Does anyone have any thoughts on the Voucher program, for COre Knowledge, announced today?
Quite a few people have been voicing their opposition to this idea, as it undermines the value of the most coveted IT certification, by allowing someone to actually buy-out from the part of the exam.
Marko Milivojevic - CCIE #18427 (earned not bought)
Message was edited by:
Cisco Learning Network Moderator
I have content from INE/IPE/CCIE360 and I don't think that spending money helps too much. In the end it comes down to rack time and just grinding through workbooks.
I did not attend any CCIE 360 workshops and do not plan to, even with this voucher program. I don't think this voucher program is going to move the needle much. People with cash to burn already buy multiple vendor's material in hopes that it will make things easier, and these same people will probably go for CCIE 360 PLUS other vendors material.
Does this seem like a very aggressive or desperate move by CCIE 360? Well, for me my personal answer is, yes.
Will it be the silver bullet to pass the exam? I don't think so.
I have to admit it feels dirty! Any ideas on leveling the playing field? What if they offered a program for other vendors to participate?
I understand the idea of squeezing on the non-360 vendors. It's business. Silly, but it's business.
What I do NOT like though, is that it is giving a big (insert picture of fist with extended middle finger here) to the people who are pursuing the CCIE completely on their own without ANY vendor workbooks. Whether these people choose, or can't afford to "buy in" to anyone's program is completely their decision.
But... business is business. At some point, it will dawn on folks this wasn't a good idea. If you look at the wording in their release, they have already poised themselves to pull out. Life will indeed go on regardless of my, or anyone else's, opinion about it.
Well put Scott.
if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck.. it is a duck.
I agree it was a sleazy low blow of a move. totally legal but just sleazy for people that did not use a CCIE360 vendor.
"sleazy for people that did not use a CCIE360 vendor"?
Yeah. But what is even more important, it's ultimately embarrassing for the CCIE certification. You can't be sure after April 1st that two candidates who are taking the same test on the same day are working under the same requirements. This compromises the integrity and credibility of the CCIE.
I hope the power that be use the "temporary" get out of jail card.
little bit of a punctuation issue (on my part).
I meant: it comes off as sleazy, for people that do not use ccie 360. I have INE, ccie360 and also some IPE material.
I don't really agree with your comment, tsiedu. There are some bright people that failed the Core Knowledge question but passed the TS and Config. I am sure those people felt unlucky and did not appreciate being collateral damage from the mitigating Core Knowledge Questions; put in place to eliminate acknowledged abnormalities from cheaters in certain countries.
If some engineer gets a pass/voucher on Core knowledge and still passes the exam, I seriously will not care. Four CCNP/ccie-lite level questions, that you can look up in real life, won't matter. The work that it takes to pass the TS and Configuration section is so much more of a benefit to any engineer that the Four Core knowledge questions are almost meaningless.
I won't spend $3000 just to get 30 minutes extra. I am good, with all my audio tapes, videos, books, and lab time.
Thank God I wasn't too far into investing time for the CCIE. That would have put salt in the wound if I had. I have decided that I don't even want to be a part of the CCIE program or certification. That's how I feel.
It's the principle of it. Whether the CK questions only make up a small part of the test, it really shouldn't matter. This section is still a part of the test. To have one group be exempt from taking it seems, well, unprofessional, unworthy, degrading to the CCIE cert. It just feels dirty, not honorable.
What they could have done was give a discount on the lab fee or a free reread or whatever. But to take a chunk from the lab itself is a big, unnecessary mistake. In doing so, they have put the 360 program above the CCIE program. Whoever had the final say on this was focused solely on increasing the market share of the 360 program and lost sight of what it could do to CCIE. I think Cisco overall is superb at marketing and strategy. I am sure they could come up with many ideas about how to increase demand for the 360 program without having to touch the actual lab portion.
People, this is the CCIE certification, the most respected IT cert. There should be no exemptions, no compromises.
I like the idea. The reason why is this. They added these questions to the exam to weed out people who used brain dumps and memorized what they need to do to complete labs to get enough points to pass. Since this is the only reason I have no problems letting people who took the time and yes money to prep for the exam through he 360 program. This part of the test appears to me to be more of a speed bump and more of an annoyance to have to answer. By having someone sign off that I took the 360 program and performed well in it as a way to be excluded from this speed bump is a good idea. By having someone skip this part of the exam by no means weakens it. I am seriously thinking about taking a CCIE 360 program but it is going to be tough to come up with the cash. I would have taken the course even if I still had to take the core knowledge part of the CCIE lab exam. Yes, i would be nervous if I answered it just right, even though I have a very good understanding of the material but saw things a bit different. We all know how Cisco writes questions and how we as humans sometimes read to much into them, and I am worried I would fail because of that. (Cisco has gotten better at being more straight forward with their questions.)
