EOS, Is It Worth Your Time

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Is ITIL certification worth your time and effort?

All of us have aspired to have some sort of technical certification to enhance our career. According to Wikipedia, a professional certification is one “ where a person is certified as being able to competently complete a job or task, usually by the passing of an examination and/or the completion of a program of study.”

However, increasingly certifications (or rather ITIL certification) and training programs are becoming a ‘thing to add in your resume’, and not delivering the value they are supposed to bring. During my casual conversations at events and meet-ups, a common underlying theme has been about the mismatch between the performance of people (with certifications) and the knowledge they have gained from those certifications.

Given the above premise, does having an ITIL certification really help you professionally? D oes an ITIL certification really solve everything? Here’s my take on whether an ITIL certification is worth the buck and time!

How does ITIL certification work?

ITIL certification is split into five stages, namely foundation, practitioner, intermediate, expert and master levels. Each of these levels has different requirements for appearing, clearing and is awarded a specific set of credits. For instance, one needs to have a total of 22 credits to be certified as an expert. Apart from these, there are complementary certifications that help you reach the expert level faster. Here’s an overview of the various levels and credits.

Is getting ITIL certified and being successful linear?

Let’s get this straight – getting a certification is not rocket science in today’s day and age. A certification merely demonstrates that you’ve studied and cleared an examination. It doesn’t give you wings and doesn’t solve all the world’s problems. One of the primary reasons why certifications and other training programs are losing their relevance is that it’s possible to pass the certification and still not learn ANYTHING practical about the subject.

However, ITIL certification is different. Having an ITIL certification doesn’t make us an ‘expert’ for any specific skill set. As you might already be aware, ITIL is a set of best practices and is descriptive in nature. Hence an ITIL certification isn’t about doing your job, but merely about knowing the ITIL principles. In fact, that’s precisely the reason why AXELOS have now added the ITIL Practitioner level which makes it mandatory for IT folks to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice.

Also, adoption of ITIL requires an understanding of the ITIL framework and a buy-in from folks at various levels. It’s as much about a cultural shift and embracing change as it is about knowing the best practices in IT service management. Any cultural shift requires you to have a sound understanding of ‘why’ you’re making that change. It’s a strong reason why a certification in ITIL makes sense. It validates that the individual is equipped with the basics like vocabulary, processes, hierarchy, goals, and IT’s alignment with the business. GamingWorks have conducted workshops with more than 4000 organizations around the world and every year for the last 15 years a top scoring ABC (Attitude, Behaviour, Culture) card has been ‘IT has too little understanding of business impact and priority’ – it seems that many do not know the why!

For successful adoption of ITIL for your service desk, all the stakeholders need to be on the same page, speak the same language, work towards the same goals by succeeding in iterative and incremental projects. As David Moskowitz puts it, “ Adopting ITIL involves a learning process as continual improvement is applied”. A certification indicates that you’re learning, and the knowledge is just a minor component of a successful adoption (or a career in ITSM). Click To Tweet

Experience and ITIL certification need to go hand in hand

As Paul Wilkinson points out here, nearly 85% of folks he meets have undergone ITIL training (out of 15,000 people). Only 2% of these folks measure the impact in terms of cost, value, risks and other outcomes of their IT initiatives. This is one of the primary reasons why ITIL certified companies don’t get the desired results or an ROI for the cost spent on getting their folks ITIL certified.

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When I spoke to an ITSM expert, here’s what they had to say-

ITIL is not unique in any way, when it comes to the value of professional qualifications overall – many see them as check-box exercises (important to get the certificate, less important to understand the subject, and almost not important at all to do anything with the new knowledge)

That’s one of the reasons why Axelos has a practitioner level where it requires a combination of both practical and theoretical knowledge. According to Axelos, the ITIL practitioner level “ enables practitioners to not only speak the language of ITIL but be able to translate it and use it in practice ”. So, an ITIL certification without the knowledge of how to use it in practice is just a sheet of paper.

What is happening to ITIL certification post ITIL 4?

The ITIL 4 is set to be released during the Q1 of 2020.

ITIL offers a huge suite of benefits for any kind of organization having an IT department. Almost every organization has ITIL practitioners and project managers working on big impact IT projects.

That’s one reason why there was a lot of stir when the new version of ITIL called ITIL 4 was announced. Axelos suggested that this would just not be an update to what is existent in the ITIL V3, but also would have qualitative aspects to ITIL like- Culture, adaption, among others. Not just this, ITIL 4 is going to have a restructured certification path.

