Discussion in 'MCSD' started by jc, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. jc

    jc Guest

    I just certified brainbench in sql server 2005 programming and
    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, 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, 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

    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

    Class Access Modifiers
    Garbage Collection
    Static vs. Instance Members

    Consuming Resources
    COM Interop
    Global Assembly Cache
    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

    Command Window
    Configuring Debugging
    Correcting Errors
    Setting Watches

    Distributed Applications
    Asynchronous Calls to Remote Components
    Distributed Deployment Methods

    Language Fundamentals
    Arrays, Collections, and Enumerations
    Error Handling
    Loops and Branching
    Operators and Operator Overloading
    Types and Type Conversion

    Web Forms
    Dynamic Controls
    HTML Controls
    Intrinsic Objects
    Web Controls

    Windows Forms
    Dynamic Controls

    Thanks for any help or information.
    jc, Dec 9, 2007
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  2. jc

    FrisbeeĀ® Guest

    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.
    FrisbeeĀ®, Dec 10, 2007
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  3. jc

    jc Guest

    BrainBench gives you 3 minutes a question. Which might not seem like a
    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.
    jc, Dec 10, 2007
  4. 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 [MVP - C#], Dec 10, 2007
  5. jc

    jc Guest

    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.
    jc, Dec 11, 2007
  6. 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.
    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 there are alot of reasons for that. This could certainly be one of
    those reasons.
    Chris Mullins [MVP - C#], Dec 11, 2007
  7. jc

    Blackmetal Guest

    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.
    Blackmetal, Dec 11, 2007
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