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Hysterix
Dec 4, 2011


My current goal is medical informatics, probably on the programming end. I've been good at programming in the limited coursework I've had (C in high school and C# last semester). That said, I'm a belt and suspenders person, so the more options I have, the better.

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Inspector_666
Oct 7, 2003

...essence

Ignoring your egregious fashion faux pas, if you want to be a programmer, certs won't help you very much from everything I've heard. They're mainly related to support/hardware work.

If you want to learn about computer hardware and networking stuff, reading the books for A+/N+ probably wouldn't be a bad idea, but paying for the tests is probably unnecessary.

Tab8715
May 20, 2006


How much did you guys pay for your MCSA tests?

My local test center is charging $350 a test.

stubblyhead
Sep 13, 2007

That is treason, Johnny!

Tab8715 posted:

How much did you guys pay for your MCSA tests?

My local test center is charging $350 a test.

I forget the current rate, but in the US it should be $125 or maybe $150. You should not be giving money to anyone other than prometric for MS cert exams, and it sounds like these folks want you to pay them directly.

Sickening
Jul 15, 2007

Now... Let's go synthesize some LSD!


stubblyhead posted:

I forget the current rate, but in the US it should be $125 or maybe $150. You should not be giving money to anyone other than prometric for MS cert exams, and it sounds like these folks want you to pay them directly.

80 per for people with an edu email address and school id. 160 per for everyone else.

stubblyhead
Sep 13, 2007

That is treason, Johnny!

madmaan posted:

80 per for people with an edu email address and school id. 160 per for everyone else.

I just looked, and from here it looks like $83 for edu and $150 otherwise.

Tab8715, go here to register and pay for your exam, don't give money to anyone else.

Shoeonhead22
Mar 26, 2007

Was my contract good for you, too?


Wendel Odom's book on ROUTE is giving me chronic narcolepsy. It was noon, I just finished a large coffee and after 7 pages I was completely unconscious.

Hysterix posted:

My current goal is medical informatics, probably on the programming end. I've been good at programming in the limited coursework I've had (C in high school and C# last semester). That said, I'm a belt and suspenders person, so the more options I have, the better.

I'm doing something similar, going to school for CS while getting a pile of certs on the side. My goal is to become a massive generalist in security, but other than that I don't know why anyone would do what I do.

Shoeonhead22 fucked around with this message at Dec 13, 2012 around 11:01

Coolnezzz
Feb 15, 2003

so I says, supercollider? I hardly know her!

I have a quick question about WGU (Western Governors University), if that's alright in this thread. How hard is it to get accepted?

A little bit of background: I obtained my California High School Proficiency Exam (only valid in CA) certificate about 10 years ago, and have been attending a lovely local college on and off while working full time ever since. I've never done well in a normal school environment so naturally I've failed about 5-6 classes during this time and have ruined any real hopes of continuing my education there. However, I also have my Network+/A+ and am currently studying for my Security+, with two years of helpdesk and two years of local PC repair shop experience.

I'm currently working in a completely unrelated field (machine shop), and have been for the last two years. The company I work for will pay for 50% of my education (at the end of the year) as long as I stay for the duration. I'd like to get started with WGU's B.S. IT Security degree while I keep working here, and perhaps move into a department more in line with my skills in the future.

Now here is the thing: I loving hate my job. It's loud, dirty, and the people I work with aren't particularly beneficial to furthering ones career goals (to put it nicely), but I'm drat good at doing my work. I dislike it so much that I'm about ready to put in my notice without anything else lined up, which leads me to ask for outside opinions. Do you think that I should I keep doing work unrelated to my career interests in the name of *EASY* money or should I pursue an entry level network security or network admin kind of gig and risk my stability? I've been out of the game for a while now, but I also have no family or kids or debt so I'm willing to take some risks here.

Sickening
Jul 15, 2007

Now... Let's go synthesize some LSD!


Coolnezzz posted:

I have a quick question about WGU (Western Governors University), if that's alright in this thread. How hard is it to get accepted?

