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April 4, 2003--In this issue:
- Certifications: Here to Stay
2. NEWS & VIEWS
- Sybase Updates Replication Server Exam
- Free DB2 Certification Testing
- Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!
4. WHAT'S NEW FROM CERTTUTOR.NET LIVE!
- Featured Threads:
- Integrated Service Pack
- Find Installed Application Version Fast
- Windows Server 2003 Assessment Tool
- Hot Threads:
- Exchange 2003 in TechNet!
- Computers Rebooting Unexpectedly
- Well This Is Disappointing
- Tip of the Week: Keep Checking for Updates
- Question of the Week: Exam 70-217
6. INSTANT POLL
- Results of the Previous Poll: Wireless Internet
- New Poll: Active Directory
7. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Understand ISA Server Configurations
8. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Orin Thomas, [email protected])
* CERTIFICATIONS: HERE TO STAY
Since the burst of the dot-com bubble, many commentators have offered to write the eulogy for technology certifications. The industry press reports regularly that training centers are going out of business and that the number of professionals renewing their credentials is dropping. But to assume that technology certifications are finished is more than a bit premature. Certainly, certification programs have endured some tough times recently, but they're still fundamentally valuable and worth your time.
If you doubt this assertion, consider that vendors are increasing and updating the number of certifications they offer. Each week, this newsletter announces additions and changes to various certification programs. The administration of a certification program is a significant undertaking. An organization must set standards, establish curricula, and write and evaluate exams. Poorly administered certification programs reflect badly on the vendors, and as a result, weak programs don't last long. If certification were truly on the down and out, vendors wouldn't bother maintaining their programs. And you certainly wouldn't continue to see new titles emerge.
Consider also the lengths to which vendors go to try to make their certifications truly representative of the candidates' knowledge and practical skill. For each time you read in the news that employers don't value certification as highly as they once did, you'll see another story saying that a particular vendor is considering ways to make its certification more challenging. All certification programs aim to certify only those individuals who have a good practical and theoretical knowledge of a product. Vendors want to be able to portray individuals who hold their certifications as the best of the best, and they realize that this can't happen if their qualifications require little effort.
Some cynics argue that the entire point of a certification program is to provide an extra revenue stream for the vendor. This assertion is simply false. The costs involved in developing and maintaining a successful program are significant. Most certification programs have just a few thousand certified individuals. The vendors might realize a Return on Investment (ROI) but certainly not the river of money that vocal critics claim runs into the coffers of the larger vendors.
You have many good reasons to pursue certifications. Jason Couchman, author of the Oracle9i exam guides, summed it up well when he talked about his own introduction to certification. When he started preparing for his first exams, he had many years of working experience with Oracle database products. However, he says he began to understand just how much he didn't know about the products only when he started the certification process.
Prior experience in the field is often the best determining factor of whether a job candidate is suited for a position, but for hiring managers, assessing what that experience actually means and how much knowledge a candidate has can be difficult. A resume might state that a candidate has 3 years of experience with Windows 2000 Server, but he or she might have spent 3 years setting up printer shares and creating user accounts without learning anything about Active Directory (AD) or Microsoft IIS.
Windows servers and the networks that support them are highly complex. Unless you have specific reasons to explore areas of the OS you wouldn't typically need, you're unlikely to undertake such exploration. Certification provides the incentive while also giving you a broad overview of the product's capabilities. The vendor benefits because you're more likely to realize that a particular function of the product can solve a new problem, whereas your uncertified colleagues might be inclined to look to other products.
Certifications don't guarantee jobs, as perhaps they did half a decade ago, but they continue to provide an indication to hiring managers that you have a depth of knowledge that goes beyond what you might learn on the job. As a result, certification programs aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Certification benefits the vendor, it benefits the employer, and it benefits you.
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* SYBASE UPDATES REPLICATION SERVER EXAM
Sybase has updated its Replication Server Administrator exam, which corresponds with the latest version of Replication Server. You can take the exam through Prometric for $150. For more information about the exam, visit the Sybase Web site.
* FREE DB2 CERTIFICATION TESTING
Attendees of the International DB2 Users Group (IDUG) conference in May can take several DB2 certification exams for free. For more information about this opportunity, see the IDUG Web site.
