I won’t go into the circumstances surrounding CertGuard accusing Ethan Banks of cheating. You can read articles at other Cisco Blogs. Here is my take:
Accuser has a vested interest
The person doing the accusing certainly has a lot to gain. As the CEO and ‘Co-Founder’ of a self proclaimed defender of certification integrity, he is certainly going to get publicity – as they say, bad publicity is better than no publicity.
Disclaimer: I am the CEO and Founder of my company. The fact that I am the only employee does not mean that I am not important. I don’t publicise this fact because I would feel uncomfortable about attempting to make myself look important.
About the Accuser
From his Profile –
“While on a quest for more knowledge, Robert decided to work on earning a certification when he noticed the abundance of braindumps and illegal services that plagued the industry. Putting his certifications and further education on hold, Robert decided that it was time for someone to dedicate their time to preventing the spread of these illegal products and services. And CertGuard was born…”
Does anyone else find this odd ? Let me ask some things that come to my mind:
Is he setting out to save us from ourselves ? Did we need saving ?
Do the exam vendors need his help to solve this problem ?
Certguard Mission Statement
I also find interesting the Certguard MIssion Statement, which is a misguided and amateurish piece of work if ever I saw it.
1. Maintaining and expanding its continued operational status.
So I read this to say that their first interest is to make sure they are making money. Which doesn’t sound right.
No mention of customer focus, or providing a service. Is this a reflection of Certguard’s real motive, to make money for its owners, while clothed in a veneer ofrespectability ?
Is CertSearch worthwhile ?
Its hard to say. The don’t appear to have partnerships with any of the major vendors since they don’t list any on their Web site. The best assumption is that no-one wants to publicly admit it, the worst assumption would be that CertGuard has no partners.
Ethan banks Integrity
Accusing Ethan Banks of cheating would seem to be the most outrageous claim anyone can make. Those of us who have corresponded with Ethan, and followed him over the last two years would find it hard to accept any wrongdoing on his part.
However, Robert Williams has taken an entirely pedantic view in his blog at NetworkWorld claiming that any form of cheating is simply cheating, replying to all comers that a zero tolerance position on cheating is the least that he can do. In fact, he owes it to all of us.
Immoral Business Practice
On one hand, the use of braindumps and illegal training materials is a problem but the approach that this company has taken to generate discussion is not moral. I am reasonably sure that the intention is good.
Is Robert Williams Stupid ?
Lets assume for the moment that CertGuard passionately believe that they are on some type of divine mission to do something about cheating, which is admirable.
If you didn’t have any business experience you might not understand how big business works – and thus you can’t make a partnership with a company like Cisco.
If you didn’t think about what your are blogging, you might get caught up in the moment and say something you later regret. Common mistake for many bloggers.
Then you might get offended by people who respond angrily to your offensive accusations. You might even be personally offended (even though you are a public person).
If you didn’t have any personal skills, you might not realise that you should apologise, and try to make good when have done something wrong.
But how stupid do you have to be, to offend the very community that you are trying to defend ? Are we not the people who are the very audience, the community who would have supported and encouraged CertGuard ? Does making us angry improve this situation.
Many people have responded to the NWW blog, and he has had every opportunity to resile from his position. That he has not done so suggests that something is very wrong with Robert Williams and CertGuard.
What next ?
Even if Robert Williams and Certguard comes up with an apology, and Ethan Banks accepts it, the question is, do we want CertGuard representing us in the future ?
My first response is that Certguard are proven untrustworthy, unable to build a community, given to offensive action and pedantic bigots.
On the other hand, no one else is doing anything about certification cheats.
Do we accept a second rate Certguard is lieu of any other choice ?