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MCSA

Discussion in 'Network Infrastructure' started by Ginyard, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Ginyard

    Ginyard New Member

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    Hi all, first time posting on these forums though i've been lurking quite a while. Just passed my 291 to finish the MCSA, which had been a long time coming. Did it with a combination of self-study and funding my way through a couple of courses when I could get time off. It's not been a particularly long slog (10 months) but it's been challenging and enlightening. That said, there's a couple of attitudes on these forums i've come to question a bit and I wonder if anyone would help me in clarifying just why these attitudes persist:

    1. As someone who's put himself through and not "cheated" through the exams (none apart from 291 were worth the effort to cheat) i'm wondering why there's so much hate against sites like testking etc. When I started with 70-270 I was so uneasy (despite being proficient with the material) I spent 2 weeks reviewing about 500 test questions and answers from TK, which colleagues at work supplied me with. To me, it stuck in my mind that a large part of the exam, like ANY exam out there is not what you know but how you interpret a question and how you work out a particular way to answer it. Like a driving test, where you drive completely outside the norm but have to perform in a specific way or fail. I can understand the hostility towards so-called Paper MCSEs but we've had people like that come into our organisation and leave after a week when they realised they couldn't actually do what they were being asked (and not even in a getting to know the ropes kind of way either). We've had people on paper more qualified than me running away after a couple of days doing my job. These guys are found out sooner or later and I can't see the need to worry about them so much. A TK is a useful tool to someone who's preparing for an exam which is set out to guide you to one specific solution to a problem which can be solved in multiple ways. The one I read even had full explanations of all the answers right and wrong, which I learnt a lot from! By the time I did my 290 and 291 I was used to the MS way of answering so just knuckled down with the prep mats.

    2. It seems as though there's a persistent attitude that just because you want to do the job of a network admin then there's a job waiting for you without certification. A lot of people on the forums are presenting new entrants to the IT profession with an impossible situation; they're saying go and learn and really study and get a low level cert, get a dead-end job logging calls and there's going to be scope for advancement where very often there isn't, but don't get anything more than a (worthless) A+ because otherwise you'll be overqualified and laughed at once working! Not so, I worked at one of the world's largest IT firms for 2 years when I first started as a temp and their mentality was that you had to have the cert before they'd even let you touch the technology you wanted to gain experience with, let alone have free reign over it! As soon as you had the cert, they could be confident that when you moved into a networking or a server admin team (as a complete dogsbody) you would at least stand a chance of not completely destroying it as soon as you logged on. I've since moved to a smaller company where the attitude is very similar; a cert is treated as a sign that an employee is willing to gain knowledge in their own time and be allowed more responsibility as a result, not that someone is trying to lie and blag their way to the top by cheating their eyes out to the detriment of their hard done to colleagues. Therefore I agree entry level certs have their place, but there's no need to grief people who study techs they only have access to in their home labs, in the corporate world run by non technical managers and HR departments there's often very little choice.

    I really like this forum there's a lot of outstanding contributors but my experience of the real world so far is that there are people in IT who'd be better off working in a BT call centre and make a space for someone who really wants and deserves to be in this field and will make a devotion to their career by educating themselves and concentrating on personal development. I know a few people who'd kill to do a 1st line techie job and I know people who've been doing those jobs for 7 years without any hope of progression. On the other hand there's people who go out, gather a pile of certs, no knowledge and look like idiots when you take them on a trial period. I've also known people who've gone and obtained a bunch of certs, known the inside and outside of what they are talking about even without the direct corporate experience and are now doing very well for themselves. It's like that in every industry in the world, there's slackers and cheaters and people of utter genius, until you have them in the job you're really just taking an educated guess.

    Ok, sorry to rant, but that's how I feel. If anyone's starting down the MSCE track, for whatever reason good luck and if you can put theory into practice you'll do well indeed. If not; caveat emptor I suppose.
     
    Certifications: MCSA+M, MCP, MCDST
    WIP: MCSE, CCNA
  2. Big_nath

    Big_nath Kilobyte Poster

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    If you do a simple search on the forum there is 100's of threads explaining why the company you mentioned is not like by people on this forum.

