Archive for April 2008

CompTIA Certifications Earn ANSI Accreditation

Internationally recognized measurement of quality for CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. (Vocus/PRWEB ) April 30, 2008 — The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the leading provider of vendor-neutral certifications for the world’s technology workforce, announced today that three of its professional certifications – CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ – have achieved accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

CompTIA Logo

Accreditation of the three certifications is the culmination of a multi-month process to verify compliance with requirements outlined in internationally accepted standards for assessing personnel certification programs (ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024); and for the operation of accreditation bodies (ISO/IEC 17011).

“The ANSI accreditation process provides certification bodies with an internationally recognized measurement of quality and benchmarks by which to evaluate and improve their practices,” said Dr. Roy Swift, ANSI director of personnel certification accreditation. “Accreditation by an independent body that conducts an impartial review under the auspices of ISO/IEC 17011 and ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 creates an extremely valuable distinction for a personnel certification program. This value extends through the service network – from certification body, to certificate holder, to employer, to the public they serve.”

ANSI is a global leader in the accreditation of personnel certification programs and is the only U.S. accreditor that requires a week-long assessor training as well as a mandatory annual training update to meet the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011.

“We are extremely pleased that our certification programs have achieved this important accreditation,” said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. “This highly-desired status further affirms that CompTIA certifications are the recognized industry benchmark for a broad range of foundation-level IT skills.”

CompTIA A+ certification validates skills needed by computer support professionals, including installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventive maintenance, basic networking, security, safety, environmental issues, and communication and professionalism.

CompTIA Network+ validates an IT professional’s ability to install, configure and troubleshoot basic networking hardware, protocols and services.

CompTIA Security+ validates knowledge of communication security, infrastructure security, cryptography, operational security, and general security concepts.

About CompTIA
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the voice of the world’s $3 trillion information technology industry. CompTIA membership extends into more than 100 countries and includes companies at the forefront of innovation; the channel partners and solution providers they rely on to bring their products to market; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their technology investments. For more information, please visit www.comptia.org.

Contact:
Steven Ostrowski
Director, Corporate Communications
CompTIA
Phone: 630-678-8468
Email: sostrowski @ comptia.org

Let’s be fair about Vista

This morning I read Preston Gralla’s blog about the trials and errors of Vista migration and came an uncomfortable realization that although a lot of the disappointment, frustration and occasional hatred for Microsoft’s latest Windows release is clearly the company’s fault, there is a measure that is also perpetuated by the media, and, admittedly, somewhat unfairly.

Gralla, who blogs on Computerworld, wrote about his own personal experience with a Vista migration. He and his 18 year old son decided to take on the task of moving his 80-something year old grandfather into the 21st century by moving him from an old Windows 98 PC to a new computer with Windows Vista.

Now, being an alumni for a large, renowned media outlet such as Computerworld, you would think Gralla would be completely prepared for this task. However, it did not go as well as planned, and in the end his conclusion was that there was no mystery surrounding the slow rate of Vista adoption. Vista was not popular, and no wonder. You can read about his adventure with Vista in Vista Fails the Grandpa Test

At first I took the article for what it was, a frustrating expedition into the world of Vista madness. By the time I finished reading it, I realized I wasn’t thinking this through myself. This wasn’t written by a novice user, it was written by someone who is aware of the issues surrounding Vista and is supposed to be prepared for such an upgrade.  This is a great story, but it is not great journalism, because it isn’t fair.

So, although I am not a Vista fan, I want to be fair. I posted the following response:

I understand Vista is not the easiest OS to migrate to and I have no plans to move to it myself. While I commend Gralla and Son for thinking ahead on the printer and scanner, I am somewhat confused as to why other items were overlooked. From what I read it seems that five hours of frustration could have been avoided had there been a little more planning and forethought.

For instance, why didn’t they copy the files with a thumb drive? It would have been more expedient than burning the files to CD. Obviously the old Win98 PC had a working USB port since the DSL modem was connected via USB. If it were a matter of drivers there are drivers available on the net to take care of it.

Second, didn’t anyone check all the devices and their connections on the old PC before purchasing the new one? I find it interesting that no one noticed the DSL modem was connected to USB until after the fact and assumed that simply plugging the modem into the USB port on the Vista PC would automatically connect it. Knowing this was a Win98 to Vista migration it would make sense to check device compatibility with everything connected to the PC, not just the printer and scanner.

