Home > Microsoft, rants > Don’t look behind the curtain!

Don’t look behind the curtain!

July 8, 2008

I spent the first couple days of this week at Microsoft’s campus working with a small group of folks doing a refresh of the certification exams for ISA Server 2004 and 2006 (70-350 and 351).  ISA stands for Internet Security and Acceleration – basically it’s Microsoft’s network firewall product that runs on top of a Windows server.  It’s a great too for publishing apps in a secure manner to the Internet, speed up web browsing for your users (by keeping a copy of commonly-accessed web content on the ISA server), and providing remote access to a network (VPN)

I’m under NDA so I can’t tell you a lot of details on what we did and discussed, but I can tell you that it was a really cool experience.  If you’ve ever taken a test and thought “these questions are stupid” I had a chance to avenge your experience (as long as your complaints were with either the 70-350 and 70-351 exams).  🙂

It was a blast to hang out with some wicked smart people and get into technical debates about best practices and firewall techniques.  Kudos to the whole group for, in my opinion, making some great progress on these exams!

The one part that bummed me out … well pissed me off really … was having 5 people who’ve been using the ISA product since it was called Proxy Server 8+ years ago all look at a test question, debate it, all arrive at an answer, find out we’re all wrong, and then learn that the people who have taken the exam in the last few months have gotten that question right about 90% of the time.  What the f…

Folks – don’t cheat.  Brain dumps are illegal (people go in to take an exam and steal the content and then post it online), and you’re not doing yourselves any favors.  The more people who pass exams by cheating the more diluted the pool of certified engineers becomes, and then you get to a point where having a certification doesn’t matter.  Effectively you’re screwing yourself over by making your certification useless, plus you’re lying to your employer (and yourself) in saying that you’re competent in a product or technology when you really aren’t.


Or, maybe you should just keep on doing it.  I know a PhD Psychometrician who’s an expert in Wii Boxing that’s gonna get ya!


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