    It's simple they use Actual questions and Answers from Actual Exams. This is cheating and you can get your certs taken from you if Microsoft find out you used them. It would be easy to pass an exam if i had read the answers already.

    Take a look at certguard.com!!!
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCSA, MCSA:M, MCSE, MCTS
    WIP: A few
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    What he said ^

    You say you know people who have never progressed from 1st line, have they actually asked their bosses for the chance to progress? (it isn't always automatic in a job) also have they looke d for jobs elsehwere that do give people the chance to progress?

    There are firms who will taked advantage of employees even if they are really hard working but if you don't ask it won't happen
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi & welcome to CF :)

    Sites like them, try to take real questions and give you the answers. I'll give you 2 reasons to start of with:

    1. By using braindumps, you are agreeing that cheating is a legit way to study, alot of vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, CWNP, Comptia have to change their exam process to weed out cheaters.
    2. If caught using these kind of material, you can be banned from taking anymore exams, be stripped of any certs from that vendor that you've already passed and can face legal action.

    There is no need to "interpret a question and how you work out a particular way to answer it" if you already have the questions and answers before hand.

    See the problem is that the people who cheat their way, give a bad name to those that actually worked hard to gain their certifications. For the most part people that hire IT Pro's aren't IT pro's themselves, if they hire a MCSE who has cheated and makes a balls of their system, would they be willing to hire another MCSE?

    Have you not seen the lawsuits that Microsoft & Comptia have filed against TK? That alone should start ringing bells.

    And as for the driving test, you may drive differently from the test, but it's your experience and you that does the exam. By using braindumps, you are only going thru the motion of the exam, someone else sat the exam and have already given you "pass".

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with you on several points.

    The A+ while it is an entry level cert, it is not worthless. It teaches the skills that an IT tech should have, as well as customer service skills. You can also use it as a stepping stone for the MCSA, joining professional IT associations like Comptia's IT Pro & ETA-i, as well as part of anyones CPD.

    Having a cert should reflect your job role and responsibilities, and yes attaining the cert in your own time is a very good sign for the employer, it should not be an automatic green flag. You've already mentioned about paper MCSE in part 1 who couldn't do the job.

    Running a lab at home is totally different from building, administering and support a real live network.

    One of closest mates worked up from an IT Apprentice to IT System manager (2nd in charge of IT just under the IT Manager) before seeking promotion to IT Manager elsewhere.

    Glad you like it here :)

    Yes there are people who are in IT that should not be allowed anywhere near PC, let alone work in IT. And as for the people that have been in 1st line jobs for x amount of years without "any hope of progression", there are people out there who actually want to stay at that level, after all the higher you go the more work & responsibility you have to have and if they actually want progression then it's down to them to find another job and not just wait there for something to open up.

    Yes it is an educated guess, as the certification process which is suppose to show an employer skills, is failling. However making a wrong guess can be very costly to an organisation, it's harder than you think to fire someone now-a-days...

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Already good advice given, above. You can absolutely get decertified for life by using TK and other braindumps.

    ...which are largely created because of people using the braindumps you are defending.

    It's not a tool... it's the actual exam, and using it is cheating. Using them is no different than stealing a professors final exam from his or her desk. Even worse, braindumps contain the answers!

    In any case, it doesn't matter what you or I think about them... Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA all say that using braindumps like TK is cheating, and they're starting to crack down on people who use them.

    ...which were copied from other copyrighted sources, such as Microsoft's Web site and MSPress books, among others. So the entirety of their content isn't created - it's copied illegally!

    You can certainly learn a lot while studying from braindumps. But that doesn't change the fact that it's cheating.

    Actually, here, there isn't an attitude that there's going to be a job waiting for you, whether you're certified or not. If you want to do the job of a network admin, you have to work your way up to it. Certification isn't going to get that job for you, and neither will sheer desire.

