As an IT professional, you’re probably all-too familiar with various certification tracks, the exams and torturous study that it entails. And you’re also probably familiar with the knowledge that few of those exam questions truly relate to your career experiences. Fear not!

Over the coming weeks I will be releasing my own set of true life, real world, gut-wrenching,  YOLO inspired mini exams. Names and places will be changed of course, mostly to protect the criminally insane and threats of legal recourse. This first example is a tough one. Like the ones to follow it’s based on a true tragic place and real tragic people.

What makes this one tough is that it’s a one question exam. Good luck!

1. You work with a team of six (6) engineers and four (4) administrators at a small company named Douchedrinx. One day you’re called into a meeting and told that your team will soon begin work migrating the company’s 6,000 desktops and 1,000 laptops from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1. The deadline is three months away.

You have a Windows 2008 R2 Active Directory environment and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2.

After a day of preliminary planning work, you’re told that eight (8) of your team will be laid off in a week to cut spending, and that instead of three months, you have one. The director claims this is in response to a paid review provided by the renown Fartner Group. The analysis claimed that it should only require two people to do all of the duties you are assigned.

In addition to the upgrade you will be replacing half of the laptops and a quarter of the desktops with tablets.

None of your company’s applications have been tested or certified for Windows 8. Also, there are at least 500 “business critical” production apps written in Microsoft Access 2007 and you’ll be upgrading all devices to Office 2013.

You ask the director for some help updating your Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 infrastructure. The  request is delayed by the new director, who isn’t convinced about this “system center stuff”. He wants you to write a paper explaining why it wouldn’t be better to use Symantec Ghost for imaging and thumb drives to deploy the organization’s 1,500 supported retail software applications.

You write the paper and present it. The director says it’s “garbage”, without actually reading it, and requests a complete rewrite.  You are summoned to two new meetings per week to explain your request and meanwhile your performance evaluation is marked down due to being late on your project deliverables.

You ask for more time but the director reschedules your meeting three times. A Project Manager arrives and says the director has requested she take over the project because you “aren’t qualified”. The PM asks for a consultant to provide alternative options to yours. After two more weeks a decision is made to use thumb drives and track progress using a spreadsheet.

When you get back to your office, swallow a few random pills and mumble song lyrics to your desk plant, you learn that two of the team members have submitted resignations. The director cites a study that claims you had too many staff members to start with so you cant expect backfills anytime soon. You also learn one of those laid off, having been an award-winning employee for over ten years,  has gone missing.

Two months into the project and you’re called in to hear the director give you a poor rating on your performance evaluation for falling behind and not providing a solution. You ask how that could possible since you weren’t given a chance to explain your proposal. The director looks at you, leans in close to your face, and says, “listen. if I say it’s so then it is so“.  

You are sent back to review the new project plan he’s outlined. It calls for all tablets and all Windows RT, imaged with Ghost, and all apps deployed from thumb drives, but you will be required to maintain them with updates and enterprise applications. You try to explain that it isn’t possible to manage RT as requested but the director says you’re just out of touch with technology.

You should:

A. Drink heavily
B. Find a new job
C. Walk in front of a speeding bus
D. Find a new job
E. Take up chainsaw juggling as a new hobby
F. All the above

Next time: how to handle the CIO that wants to change the entire company from Windows to Unix because they read it in a brochure during a recent vacation flight.


2 thoughts on “Real World Cert Exams: 2014-11

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