The Morepheus Guide to Kill Dumps and Heal The Certification Industry

by Mirek Burnejko

MorpheusWhen I was starting my IT career I heard about IT certifications. “Man, there is something like CCNA. It’s a certification. If you have it, you can find a job in any country around the world, but it’s amazingly hard to achieve. You must understand everything about networks” – I heard from my friend.

10 years ago certifications had an amazing value. Companies were looking for skilled people and an IT certification was an indicator of true knowledge.

Morpheus: Welcome to the real world.

After a few years something has changed. Dumps, dumps, dumps. Some people in some countries have found a way to steal tests and sell them for people who wanted to pass a certification. For people who didn’t have skills, money, time, you-name-it to achieve a title.

Now?

Today, in 2012, most of IT certifications, don’t have any real value. You hear that everywhere: “Certifications these days mean nothing”, “Everyone can pass it”, “Knowledge, not a certification”. But isn’t that a real goal of a certification? Aren’t certifications to give you knowledge, show your value on the market and to make you a hero?

Neo: I know kung fu.
Morpheus: [eyeing him, hand on chin] Show me.

Show Me

Our lovely IT world is strange. We hate dumps. We want to destroy them, but we do nothing. We (IT Specialists), companies that create certifications, examination centers. All we know that dumps kill the real magic of IT certifications and we do nothing. Dumps – stolen copies of real exams are available to anyone. Anyone can buy them and without a preparation pass almost any exam on the planet.

But where is the real problem?

Morpheus: And you are?
Agent Smith: A Smith. Agent Smith.
Morpheus: You all look the same to me.

A person with several certifications (achieved with dumps) goes to an interview to an IT company. An IT Manager with knowledge asks some questions: “Can you describe me how BGP works and what you can do to resolve this problem?”. The person doesn’t know the answer. The person doesn’t know how BGP works. The person cannot prove his knowledge. The IT Manager sees that the person understands nothing. The IT Manager hates that situation. He looks at resume of this silly person and sees several certifications.

Next time he won’t waste his time for a person with these certifications, without an experience.

But where is the REAL problem?

The REAL problem is for people who don’t have an experience y(et). Some of theme work really hard to achieve a certification and to find a better job. But no one cares. These certifications now are worthless. Find a better job, but certifications won’t help you.

Morpheus: This is a war and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place.

Death

Someday you will open you eyes and certifications won’t have any value to employers. From the list of 1700 certifications only 10 will give you any chance to find a better job with them… and we are talking about expert-level certifications. IT Certifications are here to help you (to prove your skills and move to another levels) and here to show your passion to an employer and give you a better job.

How to Heal The Certification Industry with Google?

The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy.

System

Let’s look first at the process. What a normal person does when wants to pass a certification? Where he looks for details about any exam and how to pass it? He uses Google.

What that person does? Type a keyword in the search input and opens few websites from the first page of Google results.

Let’s look at some results:

  • CCNA
    • 1,830,000 people each month seek for this keyword
    • 32,900,000 pages with this keyword in Google
    • 2/10 results are for dumps
  • Network+
    • 230,000 people each month seek for this keyword
    • 3,620,000 pages with this keyword in Google
    • 3/10 results are for dumps
  • Some people use also test numbers – 117-101
    • 210 people each month seek for this keyword
    • 381,000 pages with this keyword in Google
    • 10/10 results are for dumps !!!

[disclaimer: keywords were chosen randomly]

So what a person (without experience and knowledge) can do when sees “98.6% Pass Ratio, 100% money back guarantee”? Do you know the answer?

Solution 1: “The best place to hide a body is on Page 2 of Google’s search results… no one looks there”. Big companies like Cisco, CompTIA or LPI have big budgets (bigger than steal-and-sell companies). Search Engine Optimization – SEO is a key. Just use your power, your SEO experts and move your pages to the first page of Google’s search results and move “their” pages to the second page. It’s possible.

New System?

Stop trying to hit me and hit me.

There are three types of companies: companies that do nothing, companies that try to do something and companies that show a middle finger to dumps.

The biggest group is the second one.

These companies provide tests via Prometric or Pearson VUE. They know about dumps. They want to change something. So what they do?

  • They change questions once a few weeks/months
  • They provide new sets of questions
  • They implement systems that check how long a person answer a single question, to find cheaters

It’s not the solution.
Questions are stolen and will be stolen. These methods don’t work.

Red or Blue

They are guarding all the doors, they are holding all the keys. Which means that sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them.

Solution 2: Implement the system that will find where and when questions are stolen. Add one mistake for each examination center. Find this examination center. Give them a yellow card. Then give them a red card and stop working with them. It’s hard to implement, but it’s possible… of course if you really want to fight them…

I Didn’t Say It Would be Easy

I didn’t say it would be easy, Neo. I just said it would be the truth.

Some companies don’t care about dumps and do not change questions, we won’t talk about them. I would love to talk about the third group of companies. The companies that don’t fight with dumps because they don’t need to.

Let’s look at three companies: Red Hat, Offensive Security, Hurricane Electric.

  • Red Hat
    • No tests – only practical exams.
    • No questions, no dumps
  • Offensive Security
    • No tests – remote labs.
    • 24/48-hour long fight with real problems
  • Hurricane Electric
    • Free model for the IPv6 Sage title
    • Mixed questions and online tasks

Is it easy to maintenance these exams? Hell no.
Is it cheaper than tests? Hell no.
Does it give more value for their certifications. Hell yes.

Solution 3: It’s 2012. It’s time to implement real exams for real specialists. Not only for expert-level certifications.

You… yes YOU

There are two ways out of that building: one is that scaffold, the other is in their custody. You take a chance either way: I leave it to you.

We can cry that certifications do not have value or we can do something.
What you can do – a single person?

  1. Write simple email to any company that provide certifications or Prometric/PearsonVUE. One email won’t help, 100,000 will.
  2. Do you know something about SEO? Use your knowledge to help official sites. Link to them, use Social Media and even some Gray/Black Hat skills.
  3. DO NOT buy dumps, even for tests. Each dollar is a sign to grow, to invest in SEO, a sells team, etc.

It is our collective responsibility. It’s not a task only for companies like Cisco, Microsoft or IBM. It’s not a task only for examination centers like Prometric or Pearson VUE. It’s not a task only for you and me. It is our collective responsibility.

Believe

Trinity: What’s he doing?
Morpheus: He’s beginning to believe.

Believe

If you have a second, share your thoughts in the comment section below. Are dumps kill the certification industry? Is there really a problem? Maybe everything’s ok? What is your solution for the problem? I would love to know your opinion.