    Some companies DO want you to have that piece of paper before touching the technology. Most companies want you to have experience HELPING administer the technology before they'll let you touch it on your own. Which is exactly why most of us advise people who are new to IT to pursue an entry-level job... because they stand NO chance of getting a mid-to-upper-level job with no experience... particularly when they'll be competing against people who DO have experience.

    Not griefing them at all... just stating what the employer's point of view is. Most employers will take one look at a resume or CV with an MCSE and no experience and immediately trash the resume. If you do some searches on this forum, you'll find numerous posts why that happens... and examples of where that HAS happened.

    If that's truly how you feel, then why tolerate braindumps? Braindumps are what enable people who would be better off working in a BT call center to work in IT in the first place.

    Welcome to the forums.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  6. CertGuard

    CertGuard Bit Poster

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    WARNING: This post contains fervor, passion, and vigorous impetuosity.

    Hi Ginyard, welcome to CF. I'm not a very active member here myself, but I too do quite a bit of lurking and like to chime in from time to time. To give you a little background about me, look at my screen name then look back on some of the other responses that recommend checking out my website. I'll provide links at the bottom that I'm hoping will help you better understand why everyone here is so peeved at braindumps and cheaters.

    What you or someone else may see as benefits are actually disadvantages in numerous aspects of the definition. I've heard hundreds of excuses for using braindumps, and I can tell you that they all have one thing in common; they're all selfish excuses that disregard the wellbeing of everyone else involved in the certification process. Not a single excuse takes into account the hard work that the Content writers (those who write the exams) continually put into creating and recreating the same exams over and over again. Nor do they have any respect for the Subject Matter Experts (like BosonMichael and BosonJosh) who have dedicated their careers to providing candidates such as yourself with an honest and legitimate means of not only studying for, but also passing, your certifcation exams with honor, dignity, and respect. Additionally, not a single one of those excuses involves the hardworking candidates that spend years working on the technologies and learning them before even attempting to earn a certification.

    Look at it this way: If you knew that the owner of the establishment down the street raped a family member of yours, would you patronize that establishment knowing that the owner is benefitting from your patronage? Would you not tell all your friends about the establishment and your reasoning for not promoting them? It's the same thing here...these braindumps have (figuratively speaking) raped our certifications over the years and although there is nothing that we can do about what has been done, we CAN let our friends know that promoting their habits is not only frowned upon, but it is also being criminally prosecuted. The information we are putting out is not just for our good, it's for yours. Take it before you lose your certifications.

    How can you say that you have not cheated, then in the following sentence admit to using knwn cheating materials? You wonder "why there's so much hate against sites like testking etc". Well, we often wonder why there is so much love for them. Amongst numberous other things, they are stealing from us; they are devaluing our certifications; they are (often) stealing the identities of their own customers; they lie about the fact that their materials are not stolen; they have caused an entire industry to spend Billions of dollars on the prevetion of cheating and theft; and they have caused the certification vendors to spend millions of dollars rewriting and rethinking their certification process.

    Why do you and your colleagues continue to support them? Doing so is like having your house broken into and all your belongings stolen; then buying the guys who did it a new truck and a sledge hammer so they can be more efficient when they break into your neighbor's house.

    Sorry for the rant, as you can tell (and as many here know) I get pretty passionate when people try to defend or make excuses for using dumps.

    Please spend as much time as necessary to review the other content we have on our website, knowing why is only the 1st step, you've also got to avoid them. Sure, they get you a piece of paper; but what is that paper worth knowing that you cheated to get it?

    http://www.certguard.com/braindumps.asp
     
  7. osiris

    osiris Bit Poster

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    It is hard to know where to draw the line. If someone uses a Braindump, or Testking or Pass4Sure memorizes the answers takes the exam and passes, yes they have cheated and have learned nothing.

    There are people who do the same - and then study the textbooks - I don't agree with it but they can end up being compedent.

