is a big outline like the one MS provides).
    >>It's a "put up or shut up" kind of test. It is a bit expensive, but
    >>that certification carries a lot of weight in the industry! You can't
    >>cheat. For developers, they would require us to make complete apps -
    >>including the DB tables and SPs.

    >
    >Exactly.
    >
    >Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3


    And for some reason Oracle decided to not have a "Masters"
    grade for their developer certifications.
    http://www.oracle.com/education/certification/index.html?certpaths.html

    Anyway I must have phrased that badly - it was not my intent
    to criticize the process of the Java Developer
    certification.

    Even Sun decided to take this route only for the
    Sun certified Java Developer (SCJD)
    http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_devj2se.html
    and
    Sun certified Enterprise Architect (SCEA)
    http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_archj2ee.html
    certification.

    As far as I know
    Sun certified Java Programmer (SCJP)
    http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_progj2se.html
    Sun certified Web Component Developer (SCWCD)
    http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_web.html
    Sun certified Business Component Developer (SCBCD)
    http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_busj23e.html
    are still "just" multiple choice tests.

    My actual intent was to use it as an example to illustrate
    that an "improved" certification process will require the
    more direct involvement of other professionals, with the
    following consequences:

    - the process will be more expensive (these people want to
    get paid)

    - the process will be slower - the more complex the domain
    tested, the fewer (reasonable) opportunities for testing
    automation arise.

    - the potential for the injection of a more subjective
    evaluation.

    The Oracle Master grade certification makes the point even
    more clearly as you have to go really out of your way for
    the final assessment (and carry the incidental costs).

    Yes, higher education also can take cash, sacrifice and
    effort but the certifications we are talking about here are
    merely (perishable) PRODUCT certifications.

    I would hope that an Oracle "Masters" grade DBA would still
    be capable of generating a passible (but probably
    sub-optimal) solution if forced to work with another product
    (DB2, SQL Server, etc.) but that is not the object of
    Oracle's certification.

    An Employer/Client who knows you, isn't going to need your
    certification - they usually know how "good" you are. They
    have no interest in getting you certified (and paying for it
    with training, exam fees, and professional development time)
    unless their industry position requires it (e.g. a
    partnership of some sort). To a business any certification
    is "cheap" enough - unless when it gets to the "professional
    development" time, which can be considerable when
    professional activities and certification requirements don't
    exactly line up.

    So a significant portion of the certification audience is
    paying for this certification out of their own (most likely
    after tax) pocket and with "after work" time (provided they
    have access to the necessary equipment and products) - some
    in hope to stand out in the next pile of resumes, some
    simply for their own validation (or bragging rights) that
    they have achieved a certain level of proficiency in a
    product they are working with.

    "Improve" the certification process too much (make it more
    expensive) and you will lose that audience - not necessarily
    because of lack of competence but because of the prohibitive
    opportunity cost (apart from the risk "having a bad" and
    therefore costly evaluation day). Instead of getting
    certified you could be:

    - getting some real work done
    - invest in some product-neutral
    professional development (gasp)
    - etc.

    Also IT environments tend to be heterogeneous in nature and
    you can only afford to be certified in so many products -
    and the last thing any employer/client wants is a certified
    professional how cannot see beyond the products of the
    certification sponsor.
    UAError, Jul 7, 2004
    #13
  14. >And for some reason Oracle decided to not have a "Masters"
    >grade for their developer certifications.
    >http://www.oracle.com/education/certification/index.html?certpaths.html


    All will change shortly....

    >Anyway I must have phrased that badly - it was not my intent
    >to criticize the process of the Java Developer
    >certification.


    My intend has always been to criticize the microsoft certification
    process. Their process is a joke, plain and simple.

    >Even Sun decided to take this route only for the
    >Sun certified Java Developer (SCJD)
    >http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_devj2se.html
    >and
    >Sun certified Enterprise Architect (SCEA)
    >http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_archj2ee.html
    >certification.


    >As far as I know
    >Sun certified Java Programmer (SCJP)
    >http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_progj2se.html


    it's just the entry exam which you need before you can do the 'real'
    McCoy. Which leads too another grip, why no ms exam which covers the
    basics of the programming language?

    >Sun certified Web Component Developer (SCWCD)
    >http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_web.html
    >Sun certified Business Component Developer (SCBCD)
    >http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_busj23e.html
    >are still "just" multiple choice tests.


    Seamed daft to me too!

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 7, 2004
    #14
  15. >My actual intent was to use it as an example to illustrate
    >that an "improved" certification process will require the
    >more direct involvement of other professionals, with the
    >following consequences:


    >- the process will be more expensive (these people want to
    >get paid)


    Quality before quantity.

    >- the process will be slower - the more complex the domain
    >tested, the fewer (reasonable) opportunities for testing
    >automation arise.


    So what if 'humans' have to mark the exam(s)...

    >- the potential for the injection of a more subjective
    >evaluation.


    Good, all for it.

    >The Oracle Master grade certification makes the point even
    >more clearly as you have to go really out of your way for
    >the final assessment (and carry the incidental costs).


