Cisco TAC Engineer disgusted at the level of cheating in Exams



  • TechGromitTechGromit Member Posts: 2,156 ■■■■■■■■■□
    After a few months go by, he mentions he is now CCNP certified and it took him three weeks to study for it

    Did he provide you a Cert # to verify his claims? Talk is cheap, unless he's willing to provide proof, it's just BS.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • IristheangelIristheangel Mod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    What's the point? He can't verify a CCNP off of a number...
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
  • TechGromitTechGromit Member Posts: 2,156 ■■■■■■■■■□
    What's the point? He can't verify a CCNP off of a number...
    You can't? How the heck can anyone validate if someone holds a Cisco Certification? You mean to tell me cheaters don't have to go thru all the effort with brain ****, they just need to Photoshop themselves a Cisco cert?
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • IristheangelIristheangel Mod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    You can't for most certifications out there with just the number. You can for the expert level ones like CCIE and CCDE. For anything lower, they have to share their transcripts with you
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
  • TechGromitTechGromit Member Posts: 2,156 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited February 2019
    McxRisley said:
    I also can attest to the absolute unsatisfactory and unprofessional service provided by Cisco TAC.
    Funny you should mention this. We where having issues with a 3rd party Vendor using our wireless network.  When they were on there companies VPN, they would get kicked off their VPN network several times an hour. They were complaining to our management loudly that the contract required us to provide stable network connectivity, and we were not allowing them to use our hard wired network or air cards. We engaged a Cisco Wireless network engineer to help tweak a couple of AP's on our network, we implemented his recommended changes to a couple of access points and after the network was unusable for everyone trying to connect to those AP's. When we tried to get the Cisco Wireless network engineer to help but he basically washed his hands of the matter and wouldn't help. We ended up backing out the changes.

    As for the vendors issue, we were surprised to learn another vendor was using the same wireless network with there VPN solution, totally stable, no issues. We pushed back on the vendor and told them there VPN solution was crap, they would have to fix it.    
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • throwawaytodaythrowawaytoday Member Posts: 2 ■■□□□□□□□□
    edited February 2019
    Just as an update to this thread as I've seen quite a few great posts since I last checked. I actually lodged complaints against the Engineers thanks to @Iristheangel words. I had a member of the Exam Security team reach out to me immediately and was very passionate about getting to the bottom of the issue. He lodged warning Emails with all of the Engineers and I'm currently working with him to provide some more leads on the different dumping websites/companies that have been used by those Engineers.

    I would probably never do this again (this depth of reporting and mole work) but I think this is me doing my part for the exam and the CCIE that's I've respected since forever. I will report those in the future that mention **** or ask me about for detailed tips about the exams. But "going undercover" is not only stressful there is also a major risk of becoming known as a mole/rat in the office. Which could make day to day worklife difficult. 
  • MrAgentMrAgent Member Posts: 1,310 ■■■■■■■■□□
    In general it seems that people don't want to put the hard work in to actually learn the technology and get better with it, but instead **** and gain the certification quickly. This has always been an issue, and seems to only be getting worse. Even OffSec is having to deal with it as they started proctoring exams.
  • thomas_thomas_ Member Posts: 1,012 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Sounds like all they received was a “stern talking to”, too bad they didn’t clawback the bonus money and/or revoke the certs.
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I actually disagree with most of the complaining here.

    People gonna c.h.e.a.t.
    You all know it happens.
    And when you see "frauds" moving up the career LADDER... while you're stuck at the bottom....
    WHat are you gonna do?

    well... I don't blame anybody who "joins" them.

    I read every post in this thread... but NO one criticized the Vendor for continuing to make these POINTLESS "multiple choice" certification exams. That irked me.

    What we need is BETTER MOUSETRAP.

    These exams should be LAB-based.

    And i know that your response is "even LAB-BASED exams get leaked too".
    Well, that may be true.... but at least the c.he.aters  MIGHT actually LEARN something while they are "studying" for it.

    But for right now; these "A.B.C.or.D" certifications aint worth the PAPER they're printed on.

    On a personal note; i recently started a new job.
    The only reason i GOT it.... they had a very THOROUGH technical interview.
    They went through quite a few BUMS before they found me.
    Imagine that...
    An employer who actually knew how to screen against all the PAPER TIGERS...

