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Certification Watch (Vol. 19, No. 35)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, ace Microsoft psychometrician Liberty Munson weighs in on exam prep, Oracle reveals the results of a recent digital badging survey, and more.

Microsoft Psychometrician Reveals Secrets of Exam Prep

 

Test button certification keyboard conceptLast week in this space, we directed your attention to a brand new course offering on successful certification exam tactics from Microsoft Virtual Academy. This week, in one of those Wizard of Oz reveal moments, respected Microsoft psychometrician Liberty Munson discusses some of behind-the-scenes information that Microsoft Learning provided to course developers Tim Warner and Christopher Chapman. Munson crams a lot of valuable and intriguing information into a rather compact blog post, but one observation in particular pops through. In Munson's words, "Our exams are difficult by design. It shouldn't be easy to pass an exam or earn a Microsoft Certification. Having one of our certifications should be a badge of honor, a distinction, an indication that you are, indeed, one of the best in your field. That's why training, reading a book, or taking a practice test, in and of themselves, are insufficient." Consider that a word of warning to anyone with a Microsoft certification in her or his future.

 

Certiport Salutes Irish IT Pro for Contribution to Certification

 

What does it take to be recognized for building up the cause of IT certification around the world? Certiport, a Utah-based subsidiary of IT testing titan Pearson VUE, thinks you should ask Kevin Marshall, director of education for Microsoft Ireland. Certiport honored Marshall's ongoing contribution to IT certification on this week at its Global Partner Summit in Orland, Fla, where Marshall was named recipient of Certiport's Excellence in Advancing Certification Award. According to a Certiport press release announcing the award, Marshall has been leading the charge for Microsoft certification in Ireland for more than a decade. During that time Ireland has risen to become one of the top countries in the world for per capita Microsoft certification. If you support IT certification and live in Ireland, or anywhere else that Irish beer is sold, then raise a glass of Guinness to Marshall's accomplishment. (If you drink Irish beer, that is. You could also raise an ice-cold Diet Coke, or a tepid breakfast martini, or whatever you drink to celebrate things.)

 

ISACA Adds Cybersecurity Competition to Upcoming Slate of CSX Conferences

 

In this brave new world of "mathletes" and spelling bee champions, anything can be a sport. Even, it would seem, the fine art of disrupting IT operations more colloquially known as "hacking." Security and governance association ISACA has been feverishly touting its CSX platform of cybersecurity tricks, tools and certifications over the past couple of years, and now CSX is being turned into a (virtual) contact sport. At the end of last week, ISACA announced that the CSX Cyber Challenge will be a prominent feature of three upcoming CSX conferences. CSX North America (to be held Oct. 17-19 in Las Vegas, Nev.), CSX Europe (Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in London) and CSX Asia (Nov. 14-16 in Singapore) will all feature the competition, which pits participants against a variety of thorny cybersecurity problems. The winners will do battle against Russian hackers attempting to interfere with the U.S. presidential election — OK, probably not, but that would be pretty cool.