    I love going on Jollies! For me it's business as usual. If
    people/companies see the benefit and 'worth' in the undertaking,
    that's all that matters.

    >Yes, higher education also can take cash, sacrifice and
    >effort but the certifications we are talking about here are
    >merely (perishable) PRODUCT certifications.


    Excellent point, they are only product certifications, and is another
    failing of the whole process (not just for ms). I personally would
    like to see more 'professional' qualifications, which are vender
    neutral (i.e. BCS in the UK) which are not an extension of any
    corporate marketing machine.

    >I would hope that an Oracle "Masters" grade DBA would still
    >be capable of generating a passible (but probably
    >sub-optimal) solution if forced to work with another product
    >(DB2, SQL Server, etc.)


    You know as well as I do, conceptual and logical data modeling should
    (and is) conducted without too much thought of how the data and
    services are to be implemented.

    >but that is not the object of
    >Oracle's certification.


    The implementation of all rdbm's are un [ansi] standard, worst of all
    is sql server....

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 7, 2004
    #15
  16. >An Employer/Client who knows you, isn't going to need your
    >certification - they usually know how "good" you are. They
    >have no interest in getting you certified (and paying for it
    >with training, exam fees, and professional development time)
    >unless their industry position requires it (e.g. a
    >partnership of some sort). To a business any certification
    >is "cheap" enough - unless when it gets to the "professional
    >development" time, which can be considerable when
    >professional activities and certification requirements don't
    >exactly line up.


    My view that any company that develops software, whether in house,
    bespoke or shrink wrapped, should be 'certified' by an accredited body
    to do so. Naturally, so should the people in that company.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 7, 2004
    #16
  17. >So a significant portion of the certification audience is
    >paying for this certification out of their own (most likely
    >after tax) pocket and with "after work" time (provided they
    >have access to the necessary equipment and products) - some
    >in hope to stand out in the next pile of resumes, some
    >simply for their own validation (or bragging rights) that
    >they have achieved a certain level of proficiency in a
    >product they are working with.


    which are the wrong [selfish] reasons for doing so. A certification
    'should' be an indicate to a client/customer/employee that the
    certification holder is indeed 'certified' to perform the tasks he/she
    is 'certified' for. This is simply NOT the case with ms certs; again
    the whole IT industry is still living on cloud nine.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 7, 2004
    #17
  18. >"Improve" the certification process too much (make it more
    >expensive) and you will lose that audience - not necessarily
    >because of lack of competence but because of the prohibitive
    >opportunity cost (apart from the risk "having a bad" and
    >therefore costly evaluation day). Instead of getting
    >certified you could be:


    I'm all for getting rid of incompetence, laziness and ignorance.

    >- getting some real work done
    >- invest in some product-neutral
    > professional development (gasp)
    >- etc.


    chicken and egg - we can't produce good quality software which is fit
    for purpose, because we don't have the time/money/ability to train
    ourselves how to produce good quality software which is fit for
    purpose....

    The sad fact is far too many companies have no idea how to produce
    good quality software which is fit for purpose - and it's NOT getting
    any better...

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 7, 2004
    #18
  19. >Also IT environments tend to be heterogeneous in nature and
    >you can only afford to be certified in so many products -
    >and the last thing any employer/client wants is a certified
    >professional how cannot see beyond the products of the
    >certification sponsor.


    another sad fact of IT life - one up to aggressive marketing, I guess!

    Good luck and all the best.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Jul 7, 2004
    #19
  20. DalePres

    Dale Guest

    Ok... I feel better. I took and passed 70-320 today and completed MCAD!!!

    Let me tell you, Kalani's book is not nearly as on the mark for this test as
    it was for 70-315. I felt like I was taking the wrong exam! Acutally, the
    topics were the same but there were questions about things I had never heard
    of, and I read Kalani cover to cover twice and did every exercise and
    step-by-step at least once. Along with that, most areas I read in Kalani
    lead to long meanderings through MSDN and other sites on the topics and
    still MS made that exam look pretty foreign.

    As it was, I was able to answer about half of the questions absolutely
    without doubt.. I knew the answer for sure. The rest of them, I had to
    eliminate the obviously wrong answers and take my best guess from the rest.

    Oddly, on some of the questions, my elimination process absolutely
    eliminated all the answers... I would have to say that this was the most
    poorly written exam I have taken from Microsoft. There were some questions
    that none of the answers matched the scenario or that the scenario in no way
    provided enough information to conclude any of the answers but then what can
    you do except try to choose the least wrong answer.

    Well, over all, I guess I was able to choose the least wrong often enough!
    I'm just glad that one is over.

    Dale
    MCAD, MCSE, MCDBA

    "DalePres" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Good points, all of them, but I'll let you know Saturday if I feel

    better -
    > after the test - *laugh*
    >
    > Dale
    >
    >
    > "UAError" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > "DalePres" <> 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/certification/java/java_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=&rnum=1
    > >

    >

    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=s...=&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=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&th=1ab76f2c23beff79&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?

    >
    >
    Dale, Jul 15, 2004
    #20
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