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Microsoft VM based (083) style exams and improved reputation

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by TTab, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. TTab

    TTab Bit Poster

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    Would a complete move to VM based (083) style exams, restore the reputation and credibility of MS certs to the golden age of the MCSE in the 90's, or have brain dumps done too much damage -discuss!
     
    Certifications: MCP 70-270 MCTS 70-680
    WIP: MCSA / CCENT
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Honestly? No, the MCITP goes a long way of improving the exam track but in all honesty it would need a complete rethink of the entire Microsoft approach to testing to improve the whole Microsoft certification track.

    I would think a practical hands on approach (ala the CCIE Lab) would probably weed out the wheat from the chaff, with the need to recertify every three years or so, perhaps a board of your peers asking for real world situations and solutions and how you would approach said situations.

    The way current certification (certainly the MS approach) is done these days isn't really that well thought out, tbh if you want to cheat your way past the exams at the moment, you can. With a different approach (ala what I said earlier) it would become very apparent, very soon whether you actually knew what you were on about.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    No, because it is still possible to braindump an exam made up of nothing but hands-on, simulation-type questions. If you doubt that, just look for CCIE braindumps and see for yourself - they absolutely exist.

    I think that simulation-type questions SHOULD be on exams... but not to completely replace traditional (multiple choice, drag-and-drop, etc.) questions. Those traditional questions are the ONLY way to test on the theory behind the hands-on, and that theory is absolutely imporant. After all, I don't want a tech who knows to click Button A and Button B... I want a tech who knows WHY they are clicking those buttons, and exactly WHAT happens behind the scenes when they click those buttons.

    The only way for Microsoft to regain their reputation is to aggressively pursue braindumpers and the people who use them.
     
    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!
  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    IMO, No. I also don't think that the hand's on practical session would do the MCP track or the MCTS/MCITP track any good either (it would push the price of those into the realms of corporations pay), leaving it with the MCM & the MCA is fine as it is.

    TBH, I'm of the school of thought that professional certifications should reflect your job role and responsibilities (and vice versa), with the optional professional status (ICTTech, CITP, etc).

    I've resigned to the fact that:

    1. We will never stop braindumps
    2. There are training providers out there that advertise that you can get a £30k + job if you complete a 12 week course to complete the MCSE/MCITP: SA/EA with them regardless of if you have experience or not.

    -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. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I think MS possibly need to add another layer to the new certs that are lab based (Not the MCA) but I disagree with Simon on certifying every 3 years simply wouldn't work with MS exams due to the amount of topics they cover and the need to hold several for a lot of jobs. For example most people would only hold 1-2 certs as they wouldn't be able to make time to retake them and would in my opinion stifle career progress. I defiantly thought doing the AD 83 exam before they pulled the plug that it was the way to go if they ironed out the technical issues. I personally sometimes struggle with questions as my brain switches off and much prefer sims 100% so for me this would go a long way to improving the examination experience.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  6. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    The problem is that the three years works for the CCNA very well, I do believe it would work with MS exams as well.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  7. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Yeah but tradionally a lot of CCNA certified people just have Cisco certs. My point is I have an MCSA, MCDST and 3 MCTS's so there would be no chance of me keeping all of those certs up to date so I would loose all of them bar 1 or 2. Throw in the mix of other certs I'm planning in the future which include CCNA and most people would struggle.

    I can see the point in certifying on some certs every so often but not MS ones as the technology doesn't change much when you pass the exam. I think that MS should of changed the cert to include the OS you passed on with so instead of being an MCSA you should be an MCSA 2003 so employers know what OS you passed with. I think there would be a market for another layer of certs that are lab based or course based between the MCITP and MCA that would allow the elite to show they stand out from the rest.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  8. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    I don't think there's any way to weed out the majority of braindumpers at the exam stage without making the exams prohibitively expensive. They could be a bit more aggressive pursuing braindumpers but knowing someone has braindumped and proving someone has braindumped are two very different things normally.
    So, considering the risks are small and unlikely to get any larger it's no wonder it seems so prevalent.
    I think it needs to be tackled from the rewards side of the equation. Remove the reward and there's no point taking the risk.
    Since the employer is also taking a risk (and should take reasonable steps to ensure their risk is minimised), I can't understand how any braindumper gets a job punching above their weight.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  9. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    They COULD, rather than expending a huge amount of energy and resources on pursuing individual dumpers, target the people who are making money selling their copyrighted material. Aggresively pursuing them (and singing from the rooftops each time you stamp one flat) would rebalance the risk/reward equation against the dump salesmen and hopefully have a bigger impact on stopping the flow of dumps into the wild.

