Certification Spotlight: Joe Schueler

Joe Schueler works as a sales engineer for Cloud Solutions at Verizon Terremark.


Why did you first pursue a professional certification?
As part of a corporate-wide migration from NetWare to Windows NT, many of the IT staff were given free training manuals and a free pass to one Microsoft exam. I took and passed the Windows 3.1 exam to become an MCP and have continued the certification process ever since.

Are you considering getting any additional credentials?
Always. I’m not currently pursuing anything today due to some continuing education credits I need to work on, but I will probably look at expanding my cloud certifications in the next few months.

What advice do you have for someone pursuing an IT certification?
Stick with it. Make yourself committed to getting that one exam out of the way. Don’t try to learn material for 3 or more exams at once, or worse, different vendor’s material. It will confuse and distract you. If you are new to the field, start with something simple like a desktop operating system exam. Don’t try to jump into CCIE or CISSP. Assuming you own a home computer, you can probably use a couple of self study books and go pass the exam. The trick will be for the person that needs to upgrade their certifications to the server level. That may take some time and money if your company isn’t helping you out with expenses.

How has being a certification holder helped you make strides in your career?
I’m not even sure if you can get hired anymore without multiple certifications.  At least not at my level. When I used to review resumes, I always wanted to see experience and a variety of certifications. I think it helps round out the person’s knowledge base.

Can you describe a valuable professional experience that may not have been possible without certification?
Certification doesn’t always mean that the person knows what they are talking about. But at the same time, when I’ve done consulting work, I doubt I would have been taken seriously by the customer if I wasn’t certified on the solution I was recommending. I’ve done security audits, and showing the customer that I hold several security, 2 operating system, virtualization, project management, and networking certifications together all present that I have a broad skill set to work with for assisting that customer.

How has the field changed over the years?
I love “new” products that are really just old solutions with a new name. Most of them have new features, but the core concepts are all the same. Once you understand that, I think you can adjust to the various changes this industry keeps going through. One other change I am seeing is the shift back to centralized control over the IT. I think that compliance issues forced this change, but I do think it is time for the enterprise to take ownership of the various networks and platforms their departments have been purchasing in the past.

Remote Subject Matter Experts Presentation at ITCC Member Meeting

Remote Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
ITCC Member Meeting
Thursday, June 19, 11:00 a.m. Central


Kristin Wall Gibson from IBM and Consultant Susan Farago will be presenting on remote subject matter experts at next week’s ITCC Member Meeting. Read on to find out about the presentation, and make sure to join us for the webinar on Thursday, June 19.
You must be a member of the IT Certification Council to attend the webinar. Not a member? Email info@itcertcouncil.org for more information.

Dial-in information:
Dial +1 (267) 507-0004
Access Code: 672-189-181

Quality exams rely on quality subject matter expertise. This session will present the biggest challenges in working virtually with SMEs located across the globe, including: how to find SMEs with the right level of expertise, incentivizing SMEs to commit their time and skills to a project, when to use synchronous (i.e., live) versus asynchronous approaches to getting exam development work done, and how to keep SMEs engaged in remote workshops lasting several hours or taking place across several days. This session will also share the results of a 2013 IBM Tivoli Certification Program survey with over 900 individual SMEs that includes feedback such as: why do some SMEs participate in exam development while others do not, what barriers must be overcome for them to participate, and what exam process improvements do they recommend to make the most effective use of their time.

About the Presenters

  • Kristin Wall Gibson manages the IBM Cloud & Smart Infrastructure Certification Program and has been developing IBM certification exams since 2005. She has helped C&SI transition their exam development processes to exclusively utilize virtual SMEs using various collaborative technologies and tools.
  • Susan V. Farago, M.Ed., Consultant, Farago Enterprises, LLC, has been in the certification field since 1999 and has managed all aspects of credentialing in the high-tech industry. Her experiences range from facilitating exam development workshops and performing high-level psychometric analysis to managing worldwide certification programs for instructors and technical professionals. Susan has worked with companies including: IBM, United HealthCare, Mometrix Media, the Council for Responsible Sport, and CompTIA. Her background includes extensive work in courseware development, instructional design, and teaching; and she is a nationally published writer and presenter.