Why I created a blog

Its been four years since I first created this blog. It has remained true to Essbase and related information over those years. Hopefully it has answered questions and given you insight over those years. I will continue to provide my observations and comments on the ever changing world of EPM. Don't be surprised if the scope of the blog changes and brings in other Hyperion topics.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blog Rant

I apologize in advance if this entry into my blog offends anyone, but today I want to talk about a pet peeve of mine. As most of you know I am a frequent contributor to the Oracle and other forums. There have been multiple threads with a common theme.” I know nothing about Essbase, how do I get certified?” In addition, I’ve looked at web casts and other web sites that help you with the certification questions. One went so far to say “We know our questions and answers are good, we buy them from the internet”. They are willing to teach you, not how to use Hyperion products, but how to pass the test. I will admit they have a disclaimer that passing the test is no substitute for experience. If you don't know anything about the product you should not be certified.

Certification means nothing without experience, so what that I can memorize the formula for computing block size, unless I know how to apply it and the implications of the block size on performance, it means nothing for my clients. Diluting the pool of certified professionals just cheapens the value of certification. I have interviewed (and worked with) certified people who could not answer the most basic questions and have wasted so much client time and money. In some cases, people have gotten jobs (permanent or consulting) from being certified, Did they last long? In most cases NO. So they got paid for a short time, don’t have a reference and leave behind unhappy and upset clients. It makes it harder to get the next job.

I realize that some people get certified because their company wants them to. I’ll admit, that is why I got my latest certification, but I have the experience and knowledge to back it up. Can you say the same thing?

Don’t get certified for the wrong reasons, get it because you know and understand the product(s) and can truly be a help to the client(s) you serve.

Please, I’m interested in your comments, Tell me why I’m wrong!

7 comments:

Robert said...

Glenn, you are absolutely correct. A lot of these Johnny-come-lately Essbase folks are located in India. Sometimes outsourcing makes business sense, I get that. I just hope that any companies outsourcing their Essbase talent understand that they are getting what they pay for.

The other thing that drives me nuts are the interview questions. Don't even get me started...

Cameron Lackpour said...

Glenn,

Unfortunately, there's no way to weed out good test takers v. good implementers until something goes tits up.

And it really hurts when a bodyshop full of these guys ("We're certified!") beats you out on a project solely on price. (Somehow there's often a correlation behind this kind of certification and a type of consulting company.)

I have no problem with people who are new to a product -- we all fit that category with one product or another. It is, as you wrote, those who are new/not particularly experienced with a product that hide behind a certification achieved through cheating (is there any other way to characterize passing a certification test by memorizing the answers from stolen exam questions?) that get my goat. If that wasn't apparent. :)

See, you got me ranting and it's *your* blog, not mine. Maybe I should go get one myself.

Regards,

Cameron Lackpour

GlennS said...

Robert,
While I share some of your frustration, the issue is not isolated to India. This is pervasive throughout the Hyperion community. I have had to follow some low cost bids for so called certified consultants, (many imported) to clean up their mess. It was not my certification that was able to help, but my knowledge and experience.

I also agree with you on interview questions, I believe groups are using the various forums to gather interview questions and answers. This is related to getting undeserved certifications, once on a job, it is only the client that suffers.

Kristin said...

Glenn, You have touched me with your entry as this is a pet peeve of mine as well! Though your focus here is Essbase certifications and the "de-valuation" of a certification that this has seemed to become, this is prevalent with most certifications in other technologies and functions including my core expertise in Recruiting. I never bothered to get any certifications in my own field for many reasons you have mentioned here with Essbase certifications. Does it make you a better Essbase consultant or Essbase Professional having passed a test? No. Not one certification in my own field of Recruiting would make me a better Recruiter NOR did it prevent me from winning clients OR getting a job. I did however once held an HR certification and sat for this exam because of the knowledge needed for HR laws. But, you had to have been in an HR field for a certain # of years to even sit for the exam and to keep your certification current, each year you had to keep current with CPE credits or you'd lose your certification - much like a CPA I believe.

Some fields do require certifications as part of the job requirement. Anyone can graduate college or be in college for that matter and go get an Essbase certification right?

There are several consulting firms that have task force teams to do exactly what you all state here - teach the exam to get someone to pass the test. There are companies that exist even that will teach you the Essbase exam and then you take the certification test.

In Security years ago, there was a 3 year requirement to be in security before you could sit for the CISSP exam. Nowadays, the CISSP means nothing as there are tons of people with this certification - devalued the meaning and market value of this certification.

What would be great to see moving forward is that they change the certification requirements and attach proven years of experience in Essbase before you can even sit for the exam. And, to my points above, to keep the Essbase certification, one must keep current annually through training and CPE credits.

Lastly, as a recruiter, I don't even weigh Essbase/Hyperion certifications anymore as part of the evaluation process. I focus on the candidate's accomplishments, work experience, and ability to demonstrate their Essbase knowledge through problem solving and troubleshooting skills - encounter something they've never seen before, but figured out how to fix it.

Tends to make me think that customers might also think like this too when truly evaluating resources for a project RFP. Unfortunately, I think Cameron is right that price seems to be a bigger factor and then failed projects, well people like yourself do come in and clean up the mess.

My 2 cents...

Anonymous said...

Well. I totally understand the frustration that you people demonstate here. But let me bring to you the flip side of the entire scenario. I am from India and hyave been working tirelessly on Hyperion for the past 2 years. However, I do not have a real client implementation to show as I am not certified. Clents want resources who are certified and as I am not, i do not get the exposure and experience on working on a real production environment.
How many options do I have? Either I forever get lost in the vast ocean of resources who know but dont have work or else I do a certification to prove myself and grab an oppurtunity to show to the world that I am really good.
No offence to all you pundits who are masters at the art of Essbase, but for any technology to sustain fresh talent and out of the box thinking has to be pumped in.
Certifications or not, a person with no talent and in deplt knowledge will automatically be chucked out of the market and good resources will always get acknowledged.
Hope I have set my point right.

Christine @ accounting cpe said...

Every business companies requires a blog because they will be posting and endorsing their work with different kinds of people around the world.

Blogs are really important. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

My company wants me to get certified, they bought some exams and now i have to memorise all the questions, I'm ashamed of myself.

raj