Bragging Rights

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Why do people come to online discussion boards that have a professional focus? Well, some of them show up to talk about their industry, while others share their work experiences, and still others offer advice to inexperienced individuals who have questions about the field. And then there are those who come to blow their own horn about their accomplishments. Don’t misunderstand — we’re not out to put them down. After all, when people do something good, isn’t it natural that they’d want to shout about it to high heaven?

We found a recent example of this from new CertMag.com member rangoli, who offered the following thoughts in a thread titled “w00t! 922/1000 on the first try!”

“Just passed CCNA. I used the Sybex fifth-edition book and briefly skimmed through the CiscoPress INTRO and ICND books and used certmagic.com guides, which were right on money. I only had one sim and about two or three NAT questions. There was a surprising amount about switching on the exam. There were also a lot of diagram questions. Anyway, it was 53 questions, and took me about 40 minutes to finish.”

Got an achievement you’d like to share with your fellow techies? Get on down to www.certmag.com/forums and let all of us know about it.

Career Development
Security is a very popular area of IT, so we have a good number of readers who ask about how to get into it. Recently, CertMag.com member syedaijaz143 had just such a question: “Can anyone guide me on how a fresh IT graduate can make an entry into the information security and ethical hacking industry? What are the entry-level certifications required to enter the market, and what are the certifications we can go for after getting experience? Is it necessary for a person to be in the network security field to appear for its certification, or he can go for them even if he is a DBA?”

Those with advice for syedaijaz143 should go to Career Development community discussion board at www.certmag.com/forums to offer their thoughts.

CRM & E-Commerce
Because of its focus on clients, one of the most critical elements of customer relationship management (CRM) is support. And the absence of good support staff and solutions certainly can make for an unpleasant client-provider relationship. You want to see unhappy customers? Try not assisting them on the features, functions and potential problems with your products. This month’s CRM & E-Commerce community feature will further explore how to align support to your overall CRM strategy. To find out more, visit www.certmag.com/crm.

Help Desk and Support
Most professionals in IT who start out at the help desk don’t intend to stay there throughout their careers. But where do they go from those support positions? The feature for the Help Desk and Support community this month will take a look at how professionals in this area can move on to bigger and better things. Check it out at www. certmag.com/helpdesk.

Program Management
Certification candidates often play a key role in the development of a credential. Because many of them have spent years in their respective fields, certification programs often tap them to participate in exam-question writing or job-task analyses. Additionally, some of these individuals serve as beta testers, who ensure not only that exam content is relevant but also psychometrically correct. Finally, candidates provide feedback after the final version of the test has come out that might lead to tweaks later on. The article for the Program Management community this month will examine how program managers can use participants’ opinions and ideas to build a better exam. Have a look at www.certmag.com/programmanagement.

Project Management
In the Project Management community forum, member tbott1 had the following question about getting into the field: “As Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) and CompTIA Project+ certified, I am seeking my first job as a project manager. Although in practice my responsibilities in the past have included some portion of project management responsibilities along with programming, my job title has always been indicative of the latter. How does one go about acquiring their first ‘PM’ job having always been labeled a ‘developer?’”

Shortly after asking the question, though, tbott1 had a very enthusiastic follow-up post: “Never mind! I did it! Just as an FYI, I created a ‘projectized’ version of my resume that highlighted my involvement on the various projects I have worked on. During interviews, I ‘projectized’ my responses to questions, as well. I am looking forward to my new gig as a PM!”

In another thread in that community, CertMag.com member 911 Project Mgr gave some advice to Weezulguy, who had asked earlier about whether to pursue the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential or CompTIA’s Project+: “Project+ used to be IT Project+ and was geared toward IT project managers. From what I understand today, it is more generic and is considered an entry-level certification, as it requires no project experience. PMP is the premier project management certification, but it is generic, applicable across multiple industries and requires, I believe, 4,500 hours of documented project experience. CAPM was created to give people in project management an entry path to PMP — it is a starting point. It is also generic and can apply to any industry.

“Either would be a good choice, but if PMP is your ultimate goal, then start with CAPM. If you plan on staying in IT and want a project cert to supplement a specialty such as software development, then Project+ is probably fine. Hope this helps! Best of luck!”

Any additional thoughts? Share them at www.certmag.com/ forums.

Security
In this month’s security feature, we’ll be discussing the most significant virtual information heists that have taken place so far. What are the worst instances of theft of sensitive data? More importantly, what mistakes allowed them to occur? Find out all about them at www.certmag.com/security.

Systems & Networks
The Systems & Networks community forum has a thread that goes into the differences between the Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) and the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Member fakeluca asks, “I’ve heard about these two. I need to know the differences between them. And if I have to choose, which one should be the best?” CertMag.com member Snow_death responded, “One is for Networking, one is for servers,” to which fakeluca replied, “If I may ask your opinion, which one has more value nowadays? MCSE or CCNP?”

Members such as fakeluca who want to find out about what the CCNP, MCSE and a host of other certifications are worth in terms of compensation should check out the Salary Survey in this month’s issue of Certification Magazine.

Wireless
In the Wireless forum, CertMag.com member Dr. Post has some introductory questions regarding a Planet3 wireless credential: “Is anyone familiar with the Planet3 CWNA certification? I work in the IT department of a large distribution center, and it seems like having a good understanding of wireless and RFID is becoming very important. Any thoughts?”

As usual, CertMag forum stalwart Wagnerk came to the rescue with some thoughts: “I’m a little familiar with the course of CWNA (not the exam, as I’ve only got the course and haven’t done the exam). This cert/qualification won’t make you a superman in the wireless field — but oh, boy — it does cover a lot. It covers everything from Wireless LANs to security to the site survey (or at least the fundamentals of one).

“As for my thoughts, I can only give my point of view. I would say that the more technology moves forward, the more the IT department needs to know. In the upcoming year, my company will be going wireless for the whole site. As I’ll be projec

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