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Cert exams don't represent real on job experience..

Discussion in 'SQL Exams' started by zcarenow, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. zcarenow

    zcarenow New Member

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    I gave some series of test questions to a friend who is a DBA at a major firm. He has around 12 yrs experience with SQL Server. I randomly gave him 50 questions and asked him to see how many he could get right. He said only 14 he got right. He told me that the questions are not representative of what they do in real life.

    I finished the SQL Server 2008 Administration in Action the other night and it was a very good book. I noticed the test questions weren't anything like what i read in the book. I just found that odd since the book is very good. He told me that book was for day to day real life work of a DBA and that the questions i had were just not real life work of a DBA. So what gives here? Should microsoft ask DBAs around the world on what they do each day and use that to formulate their test questions in the future?

    He said many of them are obscure questions and some of the stuff is never ever used. He felt that these certifications are just making $$ off of people.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I think he is right, there were virtually no SQL questions in any of my MS DB exams, there were virtually no core C# questions in any of my MS programming exams. The certs focus heavilly on learning product features over job skills, its as if the exams were designed or co-ordinated by marketeers.

    On the plus side you may benefit from the marketing spend when you go for a job with your shiny bit of paper, but it is largely just that, a piece of paper...
     
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  3. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    As long as you understand that there are two methods when it comes to Microsoft product exams you will be fine.

    The first method is - The Microsoft Way, this is what's required to pass the exam.

    The second method is - The Real World Way, what you would really do if you came across a certain issue\problem or error.

    As long as you realise that the exam just wants you to know what to do in the Exam world and not the real world you will be fine. As long as you also realise that the real world doesn't just revolve around Microsoft products then you will go far.

    There are a number of other vendor products that you can use to resolve issues that do it fewer clicks and that you're not reliant on just MS then you will be fine.
     
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  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Since when did any exam represent real-world situations?

    Exams test theoretical understanding in completely fictitious scenarios.

    I remember at university studying soil mechanics and the foreword in the text book was to the effect that nothing in the book held true in the real world due to the vastly unpredictable nature of real soil. I also learned how to make concrete that had to be cured underwater and the moisture content of the sand was of critical importance. In the real world it's made by some navvy with his arse-crack showing and sloshing water over it with a hosepipe.
     
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  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yep! And this is exactly why we tell people that certifications do not automagically qualify them to do the job in the real world. Is the theoretical knowledge gained by pursuing certifications important? Absolutely! But it's not the same as real-world experience. The ideal candidate will have BOTH.
     
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  6. zcarenow

    zcarenow New Member

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    So what you guys are saying is that certs should be only be pursued by people with experience? He has experience, yet, still failed to pass the exam. He said if he were to pursue the certification, he would just go for braindumps since he already has the experience. What is your opinion on this? Thanks.
     
  7. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    I would say yes and no as in cert should be taken to broaden ones knowledge as well as increase your chances of career progression. Taking the time to study and sit exams for certs shows employers that you can use initiative as well as willing to learn new technology.

    Just re-read your post and would not avocate using brain dumps in any shape or manner.

    Cheerio and best wishes:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
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  8. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    No one should braindump, there is no justification for it.
    If he has the experience he should be able to legitimately pass without too much effort. Probably not much more effort than memorising hundreds of questions/answers. There's also the bonus of perhaps learning something along the way that might be useful.
     
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  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Why would he "just go for braindumps"? There are plenty of legitimate study tools available. The opinion of Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA is that using braindumps is cheating... doesn't matter what anyone else's opinion is.

    The reason why I recommend that certifications (other than entry-level ones) should be pursued by people with experience is because the certifications won't help them get employed without the experience. Note that I'm NOT saying that people with experience can pass the exam without studying... nor am I saying that it is impossible to pass the exam without experience. I am simply stating that a certification alone won't qualify someone to do a job in the real world.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
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  10. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    what he said ^

    I would actually be worried if the questions I got in an exam represented real world stuff because I would feel I was being cheated or something.

    It would be kind of like the richmond test when you were younger and finding out that there really was a dude called gnesh running a corner shop :D
     
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  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Regardless of how much experience the person has they will always get something out of the exam and studying for the exam as well. Therefore BDs are not welcome.
     
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