I am curious if some of you guys complaining know you still have to take the written qualification test (100 question test) and that they are talking about waiving the five (or is it 10) questions that you have to answer the day of the lab?
Now all I wish is that Cisco would lean on the vendors to lower their prices on the 360 program. (And still keep the guarantee that you pass or they pay for second attempt.)
Kris, the problem isn't with the waiver of that portion of the lab - personally I think the OEQs should be on the written exam to begin with. Keep the lab CLI focused.
However, the big problem I have, is that you are not making this action uniform. You are now making it possible for people to take a different form of the lab, yet get the same result if they pass - their Number. I personally think this is discriminatory and simply an aggressive marketing campaign by Cisco.
There are lots of people who cannot afford the Cisco 360 program or even the much more reasonable INE or IPExpert boot camps - why is it that those of us who cannot squeeze that kind of money out of the budget should be expected to have to take a more rigorous exam simply because we are deemed to have gone through a less structured preparation regimen?
I do not mind the Cisco 360 program paying for the re-take, that is certainly up to Cisco. Cisco employees get 3 free attempts to begin with. The point is - they are still taking the same lab as the rest of us. Uniformity is key with something as prestigious as the CCIE program - which can literally make someone's career.
Here's a better idea - move the OEQs to the written, and make the written optional if you take the Cisco360 program and get a write-off from the proctor. I could care less about that. The lab is where all the stakes are - and it should be anyone's game, and not weighted in anyone's favor, regardless of who they trained with.
You guys are kidding right!!!!
This is the worst thing that has happened to the program in the history of the program.
Last year - I got a little bird set of rumors - one of them was that the Cisco was going to put the squeeze on the non-Cisco instructors...And offer something those instructors could not compete against.
The Cisco 360 "Owned" Groupstudy promptly deleted my posts and about 18 months worth of posts just keep things on the down low...
Now... It looks like a well-planned and quite evil thought out plan to separate the dollars from the pockets of the students and CRUSH the competition all at the same time.
1. Cisco made the OEQ - Supposedly to root out the cheaters....
Except when I reported the CCIE v4.0 was busted, disgusted, and could not be trusted effective as early as December 2nd 2009... to Rick Smith sometime in January with proof-positive... of the incident... I was told by Rick Smith that the Cisco's Legal Team was working on it.
Meanwhile - things did not improve - people I know who went to the lab confirmed the demo lab was still in progress...
Worse - The dump forums where this stuff lives and breeds... Yep - Reporting taking the lab and even getting the same lab - oh yes and some did pass, not many but some did.
Some are the first-time passers too... Unbelievable...
My point: If Cisco wants to root out cheaters:
1. Change the OEQ more often - The same deck is quite famous and reportedly works as good for CCIE v4.0 as it did for CCIE v3.0... Hope that doesn't break hearts...
2. If you know the test has been compromised - Change the **** thing!!! Do you really only have 1? 2? or 3? Seriously... How many candidates spend $1400.00 a day times how many seats times how many centers times how many billable days per year...
Stop being cheap and buy a vowel.
2. Cisco expanded the OEQ to other tracks... Hint CCIE Voice and CCIE Security - Yep totally compromised and this was reported too...
Seriously guys - Step up the game or just get out of the certification business. Really I mean it - Don't step up if you can't keep up!!!
3. The Cisco 360 Drones Complained...
The Whiner himself said he recommended the program... Hah! It shows... Hey! Vegas, Booth Babes, and now this... Truly Classic!!!
Look - Don't take my word for it. CCIE Trainers have been proud since the beginning of Testimonials and CCIE Lists of people who passed using their product...
Now do a scavenger hunt and check out the Cisco 360 Companies...
YES!!! **** Stroke! How many actually have and CCIE RS CCIE's in the list... Ummm.... double check... now are there any since October 18, 2009? Really? Ok Narbik got one on Friday - but the guy thanked Ruhann for the OEQ... Checkmate!
WAIT!!! Not just since CCIE v4.0... but take it back to the inception of the Cisco 360... Netmasterclass is a great place to start... FYI - one or two of the last couple of passers had multiple (as many as at the very least one had no less than 5 attempts... and being TAC helped too).
4. What on earth makes people who don't have hardly any newly minted CCIE's... qualified OVER and ABOVE those who do have newly minted CCIE's (InternetworkExpert and IPexpert for example)...
