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  1. Member evarney's Avatar
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    #1

    Angry Feeling bitter about the IT certification racket; People who dumped the test, and...

    So lately I have been working pretty hard in my graduate program and I honestly have been stretched pretty far and I feel like I am getting my monies worth. not the smartest guy ever, but whatever I try.

    I am also taking a cert exam pretty soon for something that I have worked pretty hard on.

    But I've also observed some things that make me feel like I am wasting my time with this and I feel like I am on an endless treadmill.

    <rant>


    People who I know, not necessarily current coworkers but just in general IT workers, essentially are able to get the same certifications by memorizing test questions from say for example www.runofthemilltestdumpemporium.lol website.

    This same type of dbag now I have to compete with for my next job. It's always some douche that I had to cover down for, or I am getting pretty ******* sick of it. The other day I got into it with a guy who should know what I know, is paid more than me, and doesn't do **** other than accuse me of being wrong all the time over a bad run of fiber that he refuses to believe is bad. I had to prove it was the fiber (not a bad switch,SFP [after replacing both SFPs and patch cords on both ends],config issue) by physically removing the switch from the cabinet and directly connecting it to the upstream device with just a single patch cord in-between for him to get it through his thick test dumped CCNP skull that I am right and he is a ******* ******* that needs to go work resting passwords somewhere.

    the guy gets more than six figures.....and he can't deduce that it's possible you need to accept the possibility that after all that and putting a light meter on the damn run that their is an unacceptable amount of light loss.



    </rant>
    Last edited by evarney; 12-10-2016 at 03:19 PM. Reason: improved my post by making it less shitty.
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  3. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #2
    Howdy,

    First of all, I want to say I feel your pain and am a bit cynical by seeing the same crap in the industry. It does devalue the face value worth of the certification but it doesn't devalue what you learn while studying for that certification. *That* should always be the important part.

    Second of all, these guys are NOT competition. Someone who dumped an exam should be easily picked out in a technical interview and if the interviewers haven't clued in before you walk in the door, you're going to shine and look like 10000x's the engineer that said dumper appeared to be when you start answering technical questions. There's a few folks I've seen come and go on this forum and others where you just know they were scrambling to try to figure out how to do their job because they didn't even have close to a foundation of knowledge while still trying to sport multiple CCNAs, CCNPs, VCPs, etc. Heh.... Yeah, these guys are NOT your competition. They may get lucky from time to time with a gig that doesn't expect much from them but that's it. They are the guys that have to fear for their jobs when they mess something up or be the roadblock in projects because they have no idea how to proceed with basic tasks in most cases.

    BTW, just because that guy gets 6-figures at that job doesn't mean he's going to get that much at the next job. That just means he found a hole he can hide in for a few years but if he tries to ask that as a going rate, most interviewers are going to clue into the fact that he's not worth the $$$ for the amount of knowledge he brings to the table. It's disheartening at times to see these folks sometimes succeed but keep doing what you're doing. You're going to get paid more than him one day but you're also going to be able to have your pick of jobs. If he gets fired from his job tomorrow, I'm pretty sure his job prospects aren't going to be as good as yours if you have the core knowledge he lacks.


    Anyways, stay positive and cheer up. Never let these losers get you down.
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  4. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #3
    I agree with both of you.

    Experience is the key here. Job performance will weed out the weak. I have met many paper cert engineers and with due time they end up either quitting or deferring to the ones with experience. It's noticable and most of the time they fall back in line once the pressure is on.

    Number one thing here, stop worrying what other people are doing. Focus on yourself.
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  5. Member evarney's Avatar
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    #4
    Thanks. You seem to have a pretty level head about the networking field and I've benefited from your posts/blogs in the past. A cynic is someone who has been disappointed too many times. I try to keep in check but sometimes I come here and rant.

    I'm still sort of only network admin, started Cisco in high-school, but really didn't get it until I worked at the elbow of someone who came from a tier one provider.