A little bit of background: I obtained my California High School Proficiency Exam (only valid in CA) certificate about 10 years ago, and have been attending a lovely local college on and off while working full time ever since. I've never done well in a normal school environment so naturally I've failed about 5-6 classes during this time and have ruined any real hopes of continuing my education there. However, I also have my Network+/A+ and am currently studying for my Security+, with two years of helpdesk and two years of local PC repair shop experience.

I'm currently working in a completely unrelated field (machine shop), and have been for the last two years. The company I work for will pay for 50% of my education (at the end of the year) as long as I stay for the duration. I'd like to get started with WGU's B.S. IT Security degree while I keep working here, and perhaps move into a department more in line with my skills in the future.

Now here is the thing: I loving hate my job. It's loud, dirty, and the people I work with aren't particularly beneficial to furthering ones career goals (to put it nicely), but I'm drat good at doing my work. I dislike it so much that I'm about ready to put in my notice without anything else lined up, which leads me to ask for outside opinions. Do you think that I should I keep doing work unrelated to my career interests in the name of *EASY* money or should I pursue an entry level network security or network admin kind of gig and risk my stability? I've been out of the game for a while now, but I also have no family or kids or debt so I'm willing to take some risks here.

Going back and finishing school is never a bad idea. WGU is a non-proffit, so you aren't going to be gouged with fees. If you want a referral, I can refer you (saves you like 10 bucks? more?) and you will score me a free tshirt. Simply call them and see what is what about your situation as far as admissions.

Stability or a job in the field you want? I say have both. Work where you are now and try to find a job in the field you want without doing anything drastic if you don't have to.

Science
Jun 28, 2006
. . .

I might be mis-remembering, but I think one of the previous versions of this thread had a recommended vendor for CompTIA vouchers. Does anyone have this bookmarked? I can't seem to find it anywhere and almost every site I find through Google looks sketchy.

1000101
May 14, 2003

BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY FRUITCAKE!

Shoeonhead22 posted:

Wendel Odom's book on ROUTE is giving me chronic narcolepsy. It was noon, I just finished a large coffee and after 7 pages I was completely unconscious.


Suggest trying this one out: http://www.amazon.com/Implementing-.../ref=pd_sim_b_4

It's slightly less coma inducing! I find it's doing a better job explaining core concepts as well.

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


I'm glad to see the girl from the Odom cover is still employed.

alwayslost
May 17, 2007
and never found

Science posted:

I might be mis-remembering, but I think one of the previous versions of this thread had a recommended vendor for CompTIA vouchers. Does anyone have this bookmarked? I can't seem to find it anywhere and almost every site I find through Google looks sketchy.

I'd like to know this as well.

Inspector_666
Oct 7, 2003

...essence

Cisco people, how would you answer this:

What Cisco 802.1d extension stops BPDU from being transmitted out a port?

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


Inspector_71 posted:

Cisco people, how would you answer this:

What Cisco 802.1d extension stops BPDU from being transmitted out a port?

BPDUguard.

GOOCHY
Sep 17, 2003

In an interstellar burst I'm back to save the universe!

psydude posted:

BPDUguard.

Beat me.

1000101
May 14, 2003

BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY FRUITCAKE!

Why not bpdufilter?

Contingency
Jun 2, 2007

Doing a job.


1000101 posted:

Why not bpdufilter?

You are correct. BPDUGuard is for filtering ingress.

Inspector_666
Oct 7, 2003

...essence

My answer was BPDUFilter. Lammle's book says the answer is portfast.

I've been asking lots of people and nobody so far has answered portfast, and from looking around online, BPDUFilter is the answer that actually works.

I just wanted to confirm.

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


If I'm not mistaken, filter and guard do the same thing, but one shuts down the port completely while the other brings it out of port fast.

Jelmylicious
Dec 6, 2007
Buy Dr. Quack's miracle juice! Now with patented H-twenty!

Inspector_71: The following is going in way too much detail if you are studying for your CCNA, so don't try to learn this by heart. If you are working towards SWITCH, try a few combinations of bpduguard, bpdufilter (on interface and global) and portfast, so you can see the differences in behavior.

psydude posted:

If I'm not mistaken, filter and guard do the same thing, but one shuts down the port completely while the other brings it out of port fast.

