The Morepheus Guide to Kill **** and Heal The Certification Industry

NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
The Morepheus Guide to Kill **** and Help The Certification Industry
I didn't have time to read the whole article, but I did find parts of it interesting.



From the Website:
Some companies don’t care about **** and do not change questions, we won’t talk about them. I would love to talk about the third group of companies. The companies that don’t fight with **** because they don’t need to.

Let’s look at three companies: Red Hat, Offensive Security, Hurricane Electric.

Red Hat
No tests – only practical exams.
No questions, no ****

Offensive Security
No tests – remote labs.
24/48-hour long fight with real problems

Hurricane Electric
Free model for the IPv6 Sage title
Mixed questions and online tasks
Is it easy to maintenance these exams? Hell no.
Is it cheaper than tests? Hell no.

Does it give more value for their certifications. Hell yes.


I never heard of the last company Hurricane Electric.
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor
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Comments

  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Some really good points others not so much but the point is taken.

    I like the comment at the end in the comments section. Require an interview over the phone or in person. I believe that piece of auditing alone would cut down the unqualified applicants going for the job. Just like WGU does by weeding out people with 0- little experience do the same thing. **** are hurting no question, but non experienced people getting certifications are hurting them just as bad.

    For technical certifications I like the idea mentioned but for process/framework based exams like the PMP or CISSP what do you recommend?

    That's why the interview and audit is the key. Here is my 3 step solutions

    1. Only offer the test 1-2 a year. This will weed out the "cert addicts and whimisical cert testers". If you are going to travel somewhere to take an exam that is only offered 1-2 twice a year you are damn serious about that.

    2. Phone screenings and audit process. Every application should be audited and pro level certifications should under go a rigerous review and interview process. Checking references and knowledge.

    3. Make it mandatory that you get 2-3 professional references stating why you should sit the exam. This would mitigate against dumpers and people with no knowledge. They will have to get professional references to put their own reputation on the line for them. Put some sort of control system in place that the person has to be validated from their place of employement or something to that effect.

    There are a lot of other ways to go about it but I believe these 3 items would help heal the industry. Less is more and with this strategy people would have less certifications but the certifications they have will mean more.
  • HypntickHypntick Posts: 1,451Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Interesting read, I agree completely with making the exams more practical and hands on. Obviously the lower level tests like your Comptia certs will always be a multiple choice style. However for the MS tests for example, you have X amount of time to set up X, evaluate the steps taken by the test taker, and there's your score. But as the article says, it costs more for the company and is harder to implement.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • FloOzFloOz Posts: 1,614Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    a person that gets a cert from dumping will only hurt themselves in the end. they will obviously not know the information when it comes time to show their skills. so to me i dont honestly care what other people do.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Pru

    I believe the point is that the certification that you worked so hard for will go unnoticed on your resume when you apply for a position because they are devalued from people that are getting called out in the interview. So yes your point is well taken they are getting called out in the screening process the only problem is that the certification on your resume is no longer going to help you get noticed to get into the interview because of these people.

    I believe people with little to no experience should be steered away from certifications that indicate you as an IT professional. **** + People with no experience is killing the certification industry.
  • mapletunemapletune Posts: 316Member
    I think that certs only get you a chance for interviews. If a company can't judge whether you have the skills and abilities at that point... then it has much bigger problems than fighting cert valuation...
    Studying: vmware, CompTIA Linux+, Storage+ or EMCISA
    Future: CCNP, CCIE
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    pruspeter wrote: »
    a person that gets a cert from dumping will only hurt themselves in the end. they will obviously not know the information when it comes time to show their skills. so to me i dont honestly care what other people do.

    While I DO agree they hurt themselves (and are eventually found out..I have seen it..it resulted in termination for this guy), I don't think they're just hurting themselves.

    When 50,000/300,000 CCNA's dumped the exam, that hurts the "legit" CCNA's certification value. It creates a situation where there's too many CCNA's and not enough jobs. Although many companies will weed these dumped CCNA's out in technical interviews, others won't, and a legit CCNA will lose out on a job he probably deserved more.

