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I just got my result back from my CLA-R, and I passed :rolleyes: , but not with 100% :-(

 

Congratulations! Since the grades are not posted anywhere and you need 70 to call yourself a CLA, I think that anything above that is cherry on top ;) But I do agree with you I would like to know which questions I got wrong just to further my understanding of the product or so they fix the exam if the questions are bad questions.

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But I do agree with you I would like to know which questions I got wrong

I did ask them, but of course they wouldn't tell me, but it would be good to know in what sections I missed out in.

Maybe something like this:

Software Development Process: 3/5

Testing techniques: 1/3

OO programming 5/5 (of course)

X-Controls 2/3

 

BTW, I've not asked my company to send me to the CLA Summit yet, what do you think I should say to convince them to send me there?

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BTW, I've not asked my company to send me to the CLA Summit yet, what do you think I should say to convince them to send me there?

 

I didn't want to hijack this thread. So I started a new one: how to convince my boss to send me to the cla summit

 

The re-certify for free won't be of much help to you, but maybe some of the other ones. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. It would be great to see you either at the CLA Summit in the Austin, TX the one in Paris, France or both ;)

 

Regards,

Fab

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I took my CLA-R today and have to say that it was really frustrating. Ambiguous scenarios, questions that used double-negatives in their wording, and references to materials I'm confident I never saw in my 8 hours of studying the AAL and MSEL course texts yesterday. All that aside, the very most frustrating thing was the realization that this exam did nothing to test my capability as the architect on a software development team. Rather, it tested my attention to the (often self-conflicting) details of NI's training products on (1) software project management, (2) minutia that can be figured out by clicking around for 30 seconds if you happen to run into them while coding, and (3) features of LV that 95% of its users never ever need or want.

 

Given the nature of this test, I honestly don't think I can use someone's CLA as evidence of their capability to help me design a complex solution to a client's problem. I'd say a CLD is a more valuable litmus test for LV developers; shame a more aggressive weeding out of those skills hasn't been codified yet.

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I took my CLA-R today and have to say that it was really frustrating. Ambiguous scenarios, questions that used double-negatives in their wording, and references to materials I'm confident I never saw in my 8 hours of studying the AAL and MSEL course texts yesterday. All that aside, the very most frustrating thing was the realization that this exam did nothing to test my capability as the architect on a software development team. Rather, it tested my attention to the (often self-conflicting) details of NI's training products on (1) software project management, (2) minutia that can be figured out by clicking around for 30 seconds if you happen to run into them while coding, and (3) features of LV that 95% of its users never ever need or want.

 

Given the nature of this test, I honestly don't think I can use someone's CLA as evidence of their capability to help me design a complex solution to a client's problem. I'd say a CLD is a more valuable litmus test for LV developers; shame a more aggressive weeding out of those skills hasn't been codified yet.

 

 

It is possible to request to present the regular 4 hours CLA exam again for re certification if one doesn't like multiple choice exams. 

 

Remember that anyone who is going through the CLA-R had to do the 4 hours CLA first and even before that the 4 hours CLD test, which I agree neither of them should not be taken as the only indication of someones capacity, but it is a good filter. Personally, before hiring someone for a job I ask them to show me their code.

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I don't mind multiple-choice exams in general. People tend to use them because they're easy to grade, but they are much harder to write than freeform exams while keeping them effective at achieving your testing goals. I recall that they provided the option of taking the original 4-hour exam after all the negative feedback; it seems a good stopgap until a new exam is written.

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it seems a good stopgap until a new exam is written.

 

Perhaps.  From all I've heard about the CLA-R I think the 4-hour exam is better at establishing whether a developer is at CLA level, but I still don't think it's a particularly good exam for that.  (I've written at length about my experiences, so I'll spare you the details here.)  Quadruple the pain for a marginal increase in the test's power.

 

I'd be in favor of an essay or short answer type of recertification exam.  90% of architecture is about defining the interfaces and interactions between components.  I can better communicate system architecture in a word document with accompanying hand drawn sketches then I can in LV code or on a multiple choice quiz.

 

I'm taking my CLA-R at the summit next month.  Given the feedback of those who are far more experienced with Labview than me, I don't expect to pass.

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I'm taking my CLA-R at the summit next month.  Given the feedback of those who are far more experienced with Labview than me, I don't expect to pass.

The sample exam is (sadly) a very good indicator of what the real exam will be like. Study the reference texts (AAL and MSEL course manuals) in gory detail, take the sample exam, and you've got a 70/30 shot at skating by.