Guard puts a port in Err-Disable when a BPDU is recieved. Filter on an interface drops bpdu's. Filter in this case trumps guard, so it will never go into err-disable. A globally set BPDUfilter will drop an interface out of portfast-mode. Since global filter only works on ports with portfast. A port recieving a BPDU is no longer in portfastand consequently no longer in the global bpdufilter.

From IP Expert:

IP Expert Blog posted:

Per documentation, global BPDU Filter is configured as part of global “portfast” configuration. The purpose of BPDU Filter is to prevent the switch from sending BPDU frames on ports that are enabled with portfast.

With the global filter, a few BPDU's are sent, "just in case" and it will drop the port out of portfast if a BPDU is recieved. With the filter set on the interface, it will not send any BPDU's and it will drop any BPDU's it recieves.

Or, let's let Cisco explain:

Catalyst 3560 Configuration Guide posted:

The BPDU filtering feature can be globally enabled on the switch or can be enabled per interface, but the feature operates with some differences.

At the global level, you can enable BPDU filtering on Port Fast-enabled interfaces by using the spanning-tree portfast bpdufilter default global configuration command. This command prevents interfaces that are in a Port Fast-operational state from sending or receiving BPDUs. The interfaces still send a few BPDUs at link-up before the switch begins to filter outbound BPDUs. You should globally enable BPDU filtering on a switch so that hosts connected to these interfaces do not receive BPDUs. If a BPDU is received on a Port Fast-enabled interface, the interface loses its Port Fast-operational status, and BPDU filtering is disabled.

At the interface level, you can enable BPDU filtering on any interface by using the spanning-tree bpdufilter enable interface configuration command without also enabling the Port Fast feature. This command prevents the interface from sending or receiving BPDUs.

Jelmylicious fucked around with this message at Dec 14, 2012 around 14:01

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


Looking at it, BPDUguard/filter have go to have almost zero use in a large enterprise environment because nobody is going to look at a SFP uplink port and go "Yeah, let's totally enable portfast on that."

Strike Anywhere
Oct 3, 2006
I love the smell of sulfur in the morning...

I passed my 70-680 (MCTS: Win 7, Configuring) this past Saturday with a score of 840 (out of 1000; 700 is minimum score to pass). It was definitely more difficult than I expected. I wasn't very confident that I had passed it, so I got quite the rush when I saw the word congratulations on the screen.

70-640 is next (Win Server 2008 Active Directory), followed by 70-642, 70-643, and 70-647.

I'm on target to complete all of those before some begin to expire on July 31, 2013.

I'd switch to 2012 exams but I'm in WGU's Network Design and Management degree program so that's not available yet. I plan on taking upgrade exams after I get my MCITP: EA and graduate.

1000101
May 14, 2003

BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY FRUITCAKE!

psydude posted:

Looking at it, BPDUguard/filter have go to have almost zero use in a large enterprise environment because nobody is going to look at a SFP uplink port and go "Yeah, let's totally enable portfast on that."

SFP uplink ports no; but edge ports it's absolutely useful. A lot of ESXi hosts have a config snippet that looks like this:

interface Ethernet101/1/6
description Dell R610 1 esx1,vmnic3
switchport mode trunk
switchport trunk allowed vlan 10,16-29,100-202,300-330
spanning-tree port type edge trunk

With bpdu filter enabled globally (it behaves a little differently when enabled globally vs on a specific port.) This particular server is plugged into a Cisco FEX so bdpuguard is hardset on all the interfaces. We turn on bdpuguard in case some jerkface decides to setup a bridge on a VM or something.

n0tqu1tesane
May 7, 2003

She was rubbing her ass all over my hands. They don't just do that for everyone.

Passed 642-437, Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Voice over IP and QoS today. Got a 949, which was higher than I expected. Guess it helps that I work a lot with the subject of the exam, and a lot of my studying seemed like review of stuff I already know how to do.

It'll be interesting how much of the next exam is that way.

Sickening
Jul 15, 2007

Now... Let's go synthesize some LSD!


Strike Anywhere posted:

I passed my 70-680 (MCTS: Win 7, Configuring) this past Saturday with a score of 840 (out of 1000; 700 is minimum score to pass). It was definitely more difficult than I expected. I wasn't very confident that I had passed it, so I got quite the rush when I saw the word congratulations on the screen.

