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[ale] Let's draft a support personnel competency test! [was: A vent and whine - ignore with dignity]



On Mon, 2010-06-21 at 13:30 -0400, Richard Bronosky wrote:
> I would like to draft a list of ~5-10 questions that could be used to
> pre-screen (like you would to a job applicant) your support
> technician. If they fail, you say "I'm sorry but you do not appear to
> be qualified to handle my support requirements, please transfer me to
> the next tier of support." I don't know how well it would work, but it
> would be a fun exercise. We just may end up creating a new meme in the
> process.
> 
> Here is my v0.1 draft:
> 1. An IPv4 address is composed of how many octets?
> 2. The OSI model is composed of how many layers? Name them.

I would expect most people to fail this one.  I expect people to know
that there are 7 layers, not what every single one of them does... most
people are too far removed from that model to reliably be able to recall
it anyway.

> 3. What purpose does an ARP table serve?
> 4. How many runlevels are there in conventional "system five"? What
> does zero do? What does six do?

Doesn't say yay or nay on terms of network support.  Keep the questions
platform-neutral and OS-neutral.

> 5. How do you identify and bounce a network interface in a POSIX-like
> OS without rebooting? 

Same as for #4.  I would expect 100% of tier-1 and tier-2 technicians to
fail this test unless they include UNIX or POSIX (or UNIX-like or
POSIX-like) system support in their realm.

Perhaps:

1.  What is an IPv4 address, and how many octets does it have?
2.  What is 10.0.0.0/8, 192.168.0.0/16, and 172.16.0.0/20?
3.  What do the ping and traceroute tools do?
4.  What is the purpose of a routing table, and what happens when it's
    broken or missing entries?
5.  In addition to the Web, what sorts of services does the Internet
    house?  [Because most stupid people think the Web *IS* the 
    Internet, maybe this should be #1.]

	--- Mike