What is in a beta? (Post Mortem: Beta Exams)

September 1st, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)


A literal day does not go by where someone asks me what a "Beta" exam is, who takes them, and why?



Are you "Beta" material?  That’s a great question which hopefully by the end of this you’ll be able to come to terms with who you might be.




Q: Who are Beta Exams for?

A: Beta Exams are for people who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Tend to be an early adopter of technology and software
  • Are interested in advancing your career, whether on your own budget or someone else’s
  • Self-Starter, Self-studier who will go out and absorb information about a new tech/exam
  • A veteran of an application, looking to prove your "skillz"
  • A novice of an application, looking to improve your "skillz" :)
  • Someone with a competitive spirit, flare, or otherwise
  • People who like to comment on material before it goes live, to improve the final product

You do not need to meet any single one of the above criteria to qualify as a beta tester, but chances are you meet one or more.

Q: What is a Beta Exam?

A: Beta exams are usually performing the following functions:

  • Validating the test questions which were written by a team of specialists to confirm how realistic they may be, before taking an exam live
  • Qualifying "experimental" test questions which may or may not even be real.  In order to see how people react and comment on those questions
  • Beta exams are often a subset or an entire pool of questions which will be utilized in the finished product.  Depending you may see a small number (70) or larger (100+) questions to answer and respectively comment
  • Constructive Comments and feedback – Your comments will be read, so if you don’t like a question say so and that question could be removed or updated respectively

Q: Why take a Beta Exam?

A: The reasons to take a Beta Exam are many-fold, but here some reasons I take them:

  • They’re free! It gives me the opportunity (Stress Free) to take a test, (Pass/Fail) and it won’t cost me any $$ other than my time investment.    This way I can validate my worldly skills at this simple cost
  • Comments and Feedback! I do like to provide constructive feedback as I personally take an interest in ensuring we’re obtaining the highest quality release of Exams, Product, etc.   Having been involved in alphas and betas since the beginning of time – seeing it first and making sure by the time everyone else sees it, they see it for the good and not the bad we were all fortunate to clean up :)
  • I’m an early adopter.   Hell, I’m an innovator, but it’s not too often that I actually *write* the exams or questions, so I tend to go for ‘adopter’ as much as possible
  • I gotz skillz! Yea, in the Microsoft.. and Networking.. and Storage… and Unix.. and Programming.. and pretty much every space, I’ve either worked with it, or can infer within a few seconds years of experience out of it.   So based upon that sole reason and criteria I like to see these things and expand my own personal knowledge base
    • If after taking an exam I feel it is not for me, I take the benefit of my experience, share the wealth of knowledge and continue on my way (Post Mortems)
  • Did I mention because it’s FREE? Seriously! Anyone who is looking to start their career, advance their career, or simply stabilize where they are.   You can’t go wrong with Free in this economy, or any economy.   Not to mention you’re helping a good cause of validating the material!

So, anyone who happens to work in the world of technology who doesn’t want to sit still at a stalemate – Get out there and take beta exams!   Take your free-self, get your cert on, and even learn something in the process!

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Baltimization, Certification, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Microsoft, NetApp | Comments (0)

  • Archives