Certification is big business these days... and therefore lots of people are looking for ways to capitalize on it, by making money selling plagiarized exam intellectual property (IP) or by cheating on exams to get a short-cut to certification. So, that is not ideal. Microsoft and others do a lot of work to protect certification from braindump providers, proxy test-takers, score-report fakers, etc. In yesterday's Live Meeting on the topic, these were things I enjoyed learning the most, in no particular order.
Don't believe me? Here is a recording of the afternoon session. Thanks to Microsoft Learning's Shon and Rob for the great information and to Mitch, Michael, and Rob Williams for sharing their perspective and advice. You can find them here:
IMHO, it's tricky. Microsoft needs to do the right thing by our certified customers (of course it is in our best interest to have Microsoft Certified professionals have great reputations), but also be careful not to tread on your individual rights or free commerce in the industry. For example, if someone posts something illegal--or something we don't agree with--to a Microsoft-hosted newsgroup, or if a Microsoft search tool delivers the same--where is the line between doing what we think is right for certification versus "editing" or controlling the public's experience, when not everyone's perception is aligned with mine, or ours, or whoever is doing the editing? It's made even more delicate when we're talking about millions of people around the world who don't always share the same cultural understanding or laws... it's complicated. Don't mind me, I'm an old windbag, boring herself blog-less, mmm-hmm. If you are still reading this, WAKE UP! Go to bed, or something.
But first, report any NDA violations to TCTIPS@microsoft.com and check out CertGuard for more info on how to avoid braindumps and protect the value of certification.