    I've definitely seen a lot of dumb stuff, sometimes from smart people; and perhaps that's what I am experiencing, but I have been on the opposite end of a lot of nasty emails with loads of people carbon copied and I feel like every-time it's something stupid like a patch cord, a missing route or a bad subnet mask. On their end and that's when his response has no more CC and it's just one on one.

    Far be it from me to be an expert, but I guess my point is, this field is dominated by standardized tests that don't necessary prove anything. Not common sense. I just barely got my hands on a full rack of gear and will be building the biggest lab I've ever had to finish my CCNP/and other hacking funzies, and will stay positive about this.

    If a person isn't worried about their network equipment/rack in their apartment causing structural damage to their floor, they might not really be too into what they do. For me, this is more than a paycheck, it's genuinely interesting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    Howdy,

    First of all, I want to say I feel your pain and am a bit cynical by seeing the same crap in the industry. It does devalue the face value worth of the certification but it doesn't devalue what you learn while studying for that certification. *That* should always be the important part.

    Second of all, these guys are NOT competition. Someone who dumped an exam should be easily picked out in a technical interview and if the interviewers haven't clued in before you walk in the door, you're going to shine and look like 10000x's the engineer that said dumper appeared to be when you start answering technical questions. There's a few folks I've seen come and go on this forum and others where you just know they were scrambling to try to figure out how to do their job because they didn't even have close to a foundation of knowledge while still trying to sport multiple CCNAs, CCNPs, VCPs, etc. Heh.... Yeah, these guys are NOT your competition. They may get lucky from time to time with a gig that doesn't expect much from them but that's it. They are the guys that have to fear for their jobs when they mess something up or be the roadblock in projects because they have no idea how to proceed with basic tasks in most cases.

    BTW, just because that guy gets 6-figures at that job doesn't mean he's going to get that much at the next job. That just means he found a hole he can hide in for a few years but if he tries to ask that as a going rate, most interviewers are going to clue into the fact that he's not worth the $$$ for the amount of knowledge he brings to the table. It's disheartening at times to see these folks sometimes succeed but keep doing what you're doing. You're going to get paid more than him one day but you're also going to be able to have your pick of jobs. If he gets fired from his job tomorrow, I'm pretty sure his job prospects aren't going to be as good as yours if you have the core knowledge he lacks.


    Anyways, stay positive and cheer up. Never let these losers get you down.
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    #5
    I've noticed over the years a lot of people have a hard time accepting the fact that things do go bad/fail. They like to think that because something was working a few days, hours, moments ago that it should be working fine right now. However, he does sound a little dense once you swapped the SFPs and patch cords on both ends to continue thinking that it was something else besides the fiber line.

    As far as all of the other stuff goes I think you just need to let it roll off your back. I think you should definitely speak your mind especially when you know you're right, but there's a fine line between speaking your mind to correct an issue vs. getting into a p*ssing contest just to show people you're right/make them look stupid(no matter how stupid they may be.)
    Last edited by thomas_; 12-10-2016 at 05:18 PM.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by evarney View Post
    ...If a person isn't worried about their network equipment/rack in their apartment causing structural damage to their floor, they might not really be too into what they do. For me, this is more than a paycheck, it's genuinely interesting.
    I hear that bro'!!

    You sound as if you've got the exact attitude needed to succeed at this.

    +1 to the other posts.

    All the best to you and 'know' that you're way better than the jerks that p**s you off!
    Last edited by rob42; 12-10-2016 at 06:48 PM.
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  8. Senior Member si20's Avatar
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    #7
    I'll be honest, i've been to interviews, told them straight up: "Look, I failed my ITIL by 1 mark, but I fully get the concept" and more often than not, they say: "We don't care about the cert, we want someone who knows ITIL inside-out and can hit the ground running". With that being said, in the past, i've always ran from companies that use ITIL. I detest ITIL probably more than anyone on this board. In fact, I saw a comment on youtube which made me laugh out loud the other day. It read: "ITIL, turning IT into McDonalds". But my hate for ITIL is another topic for another day..

