What better way to start this blog than with a somewhat unique certification exam experience? With 3 CompTIA certifications under my belt (A+, Network+, and Security+), the organization guessed, quite correctly as it would turn out, that I might be interested in participating in the beta exam process for their new certification, Mobility+. I’m also sure the fact that I had failed to unsubscribe from their various newsletter also played a small role in receiving the offer. Now, I’m not trying to imply that I was one of the few, the proud, and the elite of the certification world, not at all. In fact, I suspect I was simply one of thousands who received this email invitation. The caveat to the invitation was that simply grabbing the registration code (needed for the Pearson Vue registration process) and booking a nice and safe time a few months in the future was not good enough, you had to be one of the first 400 people to write the exam and if you were not, your booked time would be cancelled.
Regarding the exam itself, the only preparation material provided by CompTIA prior to the beta commencing was the typical exam topics list that they would provide for any of their exams. There was no real context to the list provided nor was there anything resembling a usable study resource at the time. In addition to the topic list, CompTIA also recommended that exam candidates have their Network+, which I had obtained previously, and some mobility experience. In the dark days of my past, I was…fortunate enough to have spent some time on a cellular provider’s Tier 1 support desk. As such, I had become fairly comfortable with current cellular terminology and also had some mobility troubleshooting experience, both items being a part of the exam topic list.
With no handy study guides available and with the beta costing nothing to write, I took the worst possible approach to exam preparation…I did nothing! On exam day I went to our only publicly available testing centre in the city and sat down, I had no idea as to what to expect. I quickly progressed through well over a hundred questions and if I had to guess, likely exhausted the majority of the beta exam’s question pool . To avoid breaking any sort of NDA, I will simply state the exam focused more on Mobile Device Management (MDM) than I suspected it would, with very little emphasis on understanding current cellular technologies. It could have simply been a result of the questions that happened to be assigned to me, time will tell.
Upon completion of the beta exam, a participant did not received a mark, nor any indication of a pass or a fail. This was because that CompTIA had not even determined a passing mark as of yet. I wrote the exam on June 16, 2013 and it wasn’t until late November that I found out, via snail mail from Pearson Vue, that I had passed the exam. The CompTIA certification kit followed shortly after and I (somewhat) proudly posted the contents of the package on Facebook and Twitter!
Mobility+ will be a certification that I’ll try to keep an eye on in the coming months. There certainly seems to a gap in tech certifications when it comes to the mobility world. If I had to guess, I imagine the large vendors have been preparing their own certification programs, but in the meantime, CompTIA has drawn early blood in another round of the cutthroat tech cert battle!