Certification Exam Questions That I Despise

In my 11 year career as an instructor, I’ve had to pass a lot of certification exams. In many cases not on the first try. Sometimes for fair reasons, and sometimes, it feels, for unfair reasons. Recently I had to take the venerable CCNA exam again. For various reasons I’d allowed it to expire, and hadn’t taken many exams for a while. But recently I needed to re-certify with it which reminded me of the whole process.

Having taken so many exams (50+ in the past 11 years) I’ve developed some opinions on the style and content of exams.

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In particular, I’ve identified some types of questions I utterly loath for their lack of aptitude measurement, uselessness, and overall jackassery. Plus, a couple of styles that I like.

This criticisms is for all certification exams, from various vendors, and not limited to even IT.

To Certify, Or Not To Certify

The question of the usefulness of certification is not new.

One one hand, you have a need to weed out the know-its from the know-it-nots, a way to effectively measure a person’s aptitude in a given subject. A certification exam, in its purest form, is meant to probe the knowledge of the applicant.

On the other hand, you have an army of test-dumping dullards, passing exams and unable to explain even basic concepts. That results in a cat-and-mouse game between the exam creators and the dump sites.

And mixed in, you have a barrage of badly formed questions that are more appropriate to your local pub’s trivia night than it is a professional aptitude measurement.

So in this article I’m going to discuss the type of questions I despise. Not just because they’re hard, but because I can’t see how they accurately or fairly judge a person’s aptitude.

Note: I made all of these questions up. As far as I know, they do not appear on any certification exam from any vendor. This is not a test-dump. 

Pedantic Trivia

The story goes that Albert Einstein was once asked how many feet are in a mile. His response was this: “I don’t know, why should I fill my brain with facts

New Foldable Smartphone From Samsung

There are always new upgrades that keep on surprising us. That is the beauty of innovation especially when it comes to technology. Life is not just black and white anymore. There are countless products that you used to think were not possible but have become staples in our lives nowadays. The smartphone is one good example. Who would’ve thought that such a handy and complex device will rule our world and allow us to do multiple things all at the same time with just a click of a button. The best thing about it is that this device fits the palm of our hands. No need to bring bulky computers or laptops to get things done.

We can’t live without our smartphone. You have to be honest and you feel helpless or naked without your smart device. Some people won’t hesitate to go home once they find out they left their smartphone for the day. Over the past decade, we have seen numerous advancements in smartphone technology. Its storage capacity is one major upgrade and the different apps you can now access from your smart device are numerous and you can easily connect to the web, thanks to advances in WiFi technology as well. You can do virtually everything with your smartphone but are smartphone makers still capable of surprising us consumers with even cooler features?

THE SMARTPHONE IS changing. From the pocket-sized devices of yore, our phones have grown into surrogate laptops for work on the go, and pseudo televisions for watching Netflix on planes. Samsung, the company that pioneered the “phablet,” thinks it’s time for something new. Something even bigger. Specifically, a phone that unfolds like a book to reveal a second, larger screen inside.

Samsung showed off its future-phone concept under dimmed lights at its annual developer conference today in San Francisco. The phone unfurls to offer a 7.3-inch flexible display for reading, watching television, or multi-tasking with multiple apps.

(Via: https://www.wired.com/story/samsung-folding-galaxy-smartphone/)

You have to admit that these smartphones cost a small fortune too. They are so pricey but the added features lure consumers to splurge on these devices that go outdated sooner than other gadgets. …

Linux Kernel 5.0 Gets Its First Point Release, It’s Now Ready for Mass Adoption

The Linux 5.0 kernel series received its first point release marking it as ready for mass adoption by any Linux user and GNU/Linux distribution out there.

Released on March 4th, 2019, the Linux 5.0 kernel series is a major milestone with modest features, including AMDGPU FreeSync for AMD Radeon GPUs for a stutter-free viewing experience, swap file support in the Btrfs file system, support for the Adiantum file system encryption for low power devices, and better power management for devices powered by ARM big.LITTLE CPUs.

Linux kernel 5.0 also adds support for the binderfs file system, which enables devices to run multiple instances of Android, support for the Generic Receive Offload (GRO) feature in the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) implementation, as well as support for the cpuset resource controller in cgroupv2. Now, the first point re… (read more)

from Softpedia News / Linux https://news.softpedia.com/news/linux-kernel-5-0-gets-its-first-point-release-it-s-now-ready-for-mass-adoption-525275.shtml…

GNOME 3.34 Dektop Environment Slated for Release on September 11th, 2019

The GNOME Project, through Andre Klapper, announced that the release schedule of the upcoming GNOME 3.34 desktop environment was finalized and it’s now available for general public.

With the final release of the GNOME 3.32 desktop environment knocking on our doors, the time has come to take a look at the release schedule of the next major release of the open-source graphical desktop environment used by numerous Linux-based operating systems, including Ubuntu.

According to the release schedule, the development cycle of the GNOME 3.34 desktop environment series will kick off soon after GNOME 3.32 release hits the streets tomorrow, March 13th, and it’ll take place under the GNOME 3.33.x umbrella. The first development snapshot, GNOME 3.33.1, will be released to the public on April 24th.

Three more such development snapshots will be released throughout May-July 2019, GNOME 3.33.2 on 22nd, GNOME 3.33.3 on June 19th, and GNOME 3.33.4 on July 17th, before the GNOME 3.34 … (read more)

from Softpedia News / Linux https://news.softpedia.com/news/gnome-3-34-dektop-environment-slated-for-release-on-september-11th-2019-525274.shtml…

KDE Plasma 5.15.3 Desktop Environment Released with Flatpak Improvements, More

The KDE Project announced today the general availability of the third maintenance updat to the latest KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environment series for Linux-based operating systems.

Coming two weeks after the KDE Plasma 5.15.2 point release, KDE Plasma 5.15.3 is here to address even more issues and other annoyances reported by users of the latest KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environment. It brings better Flatpak support in Plasma Discover, improved support for installing GTK themes locally, and improved restoring of desktop sessions.

Furthermore, the KDE Plasma 5.15.3 maintenance update makes the Ctrl+A shortcut work despite of active focus, adds support for visualizing active selection in search heading, improves the Task Manager by fixing various bugs, and fixes OSD animation stutter on Plasma Workspace. A total of 30 ch… (read more)

from Softpedia News / Linux https://news.softpedia.com/news/kde-plasma-5-15-3-desktop-environment-released-with-flatpak-improvements-more-525273.shtml…

How to Generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) in Linux

SSL Certificates fall into two broad categories: 1) Self-Signed Certificate which is an identity certificate that is signed by the same entity whose identity it certifies-on signed with its own private key, and 2)...

from Tecmint: Linux Howtos, Tutorials & Guides https://www.tecmint.com/generate-csr-certificate-signing-request-in-linux/…

Star LabTop Mk III Open Source Edition: An Interesting Laptop

Star Labs Systems have been producing Laptops tailored for Linux for some time. Recently, they have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming ‘Open Source Edition’ laptop that incorporates more features as per the requests by the users or reviewers.

from It’s FOSS https://itsfoss.com/star-labtop-open-source-edition/…

Install WordPress 5 with Apache, MariaDB 10 and PHP 7 on CentOS 7

WordPress is an open source and free blogging application and a dynamic CMS (Content Management System) developed using MySQL and PHP. It has huge number of third party plugins and themes. WordPress currently one...

from Tecmint: Linux Howtos, Tutorials & Guides https://www.tecmint.com/install-wordpress-with-apache-on-centos-rhel-fedora/…