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On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

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  • On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

    I was wondering what your thoughts were (bear with me the question comes later).

    1. Employers are not stupid and they interview potential employees quite thouroughly (at least all the ones who interviewed me did).

    2. Surely knowing the material thouroughly is better than being a parrot.

    3. What use is £35,000 per year (US$67,000) if it only lasts 3 months?

    So - what is the motivation of the brain-dumper? Or the guy who doesn't get his FREE copy of Virtual PC and Windows Server 2003, but just reads the book? Or other people who just simply can't be arsed doing it properly, and end up getting their MCSE more by luck than judgement?

    I can't imagine for a second why they might do it... an MCSE on your CV is a route to an INTERVIEW, nothing more - and if the interview is suitable, it will contain some technical material relevant to the job being applied for... along with some nice little trip-ups to catch the unwary. Surely noone who has passed by dumping or has no experience whatever can get through that? Or last long afterwards if they do?

    What's your experience of people in the workplace who have come this route? Did they get in? Did they last long? Did they get their heads kicked in? What was their motivation for doing it that way?


    Tom
    For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

    Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

  • #2
    Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

    I'ved seen quite a lot of papered mcse, and our managers didn't saw it.
    However, within 2 months, mostly they where getting fired. For example, they didn't know how to create a user account or placing a user into a group


    There motivation, getting the MCSE Fast, was the same as getting a Job fast. Problably they forgot that you also would loose there job Fast
    Marcel
    Technical Consultant
    Netherlands
    http://www.phetios.com
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    MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
    "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

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    • #3
      Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

      I heard about a guy who worked at my last place who was also an MCSE (Paper) and contracted a lot. He would get a job with a well known organisation and then within 3 months be fired / contract not renewed and then go else where. Apparently he would just keep moving around contracting jobs.

      That's not the sort of life I would like to live.

      Michael
      Michael Armstrong
      www.m80arm.co.uk
      MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

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      • #4
        Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

        Originally posted by m80arm View Post
        I heard about a guy who worked at my last place who was also an MCSE (Paper) and contracted a lot. He would get a job with a well known organisation and then within 3 months be fired / contract not renewed and then go else where. Apparently he would just keep moving around contracting jobs.

        That's not the sort of life I would like to live.

        Michael
        ...no - because people know people - it's surprising how many people know someone in other organisations and talk to them often. "You're paying WHO to work on your servers?! Jeez, didn't you know he was at our place and he..." etc etc etc.

        It's a bad situation to be in and I think you'd find yourself working for smaller and smaller clients, more and more localised... until eventually you'd run out of customers. Surely it's better to have a professionally viable reputation?


        Tom
        For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

        Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

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        • #5
          Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

          Originally posted by Stonelaughter View Post
          ...no - because people know people - it's surprising how many people know someone in other organisations and talk to them often. "You're paying WHO to work on your servers?! Jeez, didn't you know he was at our place and he..." etc etc etc.

          It's a bad situation to be in and I think you'd find yourself working for smaller and smaller clients, more and more localised... until eventually you'd run out of customers. Surely it's better to have a professionally viable reputation?
          I totally agree with you and there is only so long you can continue to do it without getting caught.

          As you've said before. Having the MCSE credential is good to get your foot in the door, After that it's up to you to prove yourself.

          Michael
          Michael Armstrong
          www.m80arm.co.uk
          MCITP: EA, MCTS, MCSE 2003, MCSA 2003: Messaging, CCA, VCP 3.5, 4, 5, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, ITIL, MCP, PGP Certified Technician

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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          • #6
            Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

            If a paper MCSE gets a job for a boss who is even more clueless then him, why would he fire him. Its a risky way to work but if you could stay one step ahead, learn as you go, and be paid real MCSE rates. Sounds like it could be tempting to me.
            You still will have to collect knowledge as time goes by, but only as needed instead of all the material at once.

            On the other hand, fast forward a few years, and those with tons of experience ace the test anyway without hardly studying, while being paid less.
            Last edited by Lior_S; 4th January 2007, 18:25. Reason: was confusing
            "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

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            • #7
              Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

              Originally posted by Lior_S View Post
              If a paper MCSE gets a job for a boss who is even more clueless then him, why would he fire him. Its a risky way to work but if you could stay one step ahead, learn as you go, and be paid real MCSE rates. Sounds like it could be tempting to me.
              You still will have to collect knowledge as time goes by, but only as needed instead of all the material at once.

              On the other hand, fast forward a few years, and those with tons of experience ace the test anyway without hardly studying, while being paid less.
              There is another issue with doing it the way you described: integrity. If the person has no integrity in the matter of getting an MCSE, then I doubt this lack of morals would be confined to acquiring a certification. Over time, whether they learn the technical skills or not, the results would be the same; no trust, no responsibility, no raise, and probably get fired and get a bad reputation.
              Regards,
              Jeremy

              Network Consultant/Engineer
              Baltimore - Washington area and beyond
              www.gma-cpa.com

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              • #8
                Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

                Originally posted by JeremyW View Post
                There is another issue with doing it the way you described: integrity. If the person has no integrity in the matter of getting an MCSE, then I doubt this lack of morals would be confined to acquiring a certification. Over time, whether they learn the technical skills or not, the results would be the same; no trust, no responsibility, no raise, and probably get fired and get a bad reputation.
                Good point, I did not think of that.
                Stonelaughter would then be right in that there really is no long term benefits, just a quick fix, with no real gain.
                "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

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                • #9
                  Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

                  My opinion on the matter is you are only short changing yourself if you don't know the material required to earn the certification.

