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Re: CCIE Lab Price Increase posted 10/14/2007
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----- Original Message ----- From: "Guyler, Rik" <rguyler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "'Gary Duncanson'" <gary.duncanson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "nrf" <noglikirf@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Scott Morris" <smorris@xxxxxxxxxxxx>; <ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Darby Weaver" <darbyweaver@xxxxxxxxx>; "Usankin, Andrew" <Andrew.Usankin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Rahmlow, Howard F." <Howard.F.Rahmlow@xxxxxxxxxx>; <sheherezada@xxxxxxxxx>; "Burkett, Michael" <Michael.Burkett@xxxxxxxxx>; "Brad Ellis" <brad@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <cheffner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Brian Dennis" <bdennis@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <security@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <comserv@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Eric Dobyns" <eric_dobyns@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 12:26 PM
Subject: RE: CCIE Lab Price Increase

Great story Gary and describes very closely what I went through during my
first two attempts.  In fact, I told my employer (who paid for both labs)
that I wasn't ready for my first one and wanted to reschedule and my boss
told me to just go take it for the experience.  Let he who is without sin
cast the first stone.  Let he who is without lab experience STFU about how
we should change the way we do lab business.

See, this is precisely what I'm talking about. You guys were taking away spots from others.

Now, I can agree that if there are extra spots that nobody was using anyway, then sure, by all means, use the seat for experience or for practice. Fine. But, come on, if somebody else is out there who actually wanted to use it to make a bonafide attempt at passing the exam, why shouldn't that seat go to him? Why should you get it? He can't get the seat because some other people just want to use that seat for practice? Is that fair?

Now, don't get me wrong. I am cetainly not blaming you. You didn't do anything that was against the rules. The problem is with the RULES. Cisco allows this to happen, hence Cisco is to blame.

And about having more information not being a bad thing? I'll say it's
almost always bad if it's being misunderstood and not put into the proper
context. If I failed 5 times and HR or even most technical managers saw
that, surely they would believe me to be less of an engineer than the person
that passed first try. Because these people have no concept of the lab
experience they cannot possibly put the pass/fail rate into proper context.
I don't want any part of my lab scores in the hands of people like that. I
trust most of you to understand what a fail means (nothing for the most
part) but not them.

Labor markets are far smarter and flexibe than that. After all, like I said previously, plenty of companies don't care if you have a terrible college GPA, or even whether you went to college at all. That's information right there that companies could use, but not all of them care to use it.

Furthermore, more importantly, you seem concerned about what information regarding test attempts might be signalling, but we also have to consider what the LACK of information is currently signalling. For example, you talk about some companies that might discriminate against a CCIE if they knew that the CCIE failed 5 times. Ok, sure. But at the same time, those same companies are probably discriminating against ALL CCIE's RIGHT NOW. Why? Because right now, they don't know how many times any particular CCIE failed. He might have passed on the first time. He might have failed 20 times. The company doesn't know. Hence, the "safe" thing for the company to do is to discriminate against ALL CCIE's by just not relying on the certification at all for hiring. For example, the company might simply decide that they will never hire any IT people through public job postings, but instead only hire through referrals from current employees (I think that something like 90+% of all hiring is done this way).

The upshot is that those companies who would choose to discriminate against perpetual CCIE test takers are the same companies who, right now, probably don't have confidence in the CCIE. Economists would deem this to be a market failure due to incomplete information. When faced with incomplete information, many market actors will simply choose not to transact at all, and markets therefore break down entirely.

What that means is that the guy who failed 5 times and now can't get a job from some company (because the company prefers 1st-time passers) were, frankly, not going to get a job with that company anyway (again, because that company was probably previously hiring through referrals because it didn't know what kind of CCIE it was getting, so it instead chose not to transact through that market at all).