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
* GET THE EBOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU GET CERTIFIED!
The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today!
CertTutor.net Live! is the Internet's number-one training and certification discussion board. Each week, CertTutor.net Live! receives thousands of posts about Windows XP, Windows 2000, Cisco Systems, and more. We've selected three of these posts to feature here in CertTutor.net UPDATE. To join in the conversation at CertTutor.net Live!, register at the following URL:
* INTEGRATED SERVICE PACK
Do you ever get tired of applying patch after patch when you configure a new PC? One solution is to load the patches as part of the OS installation. See this thread for links to resources you can use to slipstream a service pack or set up CD-ROMs to install any of multiple versions of Windows.
* FIND INSTALLED APPLICATION VERSION FAST
In this thread, Gasp100 explains that he needs to determine how many workstations in his organization are using unmanaged software. The discussion that ensues is full of useful batch techniques that can help you deal with unmanaged software during logon or logoff.
* WINDOWS SERVER 2003 ASSESSMENT TOOL
Ian McLean points out a new Microsoft tool that will help you determine how prepared you are for the new exams.
* EXCHANGE 2003 IN TECHNET!
* COMPUTERS REBOOTING UNEXPECTEDLY
* WELL THIS IS DISAPPOINTING
* TIP OF THE WEEK: KEEP CHECKING FOR UPDATES
You're probably comfortable with the network tools you use every day. However, as with everything in IT, these tools are always evolving and changing. New tools usually attract a lot of attention, but the updates are often what provide important functionality that the original lacked. Take a few minutes each month to verify that your tools are up-to-date.
* QUESTION OF THE WEEK: EXAM 70-217
This week's question will help you prepare for Exam 70-217: Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure.
You've written down the following statements about nesting groups in a domain:
- Statement 1: In a mixed-mode domain, you can nest local groups in global groups.
- Statement 2: In a mixed-mode domain, you can nest global groups in local groups.
- Statement 3: In a native-mode domain, you can nest local groups in global groups.
- Statement 4: In a native-mode domain, you can nest global groups in local groups
- Statement 5: In a mixed-mode domain, you can nest universal groups in local groups.
- Statement 6: In a native-mode domain, you can nest universal groups in local groups.
How many of the statements are correct?
A. No statements are correct.
B. One statement is correct.
C. Two statements are correct.
D. Three statements are correct.
E. Four statements are correct.
F. Five statements are correct.
G. Six statements are correct.
The correct answer is E--Four statements are correct. You can't nest domain local groups in global groups. Universal Distribution Groups (UDGs) can exist within mixed-mode domains. You can nest distribution groups. Statements 2, 4, 5, and 6 are true; statements 1 and 3 are false.
* RESULTS OF THE PREVIOUS POLL: WIRELESS INTERNET
The voting has closed in the CertTutor.net nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Have you set up a wireless Internet connection at home?" Here are the results from the 96 votes:
- 43%: Yes
- 42%: No
- 16%: No, but I plan to
(Deviations from 100 percent are due to rounding error.)
* NEW POLL: ACTIVE DIRECTORY The next Instant Poll question is, "How much do you know about Active Directory?" Go to the CertTutor.net home page and submit your vote for a) I'm an expert, b) I know a lot about it, c) I know enough to get by, d) I know nothing about it. http://www.certtutor.net
* UNDERSTAND ISA SERVER CONFIGURATIONS Syngress Publishing announced "Dr. Tom Shinder's ISA Server and Beyond," a book by Thomas W. Shinder and Debra Littlejohn Shinder that can help you understand the most under-documented Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server configurations, including demilitarized zone (DMZ) topologies, Web and server publishing, Microsoft Exchange Server services, and Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA). You can learn how to integrate ISA Server with other Windows security features, such as the Security Configuration Toolset, the Encrypting File System (EFS), IP Security (IPSec), and IIS security. The book includes a TranscenderCert exam simulation for Exam 70-227: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, Enterprise Edition. The 847-page book is available for $59.95. Contact Syngress Publishing at [email protected] http://www.syngress.com
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