Only Old Timers need to apply.

Discussion in 'MCSE' started by Harvey Colwell, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. I just passed my 40th exam (Implementing Exchange 2003) and I was a little
    disappointed in my score (820). I don't want to get into a discussion about
    "everyone who passes gets the same certification in the end, so it doesn't
    it matter what your score you get". Anyone who's any good at what they does
    knows that the certification is only the beginning. Your not really very
    good until you have a couple of years working with the product under you
    belt. On the other hand, Microsoft says that you should have the experience
    under your belt before you even take the exam. But I think that most people
    are like me, you prepare for the exam as part of learning the product.

    I never touched an Exchange server before this year. All my prior email
    server experience was with Lotus Domino (I am a LDP certified Domino
    Administrator for R5 & R6). So even though I can easily say that I already
    know more about Exchange than anyone else in the office, I wont be bragging
    my abilities any time soon. The certification is only a stepping stone, the
    first step.

    The issue I have with a score of 820 is personal. I assume that at least a
    few people still get perfect or near perfect scores on exams. Personally, I
    always use two (some times 3) different study guides. One of which is always
    the official Microsoft Study Guide. I never take an exam until I'm ready. It
    doesn't matter how long it takes me to prepare. I read the books
    cover-to-cover, never skipping no matter how well I might already know a
    topic. I always do ALL of the labs. So, I should be able to blow the exams
    out of the water.

    And that's exactly what I use to do back in the days of Windows NT and
    NetWare 3. Of course the exam questions back then were more black and white.
    Either you knew a particular fact or you didn't. The problem with those
    types of exams, is that they lead to massive cheating. So I was glad that
    Novell and now finally Microsoft started using scenarios and simulation type
    questions. I even like it when every answer to a multiple choice question
    could be right. To know why the other answers are wrong in this situation is
    just a important as to know why the right answer is the right answer.

    These new exam questions definitely help weed out those who are not worthy.
    The ranks of the certified have gone way down. Check out the "Number of
    Microsoft Certified Professionals Worldwide"

    Windows 2000 MCSE - 275,358
    Windows 2003 MCSE - 40,985

    As I can remember, there were over 600,000 Windows NT MCSEs!

    What I have seen on recent exams, is that my scores are now between 10 to 15
    points lower than what they use to be. I know that I'm just as prepared, but
    I haven't gotten a score above 90 since before Windows 2000.

    Here's my questions.

    For those who have decided to stay in the trenches instead of look for
    management positions, what do you think about the new exams? And what do you
    think the Vista/Longhorn exams will be like?
    Harvey Colwell, Nov 3, 2006
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  2. Harvey Colwell

    Rommon> Guest


    I think the reason there are a lot less MCSEs is the fact that certification
    has lost its value and is pretty much worthless. Thats why, unlike a lot of
    the other people that hang out here, I could care less if someone is
    braindumping to get this certification. The cert is meaningless. having it
    won't even get your foot in the door at the company I work for. Experience
    will. And the more experience you have, the more money you can command. In
    my opinion, and I am sure other people would agree, they only way the MCSE
    can ever be saved is to put an expiration date on all current MCSE
    certification holders and make them recert. Follow the same testing routine
    that the CCIE has. A written exam, and a 1 or 2 day lab exam. This may
    seem unfair to those who have honestly earned the cert, but something needs
    to be done.

    As far as your questions;

    1. Haven't taken a Microsoft exam in 4 years, so I don't know what to think
    of them.
    2. I would assume they are going to be like the current exams.

    Oh...and I have been in the "game" for 10 years, so I assume I can be
    considered and "old timer".

    Rommon>, Nov 4, 2006
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  3. Harvey Colwell

    CertGuard Guest

    Well Harvey, I'm not an 'old timer' but I would like to say a few things (I
    hope you don't mind).

    First, congrats on your 40th pass, it'll be a while before I get there, but
    I'm working on it.

    Second, you'll probably hear from the 'old-timers' (Consultant, Neil, JaR,
    FrisbeeĀ®, etc,) after the weekend, unlike me they have lives beyond this
    here froup.

    And thirdly, if you are what you claim to be, then the IT Industry needs
    more people like you. I started CertGuard in search for individuals of your
    caliber. You're on a mission, and cheating has no part of it. You've got a
    plan that seems to be nearly flawless when it comes to passing the exams,
    and you're pretty hard on yourself when you don't get exactly what you
    believe you deserve.

    As far as the number of MCSEs goes, I would imagine that many of the
    previously certified professionals haven't had a need to upgrade yet, and
    the number probably hasn't risen to the extent the MCSE on Win2K did is
    because of a few reasons:

    1. it is a bit more difficult track to certify in.
    2. more and more people are staying away from the [email protected] and taking
    their time to learn the material.

    What I would like to know is how many of those 275K people cheated their way
    to that certification, and how many of those 275K people are even working as
    MCSEs. I'll bet that a vast majority of the people certified as MCSE on
    Win2K3 are actively using their MCSE certifications.

    Now, as for your questions, I really can't answer from experience, but I can
    tell you what I've heard. I'm not sure if this is true with the Vista exams,
    but from what I understand, M$ has been working on adaptive methods of
    testing. So the new generation of exams is supposed to be much more
    difficult than those of the previous eras.