    When I 1st took the CCNA Intro exam I scored 816 but needed 825, what upset me most was the cost of the exam going down the drain. Obviously I passed it comfortably the next time I took it. I can understand someone using Testking or Pass4Sure a day or 2 before to ensure they are able to pass the exam. If not they can postpone it, and revise some more before taking the exam. I would not take a I am Holier Than You attitiude because they may have financial difficulties and do not want to pay twice to take the exam.

    In 1st Line support there are a lot of "robots". They have been doing it for years, have no certifications, haven't got a clue how it works - But they do know what button to press
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+ Net+ CCNA MCP 70-270 70-290
    WIP: 70-291 to make MCSA
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Irrespective of a person's financial situation, that should not be a reason to cheat. The NDA that we agree to is there for a reason, and the penalties for breaking them:

    1. decertification
    2. ban from further exams
    3. in certain circumstances, face legal action

    Plus changes pertaining to where you can take them (eg China, India & other countries) have come into effect.

    Added to that, exam vendors are now using newer technology to catch people who use BD's.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  9. CertGuard

    CertGuard Bit Poster

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    Three things I see that you're not taking into account osiris:

    1) The vendors, even if they could, would not tell one person it is ok to cheat, then turn around and ban someone else for doing exactly the same thing. Cheating is cheating and it's just getting worse by the day. Using braindumps (for any reason) gives people an unfair advantage over the people who don't use them. That advantage, as small as it may seem at times, is still there and it can make a big difference in either person's future.

    2) You're only looking at this from one angle and you're assuming that everyone who cheats is poor and everyone who is poor cheats. It's not like that, there are alot of honest people out there (with and without money) who have to spend the same amount of money on their exams too. So why should the cheater with no money for a 2nd exam be in a better position than the honest person with no money for a 2nd exam? Shouldn't honesty (not cheating) be rewarded?

    3) So you're out a couple hundred dollars if you fail the exam the first time. I know it's alot of money, it is to alot of people; myself included. But what you have to look at is the value of the exams versus the value of your certifications. If you take the risk, use a braindump, and get caught, then you could lose those certifications (past, present, and future). Then where are you? You've spend the money on the exams, the time you've invested is down the drain, and you're still not certified.

    It doesn't sound like a very good trade-off to me.

    Good Luck!!
     
  10. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    Why anyone would want to cheat is beyond me. I would hate to be in a job where I didn't understand what was going on, yet was expected to because I'd cheated my way through an exam.

    I'm curious. What new technology are you talking about? Surely it's nigh on impossible to detect a brain dumper?
     
  11. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Really? I can't understand it, there are enough free (legal) resources on the web, such as Technet which can be used for MS exams. Throw in a book or two and there is no reason why the exam cannot be passed first time.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  12. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Here are a couple of examples:

    Exam data forensics is the use of historical data to compare against test results to look for evidence of fraudulent activity. The forensic algorithm takes into account a number of factors from a candidate’s exam performance and compares that against the historical trend, with certain benchmarks acting as red flags. The reasoning is that candidates who go into the exam with certain prior knowledge of the content of that exam are likely to display certain characteristics in the way they answer questions and progress through the exam. It is these characteristics that the forensic algorithm looks for.

    Web Patrol Tools (both manual & automated) this is the system where a continuous sweep of the internet of the sale, barter, or other disclosure of test information.

    Both of these are done by the indivdual exam vendor, a 3rd party company or a combination of both.

    The above isn't an exhausted list, some of the newer technologies are kept under wraps.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  13. CertGuard

    CertGuard Bit Poster

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    Two words: Data Forensics

    Most people still seem to be naive enough to think that you can't get caught unless you're "caught red-handed". What people don't seem to understand is that there's always going to be someone smarter than they are.

    Here are a few links for you to check out:

    Caveon Data Forensics™
    http://caveon.com/services/services_4.htm

    Trojan Items and Answer-key Arbitrage
    http://caveon.com/df_blog/?p=34


    Can you prove cheating on tests using statistics?
    http://caveon.com/df_blog/?p=29
     
  14. Mof

    Mof Megabyte Poster

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    Well Ginyard for a first post its a goodie.

