A+ Test is unfair

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Scott Davies, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Jeff,

    Based on my experience, some of those 15 year olds are truly have the goods,
    but most are full of crap! If anyone with little or no formal training or
    work ex-
    perience brags about CISCO exams being ridiculously easy, you tell them to
    take a flying leap and sell that snake oil elsewhere.

    I used to run a BBS back in the late seventies and a lot of the technology
    was
    new to me. Over the course of about three months I had to immerse myself in
    a virtual crash course of everything from Internet technology to satellite
    data
    feeds, writing batch files, scripts, door programs, drop files, networking,
    and
    even internet connect programs. I was quite proud of my accomplishments and
    all but I still had one or two concepts that I couldn't quite understand.
    They were
    related to Unix I believe. Anyhow, one of my first members was supposed to
    be
    this 15 year old kid who was spouting off about his credentials. Not in a
    bragging
    way but I think he was trying to buck for a job with the BBS. He went on to
    tell
    me how he was engaged and helped teach some kind of tech course out at the
    local
    community college, and on and on, and I'm like ..... yeah, right!

    Well acouple of days into my problem, my mom shows up at the door with this
    15 year old kid. She introduced him as Adam and said he lived right across
    the
    street. THIS was the kid from my bulletin board! And to my astonishment, he
    actually knew everything that he was boasting about. He came in, took a look
    at my manuals and, in less than a half hour, had my door programs and
    network
    problems solved. He even advised setting up a linux based firewall system,
    which
    he volunteered to do but I declined as I didn't want to have anything
    connected
    with my system that I didn't fully understand as he would be gone someday.
    This
    kid knew Linux and networking backwards and forwards!

    On the other hand I've encountered similar jokers who have bragged about
    their
    knowledge and skills and have invariably shown their limited knowledge in
    one
    way or another. What I found in most cases was that they did have some
    specialized
    knowledge but that it was only in certain areas. In other words they knew
    how to do
    certain tricks of the trade, like how to write a virus or something similar
    that the avg
    Joe has no clue about. I remember this one kid in particular bragging to me
    about
    being able to hack into people's systems and crash them, writing viruses and
    all that
    crap. He too wanted to be a sysop on my system but with his attitude I said
    no.
    Eventually one day I did give him limited access because he wrote me several
    ANSI
    screens that I liked. I was smart enough to give him only limited access
    though and
    I kept an eye on him.

    Sure enough, one night I see simultaneous traffic coming in over my telnet
    lines
    and they appeared to be coming in from various oversees locations. It was an
    immediate
    red flag as my local BBS had NO oversees visitors. As it turns out it was my
    new kid
    trying to get access to things he had no authorization to do. He couldn't
    figure out how
    to get pass my simple password authentication. Super hacker I laughed to
    myself. He knew
    how to anonymously telnet into my board but not how to get past security
    step one.He
    did manage, however, to bring down the board by using a co-sysop command
    that I
    apparently neglected to keep him from having. I didn't say anything about it
    at that time
    but later on that night he calls me in a sweat saying that he had a problem
    he needed to
    solve in a hurry and he didn't know how. He explained to me that he had a
    system with
    over 72 megs of RAM installed (huge for that day) and he kept getting an
    error message
    that he didn't have enough memory when trying to run this program! I said
    what?!, unbelievably.
    Oh he was all tore up and just could not understand the problem to which I
    told him that
    it didn't matter how much memory he had installed because the particular
    program he
    was trying to use could only access the first megabyte of memory and half of
    that was used
    up by system files and BIOS. He didn't understand as he had never heard of
    DOS memory
    management. Apparently they didn't go over such basics in the hacker chat
    rooms :) There
    went the computer genius mystique! I explained to him the facts of the
    matter and promptly
    pulled his access for attempted breaking and entering, the little jerk. :)
     
    David BlandIII, Feb 15, 2004
    #21
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  2. Oh you better believe they do! That's part of what I'm saying. Things have
    changed big
    time. The demand curve in the IT industry has swung to the opposite side. It
    used to be
    fairly easy for the average (uncertified) Joe Blow to get a tech job. No
    special hook-up,
    that was just the state of the industry.You've got to remember, the whole PC
    support
    industry is still relatively young. Most certs haven't been around even ten
    years. But today
    it is largely, though not exclusively, a different ballgame. Today there are
    what, over a half a
    million A+ certified folks or something like that, and half the jobs in the
    field are
    shipping overseas to India and China. Today you hear a lot of MCSEs
    complaining
    that they have to know twice as much (and have twice as many certs) to get
    Half the
    job they could have gotten 5 years ago during the IT boom! Alas, it's a sad
    situation :-(
     
    David BlandIII, Feb 15, 2004
    #22
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  3. As long as they can do the job, the certification is a moot point. I
    worked in electronics repair with a couple of guys who had no formal
    electronics training, but they could still repair the stuff.

    Remember...while certification is or should be an indicator of a
    certain knowledge or skillset, lack of it in no way indicates the lack
    of said knowledge or skills. Just think of the person who is just
    entering the building to take a successful certification test... :)

    Tom
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Feb 15, 2004
    #23
  4. Although there may be some truth in these "poasts", one can say all
    one wants on the Internet without ever having to prove it. :)

    Tom
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Feb 15, 2004
    #24
  5. Oops, make that the late nineties, not seventies :)
     
    David BlandIII, Feb 15, 2004
    #25
  6. Scott Davies

    Gary Guest

    Back in December, I was working with this young guy (19) and he was
    boasting how he was Cisco certified from HS and how easy it was, as he
    said they gave you the answers to the test in the class. I'm not Cisco
    certified, but I'm curious as to why Cisco would want all these free
    paper certifications floating around. From what I have been told by
    others in the industry it's a tough certification to get. Is it
    possible it's not the same certification as you would get on the
    outside perhaps a little or a lot watered down?
     
    Gary, Feb 16, 2004
    #26
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