The Oracle iPro



  • I'm studying the above qualification alongside my A+ Certification. Despite apparently being more or less obligatory in the United Kingdom for anyone wanting a PC repair qualification, it has yet to acquire its own Wikipedia entry. This is mildly ominous.

    On the surface, it was actually both interesting and extremely useful; we were all given a case study involving a small business whose IT infrastructure was of basement-office-in-Elbonia calibre, and told to draw up a detailed report on how to improve it. This being exactly the kind of thing I want to make a living out of doing, I set about it with great enthusiasm. And then I learned exactly what the iPro seemed to be expecting of me.

    • I was told to ditch a questionnaire containing more than twenty detailed and highly specific questions about the recipient's IT skills in favour of a nearly useless one in which recipients were merely asked to rate their skills in five broad areasbetween one and five because, "it'll make for a better report." No, it would make for an infinitely worse report because I'd have to waste several additional man-hours figuring out how much the staff really knew. WTF Level: Mild; I suppose I'm not always going to get to write my own questionnaires, and may as well get used to working with one hand tied behind my back when the ones I'm given were written by some REMF in Marketing.
    • The company structure "must be explained with a flowchart." Not, "must be explained in a clear and concise manner" or "must be explained in adequate but comprehensible detail", just "with a flowchart." Note that the case study we were given is for a company that employs fewer than twenty personnel and only has one office; I could explain its structure to an average five year-old child without needing a sodding flowchart. WTF Level: Moderate; I'm probably going to find myself working for someone who who honestly needs a flowchart to comprehend the structure of a company this size at some point.
    • I was made to go through my lengthy report on hardware requirements and recommendations and take out all the clear and concise statements of sort-of professional opinion -such as, "Wireless mice and keyboards are a complete waste of money", and "There is absolutely no point in buying Microsoft Office"- and replace them with various weasel words for the same thing. Pardon me for thinking that speaking as one finds and calling a spade a spade was a virtue... WTF Level: Moderate; the way we seem to be going these days, someone could sue me for libel.
    • My report didn't include enough references and sources. WTF Level: None; I have to admit that I had been subconsciously assuming that the Highly Paid Consultant, possessed of arcane wisdom beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, was all the source material someone like the owner of this company would need. The fact that this is probably true doesn't make it right.
    • All my source material had to be included with my report... which was to be submitted in hardcopy. WTF Level: Off the frigging chart. Does any commercial organisation anywhere really going to expect me to print off twenty different pages from Computer Shopper's website, two Yellow Pages keyword searches and a Wikipedia article about fire extinguishers? Most of the rest came out of my training manual, by the way; whilst LearnKey were helpful enough to include a PDF version of the book on the CD containing a bunch of multimedia revision aids and all the author's favourite utility freeware, one suspects not everyone taking this course is so fortunate.
    It was at this last hurdle that I finally decided to go against the advice of my instructor -who is an extremely competent individual and in no way to blame for any of this, I might add- and just make a References and Sources page with some help from TinyURL. If I lose marks for this, so mote it be; I know they say you shouldn't assume relevant knowledge on the part of your examiner, but if this is being marked by someone who is incapable of typing an address into a web browser then my resume really won't be much poorer for not including an iPro.



  • @Jake Grey said:

    Despite apparently being more or less obligatory in the United Kingdom
     

    I work in the UK and I've never heard of this one.  Google didn't turn up much either.  I have a nagging suspicion that it may be a complete waste of time. 

    Edit: w00t 100 posts! 



  • @Jake Grey said:

    I was made to go through my lengthy report on hardware requirements and recommendations and take out all the clear and concise statements of sort-of professional opinion -such as, "Wireless mice and keyboards are a complete waste of money", and "There is absolutely no point in buying Microsoft Office"- and replace them with various weasel words for the same thing. Pardon me for thinking that speaking as one finds and calling a spade a spade was a virtue... WTF Level: Moderate; the way we seem to be going these days, someone could sue me for libel.
     

    This just sounds like the "Pro" part, which is to say, writing with a more professional voice.  I won't argue with ridiculous UK libel laws, but I think that your original phrasing was TRWTF in this case.



  • @Jake Grey said:

    All my source material had to be included with my report...

    ...which means that you can't legally reference most copyrighted material. Ofcourse, that only means you have to write an article including all the information you're going to use, and then include that as the only source in your report.



  • @boomzilla said:

    This just sounds like the "Pro" part, which is to say, writing with a more professional voice.

    I'd say the problem is more how absolute the statements are about decisions that could be quite subjective. Someone that really hates messy wires might find the extra costs of wireless mice and keyboards completely reasonable.



  • upsidedowncreature: I'm inclined to agree, except for the fact that it got me a substantial discount on the A+ Certification tuition and exam entrance fees. For all that it's probably going to be the kind of qualification you eventually stop bothering to put on your resume because you're tired of having to explain it all the time, it did at least save me some cash.

    								        boomzilla: Maybe so. I however consider the fact that it's considered more professional to dance around a point and pretend you don't <i>really</i> think something is TRWTF, but hey, maybe that's just me.</p><p>&nbsp;Faxmachinen: If there's some legal reason I can't reference stuff like <i>Computer Shopper</i> or <i>Which? </i>Magazine in a commercial capacity, fair enough. But if that's the case, I presume an actual consultancy would have compiled its own data for the use of its employees; some concession to the fact that someone studying for an iPro <i>doesn't</i> might have been helpful.</p><p>stinch: Two words: cable ties. </p>


  • Hi, I am currently trying to finish my ipro

    WOuld it be cheeky to ask if can see an example of yours?



  • Why not? PM me with your email address and I'll send you the lot. But be advised that I never actually bothered handing it in in the end, so I can't vouch for its usefulness or quality.

    EDIT: And I really shouldn't be surprised that Community Server's tag system can't tell the difference between a comma and a semi-colon, should I?


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