Third, why on earth anyone would attempt to install DSL software from an old CD on a Vista PC and expect it to just work is beyond me. After all the articles and blogs on Computerworld about Vista and issues with legacy applications and drivers I would have thought Gralla would know better than this. I certainly am surprised that he was surprised it would crash the first time.

The USB memory stick would have eliminated the entire Gmail experience as well, although had he thought it through he could have used other methods to transfer the files over.

As for AOL, I won’t even go there.

Overall, while I will agree that from my experience this is somewhat typical of many users who migrate from an older OS to Vista, I also agree that they wasted five hours and two days of needless angst that could have been avoided had they thought this through and spent a few extra minutes planning it.

I would certainly expect this experience from the typical end user but not from a tech and certainly not from someone who purportedly knows the score, knows what he’s up against and blogs about it day in and day out on a high profile site such as Computerworld.

Now, that just fails me.

Rick Savoia
The Force Field for IT service providers
http://www.theforcefield.net

To Buy or To Lease Equipment – That is the Question for Small Business Owners

According the Small Business Administration, more than 600,000 small businesses are started each year in the United States. And David Birch, former head of a research firm specializing in small business data, found that 85 percent of businesses fail in their first year. While those new businesses range from home-based, online and traditional brick and mortar establishments, most of these businesses have one thing in common – they need equipment to be able to operate successfully and avoid becoming one of Birch's statistics. But because there are costs, often large ones, associated with starting a new business, many business owners are faced with the question of whether to buy or lease equipment. Commercial leasing expert and founder of Lease with Crystal, Crystal Riley reveals the four questions every business owner should ask before buying or leasing equipment.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 29, 2008 — Small business owners need equipment to be able to operate successfully and avoid becoming one of the 85 percent of businesses that fail within the first year of operation. But because there are costs, often large ones, associated with starting a new business, many business owners are faced with the question of whether to buy or lease equipment. Crystal Riley, president of Lease with Crystal, a company dedicated to providing customized commercial leasing programs, believes that the decision to buy or lease equipment should be considered seriously.

"There are several key considerations business owners need to factor in when deciding how to procure new equipment for their businesses," says Riley. "These considerations go far beyond which one is cheaper in the short term. Rather, tax breaks, resale value, and the net cost of the asset all need to be considered carefully."

How Much Will Be Needed for Upfront Costs?
According to Riley, one of the major benefits to leasing equipment is that the upfront costs are far less than if the equipment was purchased. There are very few instances where a lease requires a down payment, thus allowing a business owner to purchased needed equipment without significantly affecting cash flow. "Leasing can be especially helpful for business owners who have less-than-stellar credit or those who need to negotiate lower payments over a longer period of time," says Riley. In addition, when business owners are leasing equipment under $100,000 they rarely have to provide financial statements, tax returns and business plans.

Some business owners who chose to buy their equipment have the money to purchase the equipment outright, but more realistically, a business owner looking to purchase equipment will have to finance a portion of the purchase. While financing the equipment will lead to ultimate ownership, most banks require a 20 percent down payment, which affects cash flow and may tie up lines of credit. "Some lenders may also place restrictions on your future financial operations to ensure that the loan is repaid," says Riley. "This alone can make things difficult for some small business owners who may need to access more loans to keep his or her business afloat."

How Will Buying or Leasing Equipment Affect Taxes?
Both leasing and owning property provide tax advantages to small business owners. Generally speaking, lease payments can be deducted as a business expense on a tax return. As such, the net cost of the lease is reduced, providing an overall savings. Many business owners find that after factoring in these deductions, they often save money by purchasing leased equipment. Conversely, Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code allows for the deduction of some newly purchased assets in the first year. "In Tax Year 2007, equipment costs up to $112,000 could be deducted," says Riley. "Some equipment is not eligible under Section 179, but tax savings can be realized on almost any piece of business equipment through the business depreciation deduction."

What Will the Equipment Be Worth?
"One of the major disadvantages of leasing equipment is that because you are not purchasing it, it cannot be considered an asset and cannot be sold," says Riley. "Conversely, after you purchase equipment, it's yours. This is especially advantageous when dealing with a piece of equipment that has a long, useful – and I emphasize useful – life and is not in danger of becoming technologically obsolete in a short period of time." According to Riley, leasing is a way to address equipment that may become obsolete in a short period of time is to lease it. A lease passes the burden of obsolescence onto the lessor rather than the purchaser. "When leased equipment becomes outdated, you can give it back to the owner at the expiration of the lease and get new, current, higher end equipment," says Riley.