 

If you don't have copies of the course manuals, talk to your local sales rep about borrowing them. Point him to this thread if he needs convincing. :P

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I'm not sure a written exam is fair as far as non English native speakers are concerned.

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I'm not sure a written exam is fair as far as non English native speakers are concerned.

Who says it would have to be taken in English? NI has personnel all over the world and operates their business in lots of common languages. Besides, the current multiple-choice exam is subject to the same limitations.

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You do have the option to take the 4-hour practical instead of the multiple guess to recert.  So if you are confident in your practical test taking, you might want to consider that.

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Taking and passing the original 4-hour test two years ago almost gave me a nervous break down. I wouldn't want to do that again.

So today I got my CLA-R with 80%. That after I did a "test-run" at the European CLA-Summit early this year (which I failed). And a preparation day with a colleague and co-CLA. 

 

After the written CLA-R  that gives you no results except the %, I must admit the Pearson Vue test is pretty fair as it allows you to review the answers after the test so you can see at least what was wrong. The set of questions does not seem to be huge so I probably would have passed at the second attempt.

Thank god, two more years before that.

 

Otherwise all other comments above are correct. The questions are sometimes a bit guessy, but I feel there has been an improvement from early this year. Even an explanation of not so common terms was given once.

 

Gabi

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I took the CLA-R back in March when it was offered during the CLA summit and scored a 67% (missed by 1 question). I didn't really have any prep for it seeing as it was free and I really had no expectations.

 

Smash-cut to the last few months, my certification has lapsed and I need to get my re-certification done so I can maintain my CLA status. I did the prep exams and noted some no-so-insignificant concerns regarding question validity, wording, etc in the NI forums. Understood everything from the one practice exam that existed (even though it was lacking), did a fair amount of studying on and off over the past 2 months, and decided I could try the CLA-R from PearsonVue.

 

Bam, 53%. Not only did I not pass after taking advantage of all the prep that was made available to me, I did significantly worse than the test I took 9 months prior with no prep. 

 

These questions came out of left field. Why are were there 3 very specific questions about XControls and 2 questions about creating projects dynamically? I thought this was supposed to be an architect exam, not "how well do you know this very specific detail of LabVIEW that you can look up in a matter of seconds with the actual program" exam. Not only did I fail, I have no idea what was wrong about what my answers were. I can't even correct anything from this test. There's nothing to learn from.

 

With all that said, congratulations NI, not only did you get the $99 out of me for this abortion of an exam, but unfortunately you're going to get the $199 for the 4-hour exam because I'm not risking taking the CLA-R ever again. 

 

I guess I have only myself to blame, I knew this was going to happen after all the comments I read online and the practice exam. If I can offer any advice to anyone looking to take this, don't, stay as far away as possible. If you do have to take the CLA-R, make sure to memorize every nook and cranny of your old course material because they will find the most obscure questions to throw at you. Take the regular CLA test instead, it's a better representation of your skills as an Architect.

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I've got bad news for you NelsonUWP, nothing has changed since 2013. Just took the CLA-R even though I haven't done much LabVIEW work for the last three years (I changed industries) because I figured it might be nice to have just in case I wanted to work for a system integrator again (because no one else cares about certifications). I had maybe six questions on either XControls or dynamically building a project. WHY?! No one does this stuff. At least not regularly enough to warrant 20% of the recert exam. And they've had this XControls obsession for years. I was on the fence since the certification has narrow value and wish I could tell my past self to save $100. CustEd is clueless. Just terrible.

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Just for others worried about CLA-R, be sure and look into the Recertify by Points, that Fab mentioned earlier.  The CLA was so hard and I barely passed and never want to do it again.  Luckily I'm certified until 2023, and already have some points towards certifying again.  I realize not everyone wants to put in the time into getting points, and some don't have enough time to get them before certification expires.  But if you have a local LabVIEW user group in your area you get 5 points for attending and 10 for presenting.  You also get 15 points for participating in an NI beta.  This means if you participate in 2 LabVIEW betas, and attend 4 user group meetings a year, you'll have enough points to recertify in 2 years.  But of course valid criticism of NI's recertification is welcome.

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Yes, do it that way for sure. It's a no-brainer. If I were actively or recently doing this type of work and had a user group in the area that is absolutely the way I would have done it. I realize I attempted to do the minimum amount of work to re-certify, I'm just frustrated that after all of these years the CustEd department is just as terrible as ever at writing exam questions (or reviewing and approving them).

