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Boot Camp or not Boot Camp???

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by awb123, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. awb123

    awb123 New Member

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    Hi,

    The company i work for have agreed to send me on a MCSE course to help get me certified which is good news.

    My boss has found this business http://www.expresstrain.co.uk/
    that offers a 15 day intensive boot camp.

    Our usual choice of training provider is http://www.f1comp.co.uk/ where each course is 5 days totalling 35 days.

    Now my preference is the second option. It will be in more detail and be more beneficial but when I am not paying for it it is difficult especially it will cost around £7K

    My question is what are people's experiences of boot camps? Are they a waste of time and money? I want to hear from both sides of people as you only seem to hear the horror stories???

    Thanks,

    Andy
     
  2. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    i never attended a boot camp before, but i have read both positive and negative comments.

    firstly, say for eg, the camp is tutoring CCNA 5 day boot camp. from what i can remember is,

    before going to boot camp, you need to know the material before hand and have hands on experience, as these camps are fast paced. if you dont know the stuff already, you're screwed!

    if by chance you dont know the material, what you will basically be doing is cramming the information and hopefully memorising it for the exam, which may help you pass, but would it really stay?

    also there are places where they provide BrainDumps, obviously, i would hope its a very few and not those that you may be going to.

    and thats all i can remember... but seriously, even though company money or not, i wouldn't recommend going unless you know the stuff yourself, as when you take the exam, and if its not within a week or two of ending the camp, would you really know all of the content (what would the company saying when you fail and they spent £££'s on you), but then, if you know the stuff already, then it should be a matter of refreshing your memory...

    ...and finally, the quality of the course will be down to the tutors...

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    The thing to remember about Boot camps is they are fast intensive courses, you do not have the time you would normally have on a long distance learning course to absorb the material.

    People forget the one thing that really matters and that is the student, the individual leaning the course material. If your a slow learner, haven't done studying for along time or do not have the foundation of knowledge in the chosen subject.

    Then you and like the rest of the world will struggle like hell!!

    If when you did your school exams, crammed your revision and passed with flying colours. Then you should have no problem with boot camps, but if you can't cram then don't take it.

    Even though your company is paying for it will they pay for it again if you fail? will you still have a job?
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  4. awb123

    awb123 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. So in short a boot camp is only the way forward once you have crammed the entire knowledge base into your own head and can use it as a cram session.

    I don't think this sounds like the sort of thing I want to do. I would have to learn 7 subjects then in my eyes why would i need to go onto the boot camp???

    My ideal is to study before hand on the subject in hand, do the week long course to iron out and misunderstandings and as a revision tool and take the exam straight after.

    Nice
     
  5. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Mate, anyone who thinks they can legitimately do a whole MCSE's worth of material in 15 days and pass is frankly taking the piss. There are people on these boards who know it all but still took years to get their MCSE. Just remember, it's something like 7 MCPs , that's about 1 every two days. You really need to know it all before hand to have any chance.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  6. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Well Said Baba!:thumbleft
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  7. shadybrady

    shadybrady Bit Poster

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    I think everyone is different when it comes to studying.

    Boot camps are all well and good for people who can absorb mammoth amounts of information in a very short space of time - I know people who can.

    The inherent problems can be long term recall of the information - essentially if you home study over a period of time, you concentrate on small percentages of info at a time - one chapter an evening for example.
    In this way you stand a better chance of committing a greater amount of the info into longer term memory plus of course a greater hands on experience with your home computer.

    Granted the time invested in home study is obviously much greater than a week boot camp but why not see if they will purchase a computer based home training course - and you could always argue the case of having the books as a 'training library' for use for other members of staff.

    Its really up to you but home study is the less pressure, more beneficial route in my opinion.

    Shady :)
     
    Certifications: BSc. Hons, MCP 70-210
    WIP: CCENT, CCNA, MCTS / MCITP
  8. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    I would compare a boot camp to a weeks intensive driving course that some companies offer.

    If you can already drive confidently they can teach you to pass the driving test in a week.

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  9. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

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    I'm booked in next year to do two boot camps, the first is for the Certified Ethical Hacker cert and the second for Prince2 Foundation and Practioner.

    Now each is 5 days running from Sunday night to Friday afternoon and they provide all your food and accomodation on-site and you usually train from 9am to anywhere up to 9pm not including any reading they give you.

    Now for the CEH there is tons of pre-reading before the course... however if i hadn't of recieved that i would still have done shed loads of prep as i'm not silly enough to expect to know it all in 5 days.

    So i think for specific topics where you have some experience and feel comfortable with the material they are great.

    However, for the MCSE - 7 exams in 15 days? Thats preety steep, actually it's f-ing vertical! (excuse my french :ohmy !)

    I did look at the CCNP with my provider which was 14 days for 4 exams but i've decided to go the route of 5 days per topic and spread throughout the year as i'm not as comfortable with those topics.

    But if your company is willing to pay for the boot camp go 4 it, even if you come out passing only say 4 of the 7 exams you have taken a big chunk out of the MCSE and you can always revisit topics you maybe didn't understand. Some people (like me in the past) work for companies with no training budget what-so-ever.... :x

    Good luck :D
     
    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  10. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Matt,

    who are you going with?

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  11. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    If you can even read the amount of information that I read whilst studying for my MCSE in 15 days never mind remembering anything, well you are a better man than me gunga din :eek:

    It took me three years which is quite a long time but that was fast enough for me to absorb the knowledge. It's the knowledge that is important not the piece of paper!

    Even if you work with the product, there is no way that you will have knowledge and experience of all the features for the topics covered in the exams. The exams test you on *all* of the features available whereas in real life we tend to only use a small sub-set of the features available in a product.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  12. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    If your aim is just to pass the MCSE then maybe it is a decent option. However if your aim is gain knowledge (and remember it) then I don’t think a boot camp is a good idea. Just an option though. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  13. mattwest

    mattwest Megabyte Poster

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    Certifications: See my signature...
    WIP: Maybe re-certify my CCNA
  14. Handyman

    Handyman Bit Poster

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    To be fair the ITIL Foundation course is only 18 hours contact time to start with. On a standard 3 day course there is only Capacity to work through on day three and then you have revision, a mock exam and then the proper exam.

    We do 2 day ITIL Courses with pre reading and an extended course day.

    I cannot belive they get any pass rate with their managers exam though. They do it back to back with the foundation over 13 days. Thats a horrendous way to take the exam and your not going to get the amount of benefit that you should from that level of qualification.

    FYI the standard ITIL Managers exam has a average pass rate of 50% and this dropped to 40% for 1 set of exams :ohmy
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation, BTEC Nat Computing
    WIP: CCNA
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

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    I have only one question:

    Do you want to be a REAL MCSE or a PAPER one?

    If your answer is a paper one then take the boot camp option, if you really want to do the job then your your books out and self study.
     

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