    One of my engineers recently failed a certification exam. I was excited. Why? Because I honestly had no idea what methods he chose to study, but by failing, I knew he was really trying, and not just dumping the exam. I honestly have more respect for him knowing that he failed the exam once, than if he had passed like it was nothing.

    Edit: The above engineer passed eventually :)
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I always thought of most vendor certifications as marketing tools for companies to help sell their products. The ".Com boom" helped fuel the demand for certs because there was a shortage of trained people so the opportunity was there.

    I know for a lot of the certifications out there the few that take it really serious like the ones listed, are geared towards people who work on that stuff and would only pursue that cert. If you are a service provider you might be pushed to gather an alphabet soup of certs for vendor benefits I guess.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    tpatt100 wrote: »
    I always thought of most vendor certifications as marketing tools for companies to help sell their products.

    I couldn't agree more, but from a hiring standpoint, certifications are beneficial because it allows an organization the ability to be selective and only hire candidates who's skills are measurable and verifiable. Granted, certs are not necessarily the best way to certify you can DO something, but they do, in theory, certify that you KNOW how to do it (with paper/computer based exams at least).
  • cablegodcablegod Posts: 294Member
    Hurricane Electric is a primarily an ISP/Carrier that caters primarily to the colo/datacenter markets and is active in the push towards IPV6. I've used them in the past for cheap bandwidth and backup circuits.
    “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.” -Robert LeFevre
  • drkatdrkat Posts: 703Banned
    I dont think I have enough energy for this.

    The fact being that "Dumpers" get certifications and drive down the value of the certification will always be prevalent - it's the same for illegal aliens or a degree in law? I mean there are more lawyers then are jobs. The root being people think that having a certification is going to open up doors for them and get them a job; While some might argue that they will, I disagree in obtaining certification simply for these purposes.

    I honestly HATE certification.. ya know what? because it shows nothing.. other than you can read and pass a test. I dont expect extra respect because I have a CCNA, or a CCNP - I've met Engineers who cant fix a sandwich! I've seen this in many fields: IT, Automotive etc where I MYSELF was going to school for auto mechanics in the early 2000-2002 years and found I was AWESOME at the books and the labs and talking about automotive theory etc etc, but when it came time to produce?? I was only 50% productive... where as the guys who did poorly in class; built engines with their eyes closed.

    My point really comes down to: Do you have aptitude in your desired field? Are you just coming into IT for the money?? and if so.. is certification the way to get there? Guess I can see why folks ****.. I'm not against the idea of "extra prep" when it comes to tests, but dumping for the sake of passing a cert and not knowing how to apply any of it, I have a problem with.

    When you **** an exam you hurt me.. not yourself, but you hurt me.. you hurt my paycheck, my value and ultimately my stability. You who **** can try another job somewhere after the first doesnt work out. Then when the word gets around that "<insert test> is so easy, this jack*** has it" I'll get offered less money and I'll have you to thank for it.
    Married to the game but she broke her vows. That's why my bars are full of broken bottles And my night stands are full of open bibles
  • TackleTackle Posts: 534Member
    N2IT wrote: »
    I believe people with little to no experience should be steered away from certifications that indicate you as an IT professional. **** + People with no experience is killing the certification industry.

    Agreed, but think about this forum. What is usually one of the first reponses when someone says: "I'm looking to break into the IT field, no degree or experience, what do I do?"

    Common response1: Comptia certs.
    Common response2: Comptia don't mean much, get CCNA or MCTS.

    CCNA & MCTS = Professional certs? Professional certs with no experience = low value.

    It's like a circle.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Tackle wrote: »
    Agreed, but think about this forum. What is usually one of the first reponses when someone says: "I'm looking to break into the IT field, no degree or experience, what do I do?"

    Common response1: Comptia certs.
    Common response2: Comptia don't mean much, get CCNA or MCTS.

    CCNA & MCTS = Professional certs? Professional certs with no experience = low value.

    It's like a circle.

    You make a really good point. I might add to that though..

    CCNA/MCTS > CompTIA + no experience = SOME value

    CompTIA + no experience = less value

    no experience = no value

    I think the reason people generally suggest CCNA/MCTS for those with no experience is to basically make up for the lack of experience by having a "higher" cert. I'm not advocating one way or another right now- but I think that's the logic most follow.

