Tags: linux+, LPI, LPIC
This post is a followup to our last update on the revamped CompTIA Linux+ certification path.
As many of you may know, CompTIA’s newest version of the Linux+ certification was produced through a partnership with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), a leading provider of Linux certifications. The CompTIA version of the certification has transitioned to a two-test structure (LX0-101 and LX0-102) similar to the A+ certification, but now with one added benefit: the possibility of achieving TWO certifications, one from each vendor.
Here is what I found on the CompTIA Web site regarding this possibility:
A new benefit for CompTIA Linux+ candidates is that they may choose, at the time they take the exams, to have their exam record forwarded to the Linux Professional Institute. Certification in CompTIA Linux+, Powered by LPI, enables candidates to become certified in LPIC-1 as well, enabling further participation in the LPI program if the candidate chooses.
By choosing the “Yes” option on the opening screen of your exam, your passing score will grant you both the CompTIA “Linux+ Powered by LPI” certification AND the LPIC-1 certification. Passing both of CompTIA’s Linux+ exams will also qualify candidates for participation in the LPIC level 2 program. Details for this process are coming soon.
So to take advantage of this 2-for-1 deal, make sure to choose the “Yes” option on the opening screen of the CompTIA exam to have your results forwarded to LPI. Otherwise, you will only receive the Linux+ designation, and we hate to see a great deal go to waste! I don’t know about you, but I personally love collecting those little certification designations after my name. Grabbing the opportunity to add the LPIC-1 designation that easily is a no-brainer.
Tags: what we're working on
If you haven’t visited our web site lately, you’re in for a treat! And if you’re a regular, no need to adjust the display settings on your computer screen. The Transcender web site has gotten a fresh new look & feel, and some great new functionalities.
We have been hard at work over the past several months refining our site per your suggestions. We’ve improved the shopping experience to provide a faster and smoother checkout. Before you spend money, however, we want you to find the right product to meet your needs.To that end, we’ve added an important new feature: the Certification Exam Advisors.
If you don’t quite know how your job role (or the role you hope to be in) translates in the certification exam world, then you can use the Exam Advisor on each vendor page to guide you through the appropriate exam path.
To access an Exam Advisor, click the vendor name from the top menu bar. For example, here is the Cisco Track Advisor:
Clicking “Assoc. Level Route & Switched Networks Professional” pops up a graphic of the associated options. Option 1 is a single-exam track, the CCNA certification and exam 640-802. Option 2 leads to more choices:
Clicking Option 2 pulls up the ICND exams 1 and 2 (640-816 and 640-822). Taking the 640-822 earns the CCENT, and taking both earns the CCNA.
We also understand that you may not be ready to spend your hard earned money EVERY time you visit our web site. For those of us that like to window shop before we buy, there’s plenty to keep us busy on the new home page. We’ve changed our Question of the Day feature from an e-mail based subscription to a link on the home page, for everyone to enjoy. (Try testing your knowledge on a completely unfamiliar product. It’s fun.) You’ll also find updated IT industry headlines and a hard-to-miss link to our latest blog post.
Too busy to visit our site every day? No problem! Each of these categories has a one-click RSS feed feature so you can still enjoy news & updates from the comfort of your desktop or any garden-variety RSS reader. (And not to be outdone by our own web site, the Transcender Team Weblog will also get a shiny new look in a few days, so be sure to come back & visit to check out our new ‘do!)
Check out our makeover & let us know what you think. As always, your questions & comments are welcomed and encouraged.
Tags: .NET 3.5, .NET 4.0, 70-502, 70-503, 70-505, 70-561, 70-562, 70-563, 70-564, 70-565, 71-511, 71-513, 71-515, 71-516, 71-518, 71-519, ASP.NET MVC 2, Beta Exams, Entity Framework, jQuery, JSON, LINQ, Visual Studio 2010
April was a tumultuous month, thanks to Microsoft’s release of .NET 4.0 Beta Exams. That’s right, Microsoft rolled out all six .NET 4.0/Visual Studio 2010 exams in one month. What that meant to me, your intrepid content developer, was two exams per week and reams of notes, whitepapers, and documentation.
