Specialized information needed

Discussion in 'MCSD' started by Guest, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The short story here is that I had an interview with a company who valued the
    skill assessments of "provit.com" more then "microsoft.com". That is not how
    they saw it but they didn’t think it thru. Basically they said “that’s nice
    you are certified but we want you to take our examâ€.

    What I am curious about is this. How much money does Microsoft spend
    perfecting their exam process? Clearly they pick questions and subject
    matters they feel are important in a developer position and clearly that
    takes time and money. I am more curious because I am thinking about basically
    advertising the quality of certification when I am being interviewed because
    clearly there are a lot of companies who are completely clueless.
     
    Guest, Jan 21, 2006
    #1
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  2. Guest

    Egghead Guest

    That is nothing to do with M$ or any cert in gerenal. Nowdays, a lot of
    SWcompanies need you to write entry exam. Besides, all the exams I wrote is
    in fundamental programming stuff, such as link list search, Btree, and OS
    process. You know those second/third year CS stuff, none of those are in the
    cert exams.
    Egghead
     
    Egghead, Jan 21, 2006
    #2
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    That doesnt answer my question.

    Bottom line in my view, if MS found those questions important, they would
    ask them. They dont.
     
    Guest, Jan 21, 2006
    #3
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    added:

    MCAD is very clear, it’s called Application Developer. Not Class, memory
    allocation, programming language creator.

    Microsoft tests you over specific skills they find important for one to
    actually make an application with existing tools available. There are
    currently so many tools and classes learning most of the tools and classes is
    a major skill set in of itself. It would be a shame to re-create
    functionality that already exists. Microsoft seems to understand this.

    So in short, when someone walks into an interview with MCAD or MCSD and the
    interviewer wants to give that person an extensive test what that interviewer
    is basically saying is that they PERSONALLY know which skills are more
    important to build an application then Microsoft does.

    Now I am not saying that is not impossible and I understand that specific
    firms have specific needs. However, is it asking too much for interviewers to
    take out about 1 hour of their day to review what these certification
    actually cover?

    When interviewers start asking me questions about “screen scraping†I feel
    like asking them to explain to me in what an XmlNamespaceManager is and why
    you would need to use it.
     
    Guest, Jan 21, 2006
    #4
  5. Guest

    chappycheeky Guest

    I think that basically, employers realise that an awful lot of people
    get MS certifications using brain dumps rather than doing any real
    world work or study, and would rather have someone who knows what
    they're about, than someone who can memorise the answers to a few
    questions.
     
    chappycheeky, Jan 21, 2006
    #5
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Three points on that topic

    1. I would venture to say that most people don’t cheat because if you read
    the questions it should be immediately clear to people with an IQ above 2
    that this is material one cant simply "wing it" while actually developing.

    2. Because of point one, people who cheat at this level are not to bright
    (its like being a Communications major and trying to pretend you are a
    History major because you cheated on an exam its not going to hide that lie)
    thus its easy to get a pretty good idea if someone cheated by asking some key
    questions which aren’t even technical of which I do not want to post here
    because it would be ammunition for those who do cheat.

    3. Because about 1/2 the questions I have been asked aren’t even remotely
    related to certification topics (an arguably not even important) its clear to
    me that many interviewers have no clue or desire to even find out what topics
    the MCAD/MCSD exams cover!

    Having said all this I have a story to share.

    I had an interview in which the recruiter was having an extremely hard time
    finding a candidate who could answer the technical screening questions from
    the employer for this entry level .Net position. Just so happens I was the
    only one who nailed his quiz and actually did better then a CompSci PHD
    candidate.
    Now I do want to clarify that the reason I nailed that quiz is because the
    questions he had asked was over material I just happened to have been
    reviewing again for .Net 2.0. In other words, had he asked me a lot of
    questions about Serviced Components I most likely would have failed because I
    haven’t looked at that material in almost a year now.
    When I met this guy face to face I mentioned to him that every single
    question he asked was directly related to my MCAD study. He got offended and
    offensive. He told me that the job was for ASP.NET on C# and I told him that
    was the specific test I took. What nailed my coffin was that I pointed out to
    him that I was an Information Systems major not a CompSci major which is in
    bold on the second line of my resume. If he cant take the time out to read
    the first 3 lines of my resume how can I expect him to have clue about my
    MCAD study?

    When I got back home I received another call from a recruiter/developer who
    has 20 years of programming behind him and is currently working on XML
    WebServices. He told me that one day he decided to go take an MCAD exam and
    see how it was and he failed. He said “you wrote in your cover letter that
    your study was 6000+ pages of complex study…that’s about rightâ€.
     
    Guest, Jan 21, 2006
    #6
  7. I too have more than 20 years of exp and IQ above 2. If you think that you
    can measure the value of exp in a test with some 40 out of 100 or so
    questions you are wrong. I think your assumption that you can teach the
    recruiter how great you are because you can answer 40 questions is
    questionable... Grades and certs are nice, but they are not directly
    descriptive of talent.

    Tell me what is best, 6000+ pages of complex study or the time it takes to
    do 6000+ pages of complex study developing cutting-edge solutions.
     
    Gorm Braarvig, Jan 21, 2006
    #7
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    what I am comparing and ONLY what I am comparing is the following

    MCAD vs interviewer self created exam

    That is the ONLY comparision I am trying to illustrate here.

    The guy I talked to with 20 years of XP knows a LOT more then I do. The
    point I was making is that MCAD is very specific and it might intrest
    employers to find out what those specifics are and then ask themselves one
    question "why does Microsoft find these particualar skills important"

    I dont know how I can drill down this story anymore basic then what I have
    now said.
     
    Guest, Jan 21, 2006
    #8
  9. Gorm Braarvig, Jan 21, 2006
    #9
  10. I've come across that as well doing software contracting. Some of the major
    contract shops (at least here in NorCal) have for some time now required
    taking an online exam before they'll really even talk to you (which,
    overall, is a policy I quite like).

    I've taken 10 or so BrainBench (C#, C# Express, VB, VB Express, .Net
    Framework, etc) exams over the years, and there are definatly pros and cons
    in their relationship to the Microsoft ones. At this point I try hard to
    require canidates that I interview to take a quick online exam (at our
    expense) a few days prior to the interview. This is more to gauge, "I'm
    asking them to do something, do they do it?" (which seems to be a huge
    indicator of many thing) than to see their actual technical skillset.

    After taking a number of exams from both, they're targeting different
    audiances. If Tek Systems told prospects they needed to take 4 hours of out
    an otherwise billable day to head down to the local testing center for a 3
    hour exam, I don't think they would get very far. On the other hand, a
    number of the BrainBench tests can be completed in 20 minutes from just
    about anywhere in the world. Definatly different target groups.

    Now, any company who requires a C# BrainBench exam after verifying a
    MCSD.NET transcript is going to have a tough sell....
     
    Chris Mullins, Mar 1, 2006
    #10
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