Re: [Media] Commentary: How About a Useful MCSE Certification?
From: Rowdy Yates (rowdy_yates_mcngpATyahooDOTcom)
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2004 15:56:45 -0800
mark is just full of great ideas. thats why he writes while the rest of
us do. (i wonder if cisco is gonna start testing on winxp - after all -
90% of all the traffic going thru their products is coming from a
microsoft product of some kind)
what microsoft should do is make the exams more expensive and have a
hands on portion. as i always keep saying - if you meet a RHCE - you know
one thing for sure - the guy has physically touched a Red Hat server of
p.s. Rowdy finally took and passed his CompTIA IT Project+/Project+ exam.
after almost a whole year of postponing and procrastinating. but whatever
you do - don't let me anywhere near your IT projects - i am bound to run
them +150% over budget. :-)
"T-Bone" <reply2me@thenewsgroup> wrote in news:#E89eCL2EHA.3452
> Hopefully someone from MS is actually reading this group.
> by Mark Minasi, senior contributing editor, Windows IT Pro magazine
> I recently had a chance to talk with the attendees of an MCSE boot
> camp during the last half of their 2-week-long journey from
> uncertified to MCSE, and it opened my eyes to an awful truth: The MCSE
> certification is here to stay. Anyone who's read my articles about the
> Microsoft certification programs over the past 10 years knows that I'm
> troubled by the notion of a certification controlled by a vendor. But
> I guess people like having letters after their names, and human
> resources (HR) departments often don't take the time to evaluate
> people for their experience, preferring instead to filter people based
> on the letters after their names--so I surrender.
> But if we're going to have certifications such as MCSE, Cisco
> Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and the like, why not make them
> useful? Why not teach people what they'll actually need and use,
> instead of using Microsoft certification tests as a means of
> showcasing every Microsoft technology, no matter how little it's used?
> Along those lines, here are a few thoughts:
> - Skip the technologies that almost nobody uses. Do we really need
> as many questions about NTBackup as are on the server test? Sure, I
> use the tool because it's free and I'm cheap, but most folks use a
> third-party backup tool. Ditto for SNMP, Internet Authentication
> Service (IAS), RRAS, PPTP, and Microsoft Certificate Server. I'm not
> saying that they're not good implementations of SNMP, Remote
> Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS), IP routing, or VPN. But
> in my experience, most folks go to non-Microsoft vendors for those
> things. The Infrastructure test's depiction of a firm's multisite
> network built using a Windows server as the backbone IP router is
> ludicrous, and asking people to design networks in an imaginary
> universe in which Cisco Systems, Check Point Software Technologies,
> and a host of other vendors don't exist is silly. Worse yet, imagine
> if a freshly minted MCSE were to actually recommend and try to
> implement an all-Microsoft solution. Yikes.
> - Focus on products and technologies that everyone uses or would
> use if they knew how. Which services can you safely disable on a Web
> server? How do you set up and, more important, back up and restore a
> share configured with one of Windows Server 2003's most attractive new
> services, Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)?
> Part of the MCSE certification is a mandatory test on the most
> recent version or two of Windows NT Workstation; as far as I know, you
> can currently get your MCSE with either the Windows XP Professional
> Edition or Windows 2000 Professional tests. But much of the real world
> still uses (and probably will use for a long time to come) Windows 9x.
> I use and like XP, but I wouldn't force my clients to use it. If a
> customer wants to use Win98, then I should be able to support it, and
> the Win98 test ought to be a valid substitute for the XP or Win2K
> tests for MCSE candidates.
> - The exam should include questions about limitations in Microsoft
> software. For example, how can you give a user permissions to create
> and modify files in a folder but prevent that user from being able to
> delete files in the folder? Answer: In a practical sense, you can't
> because most file-oriented applications let you modify files by
> clicking File/Save, and that command first saves the current document
> in memory to a new file. Then, the application deletes the old file
> and renames the new file to the old file's name. Here's another
> example (this question is probably the number-one question I get from
> ex-Novell administrators): I've created a share that contains several
> folders. I set NTFS permissions on those folders to give different
> groups of users different access levels. How can I keep Windows from
> showing users folders to which they're denied access? Answer: You
> can't. How can I configure a user's copy of Microsoft Office Outlook
> 2003 to support full remote procedure call (RPC)-style connectivity to
> a Microsoft Exchange Server server when the user has more than one
> mailbox on the Exchange server? You can't. How can I set different
> password requirements for groups in a domain? Again, impossible.
> Asking questions such as these prepares a would-be Microsoft expert to
> be able to support people in the real world.
> - When necessary, discuss third-party software. Remote Installation
> Service (RIS) is a neat product, but I only rarely come across clients
> that use it to roll out desktops. Most administrators couldn't care
> less about RIS; they use Symantec's Norton Ghost or similar product.
> So why not include a thorough set of questions about using Sysprep and
> Ghost in the XP test? And include questions about backup. It's a good
> idea to ensure that people can use some kind of backup tool, but not a
> good idea to require that they understand NTBackup. Why not require
> that the test subject answer three questions about backup, but let him
> or her choose whether to answer them about NTBackup, VERITAS
> Software's Backup Exec, UltraBac Software's UltraBac, or some other
> major backup software?
> - Don't ask memorization questions; isn't that what Help is for? I
> recall a question in the NT 3.5 TCP/IP test that asked what command
> will dump NetBIOS names for a host, given its IP address. I knew that
> Nbtstat was the command, and that the option was either -A or -a, but
> I couldn't remember which one. (-A takes IP addresses; -a takes host
> names. I don't know why it's not smart enough to handle either
> parameter--Ping, Nslookup, and a few dozen other IP-related utilities
> can process either.) I found the question infuriating. What's the
> point of the "/?" command if I'm expected to memorize parameters?
> Similarly, the Win2K test asked something about the accessibility
> tools, a question that I could easily answer in about three clicks,
> had I access to a Win2K desktop. That's the whole point of a GUI.
> Just imagine: If these tests really tested useful knowledge, then
> these certifications would be worthwhile. Of course, it'd be far
> better if the certification were controlled by an independent
> nonprofit third-party organization, but you can't have everything.
-- Rowdy Yates, MCNGP #39 http://www.mcngp.com/ "Shhhh... Do you smell that? I think is't Albanian Goat Smegma!" http://www.geocities.com/rowdy_yates_mcngp/ http://www.geocities.com/rowdy_yates_mcngp/google.gif