Anybody still studying for the PMP?

For those of you that are trying to get the PMP done before they release the Version 5 of the PMBOK how are you doing?

If anyone needs help just let me know.

For me I am doing the CISSP (hope to take it in January when i get back from my deployment) .. .Then I am jumping right into the SCRUM Master cert ... icon_study.gif
"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green


  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm still here. I have the CEH rather than the CISSP. Some day may go for the OSCP. Next week I'm taking a two day class for ScrumMaster, then in December taking a three day class for ACP, all paid for by the State since I'm unemployed. ScrumMaster will be easy.

    I've applied for almost four hundred jobs which require the PMP and for some reason I am always turned down. Might be my age. (5icon_cool.gif Can't imagine what else it might be. I always follow up on turndown letters asking how I can improve, and the only clue I've gotten is there were many applicants for that position. The trick might be applying when the job is first posted, on the theory that they don't consider any after the first ten applicants or so. Who knows. Sorry, I'm a little obsessed with this.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Member Posts: 247
    let me know how the scrum master and acp go.

    i might do the ECH in the future. I actually know backtrack, nessus, etc.. very well (I used to be a gov't lead for a bunch of IA testers that got to do red and blue team stuff)...

    for the resumes, make sure you are tweaking them to match the jobs. also get someone to take a look at your resume(s) and cover letter(s)... might be your resume is holding you back by not bringing your full potential out. also head hunter agencies are possible. buddy was out of work for close to a year and used one of the agencies and had a job lined up in 2 weeks ... just be careful on what they are marketing you for and how well they have a reputation...
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Great post

    Strictly focusing on my MBA at the moment. Linear programming in data analysis has been kicking my tail in a bit. I can't wait to move onto pure financials. I have more real world experience working with CTO, GPM, Utilization vs Capacity, etc.

    Hopefully I will have the drive after I graduate but who knows. This MBA has been beating me up pretty good. Not to mention I keep getting promoted which is a new adventure each time and starting to wear me out. Currently managing 2 team leads and 25 indirect. It looks like I may be taking on more than that in the next month or so....
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks UF. I actually got an email from M$ today, saying that two groups are looking at me and would like a technical phone interview next week! This is actually in M$' Trustworthy Computing dept in R&D. These are the two jobs:
    Redmond SECURITY PROGRAM MANAGER II, Trustworthy Computing Job - WA, 98052

    Redmond Security Software Development Engineer II, Trustworthy Computing Security Job - WA, 98052

    He asked basically which job I'd lean toward, cautioning that the PM job would be quite technical; I responded that my background and education might be closer to the PM position, but I would be pleased with either job. This weekend I need to bone up on M$ security issues. I've gotten a little lazy due to discouragement but I need to get after it. Not to mention I'm a little scared...

    Had my resume reviewed by many and it's rather strong. Send me your email by PM and I'll forward it to you. I am starting to think that getting in EARLY of the posting is the key. Maybe HR people just don't have the capacity or time to look beyond the first 10 resumes.

    You wanna be careful with headhunters. I registered with about 20, and a couple asked for references. Well the headhunters treated them as -leads- and started harassing them. My references then got pissed and asked me to stop using them! So I'm left with only one character reference. I don't trust headhunters.

    I have found many many jobs on Linked-In. I also hit the Amazon and M$ careers websites, since they are local here. Literally every time I hit Amazon, they have 50-71 new PM jobs, mostly senior level. I can't imagine where they're putting all those people and why they haven't picked me by now. I came achingly close to a PM job with MossAdams, a consultancy. It was to be on contract to a major retailer which I was told is in 'disarray'. He said he has no problem paying me $60/hour, however the retailer could never get around to reviewing my resume! That was a painful loss.

    N2IT well done. Your work should not increase proportionate to your responsibilities, and if it does you're not -delegating-. I got my MBA in 1991 from SMU. It's in Land Use Economics (commercial real estate development), which is a field I love, but it's been dead for five years and I need -something-. We worked extensively with a Lotus 123 spreadsheet that was as large as a Volkswagon. We were divided into teams and my team built a (virtual) mid-rise apartment complex, and my job was to do all the finance work. Gave a presentation to the class with Harvard Graphics... yea we had primitive tools back then, but they were the best in the business. We were the first class to actually use -computers- and Excel was just getting started. Lotus 123 and WordPerfect were so much better than M$ products, but now they're dead.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Q thanks for the gratz and heads up.

    Sounds like you have a lot more experience than I do. I have been delegating quite a bit, however just getting used to the communication channels or lack there of has been a big challenge. Request always seems to come in outside of process with no reservation. It's quite taxing but I'll fight through it.