The big question- Will the current ITIL certification hold good after ITIL 4?

As Akshay Anand- Global Ambassador for ITIL 4 pointed out in our webinar,

“…And let me be absolutely clear, right now we are not invalidating anyone, certification certifications will still be valid”

However, the changes to the ITIL framework would affect people currently pursuing the ITIL V3 certification. Those studying the ITIL V3 certification would not be simply able to take the examination without some transition into ITIL 4.

What is the ITIL 4 certification path?

According to Axelos, the first release of ITIL 4 will be in Q1 of 2020- The foundation level. The subsequent levels will be released in H2 of 2020.

Axelos has provided with a clear cut scheme (shown below) that is aligned with ITIL v3 and provides a very clear cut path for practitioners and others to continue with their ITIL certification journey.

Here’s some deep-dive into each of the modules of ITIL certification

ITIL managing professional (ITIL MP)- This module is focussed on providing one with practical and technical knowledge about how to successful IT workflows, teams, and projects at scale.

ITIL strategic leader (ITIL SL)- This module is focussed on bringing the alignment between IT teams and business functions. Being certified with ITIL SL demonstrates that a professional has a very clear understanding of how IT teams influences and directs business strategy.

As you can see from the pictorial representation, obtaining either of ITIL MP or ITIL SL, one must complete all the modules under each stream- With ITIL strategist being the necessary module for ITIL MP and ITIL SL certifications.

So what’s the path if you have ITIL v3 certification?

Axelos has managed to iron any major concerns with regards to transitioning from old ITIL certification to the new one. Here’s a deep dive into the same.

Final word – Is ITIL certification really worth it?

I would like to address this in two parts

  • Will it help you get a job (or enhance your career)
  • Will an ITIL certification be worth the buck?

All said and done, you will have a better chance of catching an employers attention if you have an ITIL certification. In fact, ITIL certification is used as a basic filter by many employers to weed out candidates. But does that guarantee you a job? Probably not. A good experience, backed by a stellar demonstration of skills gained via certification is going to better equip you for the challenges your work life throws at you. Echoing the same statement, Stuart Rance of Optimal service management adds that

“The value of certification depends on your age, your job role, the country and market you work in and many other factors. Simply put, a certification is no replacement for the wealth of experience.”

So, is it worth the buck? Definitely yes, if you’re able to demonstrate the value of your knowledge in your work. Having spoken to a sizeable number of IT consultants, practitioners, IT agents, I have seen that people who succeed with an ITIL certification are those who have put an effort into earning their certificate, and not just seen it as a way of checking a box for their career. Your goal should be acquiring knowledge and putting it in practice, measuring the impact of your work and not just ‘passing’ the certification.

Remember. Having an ITIL certification is just a start.

Also, just in case you haven’t had enough, here are some resources I enjoyed reading on similar topics

EOS, Is It Worth Your Time?

This means you’re free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). More details.

What is EOS?
Future of EOS Cryptocurrency and know how to buy EOS

#1 – What is EOS?

EOS has attained celebrity-like status in the cryptocurrency market – on the back of a very successful ICO, and because it’s seen a healthy rise in its price ever since news of its mainnet hit the markets.

EOS: The Basics

EOS is a decentralized operating system based on blockchain technology. It is designed to support of decentralized applications on a commercial-scale by giving all the required core functionalities. These enable businesses to build the blockchain applications in a manner that stays similar to that of web-based applications.

This blockchain network has also claimed to remove transaction fees and conduct millions of transactions within a second.

  • The token name is EOS.
  • It has a few major notable tech designs, such as DPoS consensus, 100,000+ TPS, zero transactional fees, ability to alter codes, etc.

EOS Development

  • At BlockShow Asia, on November 29, 2020, Block.one revealed a publicly available testing environment, known as EOSIO Single-Threaded Application Testnet (EOS STAT).
  • The entire plan of EOS was published in 2020 in a whitepaper.
  • The EOSIO platform was developed by a private company, Block.one and was further released as an open-source software on June 1, 2020.
  • To ensure that the native tokens were distributed widely at the launch of the blockchain, around a billion tokens were sold on the Ethereum platform by Block.one. This provided a distribution network that everyone who owns the token can start using it once the EOS blockchain software is released.