                  If you own highly regarded certs, people will expect (and quite right) you to be able to do the job of that title.

                  Simon

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                  • #10
                    Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

                    I guess I don't see these certs as all that highly regarded. Most notably because many who hold them are idiots, present company excluded.

                    I realize you feel you need to have them to get in the door and that is often true.

                    I don't hire that often. Every 3-5 years I get involved in a new project to outfit a new Joint Venture or something similar to deliver all IT services. I'm involved at various levels in the hiring of 10-50+ IT folks including the on-site support to run the systems once we pull out -- I used to run a data center in a previous life so I don't take this lightly.

                    Last 10+ years these have all been overseas with a large third-country-national (TCN) workforce. The Resume pool is full of overly certified under experienced candidates. For the core implementation team, I need seasoned veterans. Ongoing support is a little different as budgets get much tighter and senior managment always buys in to the low cost TCN solution.

                    So for implementation, I'm always more concerned with team dynamics, diversity of background, demonstrated problem solving skills, and ability to handle an always changing and always narrowing target / deadline. I don't target any ratio of cert to non-cert (be it MSCE, PMP, Oracle DBA, etc.) but I'm guessing I stand at about 25% cert to 75% non-cert on the implementation end and about 50/50 for on-going support.

                    So when I get a Resume, I always look at background first. For Sys Admin / Network / DBA / Hardware folks, I'm always more interested in their exposure to the application / business side than the certs. I'm also interested in one's failures and what was learned from them.

                    I have found all too often, unfortunately, that operations folks have little understanding of why they are really here -- to make the business run more efficiently -- not their precious infrastructure.

                    So I may be the odd bird out there and this post looks more and more off topic but do realize certs do not demonstrate how you are going to make my business more successful. They demonstrate you passed a test. I think I'm affirming the Brain-dump premise but do realize without the Brain-dump problem, this axiom still holds true.

                    Finding business focused techies that can think outside the box is not easy.
                    Cheers,

                    Rick

                    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

                    © 2006-2099 R Valstar. This post is offered "as is" for discussion purposes only with no express or implied warranty of any kind including, but not limited to, correctness or fitness for use. Nothing herein shall be construed as advice. Attempting any activity based on information in this post is done at your own risk.

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                    • #11
                      Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

                      My employer (current and previous) take a slightly different view on certs, these days.

                      Customers are demanding that organisations supporting their Microsoft-Centric infrastructure are Microsoft Partners. Becoming a Microsoft Gold Partner means having a certain percentage of your workforce certified. So - they hire a certain number of MCP's, a certain number of MCSE's and train up the others; and they get a nice gold badge to show their prospective Customer.

                      I'm not 100% business-savvy - but I do have an appreciation of the sort of thinking that goes into an IT Strategy from the business POV.


                      Tom
                      For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

                      Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

                        Certainly business drivers affect the overall outcome. Working for an IT service provider would increase the need for certs.

                        I'm working for large corporate enterprise customers and, as such, the need for certs is lower. My point was to provide an alternate perspective on this interesting topic.

                        I was pleasantly surprised to see this and other recent posts (JeremyW on purchasing strategy in particular) as they are welcome diversions from the latest problem in Exchange or Terminal Server or ... This is often tough on a tech help site.
                        Cheers,

                        Rick

                        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

                        © 2006-2099 R Valstar. This post is offered "as is" for discussion purposes only with no express or implied warranty of any kind including, but not limited to, correctness or fitness for use. Nothing herein shall be construed as advice. Attempting any activity based on information in this post is done at your own risk.

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                        • #13
                          Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

                          Originally posted by rvalstar View Post
                          Certainly business drivers affect the overall outcome.
                          I'm curious, how do you install a business driver? Is a script required?
                          1 1 was a racehorse.
                          2 2 was 1 2.
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                          2 2 1 1 2

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                          • #14
                            Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

                            Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
                            I'm curious, how do you install a business driver? Is a script required?
                            Open vehicle door
                            Insert driver
                            Fasten seat belt.....

                            On topic for this thread:
                            My current training contract is taking a batch of long-term unemployed graduates and getting them to levels between MCP and MCSA. I do tell them to be completely honest with employers and tell them they may have the paper, but no practical experience. In this case the cert is a confidence booster and starting point. It also shows how relatively easy it is to get some exams without the background knowledge.

                            In my own case, running my own business, the certs are a vital tool for establishing my credibility with potential clients. Also, delivering training, I need to both know the material and have the correct cert to deliver courses.

                            Tom
                            Tom Jones
                            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                            IT Trainer / Consultant
                            Ossian Ltd
                            Scotland

                            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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                            • #15
                              Re: On the topic of Brain Dumping (Please don't shoot me)

                              I guess that's fair enough if they ARE going to be honest with prospective employers; the thread was mainly to be honest intended to be about the idiots who think they're great cos they have an MCSE and somehow think it was easier and more enjoyable to learn it parrot fashion rather than to play with it and understand it.


                              Tom
                              For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

                              Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you

                              Comment

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