    Good luck on both gigs. Both sound like good positions and I am sure you will seat either or just nicely.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Member Posts: 247
    best of luck on the interviews!

    i am looking to get out of the government when i get back from the stan. Government is just to LAZY for me... i get frustrated with some of the folks i work with or work for that are typical government employees that do nothing and get a paycheck..... also, i am being under utilized knowledge wise at my job back stateside (they know i am overqualified) and I have a horrible work schedule that gets me lots of grief from the wife when I come home at 7 or 8 at night literally every day of the week..

    looking at getting into a full time PM job , just really depends on pay and location (would love rockies or north west or north east)... I have my masters in Information Systems Engineering (basically technical CIO type stuff)... and started an MBA a couple years back, but had to stop due to my move and new job)...
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    In most organizations, communications channels are not well organized because things are always changing, and there are always internal conflcts. The good news is that there are emerging standards now, which apply to all functions not just software development.

    Most managers are on the -defensive- end of the product cycle, where it is ultimately important to keep stability, predictability and suspicion of change -- for steady sales of a mature product. Program/project managers are on the other end of the lifecycle spectrum, where innovation, progress, advancement, and change are most important -- to develop new products/software. If you're so inclined and have about an hour, check this out:
    Agile Alliance :: Achieving Business Agility to Survive and Thrive

    It's about Agile, a new management approach for the Left side of the product cycle. You'll need to sign up with a throwaway email address for their Subscription, but it's free. If that's interesting, check this one for some great insights on Agile:
    Agile Alliance :: Agile In a Nutshell 2012
    ... but be prepared to learn alot of new valuable stuff. And there's about 90 more hours of good videos on Agile there, for free. This is a whole new field that I think you'd both be good at. The trick is being an agent of change, without causing the wrong kind of disturbance. Agile is an overarching approach, and Scrum is a subset of that so I choose to concentrate on Agile. I am taking classes and testing for ScrumMaster next week, but that will be easy.

    And N2IT, the good news is you grow into a job as time goes on. It gets better. Just hang on. UF I've noticed that most jobs say a Master degree is desired in an IT field, but only a very few specify an MBA. My MBA gets me either, but not alot of marginal benefit. If in fact applying for a job -early- is the trick, that would be valuable information that the lack of, has cost me six months of misery.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Member Posts: 247
    let us know how the scrum master and agile certs go...

    i did my masters thesis on agile methodologies, so they are right up my alley.
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well Thu-Fri I had the ScrumMaster class at SolutionsIQ. I was very fortunate in that our instructor is a true Expert. Brian Stallings has managed a staff of 1,000 before, as well as an Agile practitioner since it started, and this guy knows his beans.

    There wasn't enough time to cover nearly everything, but in essence he taught the technical aspects of practicing Scrum/Agile. Wasn't really able to get into other areas I needed like handling problem staff, influencing functional managers, and convincing senior management that we're not Lazy, but he did give some tips. For example you prioritize work and define early (high priority) work with granularity, but later work is left in a blob. I objected that Sr mgmt will think I'm just being lazy because they are used to seeing projects planned-to-the-nines, but he pointed out that there are so many unknowns; often it's not even known whether something is possible and so the early stages are done first. This is Lean Programming.

    And the idea of a 'Servant Leader'. You train the staff and get meetings operating, and then let the staff run them after a while, even maybe showing up late sometimes to make sure things run without you. And for a problem team member, maybe just subtilely walk over behind him and put your elbow on his shoulder. (Uhhh...)

    And I asked about a common problem where feature requests are coming in from all directions to all team members, particularly from Sr mgmt; the answer is all must be routed through the Project Owner. Some features just won't make it in this sprint or even project.

    What if few team members want to really participate in the Retrospective? Schedule it right before lunch, and they'll get busy.

    There is a helluvalot more to this than can be given in two days, even for a top-flight instructor like Brian, but he gave us a number of books to follow up with, including those he has a high regard for. (Agile Estimating & Planning - Cohn, Leading Change - Cotter) Alot of this can only come with experience though; that's the painful part.

    Another question I had was what software? Well M$ Project is useless for Scrum/Agile. So Rally, VersionOne, AgileZen, CA Clarity, or even just a spreadsheet with the burndown/burnup, which may be the best. But actually setting up the project and conducting meetings is --always best done-- with post-it notes, period. Stand up meetings. Short meetings.