    Bear in mind, when I speak of "value" I'm only speaking of value they could provide to an organization, based on the topics tested on each particular cert.
  • demonfurbiedemonfurbie Posts: 1,819Member
    i want to get the off-sec wireless when i finish wgu
    wgu undergrad: done ... woot!!
    WGU MS IT Management: done ... double woot :cheers:
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    CCNA/MCTS > CompTIA + no experience = SOME value

    CompTIA + no experience = less value

    Agreed. The CCNA is an entry-level, not a professional-level certification. Unlike the CCNP or CCIE, Cisco doesn't have any experience recommendation for it. In my experience, it has value even w/o experience in both job interviews and hands-on. And yes, if you're going for a networking role, it's much more interesting on a resume than anything from CompTIA.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,117Mod Mod
    I wouldn't call the CCNA/MCTS professional level certifications. CCNA/CCENT/MCTS are what I call entry-level for vendor certifications. It's fairly common for people to get the MCITP:EA/MCSE/CCNA as part of their college coursework now. They might get your a foot in the door for an interview and the knowledge you gain will be built on with experience.

    Now what I would consider "advanced" or "professional" are certifications like CCNP, CCIE, etc which can be frowned on if you don't have the experience to back them up. Now that's not a 100% rule because several IT managers on this forum have said they won't throw your resume out just based on that but it can raise some eyebrows. The human brain is not a redundant high-availability SAN. :) We don't retain knowledge that we don't reinforce with repetition and exercise. When you progress your certifications to balance with your work experience, you are reinforcing the knowledge in the course of doing your job.

    As far as this article is concerned, I liked it. I really would love to get started on some of the Offensive Security certifications but it'll probably be a year or two until I get there.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNP, CCDP, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security, CCDA, CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, Network+, Security+, CySa+, Pen San DiegoPosts: 839Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    This is an age old argument.

    I have my opinion on it, but feel like I'd be a hypocrite since I've gone to boot camps, which are basically like a **** meeting with some info thrown in to touch on some topics of an exam.

    Also someone mentioned WGU, one of the things I don't like about their program is that a dishonest person could literally **** their way through A+, Sec+, Net+, Project+, CCNA, MCTIP, CIW exams, etc. great program, but it definitely leaves the door open for that type of abuse with their accelerated courses. You could literally knock out all of the certs above in one term by dumping. But then again is Univ of Phoenix better with their terms or testing?

    I do like the sound and approach of the Red Hat exam, Expert exams from Juniper and Cisco (though people **** on the CCIE lab and written), VMware Design, ITIL Master and a few other certifications/qualification.
  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    The reality is most of the people on this board shouldn't waste there time worrying about ****. Most of us in the senior level can spot a dumper in a 5 min phone screen that we can have HR do before they even get access to us. Spending your time worrying about what others are doing is a waste of your time and effort. The hours people spend writing blogs or complaning (unless its there job) should be put into gaining more knolowdge. If I got beat up by a dumper then god bless him, becuase I didnt come prepared enough.
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  • gdeusthewhizkidgdeusthewhizkid Posts: 289Member
    I think having a whole debate on dumping is silly. if you are good with your tech schools you are good. If the person **** get a job eventually he's going to have to perform if not he will be terminated. Worry about your self and your skills and not the next person. I think people make way too many excuses. I got in IT without one cert. When i got in though i made sure I got a cert quickly. As far as WGU im more worried about my math skills then the certs. lol..
    WGU Progress: Progress | Completed | Start Date: 9/1/2012 B.S. Network Management & Design
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  • jfitzgjfitzg Posts: 102Member
    The author is an idiot. SEO to combat braindumps? LOL! Yes, because clearly everyone who uses braindumps wont look past page two on a google search... Theres a simple cost effective way to stop 99% of brain dumping out there, just create tests with a 5000 question test bank, bam, done.... 3rdly, in the various IT positions I have held, I have noticed that VERY few companies (only my current one who relys on certs to maintain partner status) actually knows what certs are and cares about them. Most IT managers I have met know jack all and dont really care. Im sure my experiences arent unique, another reason why certs arent worth much anymore, because most IT managers dont know/care about them...
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    jfitzg wrote: »
    because most IT managers dont know/care about them...