    I've had the misfortune to work with people who have dumped exams and let me tell you - how they don't get fired is beyond me. I worked with a guy who dumped his SANS cert and admitted that he guessed a portion of stuff he didn't recognise from the dump. What happened? He managed to get a Ł500 per day contract and landed a permanent role with a well-known company as a result of his SANS and contracting experience.

    I spoken to a girl I know recently, who graduated University with a 2:2 degree (3rd being the lowest, 2:2, 2:1 and First class being the order) so she was fairly average at best - she managed to land an IT support job despite not knowing what a hard drive was... and no, i'm not joking.

    There are a number of people out there who get by on knowing very little and not only that, they contribute very little too. In the worst case scenario, these people do better than people like us on this board, who study and dedicate our own time and money to become better at our craft.

    My point being: we could spend 100 years trying to work out how someone got the job despite them being a clear cheat, gambler, chancer or just plain lucky, but all we can do is focus on making ourselves better and hopefully that will shine through.
    Last edited by si20; 12-10-2016 at 06:44 PM.
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  9. Passion For IT
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    #8
    I got to be a part of the interview process last time we were hiring for a position. Trust me - the interviewer can tell. Occasionally, they'll get lucky and BS their way through the interview and get a job. They might keep it for a while. But, I doubt it's that common.

    You can tell when someone has that passion. When they get that sparkle in their eye when you ask them about certain technologies. You know they could talk for hours about it and really enjoy it. You know they'd love to talk about their home lab and all the cool stuff they've done with it.

    We hired someone with no certs, very little IT education. It was for a help desk position. He's amazing. Excellent troubleshooting skills, a passion to help others. If there is a problem, he'll fix it. If it's beyond him, he'll come with a damn near perfect assessment of the problem, what he's tried, etc.. Sometimes, he just doesn't have the server knowledge to fix it (or the permissions). So, we take care of it.

    We interviewed a dumper. If he wasn't a dumper, he didn't pay attention much during his studies or just forgot everything about the cert. Basic things.

    I hate dumpers. But, interviewers will recognize your hard work and determination. At the most, the dumpers are wasting the interviewers time.
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    #9
    I don't tell anyone at work about my certifications apart from my manager, because I'm sure a few (perhaps 10%) of my colleagues would use brain dumps to obtain the same certifications if they knew they had value within my employer.

    I think most companies contain some incompetent staff, because it's difficult to get rid of people once they are embedded, and their manager will probably not be allowed to recruit a replacement if their incompetent staff are fired. I try to concentrate on doing my own job as well as possible.
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  11. Senior Member E Double U's Avatar
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    #10
    @ evarney

    Why does it matter to you how someone else obtained their certs? Your bitterness shouldn't be towards dumpers, but instead the companies that put more focus on certs than skills which leads to these guys dumping their way to an alphabet soup of stuff added to their resumes. I don't see how someone who is less skilled than you can be seen as competition for a role with an employer that truly values a particular set of skills. I've never landed a technical role without going through a technical interview so I don't see how anyone who only memorized answers could've beaten me out for the jobs I've landed (if they did, then that just isn't the place for me). And during the technical interviews it was my actual hands on experience that got me through it, not what I remembered from some practice exams lol. Certs have as much value as you place on them. There are plenty of people out there that do well without them and it seems like you could be one of them. So if you truly are feeling bitter about the cert racket then just study for the knowledge, get your lab on, and skip the exam.

    I've spent much of my free time studying for certs while juggling being a husband, a father, and a full time employee. Doesn't bother me that someone else studies a dump for a day or two for a cert that I spent months preparing for because I know I could also go out and dump if I wanted to. It was my choice to put in the effort because my goal is to learn. If someone else's goal is just to get the piece of paper, then by all means take the shortcut.

    In conclusion, keep up the good work because more people like you are needed in the field to balance out the dumpers. But don't concern yourself so much with them because they will get back from life what they put into it and so will you.
    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
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  12. Cisco addict
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    #11
    Certs help you get in the door and that's about it, once you're high up in your field other things start to matter and just having the cert won't be enough.