Without violating the NDA, here are my first impressions of the new exams:
- 71-511 (TS: Windows Applications Development with .NET Framework 4): Sorry, Windows Forms developers, but there’s not a whole lot for you here. You had better bone up on WPF and focus on binding syntax. This exam is a lot more like the .NET 4.0 version of the 70-502 (TS: 3.5, Windows Presentation Foundation Application Development), rather than the 70-505 (TS: 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development).
- 71-513 (TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4): If you have taken the 70-503 (TS: 3.5, Windows Communication Foundation), then you have seen most of this exam before. The main additions are coverage of jQuery and JSON serialization support topics.
- 71-515 (TS: Web Applications Development with .NET Framework 4): A warning for old-school Web developers — this is not your father’s ASP anymore, so forget what you learned from the 70-562 (TS: 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development). The 4.0 exam focuses heavily on ASP.NET MVC 2, JSON, LINQ, and jQuery. You might find some comfort in configuration settings and debugging options, but many of these aspects have changed in the .NET 4.0 as well, so you’ll need to review the changes thoroughly.
- 71-516 (TS: Accessing Data with .NET Framework 4): Whereas Synchronization Services was found in the 70-561 (TS: 3.5, ADO.NET Application Development), this beta exam gives thorough coverage to the Entity Framework. Also, expect lots of LINQ.
- 71-518 (Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using .NET Framework 4): We don’t have an enterprise application exam anymore, so what to do? Why not create a mashup of the 70-563 (Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using the .NET Framework 3.5) and 70-565 (Pro: Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications Using the .NET Framework 3.5) and call it a new exam? There weren’t any surprises with this one.
- 71-519 (Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using .NET Framework 4): The return of the case study? Really? I don’t know if this is an experiment that will make it past the beta version, but just in case, be prepared to see some new question types when this exam goes live. The content, however, is really just an updated version of the 70-564 (Pro: Designing and Developing ASP.NET Applications Using the .NET Framework 3.5).
So with the 4.0 track there are fewer exams, but more questions and content. Overall, I find myself missing the basic mechanics tested in the good old 70-536 (TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation), but Microsoft is definitely highlighting the new features of .NET 4.0 in these exams.
Phew … now onto practice test development!
(For earlier coverage of the .NET 4.0 exams see my post at The Times: They Are A’Changing for .NET Certification — keeping in mind that some of the info has changed in the interim.)
Tags: PK0-003, Project+
The newest version of CompTIA’s Project+ certification has been released as test number PK0-003. The old version of Project+, PK0-002, will be retired on March 31, 2011.
As per the CompTIA Project+ Web site, CompTIA Project+ is ”an international, vendor-neutral certification that covers the entire project life cycle from initiation and planning through execution, acceptance, support and closure. CompTIA Project+ gives project managers the skills necessary to complete projects on time and within budget, and creates a common project management language among project team members. CompTIA Project+ certification of project managers and team members can help to create a project management culture in large and small organizations.”
Here is the objective breakdown and weighting for PK0-003:
Pre-Project Setup/Initiating – 12%
Project Planning – 29%
Project Execution and Delivery – 23%
Change, Control and Communication – 27%
Project Closure – 9%
To obtain the full Project+ Exam Guide from CompTIA, go to http://www.comptia.org/certifications/testprep/examobjectives.aspx. You will need to input some personal information to download the Exam Guide. Note that you can download objectives for any CompTIA exams that interest you at the same time using this form.
CompTIA candidates can take their tests at Pearson VUE and Prometric testing centers worldwide. While CompTIA has made no official announcement on this issue yet, there is a great possibility that the new exam will be released internationally in phases as the exam is translated into other languages.
While there are many books available to prepare you for PK0-002, there are currently no books released for the PK0-003 exam. This makes it a bit challenging for us overachievers to get a head start on studying the new objectives, but I expect CompTIA’s Training Materials link to be updated any day now with new references!
Although it’s not specific to this test, a great subject reference is A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) 4th Edition. I did a series of blog posts on the changes from the 3rd Edition to the 4th Edition that should help you get started (the first one starts here: http://transcender.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/obtaining-your-pmp-certification-a-pmp-4th-edition-study-plan-part-i/).