    I guess the solution is a collective effort.
    We need Better exams.
    and Better technical interviews.
    Until that happens... the will OBVIOUSLY continue (because it works).
  • securityorcsecurityorc Member Posts: 58 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree with the above. The certification industry has become another money leech because it goes hand in hand with the employers who are only looking for the alphabet soup on a candidate. To this day, I haven't participated in a satisfactory technical interview. Most of the interviewing staff is clueless about the subject anyway, and all the discussions end up on a general / theoretical note.

    As an example, for a security role, would you rather put the candidate in front of a computer (I'm told these can be found pretty much anywhere these days) with a scenario / problem to solve (which you can also borrow from the many open source labs out there if you're lazy), or ask them about the CIA triad?

    The multiple-choice testing isn't suited to this industry need people who can make things happen, not just being able to recite them.
  • IristheangelIristheangel Mod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    Ummm people still **** lab exams. Just because they can does not mean it should be accepted. Would that be acceptable in higher education which does sometimes rely on multiple choice tests? No. It'd still be cheating and would get you kicked out of school. ANYTHING can be cheated. Yes, this is why technical interviews are more important but it doesn't mean that we should be like "Oh well. I'm ok with people cheating because it can be cheated"
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited June 2019
    I respect where you're coming from....
    i just resigned myself to the fact that it happens (and will continue to happen).
    I've adapted accordingly.

    Its funny you brought up Higher Education; It just reminded me of something i forgot about while i was there (many years ago).
    Many of my classmates were in fraternities.
    I abstained; never felt they held much value.
    But i did witness one benefit:
    These guys archived ALL their Exams, from ALL their Professors, across ALL their Majors, across decades.
    So when it came time to take Midterms/Finals.... guess who already had the answers??

    Looking back... i admit; i find it Pretty Clever.
    It's definitely che.ating; but from creative/critical-thinking aspect.... i WISH i possessed those kind of thought-processes to apply toward problem-solving.
    Granted, this specific anecdote could have been stopped by Writing New Exams every semester... but that would put the onus on the Faculty, wouldn't it? Everyone's situation is different... but one could argue they share part of the blame in this too.

    And, speaking of the Che.ating that goes on at Institutions of Higher Learning,
    what about the students who pay mucho $$$ for tuition at some big-time school... but have many of their classes taught by the TA (not the actual Professor)??
    I think one could argue THAT is also che.ating.

    And what about those lecture halls with 200-300 students. Is there really any LEARNING going on there? Is that really a FAIR exchange of services?
    Well, when the Professor doesn't even KNOW your Face.... i think many would say the answer is NO.
    It sounds more like a MoneyGrab, orchestrated by these fine upstanding Institutions.
    And what is one inevitable Outcome:
    Students get their frat Bros /Sisters to TAKE their exams for them (since the faculty doesnt know anyone's face)
    Teamwork makes the Dreamwork, i suppose...

    Hmmm... maybe ive had this ALL wrong. Maybe learning how to CHE.AT is a valuable life skill that you learn in College?
    Obviously it can certainly pay dividends in the longrun. Maybe we should be THANKING these schools instead??

    [edit: removed rest of longwinded thoughts/Rant]

    Well, this went off the rails. lol

    Anywho, i want to add one more complaint to the list.
    Dumqing is definitely wrong.
    But it continues to happen, because it works.

    You know what else Works?
    LYING on your resume.
    Completely fabricating Certs, Job tiles, Degrees, positions, etc.
    And it works because HR is too lazy to do some due-diligence.

    So HR deserves some of blame on this as well...
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek Member Posts: 342 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 2019
    It will all come clean in the end.

    There was an article I read on some SQL based site a couple of weeks ago about how much time and how many dollars are spent in interviewing, hiring and onboarding someone. Hiring the wrong person can cost the company thousands of dollars.

    If the technical interviews included hands on, that would be amazing!
  • MooseboostMooseboost Member Posts: 778 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Once upon a time, I was naive and thought everyone earned their letters the old fashion way. When I was studying for a JNCIS, I inquired a coworker about the study materials they used. What I got was a drive with ****. Dude was smart as heck and was one of our best engineers, it blew my mind that he would use ****. I quipped at him about it and he shrugged, "I got the certification because we needed someone to have it due to partnership requirements. I don't use most of whats on that exam in the real world.".. In a way, I kind of understood what he meant. When I got my CCNA, I found I didn't use it as much as I thought I would in real world networking. My integrity wouldn't allow me to ****, but I did understand why some people already in the field do it. 