Wait... You really need to go back and read that and yell it out loud: WTF!!!
How in the **** are their programs qualified to make people exempt... They are not passing any now... AT ALL....
5. Did anyone think this piece of manure out? Really? I mean it... Really....
6. Now like it or not this gives a competitive advantage to the Cisco 360... kinda like the FREE REPEAT did...
Till everything Cisco 360 including Mock Labs were exposed to the public... Yes people... they are on share sites everywhere - some fools even tweet them - I kid you not....
Yep - I gave the heads up to the Program Manager types that call me and/or e-mail...
Could not save the Titanic if I tried....
1. Keep the OEQ for everyone...
2. Remove the OEQ for everyone....
One Cisco Instructor has openly and publicly said he does not like or agree with the OEQ WAIVER Program. That instructor was Narbik Kocharians on Groupstudy.
He may actually get more students for his courage - go figure...
Now he was publicly challenged (literally a "double dog dare") by a guy named Redrose to put his money where his mouth was and put up or ******* kind of thing... and NOT offer the WAIVER to his students...
Knowing Narbik - He'll probably do just that too.
If and when he does... then even the Cisco 360 Program Instructors are would not be "BUYING THIS BS"!!!
Let me get this reposted in a few places - just in case ya'll try and delete it... which of course will give it more substance...
For the record:
I just got my training approved to attend a Cisco 360 Training Class - and I am mad about this double standard and won't take a class with the Cisco 360 as I'd prefer to earn my CCIE and not be exempted from anything anyone else has to face in the lab... ie. I'm not going to Pay the Cisco 360 for Points!!!
Every CCIE - Past, Present, and Future needs to tell Cisco what they can do with the CCIE Waiver Program!!!
It's probably an April ****'s Joke anyway!!!
It looks far and wide - like the dissenting vote is in the majority...
We are the customers and we can VETO the the CCIE WAIVER. You can take that to the bank.
You are correct in some ways, but I think missing a point or two along the way.
Yes, the OEQ's SHOULD just be a speed bump. IF you prepare well, then they should be easy points. Ok. point taken. However, that logic holds true whether we are talking about the Cisco360 or (insert favorite vendor here) or complete self preparation. So while I feel very good that MY students really don't have anything to worry about with them, that doesn't mean someone else should get preferred since we truly have no empirical data about whether they were more or less prepared than my students. (From a marketing perspective, I'd argue they were less prepared given the pass rate, but that's neither here nor there)
However, the bigger underlying issue is that you have a completely different preparation and testing process going on. Within the confines of the Cisco 360 program, there are points at which a person's knowledge is tested, and this is arguably the "equivalent" of the OEQs which they want to be waived from. However, the thought process and validation process is COMPLETELY different. A point IN a class where you just got through talking about something and you are asked a question does not test your true understanding or knowledge. It tests your short term recollection and regurgitation of information (with a much higher liklihood of "success"). Whereas entering the exam time with the "this could cover anything" approach tests your ACTUAL knowledge and long-term recollection capabilities. Mentally it's a whole different ballgame. Think of it like "quizzes" versus a "cumulative final exam" in college. Which was easier?
Yes, you still have to take a written exam. Multiple choice (or multiple guess if you don't know). It's statistically much easier to pass that exam than an OEQ test.
If all things were equal, I'd have no problems with something like this. However, this is not a well-thought-out program (IMHO) and not one that is statistically defensible.
Darby, Darby, Darby...
I always get a kick out of reading your posts!
A more interesting thing regarding Narbik's GS posts is that he had a COMPLETE reversal within the same day. He went from "accept it because there's NO alternative" to "I don't really like it".
Brad on the other hand, went from hyping it up to complete silence.
I'm not sure I buy your claims about the dump sites for the OEQs. IF it's true, then something broke in the process. Because that's not the way the OEQ is supposed to work. That's not the way it was working before (my last discussion with folks was November last year). So if something broke in December then it may be possible, but that's less a legal thing (e.g. good luck hunting them down) as it is a process thing.
There are many (30'ish) Cisco360 instructors. Narbik is merely one of them. The rest are (unfortunately, but likely smart) remarkably silent about this issue. But it's a political/marketing one, not a technical one, so I can't say I blame them.
The market will make up its mind whether this is a good idea or not. This program/modification, however, does not do anything to the success or failure of the CCIE program itself. So many of the things you bring up aren't really related to the voucher program at all. Good to know you're helping Rick and company to maintain the integrity of thing though!!!