Riley warns that another major consideration is how much a piece of equipment will depreciate. "A computer system depreciates far faster than office furniture," says Riley. "So, you have to pay special attention to the equipment and make sure that what you spend for it today will not be markedly different than what you can sell it for tomorrow. Certainly, some depreciation will occur simply through normal aging and wear and tear, but it's always something to consider."

How Long Will the Equipment Be Used?
Before leasing equipment, Riley warns that you need to be sure you are really going to use the equipment. "A lease is a contract that lasts over a defined period of time," explains Riley. "As such, if you lease a piece of equipment for three years, and find that after two years, you are no longer using it, you still have to pay that last year of the lease. That is not to say that some leases don't give you the option to cancel the lease, because some do. But they will levy a huge termination fee."

Crystal Riley has in-depth management experience and comprehensive understanding of the business world. Offering a unique skill set that is necessary to effectively put deals together, having served as the special director for music mogul Jimmy Iovine for several years, Crystal rose through the ranks at Interscope Geffen A & M to become a master of campaign development and overall project management. As an executive in the music industry, she committed herself twenty-four hours a day to ensure successful strategic partnerships with Apple, Napster, Yahoo, Starbucks, Microsoft and Facebook. Leaving the industry, Crystal followed in the footsteps of her family, which includes generations upon generations of successful entrepreneurs. Lease With Crystal opened its doors in 2008, with the backing of Lease One – an original inventor in the Equipment Leasing world, with 20 years of experience. Crystal lives in Los Angeles with her family. More information about Lease with Crystal can be found by visiting www.leasewithcrystal.com.

Who needs Windows XP? I do.

I was reading a Computerworld blog today that commented on Microsoft’s current stance on the impending end of the line for Windows XP this June. I found the comments somewhat interesting and varied, but as I continued to read, the frustration began to simmer and then I read a reply by someone named Bob Bain.

Mr. Bain apparently felt that the XP supporters were just Vista haters who, as he put it, fell into three groups: those who did not have the resources to support Vista, those who simply bought into the negative hype and those who just resisted change. He asked, “Who needs XP? Not me”, and proceeded to sing the praises of the OS and chide those who refuse to keep up with the changing technology.

This really irritated me. Is he saying he believes everyone should be forced to upgrade simply because the technology exists, and everyone who doesn’t or can’t do so when Microsoft decrees it should be cut off?

Who does he think he is?

There are many reasons for people not to upgrade to Vista. Just because Microsoft says I should do so doesn’t mean it is right for me or that I should. This is my PC, not Ballmer’s. I built it, I paid for it, I operate it and I decide when, how and if I upgrade, not the CEO of the company who sold the software to me. If I don’t want Vista, it is my right. If I want to buy XP, any company who aims to please their customers and sell more software would be stupid not to sell it to me. I am the consumer. I am the customer. The company should sell the customer what the customer wants, not try to force the customer to buy something the customer does not want.

What other business that wants to stay in business and keep its customers does that?

Do I hate Vista? No. I simply don’t want it. I have very good reasons not to want Vista on my systems.

Aside from my business as a reseller and system builder I do audio production. I do not use or recommend Vista for AV production at this time because of driver issues and, particularly, DRM. It causes too many problems in my environment and I neither have the time nor the resources to deal with it.

Why should I plunk down all that money for overpriced licenses and then deal with the costs and headache (time=money as well, you know) of trying to get it to play nice in my studio just to fatten Ballmer’s bottom (line) when I could just install Windows XP and go about my business? Why would I want to do that? Why should I? Because Microsoft said so? Because I will be branded as a Vista hater if I don’t? It’s my money. It’s my PC. It should be my decision. Where are my rights as a consumer here?

To all those who look down in disdain on those who haven’t adopted Vista – and contrary to a previous post, we are NOT in the minority – may I remind you that as consumers of software, whether home users, SMBs or enterprise – that we are the customer, we have a right to complain when we are paying through the nose for “the use” of this software and Microsoft, as a vendor and provider of such software ABSOLUTELY has an obligation to LISTEN and give the customer what the customer wants.

If not, they will lose that customer, no matter how tight a grip they have on the market.

That’s business. That is how the market is supposed to work.

Episode 19 – Selling Linux – Part 3

This week, we will talk with Larry Kettler, President and CEO of Linspire, Inc. and learn how we can partner with his company to provide open source products and services to our customers. Part 3 of a 3 part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard 1:09

News and Comment segment 3:36
Technology news site Neowin.net posted a list of release dates for Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 last week. According to the schedule, SP3 is scheduled for release April 21, 2008.