    Good luck on #41
    CertGuard, Nov 4, 2006
  4. Harvey Colwell

    CertGuard Guest

    I don't think I would go as far as to say the Certifications are "worthless"
    or "meaningless". If they were, then there would be nobody pursuing the
    certification, and there wouldn't be anyone looking for individuals that
    hold those certifications. When in fact, there are tens of thousands of
    certified professionals that are actively working in the industry and even
    more people actively searching for those certified professionals.

    I agree that experience is what the positions should be based on, and that a
    lot of the people getting the certifications are not getting them for the
    right reasons, but with cutbacks and most companies going for that 'leaner
    meaner' IT department, who hires on trainees anymore? Where do the new guys
    GET experience? They go for the Certifications because they feel this will
    give them the edge over someone that has experience but no certifications.
    I'll take it one step further and say that I believe Degrees in Computer
    Science (from accredited colleges, of course) should be sought after first
    and foremost.

    I don't agree with your attitude towards the certifications, by saying that
    you "could care less if someone is braindumping to get this certification",
    you are basically saying "screw MY certification". Do you not care because
    it doesn't directly affect you? Would you care more if you hired someone
    with an MCSE and found out 2 months down the line that the person you hired
    has totally screwed up your network and IS one of those braindumpers? Now
    that you've lost a whole month of data, and $500K worth of clients, is it
    worth it to keep the dumper on and train him the proper way? Or do you fire
    him and hope the next guy isn't gonna do the same thing?

    And yes, I would agree that an annual re-cert would be at least worth a try.
    This may at least keep some of the people that are not actively working in
    the field from pursuing the re-cert. Unfortunately, this would reduce the
    numbers that M$ wants to see, and they would probably see a huge decline in
    their revenue.

    In case you didn't know, Cisco is having the same problem with [email protected]
    that M$ is having. The only difference between the two is that M$ has a much
    more diverse set of certifications, so it's noticed on a much greater scale.
    Actually, from what I understand, they're going to be nothing like the
    current exams. I can't be 100% sure of this, but my sources have been
    accurate up to this point.
    CertGuard, Nov 4, 2006
  5. Harvey Colwell

    Kline Sphere Guest

    Oh...and I have been in the "game" for 10 years, so I assume I can be
    not as long as Neil.

    Neil can remember the abacus (beta 1).

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    Kline Sphere, Nov 6, 2006
  6. Harvey Colwell

    JaR Guest

    More like "adolescent"


    10 years. Puppy!
    JaR, Nov 6, 2006
  7. Harvey Colwell

    Neil Guest

    yeah, talk to us in another 10 and we will tell you that you are STILL 10
    years behind the curve...
    Neil, Nov 6, 2006
  8. Harvey Colwell

    Neil Guest

    Neil, Nov 6, 2006
  9. Harvey Colwell

    Kline Sphere Guest

    yeah, talk to us in another 10 and we will tell you that you are STILL 10
    you won't find me here in ten years time!

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    Kline Sphere, Nov 6, 2006
  10. Harvey Colwell

    JaR Guest

    Cue "Oldest first computer" thread...
    JaR, Nov 6, 2006
  11. Harvey Colwell

    Neil Guest

    the mostest recent that I have done is a couple of the Beta exams for the
    SQL 2k5 launch. They were fair. Fair-ly difficult, but fair. Should they
    be? UM, YEAH! They should be a royal pain the a$$! You should sweat
    bullets going in and pray to $DIETY that you will see Mr Greenbar while
    you wait the 30 seconds that seem like 4 hours for the report to print
    out. Were the old NT 4 exams easy. Yes, yes they were. I used to say that
    what you needed to pass the NT 4 wkstn exam was the transcender (which
    was little more than a branedump then) and a pulse. The pulse was
    optional however. The NT 3.51 server exam was WAY harder than the NT 4
    server (but then the 3.51 server exam was 4 server + 4 NT Ent exam
    combined). I was glad when the 2k exams came out and were more difficult
    (well, after I had passed the beggar of course). The exmas should make
    you sweat so you know that you have accomplished something that not
    everyone capable of simple cognizant thought can.

    Any time MS can make teh exams more difficult, they should. If ya can't
    keep up, move on.

    That being said, I will have a PMP exam next year and I am not looking
    forward to it. It will be very difficult and I only have simple cognizant
    thought on my side... ;)
    Neil, Nov 6, 2006
  12. Harvey Colwell

    kpg Guest

    As Kline Sphere once said in microsoft.public.cert.exam.mcse
    Why? Are you dying?

    I mean, faster than normal?
    kpg, Nov 6, 2006
  13. Harvey Colwell

    Neil Guest

    Neil, Nov 6, 2006
  14. Harvey Colwell

    Neil Guest

    damb! Who has Kline in the pool?
    Neil, Nov 6, 2006
  15. Harvey Colwell

    Kline Sphere Guest

    you won't find me here in ten years time!
    in less than five, unless the world ends that is.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
    Kline Sphere, Nov 6, 2006
  16. Harvey Colwell

    Neil Guest

    it is suprising me how much I hate you right now...
    Neil, Nov 6, 2006
  17. Harvey Colwell

    CBIC Guest

    CBIC, Nov 6, 2006
  18. Harvey Colwell

    Rommon> Guest

    adolescent it is then.
    Rommon>, Nov 7, 2006
  19. Harvey Colwell

    JaR Guest

    JaR, Nov 7, 2006
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