    It takes a couple days for us to get registered in the system, so I'll probably test for the cert Wednesday. Then on Dec 5 I'll take SolutionsIQ's impossibly short class on preparing for the ACP. Hope Brian's teaching that one. Credits for these three days of classes will satisfy classroom ed requirements for my PMP, and for the 21 contact hours required for PMI-ACP certification, so that's nice.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Member Posts: 247
    glad the class went well..

    dealing with problem personnel is a unique trait.. i learned from some of the best and worst and really believe it is a skill you learn and hone over time...

    i disagree on the topic of agile and utilizing ms project... i have utilized proj 2010 with several agile methodologies in the past. it is more difficult to setup than with some of the others (I like CA) , but is doable. Also a white board is your friend (also take pics in case a cleaning lady gets over zealous and cleans your white boards while you are in the middle of a brain storming or project reorg.... serious it happened to me once)
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    OK I've taken the CSM exam today, but I've been drinking so take that as a caveat.

    As I say I had an excellent instructor for the course, and he taught us the essence of Scrum as best it can be conveyed in two days. But he did not prepare us for the specifics of the exam. The conduction of the exam is much more lax than we are used to. You take it on your PeeCee at home at your leisure, and take as long as you want. But a number of the questions are tricky, and a number of them are just plain sorry. You can bookmark those you are unsure of and go back to review. Even though this exam is 10x easier than the PMP I still made a 77% on it. (passing is 65%) There was a question or two I shouldn't have gotten wrong, but there were a number that are just crap.

    Anyway, although this cert is in demand, it is no PMP. I struggled during the classes to get important info like how to manage recalcitrant devs and how to influence functional managers, so I hope I'm as well prepared as can be expected.

    Had my M$ technical interview yesterday. The recruiter there was kind enough to call me today and give feedback. This was for a Sr PM job in Trustw0rthy Computing (R&D). The interviewing PM asked me in-depth questions about hacking and security. It turns out that he didn't understand alot of my answers, since I come from a Linux background. For example he asked me about what a buffer overflow is. Well I explained it, and correlated it to a SQL injection attack, but he thought I was saying they are the same thing. No, a buffer overflow is when an app presents an 'attack surface' and you provide it with garbage characters/special characters/unprintable characters, which cause it to be confused and fill up it's buffer until full. At some point it either craps out to the command-line, or sees a Jump to your special code (equivalent to a bootloader) and goes to it executing your attack. He marked me wrong.

    He also asked me, if there is a corporate LAN and an employees connects an unauthorized device, how do you protect from that? I answered that Kerberos could authorize the person but recognize that it's not an authorized device, and therefore limit privileges. This was a Linux answer, so he marked me wrong.

    Well sh1t.

    But fortunately the recruiter (as opposed to the interviewer) recognizes my worth. He's going to try and get his manager to appoint a LInux type to question me. Trust me, I am a CEH and will Fly with that. If not, I only have a short time more before I run out of money. Six months unemployed. Time to end it when I run out. No other choice.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■

    Good luck, hopefully the manager agrees to the interview.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well the group decided against me. But the recruiter has now kindly offered to put in a good word for me on other jobs I've applied for. I've applied for over a hundred jobs at Microsoft (and over 200 at Amazon), but he asked me for my top three or so which I emailed today. Don't really expect anything so am applying anywhere and everywhere. I have about three months before I'm out of money and am homeless or end it.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Memory doesn't serve me like is used too. Have you applied for positions outside of the state of Washington? With your set of elaborate skills and education I can't believe you would have a hard time finding a position if you expanded your search nationally.

    Keep us posted and good luck.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks N2IT. I don't want to move and so haven't looked elsewhere. I can't believe that I can't get a tech job in this tech-rich city with my MBA and certs. I'm thinking they are running checks on me and finding that I'm 58. If that's the case I'm screwed.

    This M$ recruiter says that my resume is too generic, so I've modified it to give more specifics of what I've done, especially in PM and computer security.

    I've been rotating through LinkedIn, Amazon, Expedia, and Microsoft for three months now applying for jobs. Today I'm going to branch out to companies that don't appear in LinkedIn like F-5, Oracle, G**gle, Cisco, DeepIntel, IOActive, and so on.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Running up to Barnes and Noble tomorrow to pick up another PMP study guide. I am going to submit my application tomorrow as well to get that process started.

    Just landed a new management position, this one security centric. Essentially managing a access management team. I want to get my PMP done or most of my studying done over the holiday and test out before I get hot and heavy into my new position.

    I'll keep you posted.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Best of luck brother. It's a challenge but you'll feel great once you have it done.

    My contract job is over now, and unemployed once again. I've been hitting up every PM job at MS and Amazon as they've come up, for months, and nothing. I'm a little concerned I'll get 'shop-worn' so will try and ease up for the holidays.