TheForceField.net has joined forces with TradePub.com to offer you a new and exciting, and professional resource. Now you can subscribe to complimentary Information Technology magazines such as PC World, Mac World, eWeek and others in one convenient location. You can also download white papers, webinars, podcasts, and more across 34 industry sectors. Best of all, it's free, and you can't beat free. No credit cards, coupons, or promo codes are required. Subscriptions to these publications are free to professionals who qualify. Visit http://theforcefield.tradepub.com today to browse our selection or go the www.theforcefield.net and click on the menu item labeled Free Publications on the right side bar.

According to an online poll conducted by webcopyplus, a web writing firm based in Vancouver, Canada, over 88 percent of internet users think the quality of content on the web in general is poor. Only .2 percent thought content quality across the web was excellent.

Commercial Break :54
Geekazine Podcast Promo :30

The Mike Tech Show Podcast promo :24

Intro to Interview 2:07
In our last episode we talked with Todd Hughes about the challenges of selling Linux in a Windows world. One lesson we learned was that in order to sell it, we must first know and understand it. To better prepare ourselves for a foray into the Linux marketplace we first need to install and use it ourselves, stake our position in the marketplace and partner with hardware and software vendors who support Linux, who know the business and can help us market open source solutions to our customers.

This week we're going to talk to Larry Kettler, CEO of Linspire, Inc. We will ask where Linux currently stands in the desktop market, hear about CNR, learn about the Linspire Partner Program and find out how we can use it as system builders and resellers to market and sell open source solutions to our customers as we conclude with part 3 of our three part series on – Selling Linux.

Larry Kettler Interview 18:35

Wrap up and Close :46

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Read the rest of this entry »

When Does Open Source Make Sense?

    Two weeks ago, my quiet Sunday afternoon was interrupted by a knock on the back door; my neighbor from across the street needed some computer help. While I normally shy away from helping friends and family with computer issues due to the “ownership of all future problems” factor, I decided to take a quick look.  (I should note that my neighbor owns a heating and cooling company, so he's a good guy to have owe me a favor in return).

    It seems that he had purchased a brand new PC a week ago and decided that he did not want Windows Vista anymore, so he had his cousin (who is a technician at a local computer repair shop) load a pirated copy of XP Pro. The problem they were having was that the PC would not boot to the XP CD. After spending several hours working on this, his cousin gave up. My neighbor's wife suggested he ask me for some help.

    A quick “CD E:” followed by “DIR” revealed a blank CD. Duh! (I should have gotten the name of the PC shop where his cousin works.) “So, what do we do now?” he asks. Well, I am certainly not going to provide a copy of XP for him to use with his pirated key, and while he does have a valid XP Home upgrade key, I am not going to load his pirated copy of 98 just so he can upgrade. This left one choice: Linux.

    We booted up to a live Mepis CD and verified that his digital cameras, printer, and all peripherals worked properly. Within 10 minutes of clicking the “install to hard drive” icon on the Mepis desktop, we were booted into the freshly installed Linux OS. Both my neighbor and his “computer tech” cousin were impressed by the ease of installation, amount of available software, and how easy it was to figure out how to move around in the OS. Two weeks have gone by now and the only time my neighbor has contacted me regarding the computer was to drop off a case of beer in appreciation and tell me how much he likes his new operating system.
    
    A small business finally outgrows the residential grade router they were using as a firewall and is looking for an upgrade to something more robust. They receive several quotes for Sonicwall, Pix, Fortigate, etc., but all of these quotes exceed the available budget.  A good time for open source? You betcha! An IPCop firewall would provide excellent perimeter protection, a VPN solution, and web content filtering all in one box. “How can I sell IPCop, it's open source?” you may ask. Well, the answer to that particular question is that you don't sell IPCop, you sell a firewall and support for that firewall.

   The above situations are what I consider to be good examples of the “right” time for open source. My neighbor needed a new PC, purchased one with Vista preloaded and decided he did not care for the new operating system at all. In addition, there were compatibility issues with his printer and the older of his two digital cameras. Linux offered him a “new” operating system without the learning curve he was experiencing with Vista, worked with all of his peripherals, and was free. The small office needed to upgrade their firewall without spending a large amount of money on hardware and licensing. The IPCop provides a very nice solution with an easy to use web interface that the “IT Person” (read: office manager) can use effectively.