    Then we have the paper tiger interviewing. He has an army of certifications but can't answer basic questions that someone working in the field would know. Even if he genuinely had earned them, there is still a chance he couldn't answer real world questions. The point is: regardless of cheating, certifications should not be considered an end all gauge of knowledge. I've met plenty of academic people who can pass certifications all day but couldn't function in a job. On the flip side, I have met people who couldn't pass a test if their life depended on it but were amazing engineers. This is why experience should outweigh most things. 

    I'm surprised that anyone is surprised by the level of cheating. It isn't a Cisco problem. You will find that at just about every place. Does it make it right? No, it doesn't. As Iris said, there will always be cheating. 

  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Thats funny you bring up the JNCIS.
    That is not exactly a"beginner-level" certification.

    But the exam is COMPLETELY multiplechoice.
    No Labs, No Simulations.
    Just a.b.c.or.d


    Yes, che.ating is Wrong; but i what the heck is Juniper doing??
    It's  iike they didnt even try/care.

    As far as im concerned, that cert means nothing.
    Just Give us your $$$, and here's a shiny certificate for you.
    And perhaps Juniper is happy because thats another person who is "certified" in their product line? (which only reinforces the cycle)

    i took a Novell/Suse-CLA exam (beta) back in 2006.

    There were NO questions on it.
    Just 10 "tasks" to complete, in a virtualized environment.
    I didnt  pass; but MAN was i impressed.
    I was actually excited after i finished it; it was a game-changer imo.
    the FUTURE of certifications was going to be Bright.

    Yea...... im still waiting for that future.

    Yea, che.ating is wrong.
    But an Industry of Vendors who write [email protected] exams; are part of the problem.
    Employers who don't conduct technical interviews; are part of the problem.
    HR who don't background-check Certs, Degrees, titles; are part of the problem.

     The SYSTEM, is the PROBLEM.

    If you want to be "Disgusted", thats certainly your right.

    Me, I'd rather identify the root/underlying cause, and then try to push for a real solution....
  • LonerVampLonerVamp Member Posts: 518 ■■■■■■■■□□
    At the end of the day, it's about whether someone can do the job or not. If someone bypasses the learning and can't actually do what they should be doing, I'll do what I can to inform a superior. I mean, cert or however they got them, they're not able to do the job duties they signed up to do. Failing action by a superior, I will do what I can to put them on the spot to illustrate the problems. Or they can get better, if they can. Either way, faking your way in is a great way to lose respect from those around you, and especially the ones who are quality performers. Someone may then fail upward, but having a boss who is like that and doesn't know what they're doing will drive away those who do know, leaving behind a lot of mediocrity, at best.

    Lastly, keep in mind not all cultures in the world have the same viewpoint on how to perform or fake it through exams. In some places, it seems to be far more accepted to get pieces of paper by any means necessary.

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK
    2021 goals: maybe AWAE or SLAE, bunch o' courses and red team labs?
  • LonerVampLonerVamp Member Posts: 518 ■■■■■■■■□□
    For the record, I can learn just fine in a room full of people listening to an instructor.

    I think you have a deeper problem, mate. :)

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, AWS SA-A, AWS Security, Sec+, Linux+, CCNA Cyber Ops, CCSK
    2021 goals: maybe AWAE or SLAE, bunch o' courses and red team labs?
  • itguy4lifeitguy4life Member Posts: 6 ■■□□□□□□□□
    edited July 2019
    To be honest, I was really surprised why a lot of people are cheating on their Cisco exams but in fact, they are actually a lot of resources available online for them to study. I guess it is the lack of reliable resources. Thankfully, I found a nice site that offers reliable practice exams to nourish my skills which enabled me to pass my Cisco exams. I got my first certification with the help of the practice exam from this link www(dot)certlibrary(dot)com/info/200-120   

    Best of luck,
  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Member Posts: 621 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I've worked in environments like the OP stated. Everyone looks at you bug-eyed when you tell them you don't need their **** or their file share is already littered with them. Whenever there is pressure to obtain these certifications in the workplace be it either for a promotion, a bonus or simply to keep your job will have folks who will resort to cheating.  
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Member Posts: 430 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Fulcrum45 said:
    I've worked in environments like the OP stated. Everyone looks at you bug-eyed when you tell them you don't need their **** or their file share is already littered with them. Whenever there is pressure to obtain these certifications in the workplace be it either for a promotion, a bonus or simply to keep your job will have folks who will resort to cheating.  
    No wonder people ****, if their job is on the line.  Glad we don't get any of that pressure here in Switzerland or back in the UK workforce.
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP, Azure Fundamentals, Security+.

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