Monday, September 20, 2010

Into the certification saddle again. Soothing cream at the ready...

Finally, I've made time and found energy to concentrate on updating my IT certification.  I'm in sore need of it - my MCSE is in NT4, My CCNA has been out of date for god only knows how long, and the Citrix was Metaframe XP2.  Ye-es, I'm out of date.  And what I have been conscious of is that the tech knowledge that I have on tap is not perhaps all it should be, and because of that I enjoyed my last job less.  (I'm currently "resting", by the way.  More on this later.)

So I'm hitting the books again.  I'm working towards updating my MCSE to 2003 level rather than 2008 (I've barely touched 2008 so far), figuring I can take the upgrade exam later if I really want to.  I also had a set of books for the core four exams, so that helped too.  I'm also using practice exams from, who have never failed me in the past.  In my experience, the transcenders are bloody hard - if you're passing all the practice exams well, the real thing is a relative cakewalk.

So that's the core of what I do dealt with.  How about the nice-to-haves?

Cisco stuff?  It's been good knowledge to have, and occasionally it's useful.  I wouldn't say I've ever used it regularly, and the 2003 networking side seems to have been expanded enough to include enough of the additional TCP/IP stuff I got out of taking it last time around.

I've done quite a bit of VMWare stuff in my last job, so thought that maybe the VCP program would be useful.  But you have to attend the course, or you can't even take the exam.  This boils my piss for several reasons.

VMWare say - Oh, you have to do the coursework tooIt's a pre-requisite, you know. 

I say - Balls. Absolute, unalloyed, bollocks. 

This is about money, pure and simple.  This is about nice cosy tie-ins with training providers, where employers with money to spare (and how many of them are there these days?) cheerfully hand over three thousand bucks so that one of their employees can spend five days having the manual read to them.

I've been managing VM farms for yonks, and left most of them in a better state than when I arrived.  There's not a lot they haven't chucked at me.  What am I going to learn in the four days that it takes the new boy in the corner whose organization might be going virtual next year to get up to speed?  (No offence to the new boy - I've been him before)

Who's to say too, that I don't learn best self-studying?  And haven't VMWare figured anything from Microsoft, Cisco's approach?  Have they not figured that one of the reasons organizations stick with Microsoft and Cisco is because it's easy to get support?   That having a good, accessible certification program that's not treated as just another cash cow is in fact, actually an insurance for tomorrow? 

Like this tomorrow, for example, where Microsoft and Citrix offer virtualization products too.  Hyper-V is covered in the MCITP certification, there's a separate CCA for XenServer. 

And unlike VMWare, and the father-and son sack race at Mr Burn's house, attendance is not mandatory.

I wonder what virtualization solution I'll be implementing next?