    I was given the task of actually interviewing the guys who wanted to work in our dept and we had numerous other depts on the phone screen and at times in person interviews just to see if this person would be a good fit. The thing is it is my job to actually know and understand this stuff so when it is my turn to ask questions and do the technical interview I just couldn't go easy on these guys wanting to work in our dept, we have a series of questions we ask, and we try to keep it by the book, the questions are on paper and you have them. You might have a CCNA on paper but when we ask a basic question such as what does it take to create a VPN tunnel, how many phases are there, how does encryption work, what are the differences between Ipsec and SSL, sometimes I wouldn't even get to these questions and I would flat out skip them, the reason is you couldn't even answer basic common PORTS!!! But you have a CCNA somehow, I find it funny but it is a waste of time to do interviews, really happy they gave that task to other engineers in a similar dept, let them ask dumb questions.

    As far as competing with people like that, many times they will get lucky by knowing someone in the company or the interviewer isn't a tech person themselves. We have hired plenty of people who got the job through knowing someone who works there, connections you build through out your life will have more to say than the paper you present in an interview. Interesting thing is, the guys who were connected through HR/Upper management and where given a chance actually take 3-6 months to learn the job because they weren't in a position like this before and it takes time to learn, fortunately sometimes you get lucky and they still give you a chance, it just depends on the interviewer and how badly they need someone to fill that role.
    Last edited by SpetsRepair; 12-10-2016 at 07:20 PM.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    I agree for the most part but what I have seen, these people get hired into a certain role; can't perform or struggle and end up getting promoted out of the position into something a little less "technical".

    I've seen help desk employee not able handle it and get promoted to project manager, I've seen more technical folks who manage servers and systems get moved to other support teams where they are more of a requirements analyst. So while I want to say they will get theirs that's not always true.

    Agreed that the interviewer should weed out anyone lying about their skills, it's not just certs, any fabrication on the resume or presented in the interview hopefully is caught.

    BTW a ton of good content in this thread I agree with most of it.

    Sorry follow up to the dumping portion. I just would feel weird dumping an exam listing it and not knowing crap about it. That would make me anxious I don't get why people would do this. It's VERY short sighted IMO. Not sure which member posted, but they are correct when they mention connections are the best way to get into new positions. Whether it be a recruiter or a previous co worker who speaks up to management about you.
    Last edited by DatabaseHead; 12-10-2016 at 09:05 PM.
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  14. Junior Member
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    #13
    Welcome to IT. Its not just dumpsters but its all the con artists out there certified or not who somehow smooze their way into a gig. Many people are in IT who can't subnet or work from a cli to save their lives, GOD forbid they learn to write a line of code. They get over by falling into a gig that uses 5% of the OS software 95% of the time. They are the ones who screw up every project and fight change tooth and nail.

    I've done IT for 25 years and have seen pure genius slave away in cubicles for pennies and morons make millions and retire.

    Just keep your head up and be the best you can be. You are not going to overcome politics, fear, and the insecurities of others just by being an excellent technician. As you gain experience in this field you will learn that IT just like any other field is 90% social and 10% skill.
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  15. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by evarney View Post

