Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Certification Consternation Gyration

So, the worn-out argument goes like this:

Computer Geek 1 says: “I got my certification!”

Computer Geek 2 says: “Big deal.  Certs mean nothing.”

Computer Geek 3 says: “Did you study or do a boot camp?”

These are essentially the three basic views within the world of those who find it difficult to get laid and dress appropriately at the same time.  Scratch that.  These are folks that just have a tough time getting laid.  In any case, the argument is worn out to death.  But I had to touch on a slightly marginalized aspect of this that deals with Geek 3 above.

There is a narrow debate going on that says studying for weeks, even months, deserves more accolades and congratulations than do those who cram in a “boot camp” session.  Both arrive at the same result: a certification.

But the exams do not measure your studying.  They measure your ability to respond to questions.  They measure your ability to respond to problems in a controlled environment and with very narrow constraints.

Here’s my 1.9 cents:  If you purely respond to exam questions with real-life solutions, you will barely pass.  The reason is that many questions offer up answers that simply do not fit with real world situations.  The best answer is often not the most efficient or reliable solution in the real world.  Any instructor will concur.  Any.  Just ask one.  So, if you cram in how to respond to answers using a boot camp, it’s no less valuable in the end than doing it the “hard way”.  Just sayin.  You can disagree, which is fine.  It’s a free country/world/universe.  For now.

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