    Where are you at, to get a good job so quick?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■

    St. Louis, Missouri

    Honestly I have been applying more for operational management roles. I too was unable to land a true PM position. The best I could find is a operational security manager position with PM responsibilities. How indepth these are will be determined on my start date or short thereafter.

    Keep up the search, job searches are feast or famine. You will get hit with 6 of them at once then have to make the tough decision, then all the sudden nothing for months.

    I wish you the best on your search you will find something.

    ***I write resumes on the side and have helped a number of members find jobs. Some more easily than others. If you wanted I could take a look at your resume and reformat it. I'm fairly confident your content is right on the money.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    PM sent. And what the heck is your av, anyway? Some kind of giant jellyfish?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Lol. Standard ms os trash lol

    My son changed and I'm to lazy to switch it back lol
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Read through chapter 4 and began 5 in the PMP study guide from Crowe. Hit the PMP PMBOK flash cards as well. I have forgotten a lot of this beast but it's starting to come back.

    I plan on knocking out a chapter 1 a day and sometimes 2 if stars are aligned just right.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    That's how I did Rita and Crowe. Never cracked the PMBOK.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Member Posts: 247
    same here. i did read their ethics portion but that was it from the PMBOK... if you know the Crowe book (get his exam study sheet) and pass the Rita tests then you are going to pass! keep it up.
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yeah the plan is to keep going on Crowe's book and use the PMBOK flash cards to memorize the processes, inputs, tools / techniques, and outputs. Scope has been a ***** for me for some reason. Time and Cost are much easier for me, I think because usually when I engage into a project the requirements have already been captured along with Scope.

    Real world project management is a lot different than the PMI-best practices.

    Either way thanks for the encouragement. My exam has been approved I have yet to schedule it however. This will be my second attempt (passed the RMP and CAPM on the first try) Hopefully I won't be forking over another 405 lol

    I'll keep posting in this thread to keep the updates rolling in.

    UF the study exam for Crowe, where exactly is that located? On the back of the of the book their is a little card that offers a practice exam. Is that what you are talking about?

    So far in Crowe's book I scored a 80% in intergration on the 20 question exam and a 65% on Scope. I'll reread this tomorrow, there are ton of tools and techniques involved in Scope and a lot of them run together.
  • universalfrostuniversalfrost Member Posts: 247
    the cram sheet is a seperate purchase (cost is about $8 on amazon)... the math for crowe is easier to understand that with the rita book. at least that was my personal experience.

    the practice exams for rita are more realistic than crowe...

    best of luck on the test... hopefully you dont have any issues on yours like i did on mine (power went out at question 185 and only 15 minutes left on the test...)... luckily my computer came back online and back to where i left off... .

    i have agile and maybe risk to do (was going to do scrum, but all the classes around my area are way over priced and i dont see the worth in it unless i want to go after a software development job , which i dont as i ditched software/programming as a career long ago)... having a knowledge of scrum has proven effective so far... i am getting out of the gov't hopefully this spring/summer and just trying to get back to the midwest and get to maybe project management of IT or data center install/upgrades for healthcare or banking industries as they seem to be booming no matter what the economic outlook.
    "Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" (when all else fails play dead) -Red Green
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I flunked the PMP first time, because I was way too deliberative and slow. Ran out of time with 25% to go. Learned my lesson the next time, and just -answered- the ones I was pretty sure of and moved on. Marked those I was unsure of and looped back around to them two passes.

    I generally made mid-70's on Rita's tests, with a couple failures. Made A's and B's on Crowes.

    You'll do it this time N2IT.

    I have another chance with Microsoft as a Sr PM in software security. Passed two phone interviews and have three days of interviews (LOL) in Redmond starting Jan 9. I am now deeply engrossed in MS computer security study. I'm an older guy, but hoping for the best.

    Have laid off my job applications for the holidays as a. it's no use, and b. I don't want to get 'shopworn'. But I may apply for some PM jobs at KPMG, which would be a coup if I could get it, as many companies are looking for guys with Big 3 experience.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■

    Right on keep at it there are plenty of gentlemen your age who land good gigs. My ex boss 56 just landed a good position as a program manager. It took him a while but finally found the right fit.

    BTW I sent you an email with additional information. I'll deliver no later on Sunday.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I am going through Scope again and plan on taking care of Cost and Time this weekend. I don't want to push it to much.

    I want get drunk so.....
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    LOL, yea it's tempting. I've limited myself now to days when I don't feel well. That seems like a good balance.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Yeah for sure

    Sounds like a sound plan.
  • QuantumstateQuantumstate Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks for your help with my resume N2IT. It looks alot better now.
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