    People who I know, not necessarily current coworkers but just in general IT workers, essentially are able to get the same certifications by memorizing test questions from say for example www.runofthemilltestdumpemporium.lol website.
    This might work for the lower level certifications, but does this really work with higher level certifications? I was told by a CCNA instructor that the CCNA exam randomly pulls questions from a pool of 6000 possible questions, good luck brain dumping that.
    Last edited by TechGromit; 12-11-2016 at 01:01 AM.
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  16. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    This might work for the lower level certifications, but does this really work with higher level certifications? I was told by a CCNA instructor that the CCNA pulls questions from a pool of 6000 possible questions, good luck brain dumping that.
    eh. As much as I would like to say it does, it doesn't. That's why dumping for the CCNA/CCNP/MCSA/MCSE/etc is common among these idiots.
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  17. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    eh. As much as I would like to say it does, it doesn't. That's why dumping for the CCNA/CCNP/MCSA/MCSE/etc is common among these idiots.
    Just to clarify, are you saying that Cisco doesn't randomly pull questions from a database of possible questions for the exam? Are you saying brain dumps do actually work? Interesting enough I'm studying for the CCENT now.
    Last edited by TechGromit; 12-11-2016 at 01:18 AM.
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  18. Woohoo! It's over 1000!
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by evarney View Post
    People who I know, not necessarily current coworkers but just in general IT workers, essentially are able to get the same certifications by memorizing test questions from say for example www.runofthemilltestdumpemporium.lol website.
    That sounds like a useful website, but I am getting a DNS error. Is it working for anyone else?
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  19. Senior Member mbarrett's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by OctalDump View Post
    That sounds like a useful website, but I am getting a DNS error. Is it working for anyone else?
    I never realized until now that .lol is a valid TLD - lol
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  20. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    Just to clarify, are you saying that Cisco doesn't randomly pull questions from a database of possible questions for the exam? Are you saying brain dumps do actually work? Interesting enough I'm studying for the CCENT now.

    Not sure what makes it interesting about you studying for CCENT now and how brain dumps are successful. lol.

    Cisco, Microsoft, ECCouncil, and almost every other certification provider has had issues with having question pools too small and people that have stolen them and quickly distributed them. I know this from experience from failing both MS and Cisco exams and going back weeks later to find the same questions being asked. This is often why you hear of people "brute forcing" written exams. The only company that I know of that delivers multiple choice exams with a ENORMOUS question pool is ISC2. Now the CCIE lab exams? That's a different story entirely.


    Interestingly enough, there was a public CCIE Community Event about a week ago on things they were planning on doing to or have started doing to increase the integrity of the exam. Since this was a public event, I'll post some of the relevant slides on what Learning@Cisco has done to help counteract some of the cheating:
    Certification Security1.JPG

    Certification Security2.JPG

    Certification Security3.JPG

    One of the things they talked about was shutting down testing centers that had unusually high pass rates, using analytics to key into cheaters, etc. Also... most commercial dump providers removed their paid Cisco dumps. This is not a happy accident. There's a rather public case against one of the largest dump providers by Cisco and other legal actions that are taken - which they mentioned during this community event.
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  21. Senior Member xxxkaliboyxxx's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    Not sure what makes it interesting about you studying for CCENT now and how brain dumps are successful. lol.
    It's obvious, he is going to dump his way to CTO!

    If you want to talk about brain dumping and paper tigers, you should look no further than DoD. Now I can only speak for the Army, since I worked on the uniform and currently on the civilian side. Not only is brain dumping allowed behind closed doors, it's actually encourage. I mean seriously, these guys are getting hired purely on certifications in order to meet DoD requirement (you can tell within 5 minutes who the guys/gals are). Not only that, even when they bring in professional companies to conduct a bootcamp on an Army installations, the instructors are passing out dumps at the end of class. Now would they have the balls to do that without prior approval? I have no idea, but on the Army side you can actually get hired without any actual credentials and they will give you 30 days to pass the exam. If that isn't a undertone to brain dump...

    With that said, any company of worth is going to see right through it. Take for example when I interviewed with your search engine. I made it all the way to the final face to face interview and there is no way anyone that brain dump would ever make it that far. They bombarded me with scenario questions for hours. I felt good leaving the interview so I could only imagine that only someone that really knew his stuff would of outshined me for the engineer role.

