May 2007
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About

I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
Creative Commons License

No soup for you! Wait… email say you get soup.

So, the CSSA class and exam last week was fun – if you like being a guinea pig. Okay, that sorta goes with being a Techie, so it really wasn’t that bad.

We were only the 4th group to go through the new course, so thankfully the instructor was one of the top Engineers from SonicWALL and had the knowledge necessary to make heads and tales out of the slide deck and course book. Whoever wrote it was not a native-born English speaker, and apparently did not know what to do with the grammar check in his office suite.

Nor was that person a CSSA, as they got a number of things just outright wrong.

The really fun bit though was good and bad. The class is normally taught using a TZ170 Wireless model firewall that you get to keep (one of the reasons the class costs $1300 is $400 worth of training hardware). This time, though, they gave out brand-new TZ180 Wireless units, which is pretty cool. The new hardware is a definite improvement over the 170 (about twice the throughput and memory as the 170), but it isn’t in full production yet. The hardware is just fine – it’s the firmware that is still in beta. The best bug we found is that if you enable the “block all” content filter, it blocks all webpages – including the login page to control the unit.

Oops.

Still, even with all that going on, I thought it was a good course, but that probably has a lot to do with the instructor’s knowledge level. If you take the pre-req online courses and pay attention during the training, you should be able to pass the test – unlike me.

I missed one question too many. D’oh!!

My big problem with tests is that I read quickly, and comprehend just as fast. When taking a test, I have a habit of zooming through and usually doing pretty good. Old age, however, has apparently thrown a wrench into that because the last few tests I’ve taken I have done poorly the first time through. I’ve taken to forcing myself to take the test twice, essentially – go through it once as normal, then go back to the start and do it again to double-check my work.

I couldn’t do that this time, however, due to the nature of the test. The test code is written in such a way that once you submit your answer, there is no going back. I tried to slow down, but it just wasn’t enough. The instructor popped up a couple of times with either additional information or corrected information to a couple questions, but I had already submitted those answers and so ended up missing one too many to pass the exam. (I missed 9, but would only have missed 5 or 6 with the additional info / corrected questions.)

So, as I’m asking the instructor about setting up a re-test, he gets an email from the rest of the testing team saying they have to lower the passing grade requirements due to the problems with the course book and test questions. A passing grade is now 75%…and I had scored 76%.

Woohoo!! Saved by email!

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