Today started early with the Community Futures networking breakfast. The theory
with this is you get a bunch of small business owners, or people interested in
starting their own business, and put them in a room togeather (this time it was
breakfast at Smitty’s (hint: don’t expect much from Smitty’s food wise)) and let
them discuss a subject that relates, and let them network. This morning was
defining one’s competition and your competative advantage, though not a lot of
that was actually discussed.

As a a way of introducing ourselves we went around the table we were supposed
to say what we did, who our competition was, and what we thought our competative
advantage was. A gentleman whom I will not name, not link to, gave a bit of a
speil about how he was Microsoft Certified
and there were people out there that were actually using the services of people
who were not Certified (and how horrible
was that he seemed to say). Now I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I
look on Being Certified as almost a
detriment, and can actually hurt the people around you. But let me explain…

Getting your MCSE, or A+, or some other type of certification is great, don’t
get me wrong… more information and education is always better. But from what
I’ve heard and seen, they aren’t too hard to get, relatively speaking. The
problem arises when you think that because you have your MCSE you are
automatically an expert, able to fix any problem or give advice on any system,
or qualified for an extra $20,000 a year. Sorry folks, it just doesn’t happen,
at least not with just certifications. I’ve spent a few years in this industry
and I’m still a pup, and definatly feel it when I’m around those who are more
travelled than I, but even I know that unless you have real world
experience, you’re pretty much useless to any real company (caveats apply, read

That said, if you have real world experience, and get [J. Random.
Certification], all the power to you… it’s more information, more education,
and in the long run, even if you don’t learn anything you didn’t already know,
you might get more street cred with the suits.

The “suits” (no offense to those friends I have who are…. “suits” 🙂 can be
a problem as well… someone tells your boss, manager, or C?O that MSCEs are
the next big thing, and suddenly perfectly qualified people are being rejected
because they don’t have a piece of paper that says they know the right order
to apply service packs, and the day of month you’re supposed to reformat your
NT servers, while underqualified weenies with no experience but who have taken a
course or two (or six), ar hired. Learning the “right” (and I use that term
loosely) way based on The Teachings of
is fine and dandy, but having experience to know that say, Unix is a better
platform to run a large webmail site from than NT
, is a pretty big advantage

I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with geeks and suits alike who do not have
these views, and are enlightened as to what qualifications make a good geek. I
used to think that demanding university education was too much as well, but
after a bad experience with an employee at my last job, my buddy LIMOS (or Silv,
not sure which) convinced me that hiring someone with at least one year of
College or University is needed. Even one year will ensure that they have the
organizational, time management, communications, and social skills needed to
survive “a real job”. Coming out of high school and being an amazing
programmer is great, but if you are so bad at communicating with your
co-workers, you can be a detrement to the rest of the company, and you certainly
won’t make those in charge of hiring and firing happy.

Basically this guy coped an attitude that got my hackles up 🙂 Now he has (or
claims to have) 25 years in the business, so assuming that that’s experience,
hey, all the certifications to him. Course, he should know after 25 years that
certs don’t make the man. I was good though, and didn’t get into a verbal
argument or even talk to him about it…. heck, I didn’t even flick any of my
dry and gross scrambled eggs across the table at him!

Ok, rant over. Gotta finish this stuff to get the Self Employment program
started finished so I can run in the morning then head out at 11ish to hand them
in. Hmm… getting work on the contract I’m working on now would be nice to 🙂