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Course requirements for certification…?

March 25, 2013

Quick link to a discussion on Trainsignal that has been often batted around :

http://www.trainsignal.com/blog/vmware-vcp-course?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2013_03_25_Newsletter&utm_content=2013_03_25_Newsletter+CID_2fdec907ce4146a7a8ccae3cb741f2d8&utm_source=&utm_term=the%20VCP%20course%20debate

Should certifications absolutely require attendance to a course in order to qualify as eligible to take an exam? It’s a commonly debated topic, and one that will go on forever, no doubt. I’m on both sides of the fence really. As a holder of far too many Microsoft certs, I like the idea of simply having to have the knowledge to pass an exam. You pay your money and do your best. Let’s leave the braindumpers question aside for now, for the point of clarity. It’s often argued that having to take a course before being able to take an exam raises the quality of a certification. I’m not convinced this is really the case. I’ve sat through 3-5 day courses with other attendees who have been sent by their employer, and all they see is an easy few days out of the office with little requirement to do anything at all. All they want is the certificate to confirm attendance, occasionally after the first day (resulting in zero attendance for the remainder of the course). What’s wrong with the chap who has used/supported/designed a particular solution or product for years, only to suddenly come up against a requirement to certify, should he really need to do Product X 101 all over again. Is simply being properly familiar and proficient with a product not enough to show the ability to attain a proven level of expertise? The debate will continue.

I read a bit about OpenStack this morning, and given the hype around the article that got me thinking about it again, I’m guessing it’s yet another technology that I should become at least vaguely acquainted with. I don’t push myself as a ‘virtualisation expert’, though I know both Hyper-V and Vmware well enough to do most things. Hyper-V is a stronger one, as I use this at home through my Technet subscription, and am liking the move forward with v3.0 over previous versions, which did show cracks in a proper production scenario. The hype behind OpenStack means I can’t ignore it, if only to join in banter with colleagues when it comes up. Seriously though, it is a product of strange and almost unbelievable beginnings, and should be taken seriously. Given the drive towards cloud generally, a really big open-source solution could be ground-breaking.

http://www.openstack.org/ or just Google it, there’s plenty of very informed content out there about it.

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