    I'm not saying you're wrong, but this is totally opposite to everything I have seen. I have not had ONE interview (and I have practically made interviewing a pasttime looking for that perfect job..) where certifications were NOT discussed. Additionally, one of the hats I wear *is* a hiring manager for network personnel, so I do certainly care about certifications, and I know many of my colleagues (and counterparts in the virtualization/MS areas) do as well.

    The only situation I can think of where IT managers don't know/care about certs, is small to mid-size businesses perhaps. I have interviewed 3x in the last 4 months with Fortune 100 companies, and each one had a real emphasis on certs.
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Posts: 2,472Member
    Offensive Security: Just Because you can I]Attack Back[/I, means you should.

    Edit: To add to the conversation...

    Certifications shows that you've, at one point, had the knowledge and the expertise to pass the questions asked of you. Those questions can either be "What's 2+2" or something like "Find the position of an atom. It's shot from the sun's equator while 3/4 around the orbit of the milky way while going supernovae, where would it end up in 2 million years?". What? Exactly.

    The journey to get that piece of paper is what is important. I learn a lot from studying for the exam. Yes, legit studying has benefits beyond the paper. Think of it this way: How often have you spoken to people - like those in this forum, read threads about the topics you're studying, searched on google and get bypassed by "oo, I didn't know that", how about learning "how" to study, etc. Think about all the activities you've done to acquire the knowledge. What string did you find, and tug to make that knowledge happen? Personally, I'll say I've found a few friends on these fourums. I've randomly met people on the street, seen me with my CCNP book and talked with over a shot of whiskey. Right off the bat... I've had more respect of Mrock4 because of his posts and think he would be an excellent person to spend time to talk routers and switches - Because I wanted to get my CCNA, and then my Security+.. and then...

    I would like to believe that having certifications shows to an employer more than just "I did know the answers to the exams at one point". It's the questions being asked, simulations, and other certification prerequisites that matter. Certifications that are life long, while seem great - don't add any educational value. If the questions are hard, if the questions simulate world-life happenings, if the company called you up for an interview, if it was impossible to ****, changed to meet the demands of the world - All the while having to make you retake the exam in a certain time. All this would would certainly increase the value of the certification. Easily. Would people still not care about it? Yes. Would people go to bat to say it's great? You bet.

    All you can do, all anyone can do, is to prove: I have what you need better than anyone else. Ladies and Gentlemen, A certification is just the ticket to the interview.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAPosts: 4,117Mod Mod
    jfitzg wrote: »
    because most IT managers dont know/care about them...

    I haven't come across an IT manager or company that hasn't asked or cared somewhat about them but to each their own.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    jfitz most of the situations I have been in have been the way you described. I once asked one of my bosses if I should get a certification and he gave me this blank stare. I went on to mention the PMP or ITIL and he said ITIL is a good one. (He knew about ITIL/ITSM but no clue there was a certification out there)

    My last boss who I respect tremendously said the PMP or COBIT was a good one and left it at that. He also liked I had ST ITIL, but that was a one time conversation. If I was to bring that up again he would of gotten annoyed most likely. He is more focus on the environment we are in and delivering for the business. Not certifications.

    But each persons experiences are different.
  • NightShade03NightShade03 Posts: 1,383Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I don't think that dumpers are really the problem; but the companies themselves. Let's take Red Hat as an example first. They created an exam that is completely hands-on knowing that it would require some serious knowledge to pass. Combine that with a $400 price tag (used to be $800) and you have a great combo to keep dumpers out, challenge those that take it, and know that those who hold the certification know their sh**. Now turn to the Linux+. It started as a great exam, and it still is. The problem isn't the exam or the limited question bank, or even the dumpers. The problem is that companies like Comptia aren't adjusting to the changing pace of the market.