70-640 is next (Win Server 2008 Active Directory), followed by 70-642, 70-643, and 70-647.

I'm on target to complete all of those before some begin to expire on July 31, 2013.

I'd switch to 2012 exams but I'm in WGU's Network Design and Management degree program so that's not available yet. I plan on taking upgrade exams after I get my MCITP: EA and graduate.

Be careful with the 70-640. This test will be your shittest test of the series by a lot of accounts. I found it to be a huge slog.

Strike Anywhere
Oct 3, 2006
I love the smell of sulfur in the morning...

madmaan posted:

Be careful with the 70-640. This test will be your shittest test of the series by a lot of accounts. I found it to be a huge slog.

What were the worst parts that made it a huge slog for you? Was the studying the slog or getting to the test and realizing the minutia you were required to remember?

Kaethela
Jul 29, 2012

shut up woman get on my horse



Has anyone taken the new 800-series A+ yet? Looks like its no longer simply multiple choice, part of it is some sort of interactive thing now, just curious what that's all about.

Also, I have just under 2 years of support experience. If I wanted to go for a career path, would just the A+ suffice in getting more callbacks, or would I definitely need N+ too?

inignot
Aug 31, 2003

WWBCD?

I've recently passed the ISSAP; for no other reason then to annoy self righteous know nothing CISSPs.

Danny LaFever
Dec 29, 2008

Old school capitalist

Strike Anywhere posted:

What were the worst parts that made it a huge slog for you? Was the studying the slog or getting to the test and realizing the minutia you were required to remember?

I just passed my 70-640 this week and I think the big thing for me was most of the exam was based on the last four chapters of the Microsoft Press book I used. So it was a lot of content that I don't utilize for my job. (I maintain small and medium sized networks)

So I had to really buff up on that stuff and I have next to no lab that I could spin five or six virtuals on and do the exercises those chapters called for.

I guess my challenges may or may not be what your challengers are but I'm also the sort that over prepares for exams (I must have put about 100 hours into this one over three months)

That said, there was only one question that really surprised me on the exam and I ended up with an 850. I think I'll do the 642 next and then the 646 and leave it at that.

Xenaero
Sep 26, 2006

Dancing Underneath
The
Skies of Lust



So I have to buy two $160+ vouchers for the A+ test? That seems pretty greedy, why is it split into two exams?

Kaethela
Jul 29, 2012

shut up woman get on my horse



Xenaero posted:

So I have to buy two $160+ vouchers for the A+ test? That seems pretty greedy, why is it split into two exams?

quote:

In order to get certified, you must pass two exams: CompTIA A+ Essentials and CompTIA A+ Practical Application. This voucher is valid for ONE of the following CompTIA A+ exams:

220-701 or 220-801 for CompTIA A+ Essentials
220-702 or 220-802 for CompTIA A+ Practical Application

Yep, gotta buy separate ones for both.

Dehry
Aug 21, 2009


I'm looking at going for an IT job. Preferably in the Support/Administration side of things. I have a BACS, but no internships or certs (I had to work through school and screwed up my GPA.) I was the Chief Engineer for the college's radio station which was nothing more major than fixing viruses and installing specialized audio hardware and software. I've been turned down from several interviews because I don't have any helpdesk experience and my network skills are almost non existent since I was focused on the programming side.

TL/DR I'm a crappy programmer and my support skills are rusty.

What kind of cert would be the best for me? I've been looking at A+ and Security+. I live in the Dayton, OH area and there are plenty of DOD contractors working with the Air Force Base here, but I'm not sure what would get them to hire me.

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


Xenaero posted:

So I have to buy two $160+ vouchers for the A+ test? That seems pretty greedy, why is it split into two exams?

Because CompTIA is a greedy rear end in a top hat of a company that basically survives off of defrauding the government.

Traffic Reporter
Oct 6, 2003

When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.