For those considering pursuing other project management certification in the future, the Project+ is a great start in your mastery! I would suggest achieving Project+ certification as a precursor to attempting the CAPM or PMP certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Tags: what we're working on
The first order of business this month is to call up the month of April and find out where the time went! The days flew by, but we managed to get plenty accomplished. Now we’re geared up to make the most of May.
We’ve already seen the release of 70-565C# and VB. With six new .NET 4.0 beta tests under his belt, Josh is just now coming up for breath. We thought about placing bets on how many exams Josh may have passed with the limited time & resources available for him to study during the beta period, but realized that might tip him over the edge, so we stayed out of his way instead. The last of the .NET 3.5 Upgrade practice test products is now available, so check out Cert-70-569 in VB and C# so you can catch up on your Developer certifications before the new exams roll out this summer!
Robin is making some final revisions to her Project+ product so we can have a PK0-003 offering on the shelves by the end of the month. Troy will begin work on the first of our new CCNP practice test products in a couple of weeks. I can’t quite gauge his level of excitement over this new track. I think he’s caught somewhere between the anxiety of fulfilling our customers’ need for study materials and the responsibility of making sure everyone that uses our product passes their exam. As usual, though, I expect he’ll knock it outta the park.
George will start development of the Windows 7 Upgrade practice test, 70-682, this month. As has been reported on various blogs and forums, there are no Microsoft Press books or E-Learning training courses specific to the 70-682 available. You can, however, get a jump start on studying with reference materials and courseware for the 70-680 and 70-685, as the 70-682 Upgrade exam is a combination of the Configuring and EDS Technician exams. Find great links to materials directly from Microsoft.
Now that you’re updated on what’s going on around here, be sure to let us know what’s going on with your certification prep! We love to get your questions & comments, and will do what we can to reply and/or point you in the right direction.
Tags: CompTIA, linux+, LPI
Late Thursday, April 29th, CompTIA announced the release of the new Linux+ certification. In the weeks preceding this announcement, CompTIA had announced their partnership with Linux Professional Institute (LPI). Like you, we at Transcender had a moment of panic followed by a lot of questions. But, just like you, we waited until the dust settled to understand what this change brings to the future of Linux+ certification. And our patience paid off, because our friends at CompTIA have offered the latest & greatest information to help us navigate the change.
Some background – In 2009, CompTIA announced that they would be upgrading the Linux+ certification and released a beta test (XK1-003), which I took (along with many of you). Around that same time, CompTIA released betas for revisions of their Project+ and Server+ exams. While we saw the new Server+ and Project+ exams release, we started to wonder if our beta results for Linux+ got lost in the mail.
Finally, last week, we got some answers. The Linux+ certification is totally revamped! The new Linux+ follows the Linux certification format used by LPI. Instead of taking a single exam, the new Linux+ certification requires that candidates take two 60-item exams, numbered LX0-101 and LX0-102. The good news? When I compared the Exam Guide for the two new CompTIA exams to the Exam Guide for the existing LPIC-1 exams, I discovered that they are identical. So while the new Linux+ exams may not map to the previously released Exam Guide for XK0-003, the LPIC-1 page offers some great insight into the new exam format. The bonus? Drum roll please…if you pass these two exams, LPI recognizes your certification! In fact, if you choose to “opt in” when you take the new Linux+ Powered by LPI exams, you can have your certification information forwarded to LPI, and you will receive an LPIC-1 certificate in addition to your CompTIA certificate. It’s a classic 2-for-1 deal, and we love a deal! And yes, if you hold other certifications from CompTIA, your Linux+ results will be included in the CompTIA database for consolidated access to your certification information.
So for those serious about Linux certification, this is a great opportunity to get Linux certified.
As for reference materials and courseware, we’ll begin practice test development just as soon as we’re comfortable with the two-exam structure and content. But if you, like me and my colleagues here at Transcender, are an early adopter, there are several titles available for the LPI versions of these exams. The current Sybex LPIC-1 reference is a good start. This title is expected to be edited soon to reflect the new exam structure. We also expect to see a Sybex release of Linux+ Powered by LPI soon, so keep an eye out for that on the shelves.