    My personal opinion is that someone should start a company (even non-profit status would work), that handles all exam creation, QA, design, and testing. By abstracting out the exam creation and design to a 3rd party it allows companies to focus on their products and leave exam design/creation to those that know what their doing! A separate entity could have an army of versatile engineers that could be trained by Cisco, Juniper, Red Hat, etc. They (the engineers) in turn could work with technical writers and educators to put together exams that are challenging and require experience plus studying. They could even create hands-on exams the way Red Hat has done with material from other vendors (like Linux+).

    I truly think that companies tend to get in the way of themselves when innovation is involved... The only thing stopping every company from having a "hands-on" style exam is money and motivation.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    jfitzg wrote: »
    Theres a simple cost effective way to stop 99% of brain dumping out there, just create tests with a 5000 question test bank
    Too expensive.
    3rdly, in the various IT positions I have held, I have noticed that VERY few companies (only my current one who relys on certs to maintain partner status) actually knows what certs are and cares about them.
    My experience, is that both times I upgraded my certification level, that was immediately followed by better career opportunities and much higher pay. I tend to apply for the highest-paying networking roles in my area and they almost always require or prefer an expert-level certification.
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Posts: 2,472Member
    My boss was pleased that I failed my certification... Bastard. But then was happier after I passed it. I guess it showed the test was difficult, and I needed to work at it.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • jfitzgjfitzg Posts: 102Member
    I haven't come across an IT manager or company that hasn't asked or cared somewhat about them but to each their own.

    My last job was at a company with an annual income of about $1.1 billion, the manager flat out knew nothing about certifications nor did he care. Company before that was a very large university with an endowment of about $1.5 billion, the manager there flat out said no one in the entire university cares about certifications (he had worked there for about 20 years) all they cared about was experience, company before that was a large steel manufacturer, IT manager knew nothing about certs (or IT for that matter), company before that was a small non profit, maybe 100 employees, didnt care either. Now my current company, a small MSP, loves certs and are paying for me to get as many as I want which is awesome.
  • jfitzgjfitzg Posts: 102Member
    N2IT wrote: »
    jfitz most of the situations I have been in have been the way you described.

    What a lot of people dont realize is that most IT managers arent computer geeks, they are businessmen, especially in larger companies. They dont want to learn about 1700 certs, they just want to match up keywords on resumes to the position they are trying to fill. If a person says they did something and can string together a sentence or two to make them sound half intelligent thats all it usually takes nowadays (sadly)..
  • TeKniquesTeKniques OSCE, OSCP, CISSP, CISA, SSCP, MCSE (03), Security+, Network+, A+, Project+ Posts: 1,262Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    jfitzg wrote: »
    My last job was at a company with an annual income of about $1.1 billion, the manager flat out knew nothing about certifications nor did he care. Company before that was a very large university with an endowment of about $1.5 billion, the manager there flat out said no one in the entire university cares about certifications (he had worked there for about 20 years) all they cared about was experience, company before that was a large steel manufacturer, IT manager knew nothing about certs (or IT for that matter), company before that was a small non profit, maybe 100 employees, didnt care either. Now my current company, a small MSP, loves certs and are paying for me to get as many as I want which is awesome.

    It's probably because they didn't have any certifications themselves. I'm a current IT Manager and I know about most relevant certifications that pertain to any job opportunities that may exist. It's not surprising that the MSP you work for wants you to be certified ... most likely it's to assist the company achieve more Microsoft partner competencies which in the end benefits the MSP (if you're associating your MCP ID with them).

    As for the brain **** argument -- I agree with the poster that said to not worry about what other people are doing, but just worry about what you're doing. Your skills and experience will speak for themselves in any type of job interview or when something breaks in your area of expertise.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    jfitzg funny you mention that.

    My helpdesk manager held a business admin degree and an MBA. No certification needless to say.

    Another manager of mine more of a manager of all of the managed services had a marketing degree and 1 cert ITIL V2. I asked him about it and he said on yeah I got that after I attended a training seminar. The idea of doing certifications on your own time baffles them. It just doesn't make sense. Even my friend who is CS major and now works with power grid technology thinks certs are a waste of time. He has told me time and time again (If you would of spent as much energy on a CS degree inlieu of certs I would of received a better position). Something tells me he is more right than wrong.

    Most of the top technologist in the environments I have been in have very few certifications. 1-2 have gone crazy but most just possess experience.
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