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Microsoft and Braindumping

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Fergal1982, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    I have been in discussion with Trika Harms zum Spreckel, from Microsoft Learning regarding the topic of Braindumping. She pointed me in the direction of a Live meeting they held in May of this year on this topic.

    The meeting can be found Here

    Having watched the meeting myself, I found it to be quite interesting, and highly informative.

    I am seeking clarification on a couple of points with MS (via their press contact) and I will post any responses I get regarding those.

    Hope this is useful to everyone.
     
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  2. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    I dont think you can brain dump MS certs anymore i maybe wrong though..
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I think braindumping is still possible and probably going on as we speak.

    Very few of the measures mentioned are new and they raise as many questions as they answer.

    Stop oversea people from visiting chinease or indian test centres, er... what about the 3 billion indian and chinese people ? Aren't they just as capable of cheating ?

    Shut down test centres which break the rules, a good start, but... as anyone whos seen watchdog knows what stops them getting a friend / relative to open up next week ? What happens to the people who cheated at their test centre ?

    89 people getting stripped of their certs out of over 2 million ? They might as well have not bothered... its a drop in the ocean.

    I realise its a very difficult problem but theres very little new here, in fact the cert guard bloke sounds like hes only just got out of bed...
     
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  4. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    You can still BD Microsoft Certs, although they are trying to introduce more simulations to make it more and more difficult.

    To be fair to MS, Dmarsh, its very difficult for them to justifiably Decertify anyone. In order to do so, they have to be absolutley sure that the individual cheated to obtain their certification. How would you like it if you sat your exam in a centre that had a high volume of gunmen at the same time, and they just decertified you without proof? For obvious reasons, its a long and difficult process.

    Yes people in China/India are just as capable of cheating, but what would you like them to do? Ban people in those countries from certifying altogether? Its just one action to reduce people over there sitting exams for people elsewhere in the world. These techniques aren't going to stop anything when used on their own, its only when they are used in conjunction with each other that they are fully effective.

    And as for the centres reopening a week later, I'm guessing the Vue and Prometric wont just let anyone pitch up as one of their franchises. There will likely be vetting taking place, both as the venue, management, and procedures. All of which will be a time consuming process. Im sure each of these centres would have passed at the time, its only months or years after that things start to go downhill: when processes and staff change, or when a new Gunman operation moves into town.

    Cut them some slack! At least they are taking it seriously. As was pointed out in the meeting, different countries have different laws, which makes pursuing the matter completely difficult at best, and sometimes downright impossible at worst. Every step they take to make their certs worthwhile again is a step in the right direction.
     
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  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    You could braindump any exam, cheats will always be able to find a way.
     
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  6. jamman32

    jamman32 Nibble Poster

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    Just googled compti a+ braindump and found some sites...

    Its that easy. I prefer the study route more rewarding at the end of the day.
    With brainbumping at the end of the day the only person you are cheating is yourself.
     
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  7. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Regardless of the efforts of Microsoft and other companies to wipe out braindumping, there will always be sites on the web that *say* they have the actual questions and answers...whether or not they really do. That's one of the reasons (besides sheer integrity) that dump sites are so important to avoid. No value added...not even as a cheating aid.
     
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  8. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    I think people who brainbump are not only selling themselves down the river but everyone who spends countless hours studying. It devalues the credentials in the eyes of employers and over the long-term has played a part in bringing salaries down across the industry.

    When Microsoft announced they would be making big changes to the new 2008 tracks a part of me hoped that they would make the MCSE a hands on testing environment, much like the RHCE and CCIE. Whilst this would have increased the price of certifying it's a cost I could have lived with to ensure my skills are respected by employers.
     
  9. Finkenstein

    Finkenstein Kilobyte Poster

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    I worked with a guy a number of years ago who brain dumped his way through the NT 4.0 MCSE track. Sure, it got him a cert, but he was so limited with his knowledge and what he could do that it became a joke in our department.

    I watched that webcast. It was pretty interesting.
     
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  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yes, or at least have a different set of questions so if they are put into a BD then they are useless for peeps in other countries. 8)
     
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  11. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Thats hardly fair sparky. Why do Chinese and Indian people have less right to certify on the MS tracks than others in other countries?

    Changing the questions is possible, so long as it doesnt make the exams in those countries either harder or easier than elsewhere in the world. If it does, then its not balanced. Why should passing the same certification be more difficult in one country than another? They are working with the same tech, and essentially doing the same jobs. Either way, it still wont stop BD'ing. All you will get are BD questions for Asia, and BD questions for the rest of the world. Both will clearly be labelled by the BD sites, and they will just pay people on both sides to sit and gather questions.

    This is exactly my point, stopping Braindumping isnt just a straightforward thing. Most techniques can be countered in some manner. So you need to use combinations, and work out which combinations are most effective. A lot of suggestions can be made as to how its dealt with, but you have to look at the bigger picture.
     
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  12. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    The questions are all pool based anyway, so even if you sat the test back to back in the same country in the same test center, the questions should be different, although the randomness is questionable sometimes

    Brain dumping multiple choice tests has ALWAYS been easy and rampant, you need to change the delivery of the test to get around it, and whilst the MCSE is not high enough to make CCIE type lap testing plausable, some form of advanced simulation would help

    imagine if you just had sim questions, 10 of them say, maybe 20
    'you have a fresh built windows server 2008, you need to make it a domain controller and make sure it has a strict password policy etc etc, there are currently no network services running on your network, you have some old windows 98 systems that will need to authenticate with this domain'

    that would rock, and with Virtual PC I'm unsure why it cant be done, the sims are amateur at best, a real server OS to do this on would be awesome
     
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  13. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Just a question or two for you, Fergal. Don't take it personal because it's not meant that way. It's personal curiosity more than anything.