    If students use braindumps to get certified they will usually get found out when employed,as you stated yourself you have worked with people who wouldnt get on in a Bt call center or not lasted more than a couple of days, Maby there's your answer. BD are a problem and may one day Make the A+ worthless, But you still have to start somewhere and its a good moral boost to get A+ certified some jobs grade pay to how many tests you have passed.

    look forward to reading more of your posts:biggrin
     
    WIP: C++ and A+
  15. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    Just been reading those links you gave. The technology looks really impressive.

    Now, enough talk of braindumps, I have an exam tomorrow that needs some revision!
     
  16. CertGuard

    CertGuard Bit Poster

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    Good luck on that exam!!
     
  17. osiris

    osiris Bit Poster

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    I do not care what anyone else does I am only interested in what I do. If anyone chooses to use braindumps it is upto them. It has no impact on my life, so why should I worry about it. If they get as far as an interview, the employer should be able to tell if they have learned enough to do the job. Are Testking and Pass4sure illegal? Not that I care if they are or if they are not. What about when someone goes on a training coarse and the instructor tells them what to concentrate on etc,and what not to bother with. That gives them an advantage over someone else when taking the exam.

    I am holier than thou! should someone post exam vouchers I shall not use them as they may have been acquired dishonestly. I shall not download pdf's of text books I will always buy the book - yeah right.

    If someone passes the exam without studying for it that is not on, but going on about it on here will not change anything. If anybody is stupid enough to employ them that is their problem and not mine.
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+ Net+ CCNA MCP 70-270 70-290
    WIP: 70-291 to make MCSA
  18. osiris

    osiris Bit Poster

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    1. This Is the UK we dont use Dollars

    2. "Good Luck?" I don't use braindumps myself, but if someone else does its up to them.

    3. Youre the one who is looking at it from one angle. If someone studies the subject and then gives a Testking or Pass4sure the once over a couple of days before the exam, who would know? How could you tell. However if someone memorizes the answers without studying the subject that is a problem, but they will easily be found out even if they do manage to get an interview for a job. But the person who only gave the Testking/Pass4sure the once over but did study the subject would probably be alright at the interview
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+ Net+ CCNA MCP 70-270 70-290
    WIP: 70-291 to make MCSA
  19. CertGuard

    CertGuard Bit Poster

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    Why do these threads always seem to show up when I'm personally already having an "off" day. Have you been reading my horoscope or something?

    1. It doesn't matter where you live, all money equates to USD in some way, shape or form. I'm not here to guess where you, or anyone else for that matter, lives. *I* live in the US, *I'm* going to use Dollars...you do the conversion!

    2. I was being sincere, not sarcastic. It was a simple closing, I meant nothing offensive by it. You blokes need to chillax once in a while.

    3. Actually, I have looked at this topic from a number of different angles. And every angle that you've shown here still leads to cheating. Again, it doesn't matter how you look at it, it is considered cheating. Those dumps have been stolen from not only the certification vendors that create the exams, they have also been stolen from the hard working people who have dedicated their careers to allowing you an easier way to advance yours. TK and P4S are nothing but a group of theiving liars that are out for nobody but themselves. they don't care if you pass your exams on the first try; or even if you're banned for life for cheating. All they care about is the $10M they make every year off of people that justify cheating.

    You cannot justify cheating in this forum, it just won't happen; and anyone here will tell you the same thing. If you want to believe that it's ok to cheat, then you go right ahead and believe that; but don't try to tell anyone here that it is, because we know better.
     
  20. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Hiya Osiris, everyone is entitled to their opinion which is what makes this forum so good. I can see what your saying about someone just looking at a brain dump last minute after studying for ages, they have still put a lot of study in but my opinion is, seeing as a brain dump is actual live questions, its cheating to know a question before sitting an exam. Now each to their own, I also don't really care what others do, its up to them, but for me, I wouldn't use a brain dump. It would knock my confidence as to if I could of passed without it. That plus its a real buzz when you put hard graft in and it says Passed at the end of the test ha ha Think we all agree on that one! Welcome to the forum
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV

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