Another reason A+ and MCSE cert's mean squat!

Subversal

Senior member
Aug 22, 2000
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Well I am building two servers for a friend's business and got all the parts for them on Tuesday. I couldn't make it in until Thursday and let his son (A+ and MCSE certified) do some of the installtion until I got there. Well he goes ahead and gets the motherboard (K7T pro2-A's) installed in both systems and install the cpus+HS/F's as well. He calls me up on Wednesday and says that the powersupply for both systems won't start, thus no power to the mainboard nor cpu. So I think, "Ah crap gonna have to sent these cases back... blah blah" (YEs I thought about blah blah :) ) Anyway I go in on Thursday with a couple of my own powersupplies and assess the situation. I plug them and they don't work either... and I know these PS's work. So I check the power cables... nada again. Then I look at the mainboard and notice that it's installed without any standoffs... both freakin mainboards are installed directly to the case! Now I am thinking "Shit, now these mainboards may have shorted out!... blah blah". Well I screw in the standoffs and proceed with the rest. Well the mainboards didn't short out and are working flawlessly... lucky lucky. Oh yeah also he installed the freakin heatsinks with the plastic covering the thermal pads onto the CPU! So now I finally realized why A+ and any other cert doesn't mean squat!

---BTW I am A+ and Net+ and almost MCSE (3 more tests) certified so blah blah!
 

Tweakin

Platinum Member
Feb 7, 2000
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I wouldn't let this situation degrage the status of the A+ or MCSE certification, but this is one of the reasons that "paper" certs have caused this status to be tainted. I do have to admit that the guy must be a twit...but I'm also glad to hear that no damage was done.
 

Subversal

Senior member
Aug 22, 2000
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Heh. Well I don't know how he got them... but probably the way these two moron's in my class got theirs. They study, study, study for the tests and pass them... but when it comes down to hands-on work they don't know diddly. Just the other day we had to install Active Directory then make our machines PDC's configure them accordingly for a test... well they constantly were asking me how this, how that yet they both are one test away from their MCSE's, and one has his CCNA for crying out loud.
 

frail

Senior member
Sep 27, 2000
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Now I feel dumb...

What's a standoff?
I placed my motherboard right on the sliding motherboard tray of my case, and put the screws in. It's worked fine for months.
 

Spook

Platinum Member
Nov 29, 1999
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Umm.... How did he get the holes to line up without standoffs????


Standoffs, or those things that keep all the soldier connections for touching the frame of the case, thus shorting everhting out... They are metal things that stand up off the metal backing, and you screw the motherboard into... incedentally those standoffs also serve as Gounding for the motherboard....
 

AmdEmAll

Diamond Member
Aug 27, 2000
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lol! Frail. Standoffs separate the motherboard from the tray and are there so it doesnt short the motherboard out. They are also there to reinforce it when your putting the cpu and stuff in. I think they are there to ground it to.
 

damien6

Golden Member
Oct 11, 1999
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It's never about any certifications or the schools they attended, it's about what they learned/retained and the ability to use that knowledge.

What does MCSE certification has to do w/this persons' lack of knwledge in putting a PC system together properly? MCSE doesn't have jack to do w/anything relating to putting together Micky mouse toys for home use or PC hardwares in general. That's why there are those low paid PC techs in abundance. By your standard, I guess a nuclear physicist who don't know how to put a PC together properly make his /her degrees from MIT worthless because they don't know "squat".

Comptia in another hand don't make you "upgrade" your certifications in order to stay certified, so what that individual studied could get out dated if that person doesn't stay up to date w/current technology. Regardless, if this person screwed up by doing what he did, then his A+ certification is worth about the same as what some people wipe their @ss with in some part of the world. The fault lies solely w/ the individual not any certifications he may or may not hold.


BTW- "3 more tests" does not "almost" make anything, it's only half way there or even further if you went NT 4.0 track.

 

RayEarth

Senior member
Apr 15, 2000
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With so many people going to those vocational schools to get certs & having less than 3% with any computer background coming out certified isn't hard. A few fellow classmates with certs that I helped in class got jobs while studying for their certs, everyday they would come in with a computer question so easy that they got stumped on from why, If you're a good looking female with certs, you're set for life, if you're a male with certs & have a very very friendly personality, you got a job, doesn't matter how much they know. My certs got me a dead end job as a technician working in the back where it's cold as heck in the winter & hot as pepper in the summer. I'm just waiting for my mcse to expire, my a+ is a ever lasting waste, the things I learned in A+ is so outdated, the best way for learning is online & hands on experience with a cheap $400 computer that you can break & repair yourself.
 

AL77

Senior member
Apr 11, 2000
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I disagree, they do mean something, when you do the prerequisite studying and practice. If you have put the effort into these certifications they can not only help you find related employment, they can keep you employed. If you just barely scrape by the necessary A+ and MCSE tests, well, you get out what you put in. If you're a fraud, I believe eventually you will be found out. The same goes for any other field (think medicine, auto mechanics; have you trusted every doctor and auto mechanic you've ever met?). Many of these people hold various certificates and degrees but they're not qualified. Also, you can never discount experience. The person you speak of seems to have no experience in building computers but may be skilled in technical analysis. Either way, he definitely showed a lack of knowledge in assembling the systems.

Edit: damien6 has a good point, MCSE cert. doesn't really have anything to do with installing a motherboard and assembling a computer. So his MCSE-related knowledge might be quite credible, while his practical PC assembly skills might not.

