Amazon diagnosis

Phil Pierotti phil.pierotti at
Tue May 3 22:20:56 UTC 2011

Unlike the US of A, here in Australia the industry has gone *very* heavily
down the path of requiring/expecting certification. They have bought into
the faith that unless your resume includes CC?? you're worthless.

There are "colleges" (er, I mean training businesses) who will *guarantee*
you will pass your exam at the end of the course. Amazingly enough for some
of them you never actually touch a router console (not even a virtual one)
through the entire course.

Unfortunately the end result has been an entire generation of potential
employees who are perfectly capable of passing an exam and thereby becoming
'certified', but cannot be trusted to touch a production network. They have
no understanding of what they're doing, why things work (or not) the way
they do, no real troubleshooting skills and certainly not an ounce of real
world production-network common sense.

Not *all* of them, but by far the vast overwhelming majority of candidates
have the "I'm certified so gimme a job and pay me big bucks" attitude
despite having *no real skills* worth mentioning.


On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 12:41 AM, Jason Baugher <jason at>wrote:

> On 5/2/2011 4:11 PM, George Herbert wrote:
>> On Mon, May 2, 2011 at 2:04 PM, Jeroen van Aart<jeroen at>  wrote:
>>> Valdis.Kletnieks at wrote:
>>>> On Mon, 02 May 2011 12:27:34 PDT, Jeroen van Aart said:
>>>>  It surprised me because I, perhaps naively, assumed IT workers in
>>>>> general
>>>>> have a rather broad knowledge
>>>> Sorry to break it to you.
>>> That's ok, the past tense in my story testifies to the fact I was already
>>> aware of it. But thanks. ;-)
>> There was a significant decline in knowledge as the .com era peaked in
>> the 90s; less CS background required as an entry barrier, the
>> employment pool grew fast enough that community knowledge
>> organizations (Usenix, etc) didn't effectively diffuse into the new
>> community, etc.
>> The number of people who "get" computer architecture, ops, clusters,
>> networking, systems architecture and engineering, etc...  Not good.
>> Sigh.
>>  Unfortunately we see this when we interview candidates. Even those who
> have certifications generally only know how to do specific things within a
> narrow field. They don't have the base understanding of how things work,
> such as TCP/IP, so when they need to do something a little outside of the
> normal, they flounder.
> Jason

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