    There are other times when a switch to open source makes sense: a client that needs a mail server but can't justify the expense of Exchange can use ZimbraEbox is a great replacement for SBS.  Nagios is a nice option to What's Up Gold or HP Openview. Need an enterprise class router but can't justify Cisco gear? Take a look at Vyatta .

    Do you have users that need nothing more than email, a word processor, and a web browser? Switch them to Linux. Thunderbird, Open Office, and Firefox look and work the same on Linux as they do in Windows. As an added bonus that user's PC is not going to be susceptible to viruses, spyware, and other malware that will eventually affect performance and even become a risk to their personal information.

    The list of open source alternatives to commercial products is growing everyday. A majority of these alternative applications do not require any special knowledge of Linux at all; they are easy to install, utilize web based administration, and have excellent support through the community. Take the time and familiarize yourself with some of the open source applications that are available. Download a few and play around with them. Install Linux on a spare computer and get familiar with it. Thinking “outside of the box” and having something to offer to your customers that all the “other guys” don't is what will set you apart from the competiton.

    As always, if you have any questions, comments, problems, or want to list me as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, please feel free to contact me at thughes@fwpm.com .

Copyright 2008 Todd Hughes.

The Force Field Podcast to Feature Special Guest Tonight

As most of you know we’ve been running a three part series on Selling Linux. For those who haven’t heard it, this is an in-depth discussion on the current state of Linux adoption in the industry and how we can offer Linux based solutions in our computer businesses as a way to differentiate ourselves from other IT companies and create a profitable niche in an uncrowded market.

Tonight at 12:01 AM EDT I will release Part 3 of this series. It features an interview with the President and CEO of a desktop Linux vendor. To learn the identity of our mystery guest, you can hear a 30 second promo for the episode  below.

{play}http://cdn1.libsyn.com/theforcefield/ff_promo_linux_3.mp3{/play}

I created this series because I think the Wintel market is overcrowded and I really believe that there is more money to be made offering Linux and open source solutions in a field that is wide open than by trying to wedge ourselves into an an already saturated Windows world.

You may disagree with me but let’s be honest, MCSEs are a dime a dozen but there is a real shortage of techs and computer businesses that know Linux – and there is a real and growing demand for them.

Feel free to debate that issue but it is true. Linux is becoming very profitable. The Linux market is wide open.

Anyway, even if you disagree, you may still be interested in tonight’s interview. It is at least thoughtful and it may even change your point of view. Either way, enjoy it and let me know what you think.

Rick

Episode 19 – Selling Linux – Part 3

This week, we will talk with Larry Kettler, President and CEO of Linspire, Inc. and learn how we can partner with his company to provide open source products and services to our customers. Part 3 of a 3 part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:17
Billboard 1:09

News and Comment segment 3:36
Technology news site Neowin.net posted a list of release dates for Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 last week. According to the schedule, SP3 is scheduled for release April 21, 2008.

TheForceField.net has joined forces with TradePub.com to offer you a new and exciting, and professional resource. Now you can subscribe to complimentary Information Technology magazines such as PC World, Mac World, eWeek and others in one convenient location. You can also download white papers, webinars, podcasts, and more across 34 industry sectors. Best of all, it’s free, and you can’t beat free. No credit cards, coupons, or promo codes are required. Subscriptions to these publications are free to professionals who qualify. Visit http://theforcefield.tradepub.com today to browse our selection or go the www.theforcefield.net and click on the menu item labeled Free Publications on the right side bar.

According to an online poll conducted by webcopyplus, a web writing firm based in Vancouver, Canada, over 88 percent of internet users think the quality of content on the web in general is poor. Only .2 percent thought content quality across the web was excellent.

Commercial Break :54
Geekazine Podcast Promo :30

The Mike Tech Show Podcast promo :24

Intro to Interview 2:07
In our last episode we talked with Todd Hughes about the challenges of selling Linux in a Windows world. One lesson we learned was that in order to sell it, we must first know and understand it. To better prepare ourselves for a foray into the Linux marketplace we first need to install and use it ourselves, stake our position in the marketplace and partner with hardware and software vendors who support Linux, who know the business and can help us market open source solutions to our customers.

This week we’re going to talk to Larry Kettler, CEO of Linspire, Inc. We will ask where Linux currently stands in the desktop market, hear about CNR, learn about the Linspire Partner Program and find out how we can use it as system builders and resellers to market and sell open source solutions to our customers as we conclude with part 3 of our three part series on – Selling Linux.