Dehry posted:

I'm looking at going for an IT job. Preferably in the Support/Administration side of things. I have a BACS, but no internships or certs (I had to work through school and screwed up my GPA.) I was the Chief Engineer for the college's radio station which was nothing more major than fixing viruses and installing specialized audio hardware and software. I've been turned down from several interviews because I don't have any helpdesk experience and my network skills are almost non existent since I was focused on the programming side.

TL/DR I'm a crappy programmer and my support skills are rusty.

What kind of cert would be the best for me? I've been looking at A+ and Security+. I live in the Dayton, OH area and there are plenty of DOD contractors working with the Air Force Base here, but I'm not sure what would get them to hire me.

A+ is definitely where you want to start if you're looking for a helpdesk/support job, but I wouldn't say it's necessary if you're just looking to get into the field. You'd probably be better served by expanding your job search to Cincinnati. Between Blue Ash and Northern KY there are a million more entry level tech jobs than in Dayton. Just make sure to emphasize the skills you do have (things like getting a virus of a coworker's laptop, setting up a home router for a family member, etc.) rather than letting them focus on your lack of formal experience. There's nothing wrong with putting personal, non-work experience like that on your resume.

Daylen Drazzi
Mar 10, 2007

Why do I root for Notre Dame? Because I like pain, and disappointment, and anguish. Notre Dame Football has destroyed more dreams than the Irish Potato Famine, and that is the kind of suffering I can get behind.

Dehry posted:

I'm looking at going for an IT job. Preferably in the Support/Administration side of things. I have a BACS, but no internships or certs (I had to work through school and screwed up my GPA.) I was the Chief Engineer for the college's radio station which was nothing more major than fixing viruses and installing specialized audio hardware and software. I've been turned down from several interviews because I don't have any helpdesk experience and my network skills are almost non existent since I was focused on the programming side.

TL/DR I'm a crappy programmer and my support skills are rusty.

What kind of cert would be the best for me? I've been looking at A+ and Security+. I live in the Dayton, OH area and there are plenty of DOD contractors working with the Air Force Base here, but I'm not sure what would get them to hire me.

Hello fellow Daytonian (oops, guess the secret is out now)! Even with A+, Net+, and Sec+ you won't get anyone interested in you without some sort of security clearance (I have tried for a couple years without success and everyone wants you to already have the security clearance so they don't have to pay for it). You might get a nibble from a company looking for a Helpdesk person if you have them - I know CGI had a posting on Dice.com for a Helpdesk position at Wright-Patt AFB, but it looks to have been removed since last night.

If you had to choose, go with the A+ cert - it may not be much, but it at least gets you past the HR drones, and pretty much every IT employer wants you to have it - doors begin to open with the cert and some IT experience. Good luck!

Dehry
Aug 21, 2009


Thanks everyone! I'll probably end up going for the A+ then. I was hoping for some better news for the local market, but that's exactly what I was experiencing. My part time job cut my hours to almost nothing so I'll have PLENTY of time to study it after next week.

chocolateTHUNDER
Jul 19, 2008

GIVE ME ALL YOUR FREE AGENTS

ALL OF THEM


What's the general consensus on the best A+ book to get? The one's from the OP?

blakout
Oct 11, 2008

This is our City, we do whatever the fuck we want to.



I really like the book from Michael Meyers simple easy and available on kindle

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AntennaGeek
May 30, 2011



Dehry posted:

What kind of cert would be the best for me? I've been looking at A+ and Security+. I live in the Dayton, OH area and there are plenty of DOD contractors working with the Air Force Base here, but I'm not sure what would get them to hire me.

Ah, the hell of the Dayton IT job market.

In my recent experience, I didn't start getting phonecalls until I got my Network+ certification, and even then, they were for offbase jobs at non-DoD contracting gigs.

If working on base is your endgame/goal, you should look at getting the Security+ certification. It was a fairly straightforward test in my opinion, look for advice on it elsewhere in this thread.

If you're worried about just getting ANY job, watch Dice.com on a daily basis, some of the contractors will post entry level helpdesk stuff for their offbase buildings w/no clearance requirements needed. ( You might also watch UD/Sinclair for helpdesk openings or similar things. UD seems to post for helpdesk every 8-10 months. I applied three times, and didn't get to inperson interviews until 2nd attempt. )

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