10% of these tokens are reserved for Block.one. Total of 20% EOS tokens was sold on Ethereum in the first 5 days of the entire 341 days long token sale. The remaining 70% tokens, that stand under the majority, are to be sold and produced at market value.

The startup, EOS ICO, managed to get $170 million in the first step, regardless of critics from numerous representatives on the blockchain community.

EOS is presently the fifth leading cryptocurrency of the world by market capitalization.

#2 – What are the benefits of EOS?

Technology

  1. The objective of EOS is to provide a decentralized platform to host applications, implement smart contracts and use blockchain for businesses while hoping to solve the scalability issues faced by pioneering cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  2. It will also eliminate the fees charged for transactions. It will accomplish this by using delegated proof-of-stake of the consensus protocol as well as by being multi-threaded (being able to run on various computer cores).
  3. The target of EOS is to be the very first operating system that will be decentralized. EOSIO provides a better developmental environment for decentralized applications, such as, BitShares, a platform for the decentralized exchange of cryptocurrency and Steemit, a social networking platform with monetary incentives.
  4. The native token, EOS, is a utility token that gives both storage and the bandwidth on the blockchain. It is proportionate to the entire stake (owning only 1% of EOS tokens permits the usage of up to 1% of the total bandwidth).
  5. These tokens also permit the owner to participate in the on-chain governance of the blockchain and to cast votes, in proportion to the stake of the owner.

The EOSIO platform will drop its vote for 21 block producers at the time of its launch that will further validate and generate blocks within the block time of 500 ms.

The smart contract and general language for building the entire platform is WebAssembly (C, C++, Rust) and a portable machine build at World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

#3 – How to buy and store EOS

How to buy EOS

The EOS coin is listed for trading on various trading exchanges all around the world, and is paired with a few major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, BNB, KRW, and USDT, which is a pro for the user of EOS as this allows the users to access or obtain the EOS token by using their present ETH, BNB, BTC, USDT, or KRW.

The entire list of trading exchanges for EOS token include major global exchanges such as Binance, KuCoin, Bitfinex, Huobi, and more. It has over 120 pairings available across nearly as many exchanges – allowing users to purchase EOS using BTC, ETH, USDT and other major cryptocurrencies.

  1. While cryptocurrency exchanges provide you a platform to buy or sell the EOS cryptocurrency, CoinSwitch comes in to help you make the right decision by providing the prices for EOS on multiple crypto exchanges. It supports more than 140 coins and 45,000 pairs of cryptocurrencies. You can choose whichever pair you want with your token and compare the prices at exchanges. This way you can choose the best deal for you!
  2. What’s more – with CoinSwitch, you do not rely on a separate wallet from the exchange to store your EOS cryptocurrency. Instead, all transactions happen to and from your own personal private wallets, the benefits of which we’ve spoken about here earlier.

EOS Storage

EOS was an ERC20 token – which means it could be stored on any wallet that supported Ethereum. This changed with the release of its own mainnet on 10 June 2020, after which wallet support was provided by the following services:

  1. EOSIO: EOS’s software – EOSIO – offers a command line (no graphical interface) wallet of its own. This may require some technical competence and familiarity to use, so other, third-party wallets can be looked at if you’d rather avoid this. Bear in mind that other wallet services, though reputed, are not officially endorsed by EOS.
  2. R1 Elliptic Curve: As stated on the EOS website, – “EOSIO supports the R1 elliptic curve, which means every iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad can use the secure enclave as a biometrically-secured hardware wallet. The same R1 curve is used on many smart-cards and Android devices.”
  3. Infinito Wallet: A third party multi-crypto wallet that supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and many other cryptocurrencies.

#4 – What is the future of EOS token?

  1. EOS’s company, Block.one, is registered in Cayman Islands. It began offering EOS tokens to the public in June 2020. It raised $700 million during its ICO – a fairly large amount and a testament to the support it has received from the masses.
  2. An online, wiki-based encyclopedia, Everipedia, has announced its plans for using EOS blockchain technology on 6th December 2020. As soon as the Everipedia is decentralized and hosted on EOSIO platform, few countries such as Iran and Turkey that have blocked Wikipedia, will not be able to block it any further via Everipedia’s fork.

EOS Global Acceptance

The Market Cap ranking of the EOS cryptocurrency is 5th, and it holds a market capitalization of $10.9 billion USD as of June 2020. A total number of 900 million EOS coins are in circulation.

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