    Even if it just has the effect of driving the whole thing (further) underground it'll reduce the chances of people getting drawn into using them without understanding what they are and why they're bad news.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  10. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    There is no reason why your MCTSs can't stay current, simply renew the PRO exam every three years instead.

    As far as there being another layer of cert out there from MS, there is and it's called the Microsoft Certified Master, unfortunately that's more in line with the CCIE than the MCSE\MCITP.

    You also need to be aware that VMware also stipulate that you need to update your VCP with every major release, with those who had the VCP310 exam they had until the end of last year to upgrade to the VCP410 exam without having to take any additional courses, those VCPs that didn't upgrade by the end of last year had to go through the entire VMware training cycle again (more money). It's also the same with the likes of Apple and their courses, infact they are even more stringent when it comes to upgrading (weeks\months rather than months).

    You have to understand that the more techy you become the more likelyhood there is that you will have to keep upto date with certs anyway (just look at the certs I have).

    As far as technology changing between exams is concerned, you're wrong. SCCM 2007 has ALOT more features on it now (with R2 and SP2) than it did when it was originally released, the exam still tests on the vanilla version, add to the fact that SP3 is due out soon there is an additional layer of functionality on the product that isn't tested. Its the same with a lot of other MS technologies, they have features added and removed with subsequent patches\service packs. It's also the same with the likes of the VCP exam, anyone having studied for the vSphere 4.0 exam can't expect to know of the functionality of vSphere 4.1 (and that's one of the reasons why the VCP now aims for those sitting the exam to be sitting the exam based on 4.1 and not 4.0). Another product is MDOP, Microsoft have an exam for that (70-656) that bears no resembalance to the MDOP that's currently in use today (it now has AppV and MedV to name two new features of it, neither of which are tested in the exam). Technology changes all of the time, the exams should change as well.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  11. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    SCCM is one example as I'm sure there are more but a lot of them don't change like AD exams or Exchange or at least not enough to require resitting the exam every 3 years. The core OS of Windows 2003 hasn't changed much and whilst Windows 2008 now has R2 that is a big change and MS should show that in new exams that are tested on that platform. Certifying every 3 years would hinder a lot of people from branching out into different areas and lead to pigeon holing as sitting exams every 3 years would be prohibitive. I also thought VCP was a for life cert on the version you take the exam at?
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  12. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    But you won't be a current VCP, also the exams retire so although you may have a VCP310 you can't actually call yourself a VCP after the retirement of that exam (it's like the CCNA, you have the exam but once that exam has been retired you're no longer actually a CCNA).
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  13. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I'll check with VMWare again as I'm sure they said it's for life on the version you take it at. I plan to heavily pursue VMWare certs in the future so it might not become an issue as such. I agree with certs like VCP as the technology changes so rapidly that there is a need to certify every so often.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  14. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Perhaps Scott can answer better but taken directly from his site about the retirement of the VCP310 exam. As far as the exam goes, of course it will be for life.. but with the release of each new product you NEED to update the exam to stay a VCP. It would be like me saying I was a CCNA (I did the exam), I am not a CCNA, I haven't touched Cisco gear in years and wouldn't dream of going for Cisco based roles.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  15. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    It's not what I was lead to believe as CCNA you loose the right to call yourself a CCNA if you don't sit the update exam. From what I thought I was told is that isn't the case with the VCP.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Unfortunately, most of them operate out of third-world countries beyond Microsoft's legal reach. Thus, pursuing individual dumpers is the only feasible way to dissuade people from cheating.
     
    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!
  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    But that's exactly what they do already. I am an "MCSA on Windows Server 2003", but I am not an "MCSA on Windows 2000 Server " because I did not take one of the exams required for it. Also, I am an "MCSE on Windows NT 4.0", an "MCSE on Windows 2000 Server", and an "MCSE on Windows Server 2003"... three distinct certifications.
     
    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!
  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Well, sit the current exam OR a higher-level exam. All you have to do to renew ALL of your Cisco Associate-level or Professional-level certifications is take ANY Professional-level (642 series) exam. That's not too difficult... one exam every three years.
     
    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!
  19. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I stand corrected. I thought when you pass you were just an MCSA and not a MCSA 2003.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  20. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I know that with Cisco but it's MS exams that would be an issue as you would have to sit an upgrade exam for each distinctive cert you have. In my case that would be 5 which is too prohibitive.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011

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