Yes, it's all related to information technology, but here's something to think about: While I was in university taking Computer Science, I knew many people who were excellent analytical thinkers and programmers, and yet they didn't know how the different parts of a PC interacted with each other, or what a chipset was, etc. There is an excellent "build your own pc" guide at AMD's website. Notwithstanding A+ and MCSE certificates, a prospective novice system builder would do well to read such a guide.
 

jimmygates

Platinum Member
Sep 4, 2000
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A+ just means you have a basic knowledge of PC hardware and software. A+ and MCSE mean squat if you have no hands on training. I worked for computers a long time before getting my A+. Since it was a real basic test, it was a real breeze for me to pass. Before I took my MCSE, I talked with some managers of companies I wanted to work for. Alot of them told me that they had hired alot of MCSE people and they didn't know squat. These people just studied the book and learned how to pass the test and never even hooked up a RJ-45 before. I think the new MCSE 2K will add some hands on training to the test but I could be wrong..



-Jimbo
 

nEoTeChMaN

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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It is not the "A+" certification that made someone stupid. That person is just stupid..period!

I have 4 years experience in building server systems and getting my A+ does help a lot in getting you a job.

#1 Me with Computer Engineering Degree, A+ and 4 years experience.

#2 Someone with 4 years experience and no certifications.

Who do you think will get the job?
 

dszd0g

Golden Member
Jun 14, 2000
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It's not just certifications that mean jack.

I quit my job a few months ago to go back to school full time. 95% of the CS/CE/EE majors I've come across I would classify as computer illiterate.

At my last job we interviewed a CS graduate from Stanford and he couldn't tell us what a union in C was.

I really have found that certifications and education is just a foot in the door at most companies to get the interview. Any company I would want to work for knows they are meaningless and does a good technical interview to determine if the candidate is qualified.

I find interviews an oportunity for both the interviewer and the interviewee to find out if the other is incompetent.
 

Subversal

Senior member
Aug 22, 2000
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<< By your standard, I guess a nuclear physicist who don't know how to put a PC together properly make his /her degrees from MIT worthless because they don't know &quot;squat&quot;. >>



Okay I said he was also A+ certified... he should know how to f'n put a PC together! Also a nuclear physicist has nothing to do with computers (well maintaining them and such) so your arguement is baseless. The A+ and MCSE cert's do deal with PC hardware and software. I know MCSE has nothing to do with building a PC but A+ does. I would expect an ASE certified auto mechanic to install my f'n brakes correctly... why think any different just because we are talking about PC's and PC certification? Also he went to college for 4 years and has a BA in Network Engineering.




<< BTW- &quot;3 more tests&quot; does not &quot;almost&quot; make anything, it's only half way there or even further if you went NT 4.0 track. >>



What do you have against me? I have passed 4 tests (3 core 1 elective) and only need 3 more to attain MCSE certification. I should rephrase the title to:

&quot;Another reason A+ and MCSE cert's mean squat if you don't learn the material&quot;

Or something along those lines. I know they mean &quot;something&quot; but you bone up like he did it taints certs very much.


 

Subversal

Senior member
Aug 22, 2000
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Q]i just cant understand how he actually got the board mounted without the standoffs...LOL [/i] >>



Oh yeah. Well I shortened the story somewhat but here's how I noticed this. He told me he also had trouble lining up the keyboard and mouse ports on the mainboards to the case holes. He showed me how he couldn't get these two screws in and BINGO I noticed that there weren't any standoffs. It made me sick. Like to use my auto mechanice analogy again... just think if the mechanic didn't install a hose right for your brakes and you got in an accident?
 

Paladinexe

Senior member
Jul 18, 2000
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Passing tests and applying knowledge in practical applications are completely separate. I am a Master Certified auto technician. Many certified technicians are qualified for passing tests and should be banned from working on vehicles. There are a lot of the &quot;best mechanics&quot; who are not certified. Certifications are merely window dressing that indicate someone was interested in a particular subject. But, how can someone learn without an interest?
 

Subversal

Senior member
Aug 22, 2000
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Well its not just passing tests... I go to Drexel University and 5 people in my class of 11 have no clue what they are doing yet they've been going to school for almost 3 years. Not like they took a 6 month speed course and got their MCSE. I guess a BA is merely window dressing as well... yet if you don't have one you in say Education, you cannot become a Teacher. Cert's shouldn't be downgraded just because idiots can pass them. They need to be more strict in who can achieve certified status.
 

WileCoyote

Senior member
Aug 4, 2000
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im currently taking A+ class.
one person couldnt speak english so they dropped out.
one can barely speak english and keeps asking me for help.
2 people have never touched a computer before- they didnt know how to turn them on or put in a floppy disk. it was funny watching them trying to find standard buttons like the escape key or how to use the shift key + a number to get stuff like !@#$%
people are taking these classes in order to learn how to use computers, i wouldn't expect to much from it.
 

Seeko

Senior member
Mar 7, 2000
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Anyone can pass those exams by reading books and doing practice exams. Having those certs doesn't necessarily mean a person has hands-on PC assembly experience. The kid just proved that.
 

Subversal

Senior member
Aug 22, 2000
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Yeah I didn't mean to downplay certs... I am getting them too. But I wish they'd teach more so when you actually attain certified status you'll have the knowledge you were suppossed to learn. And apply it in the real world.
 

9lives

Member
Dec 30, 2000
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MCSE = Microsoft Certified System Engineer.

it got nothing to do with fixing a PC from scratch.

Just like A+ , it got nothing to do with NT or Windows 2000.

Or maybe a Degree in Computer Science student, you can't expect him to know HTML.

Even me, I am a MCSE but i don't know how to play with sound card and SB LIve D.E 5.1 .

For gamer, shall I get DTT 3500 or Midiland 8200 ??