Larry Kettler Interview 18:35

Wrap up and Close :46

©2008 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Windows XP SP3 to be released next week, according to Neowin

(TheForceField.net ) April 16, 2008 — Technology news site Neowin.net posted a list of release dates for Windows XP Service Pack 3 yesterday. According to the schedule, SP3 is scheduled for release April 21, 2008.

The announcement, posted by Christopher Vendemio on April 15, claims the information was obtained internally from Microsoft. According to the schedule, Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be available to OEM's, Volume License, Connect, MSDN and TechNet Subscribers next week. SP3 will be released through Microsoft Update, Windows Update and Download Center April 29.

Other sources pegged the middle to end of April as possible release dates of SP3. Microsoft declined to formally announce a specific date, saying only that the long awaited service pack for the seven year old operating system  would be released sometime in the first half of 2008.

Microsoft said SP3 would be the final service pack and major update of Windows XP. The popular OS is scheduled for End of Life Support June 30, 2010 or soon after the release of Windows 7, which according to Microsoft is scheduled for release sometime between 2009 and 2010.

{mos_fb_discuss:no_discuss} 

IEEE Computer Society to Launch Professional Certification for Entry-Level Software Developers

Certified Software Development Associate Certification Will Validate Job Seekers' Expertise; Aid Employers in Identifying Competent Applicants and Focusing Employee Training

Los Alamitos, Calif. (PRWEB) April 15, 2008 — The IEEE Computer Society, the world's leading organization of computing professionals, today launched a new professional certification for entry-level software developers to complement its existing certification for mid-career software professionals.
Formal announcement of the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) program will take place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on Tuesday, 13 May at 5 p.m. in conjunction with the IEEE Computer Society's annual meeting. The first CSDA exam will be held the same day, featuring students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It will be administered at the Rio by testing partner Prometric.

The Computer Society developed the certification in response to industry's requests for a way to evaluate the skill and knowledge of those entering the software field. The CSDA exam covers core software-engineering principles and validates an entry-level candidate's knowledge of the foundations of computer science, mathematics, and engineering. It is designed to complement the Computer Society's Certified Software Development Professional program.

"Software engineers should take the CSDA because it offers them the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in, and commitment to, software-engineering principles," said Susan K. (Kathy) Land, CSDP and president-elect of the IEEE Computer Society. "Individuals should strive to separate themselves and to show that they possess this fundamental understanding. This can be accomplished by taking the CSDA and then ultimately the CSDP."

Steve Tockey, chair of the CSDA Certification Committee and a principal consultant with Construx Software, said the CSDA has distinct benefits for both job seekers and potential employers. "For the job seeker, it independently verifies their capability to perform as a professional, enhances their credibility, and opens doors to professional growth opportunities," he said. "The CSDA gives employers independent assurance that an employee can perform on real-world projects."

Land, principal software and systems engineer at MITRE Corp., said there's a difference between individuals who can code and individuals who understand the engineering discipline as it's applied to the software lifecycle. She added that employers are searching for well-rounded information technology experts. Unlike vendor- or application-specific certifications, a broad range of topics are covered by the CSDA, which is based on the IEEE's Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge. The CSDA certification was developed through rigorous adherence to internationally accepted procedures. It features a self-directed learning system that consists of print modules, an online course, and instructor materials. Prometric will administer the exam through its thousands of testing centers around the world. Individuals interested in the CSDA can visit http://www.computer.org/csda and sign up to take the exam at their convenience. Proctors can be also arranged for companies interested in having groups of their employees take the exam.

About the IEEE Computer Society
With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world's leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of the 39 societies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the CS is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology, and is known globally for its computing standards activities.

The CS serves the information and career-development needs of today's computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, and online courses. Its Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) program for mid-career professionals and Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) credential for recent college graduates confirm the skill and knowledge of those working in the field. The CS Digital Library (CSDL) provides an excellent research tool, containing more than 145,000 articles from 1,500 conference proceedings and 29 CS periodicals going back to 1988.

About Prometric
Prometric, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ETS, is the recognized global leader in technology-enabled testing and assessment services. Its comprehensive suite of services, including test development, test delivery and data management capabilities, allows clients to develop and launch global testing programs as well as accurately measure program results and data. Prometric reliably delivers and administers tests on behalf of 450 clients in the academic, professional, healthcare, government, corporate and information technology markets. It delivers tests flexibly via the Web or by utilizing a robust test center network in 135 countries.

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