    Case in point, any job and company of any worth can tell who the fakers are.
    Last edited by xxxkaliboyxxx; 12-11-2016 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Quote
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  22. Senior Member
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    #21
    Everything was said above. Just move on, if you keep going you'll leave them far behind one day and will be actually laughing and this later on. Eventually you'll have to compete with the best and boy, do these folks know their stuff. It's amazing what hard work and persistence can bring.
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  23. Senior Member lucky0977's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by xxxkaliboyxxx View Post
    If you want to talk about brain dumping and paper tigers, you should look no further than DoD. Now I can only speak for the Army, since I worked on the uniform and currently on the civilian side.
    I hear ya. I'm on the AF DOD side and there are some geniuses and some dolts. I have done my fair share of bitching and complaining about the use of dumps in DOD but the excuse is "I have a family to feed". Case in point, my co-workers. They've failed the CISSP multiple times and I recently passed mine the 1st time. They asked me what dump I used and showed me their dumps. I look them over and secretly LMAO because they bought these questions from an online vendor but the questions are all from CCCure. I don't inform them that no dumps exist for ISC exams, I just tell them to keep doing what they're doing, eventually they'll pass. At least I'll get a laugh when they fail for the 3rd or 4th time.
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  24. Completely Clueless TechGromit's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    One of the things they talked about was shutting down testing centers that had unusually high pass rates, using analytics to key into cheaters, etc.
    Seem like a lot of trouble when the obvious solution is to have the testing center connect to a secure Cisco test server that pulls test questions from a large database of possible questions. Populate the database with 10k questions, at 50 or 60 questions per exam, it would take a hell of a lot of recorded tests to build a brain dump large enough to be any use to cheaters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iristheangel View Post
    I know this from experience from failing both MS and Cisco exams and going back weeks later to find the same questions being asked. This is often why you hear of people "brute forcing" written exams.
    Well this is plain stupidity by the certification authorities. Make you wonder if they are looking to make a buck then to actually have certification holders knowledgeable about there products.

    Quote Originally Posted by xxxkaliboyxxx View Post
    It's obvious, he is going to dumb his way to CTO!
    These are my current brain dump aids.

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    Last edited by TechGromit; 12-11-2016 at 02:56 AM.
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  25. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
    Seem like a lot of trouble when the obvious solution is to have the testing center connect to a secure Cisco test server that pulls test questions from a large database of possible questions. Populate the database with 10k questions, at 50 or 60 questions per exam, it would take a hell of a lot of recorded tests to build a brain dump large enough to be any use to cheaters.

    Well this is plain stupidity by the certification authorities. Make you wonder if they are looking to make a buck then to actually have certification holders knowledgeable about there products.
    One of the biggest complaints I see from CLN, PacketPushers, and other communities from existing CCIEs who have to reup on their CCIE Written is that it seems like a lot of trivia knowledge and fact memorization because the pool of questions started getting so large. It makes sense for something like the CCIE but for something like the CCNA which is an entry level exam? 10K questions that are constantly needing to be flushed and reupped every 2-3 years when the exam is refreshed is a hard endeavor to do (not to mention the amount of SMEs to come up with 10,000 *entry level* questions) much less make it practical for folks to actually pass the exam.

    As far as MS or Cisco just trying to make a quick buck from exams, both companies are publicly traded companies and disclose their earnings every year. Look at any of their architectural earnings and I can guarantee you that they probably hundreds more times money in any architecture than they do on the certification business. The certification business isn't the big money maker for these companies - having engineers that are trained and competent in their technologies is - so believe me, they would rather have people know how to use the technologies they are certified in. Both MS and Cisco have done big things in the last few years to cut back on cheated but, again, they have to balance the ability to make the exam "passable" vs just filling up an arbitrary question pool of factoids that no human being is every able to remember just so they can pass an entry level exam.
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  26. Member evarney's Avatar
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    #25
    Hmmm...Back in the day when I was younger and poorer and failing a test the first time was really expensive for me I felt like it was a money making scheme but I know it isn't. I honestly did fail most Cisco exams atleast once. But it was character building, made me work harder. I was one of the few young 20 something at work that had the CCNA, and I had a good enough job where I could buy anything I wanted and pay out of pocket for my own education. People need to be able to fail.

    It is true that the contracts for Switches, routers, firewalls, and other appliances with smart net (or the juniper/broke-ade equivalent) and TAC support is where the vendors make their money. I know that certifications play a part in discounting of gear at some level for most vendors. This may be in part why some places encourage cheating for their own employees.

    I do believe though that the dump community has made the tests more expensive by causing the vendor to have make the test more resilient to cheating.
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