Finally, what happens if you passed XK0-003 in beta? The transcript of your certification history from the CompTIA database will in fact state that you are Linux+ certified, and the date on which you took the exam. Same goes for those of you who have passed or plan to pass the XK0-002 exam before the October 31, 2010 expiration date (that is, the old exam expires in October, not your certification).
Hope you’re finding certification success with our products! Now I am off to start that Linux+ practice test blueprint.
If you want to chat about this or other certification news, I’ll be at TechEd in June. Stop by our booth to meet me! I am not nearly as scary as the rest of the Product Development team would have you believe.
Tags: braindumps, exam integrity, ITCC, NDA
(Editor’s note: John Shapiro, Vice President of Sales, is today’s team blogger.)
I believe it was an old American Express commercial that used the tagline “Membership has its privileges.” While that can certainly be the case, more importantly, membership also has its responsibilities.
Transcender is a subsidiary of Kaplan IT Learning. A couple of years ago, Kaplan IT became one of the charter members of the Information Technology Certification Council (http://www.itcertcouncil.org/). This organization’s mission is to enhance the value of IT certifications. Transcender supports this mission wholeheartedly and enthusiastically (yeah!). At the heart of that statement is a collective desire by stakeholders in the IT certification business to make sure that we meet three vital goals:
- maintain the integrity of tests (i.e. reduce cheating)
- promote the value of individuals who have work/studied/sweated hard to achieve their certification
- help companies that hire IT professional understand that certified candidates are on the ball, understand the technology, and can be of great value to the company.
How do we do this at Transcender? We work to provide technically accurate test prep material that covers the published objectives without ever disclosing live questions. We support industry groups who promote certifications to employers, and support efforts to develop new certification methods (like performance-based testing) that better reflect a candidate’s real-world skills and work experience. And we strive to educate consumers (not just our customers, but all test takers) about the consequences of unethical test behavior.
Now, let’s talk about NDAs. All vendors have them in one form or another, and we’ve touched on this topic before. And, although we’ve had this particular post in the works for a while, there have been a recent flurry of reports across the industry that make it even more timely.
- Gerry at Microsoft’s Born to Learn tackled the subject last week here, with an open call for candidates to uphold NDAs, and provided some explicit examples of what is or isn’t acceptable data to share about your exam. If you think they can’t possibly detect who’s cheating, think again; Micsrosoft broadcast a live meeting on April 21, “Exam Forensics and What Microsoft Is Doing to Catch the Cheaters.” You can download an archived copy at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/start/start-career-it-manager.aspx#livemeeting/
- Paul Sorensen described how an individual caught cheating at an Oracle test center was stripped of all certifications and banned for life.
- Here’s a somewhat older but comprehensive take on the issue from Citrix bloggers, here (http://community.citrix.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=106463262) and here (Cheaters Beware).
If you haven’t encountered the industry term “braindump” before, it refers to pirated live exam content sold online. Of course, people who buy braindumps think they’re paying for the correct answers as well, but there’s no guarantee the person who pirated the information even knows the technology; we’ve seen ludicrously incorrect examples come across our desks. (See our Top 5 Reasons To Avoid Braindumps.)
While buying a braindump is a blatantly obvious way to participate in NDA violations, there are others. Braindumps can also be forums where people post about specific questions they encountered on a test. This behavior might seem innocuous (or at least to fall into a gray area), but it’s very specifically prohibited by all NDAs (see the Citrix Candidate Conduct Policy for more examples of prohibited actions, and see Robin’s NDA post for links to other vendor NDAs).
There are some very real consequences to using braindumps and otherwise working against the integrity of the testing experience that can permanently affect your career – and the careers of others who depend on the value that certification adds to their job. Please, before you throw money (and possibly your reputation) down the drain, educate yourself about non-disclosure, braindumps, and safe exam study. If you’re not sure what does or does not constitute an NDA violation, you can always ask! Vendors are more than happy to answer specific questions on the issue.
Until next time,