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I recently looked into doing the foundation ITIL v3 certification in IT Service Management from EXIN, not because I’ve any desire to work in service desk management but thought I’d like to study something in the new year and it’s no bad thing to have on a CV in Ireland these days.

My investigating stopped when I discovered the fact that you’re not allowed sit the exam involved without having attended authorised training, usually 2-3 days, at a cost of about €1,500.

We at EXIN are doing everything in our power to develop good exams.
A lot of attention goes into quality insurance and exam evaluation.
This is why participating in an accredited training course for IT Service
Management Practitioner and IT Service Management Service Delivery or
Service Support is mandatory, otherwise you will not be allowed to
write these exams. However, accreditation of courses that lead to the
Foundation Certificate is voluntary. In any case, EXIN encourages all
candidates to take their course at an accredited training provider.

What a jip! If this is some attempt to preserve the value of this certification then EXIN are fooling themselves. In the past week I’ve acquired CBT training for ITIL v2, several copies of test prep software with actual recent v3 exams and multiple study guides that sell for $100 plus, all of which I paid ZIP for, including a complete ITIL v3 course from IBM.

Who’s to say I couldn’t use all the above to learn the material properly at my pace and receive a higher mark than I would have done after 3 days in the classroom having someone ram the stuff down my throat and thrusting me into an exam I’m truly not ready for?

Wake up EXIN. As the popularity of ITIL grows in 2008, at least in the case of the v3 Foundations exam, give people a damn choice as to how much they spend
and how and when they learn the material.

Update @ 16/01/08 – Never let it be said that I don’t admit my
mistakes! With the end of year madness over I’ve reread the above quote
from the EXIN site and it seems I jumped the gun just a bit. You CAN
sit the ITIL Foundations certification without course attendance.

However, I stand by the original arguments i.e.

  • far too many IT certifications today have become devalued too easily,
  • self
    study + sufficient practice is often a cheaper and better alternative
    to expensive class based learning in order to get certified,
  • and
    forced classroom attendance as a means of protecting the value of
    certain paths is naive as long as TestKing, ActualTests and the like
    are around.

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Update @ 09-April-08: Since this is probably my most popular landing page from the search engines for those seeking out sample dashboards, Xcelsius or otherwise, I thought I’d post an update.

After almost a year and with a dozen or so Xcelsius dashboards in production, the original image no longer reflects my work. It was in fact the very first working model I produced in Xcelsius 4.5.
Now that I’m a bit older and wiser here’s a shot from recent work that better reflects where I’m at.

T_SampleDashboard_OwnColourScheme_NoLogo

For anyone interested in designing executive dashboards, here’s a shot of one I’ve been working on.

Sample_EPWSalesDashboard

It makes good use of dynamic visibility to display greater detail for underlying metrics associated with the chosen KPI and uses XSQL under Tomcat to dynamically query an Oracle database.

Any thoughts or feedback appreciated 😉 frank rich noelia ron paul youtube iphone galilea montijo blogher paris hilton google harry potter music beyonce myspace beyonce falls simpsons movie

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I just spent the last three days doing some formal training on Crystal Xcelsius, and man this product rocks! I say formal ( as in instructor led ) training because I’ve been playing with it on and off since January, all the while dancing a jig with Crystal Reports and the incarnations of Server. Over the last few days it’s all come together nicely and you can check out some of this week’s output below.

SampleXcelsiusDashboard_SupportersClub

Try the interactive dashboard (Opens in new window)

The world and his dog wants a KPI Dashboard or a Balanced Scorecard inside their enterprise software these days, some way to see how the business is doing, so the work planned for me in the weeks ahead will hopefully lead to much bigger things. Thanks to an outstanding trainer now I’m pretty well armed to take it on!“ron paul” akon amanda beard authority bebo beyonce britney dailymotion facebook fergie fights fred thompson friendster g8

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Well all, it’s early June, my move from Blogger to WordPress is complete, and Dublin is buzzing again. Students are finishing final exams and as the sun shines others are wondering what else lies beyond their cubicle walls.

Next time you face a technical interview, do yourself a favour and check out GeekInterview. It’s a real gem that you may not have seen before, and could swing an otherwise bad experience your way.

GeekInterview Home


For both hiring managers and candidates it’s a real treasure trove of information on everything from networking and various operating systems to CRM, ETL and Data Warehousing. Never be stuck again when asked to explain normal forms, or almost anything else for that matter. If you can’t find what you’re after you can post questions too.

Interviews aside, you’ll also find white papers, tech articles and certification info. If you know of similar helpful sites,  please leave a comment to let me know.

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