Friday, January 06, 2006

Testy

For those few concerned, I did wind up passing my Microsoft test today. This puts me on the path towards renewing my now seven year old MCSE (which in itself cuts down on me having to take a test). I will need to take (and pass) at least four (though optimistically five) tests and since I’m feeling pretty ballsie, I've already scheduled the next one for two weeks from now.

It's hard to convey the inanity of these tests to anyone who hasn't taken one (I've taken MANY); and although I learned a lot studying for the exam, the test questions inevitably wind up being 'you versus the Microsoft wordsmiths'. Questions are paired down below their main essentials and the answers are equally vague and often relate to things no one would do in the real world. How about a quick example:
You are the caretaker for 4 dogs. All the dogs are lab mixes with black coats. It is winter and need to give the dogs water as quickly as possible, do you:
  1. Shovel snow into the dish and allow the built in heater to melt it

  2. Bring in snow and melt it on the stove

  3. Fill a pail up from the outside spigot
Now I can't relate a real question because A-it'd be incredibly boring and B-Microsoft promises to take away your livelihood if you so much as infer the actual content of the exam. However, you'll note the first two sentences contain unnecessary fluff while the pertinent pieces don't contain enough info. Where's it winter at? Is the outside spigot heated? Why are all the given choices bad?

It wouldn't cheese me so much if what I had put time into seven years ago was now completely worthless. Rare is the field that chews through knowledge like the tech industry. At least in other fields you can feel confident that skills you've learned will carry you forward in your career. Sure you'll have to stay up to date, but it's not like you get a job and five years down the road find out that everything you know is crap.

Oh well, that's why I make the big bucks ;-)

(If I had to guess, I'd say content creators have it worst. All I have to do is look at those poor souls to know that I have it easy)

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