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Recert by points always seemed like too much accounting effort. I'd do it if there was a website where you could submit the request and have it keep track of everything.

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2 hours ago, CheesyGC said:

Yes, do it that way for sure. It's a no-brainer. If I were actively or recently doing this type of work and had a user group in the area that is absolutely the way I would have done it. I realize I attempted to do the minimum amount of work to re-certify, I'm just frustrated that after all of these years the CustEd department is just as terrible as ever at writing exam questions (or reviewing and approving them).

In the last three years, I've been a reviewer for the CLAD and five of the new badges, and I've found the questions to be generally very good (and the ones that weren't, I sent back for rewrite). The CLD questions I've seen are all rock solid -- many of them become public as sample questions after they rotate out of circulation. I haven't looked at the CLD recert or the CLA recert exam questions lately, but they get vetted by CLAs outside of NI and have passed muster or they wouldn't be on the exam.

If you have specific examples of bad questions, the cust ed team is definitely interested in hearing that feedback. I'll pass it along if you post here. 

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As questions they were fine and cogent, so I'm not surprised they would get past a review. What I am concerned about is why did I have six (I think) questions that covered either XControls or dynamically building a project? Huge over-emphasis on things that in practice are not very typical. Maybe things have changed dramatically in the last few years? The only times I've encountered XControls were during one of the LabVIEW training courses and I think one time on-site at a customer (literally one visit out of hundreds--I was looking at other company's code multiple times a day for several years). And I can think of very few reasons to build a project dynamically/programmatically. I could understand maybe one question on XControls, MAYBE. And that obsession has long been the case in CustEd for as long as I can remember, unfortunately. I should have seen it coming, so shame on me. I don't expect answers here, but I am left wondering a few things:

What is the question review process like? Do the external CLAs who review questions have knowledge of the question pool? Are questions rejected if they're too similar to others that are in the pool of questions? If so, doesn't that maybe motivate question writers, who are trying to re-certify by points, to write more obscure/trivial questions? And who decides if it is too similar? What checks are there to make sure one topic isn't horribly overrepresented in an exam? Why is the re-cert content so different than the original practical exam? Why is there so much PMP-ish stuff in an Architect exam (I didn't have a problem with this, but it is confusing when compared to the original exam)? 

I hope I'm not coming off as overly-upset, because I really am fine with the result given my circumstances and accept the outcome. Yes, these six questions would have been the difference maker, but you know, I could have gotten other questions right and that's on me. But the experience has confirmed what I already suspected about the value and measure of the certifications.

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I did a recertification earlier this year and passed. Don't remember any question about dynamic project creation, but the X-Control questions where in there (about 3 I think) and the obligatory software development terminology stuff (which I find somewhat bogus as it often depends which software development book you have read in what the right keywords might be).

They do now give a review of all the questions after you have submitted them for grading, so you can see where you did errors, and mine where indeed in X-Controls and the software development terms.

Is it a bad test? Not really but some things could be arguable.

I did go through the CLA  recertification prep manual and also glanced through the Advanced LabVIEW Course Manual about X-Controls which helped me somewhat to pass this. Without doing that I would probably have failed.

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I agree that the XControl questions should go. XControls will not make it into NXG anyway. When I teach Advanced Architectures in LabVIEW, I mention what XControls are but I skip that section because I don't think they should be used for new development.

I do recertify by points but I am already very active in the community. 

 

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I think the XControl questions should stay. Any CLA should be able to recognize/use/edit an XControl because it is a part of the language, and not an obscure part (like, for example, "Enable Database" on a subVI). They do have real uses. For me, they're the best way to put a UI element together to display a LV class. We are still years away from a general user-base migration to NXG -- I think it is too soon to be making those arguments (as a counterargument, I think CLAs should know what scripting is, even though most scripting functions are not going to migrate to NXG).

(The exact number of questions is open to discussion... I'm only opposing a blanket elimination.)

Edited by Aristos Queue
addendum

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@CheesyGC what is an example of "dynamically building a project" question? I can think of a few interpretations... dynamically loading modules/plugins or dynamically building the build specs. Both of those are pretty common (the latter is sufficiently common that NI just rolled out new CLI tools to support doing it). 

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36 minutes ago, Aristos Queue said:

Any CLA should be able to recognize/use/edit an XControl because it is a part of the language, and not an obscure part (like, for example, "Enable Database" on a subVI). 

I am under the impression XControls have more or less been relegated to the rusty nails bin. I know I've seen NI employees recommend against using them in presentations. 

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