Test for Rationality

Last November, I got myself certified in the Rational Unified Process, also known as RUP. Having this certification is a requirement for employment at my company. At some point earlier this year (I don't remember when because the searching tool for Blogger stinks like bad cheese), I got myself certified as a software consultant for the Rational ClearCase tool.

This weekend, I committed to giving the ClearQuest certification a try. I thought it would be fairly easy, you know. Hey, I'm the guy who created ClearQuest Tic-Tac-Toe! How hard could it be?

Little did I know...

The testing methodology has changed. You still take the test on-line from your own computer, which means reference material is at your grasping little finger tips, but now the test is timed. There's plenty of time, except that they've helpfully put a little timer in the upper-lefthand corner. That little bugger sits there relentlessly ticking down the seconds remaining.

tick tick tick Tick TIck TICk TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK.

It's enough to drive a person mad. I forgot about an area of ClearQuest with which I have less experience: Multisite. Multisite is a little feature that lets you maintain the same data at two sites with regular synchronization. It's used a lot with ClearCase, but we haven't seen it used so much with ClearQuest, so I haven't touched it in a while. How dare they ask questions about something I'm not 100% familiar with!

Since I could take the test from my own laptop, I treated every question as if I didn't know the answer and tried out the available solutions on my own instances of ClearQuest. For the most part, this is a good approach, though it is rather time consuming, and I used every single second available for the test. I think I'd recommend this approach with one change: first, run through all the questions and answer the easy ones, then move through the unanswered ones slowly checking each, then, if there's time, try out even the easy ones. You can't go wrong with that, I'd think.

When I got to the end, I submitted my test. The system was nice enough to ask: "Hey, you still have 20 seconds. Are you sure you want to finish?" What the heck? I thought to myself and, with that devil-may-care attitude submitted my test.

I'm exhausted. I'm going out for a curry.

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