    Do you believe everything MS has to say? If not, how do you pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe?

    Personally, MS has been caught just flat out lying so many times that I believe nothing they say unless it can be verified from multiple independent sources outside of MS.

    I look at corporations no differently than I look at individuals. If I catch someone lying to me once I begin to question what they say to me. If I catch someone lying to me multiple times I never believe them again unless I can verify their words. To do otherwise means I would believe anything, at any time, from any one. Now, you don't strike me as someone who does that. You seem far more intelligent than that. So, why do you believe MS in this case? It's very obviously in their own self-interest to deny going easy on brain dumping, so what makes you believe them?
     
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  14. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Well, for a start its in their own self-interests to make sure that BD'ing and cheating is minimised. If they do nothing, and the cert continues to be devalued by such activities, then their certs become utterly worthless. When that happens, people are going to be much less likely to sit the certs. Sure they may well buy the books to learn the topics, but they wont sit the exam. Whats the point for a useless cert? So from that point of view, they have much to gain from actually taking action. MS' bottom line is profit, they will do anything to secure that profit. Sometimes it takes them in avenues that are unsavory, but in this case, their desire for Profit, and the desire to reduce BD'ing are in alignment.

    Some of these actions can indeed be verified outside of MS. Verifying that test centres are closed down can be checked online, simply for looking for active test centres, and comparing it against previous data to see which sites have been closed. Admittedly, that side of things are really done by Vue and Prometric, but its still part of the anti-BD measures. We can also see that MS did indeed file a lawsuit against TK.

    I take everything they say with a pinch of salt, but that doesnt mean that what they say is always a lie.
     
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  15. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    First, this must be what MS believes, not what you and I believe. I don't see evidence that MS believes this to be true. If they did, then they would have stomped on the brain dump sites from the first, and stomped hard. But, they did nothing for years.

    This has already happened. MS certs back before somewhere around 1998-2000 were pretty highly respected. Their value has gone downhill ever since.

    Really? There are entire industries already built up telling people how badly they need certs and millions of dollars being spent in advertising to do the same thing. Do you really think that if certs were so highly valued now that millions of dollars would need to be spent to advertise them? If they were highly valued inside the industry you couldn't get into the industry, or advance, without them. That's simply not true. Experience is what is highly valued. That's why "experience" is the "holy grail" around this site for newbies. How many people around here get jobs with certs and no experience?

    To this I must say once again.... Really? Marketing is, and always has been, MS's main strength. Quality of anything has never been, to plagiarize a line from Ford, Job 1 with MS.

    To this again I must say.... Really? You've never heard of anyone doing just enough to counter their critics and giving themselves the option of saying, "see we are doing something"? It's called posturing.

    Ummm.... When an entity has lied as many times as MS has, well, assuming they are lying, posturing, etc... becomes the wise thing to do, because it's the only way to keep from being taken in.
     
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  16. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Fair points Freddie. However, I posted this because its a relevant discussion on the topic, and I found it interesting to know what the MS stance is at present. The main reason I started pursuing this thread, was to get an answer to a specific question for our members from MS. When I get the answer (and the answer to another question as a result of the meeting), I'll post them onto this thread. Its these that I'm particularly interested in, above all else.
     
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  17. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Interesting thread and must say everyone so far has contributed a fair amount and reasonable responses too. I must say though that whilst it would be nice to wipe out brain dumping and cheats there are other forms as well that are not looked at for instance test prep tools. I am not going to name any but to give you a hint it lies between Measure Up and Transcenders.

    I sat a test and know for a fact most of the question on my real exam were also a clone from one of the above mentioned. There you go so go figure, and before you shoot at me yes they were not word for word but changed slightly. My big question is then what is the big difference? I am in no way advocating the cheaping or b dumping either.

    Another thing, those that b dump might land the job but would not last too long on the job. I have had jobs were I had to sit written technical test and in essay form too. I must say the Microsoft general options looked easy when I look back.
     
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  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You are correct in that you can still BD Microsoft certifications... but introducing simulations doesn't cut down on braindumping. Braindump companies can simply tell people what simulations to study for on the exam: "Know how to create a user - follow these steps. Know how to add a DHCP scope - follow these steps. Know how to delete a folder - follow these steps." In truth, adding simulations doesn't change anything - dumpers still memorize what is on the exam, and nothing beyond that.
     
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  19. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    but with enough varied and decent simulations a BD would pretty much have to tell someone how to use the damn product
    thus, making it less dump like, and more learn like!

    the problem is the current sims are very limited, in that only a handful are made for each exam, there isnt a massive pool of them like a question pool

    what needs to happen is some sort of technology built on VPC or something to provide dynamic delivery of scenarios and objectives.. so that your not spending buckets of time making the sims, your just feeding parameters into it to generate a sim.. then the sims become as easy to generate as questions
     
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  20. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    Pretty much a hands on exam without the expense of having an examiner sat there..

    Anything which brings back value to IT certifications can only be a good thing for those willing to put in the time and effort.
     

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