Pass This Test and You’re E-Certified!

Are you a tired legacy programmer? Frustrated that your 28 years of RPG experience can't land you in the same salary ballpark as the kid in the next cube who just happened to blurt-out "JavaBeans" during his interview?

Well, you’re not alone. The e-commerce craze is leaving lots of folks behind. What's holding you back? Why don't you have stock options? Why aren't you making those big e-salaries?

Because you need to be e-certified! To be able to Webify your resume, speak the lingo, and show some dotcom you're worth six figures plus bonus.

And to do that, all you have to do is pass this test! Answer these questions correctly and you'll be a certified e-programmer. Just get at least six out of eight correct, bring it to your next interview, and you're guaranteed the compensation fast lane—or at least so says a headhunter I met in the bar at a Marriott last Tuesday.

1. A simple, limited-function e-procurement system can be designed, developed and put in production:
a) In one year
b) In one month
c) In one month, then over again next month, then over again for a full year till you even come close to getting it right

2. The most valuable role you can play on your e-business design team is to insist on Web-based systems that are:
a) scalable
b) private and secure
c) neither a nor b, as long as you can say, "I told you so" in a meeting next month when you realize how bad you screwed up

3. Customers find the most frustrating e-shopping experience is:
a) buying online, but paying more than at a brick and mortar
b) buying online, but being unable to return to a brick and mortar
c) buying online, then getting hit with incredible handling charges as if they were shipping brick and mortar

4. A critical CRM component of every new Web site should now be:
a) an old-fashioned, outdated 800 number that customers can dial on their own, forcing them to get off line to free up the phone
b) a snazzy, automatic, Web-activated, voice-to-voice connection to a customer service representative
c) a snazzy, automatic, Web-activated, voice-to-voice connection with the next available customer service representative, which could put you on hold till Labor Day

5. Instead of deploying one large powerful Unix server, many architects recommend smaller hardware platforms that can provide excellent throughput, like:
a) a Windows NT-based server
b) a Windows 2000-based server
c) about 200 of both a) and b)

6. The first thing you should do before designing your B2C Web site is:
a) get the look and feel of the sites of your competitors
b) blatantly steal the look and feel of the sites of your competitors
c) register your name, unless you want to wind-up with, since it's the only name left

7. The most time-consuming part about integrating e-business tools is:
a) Trying to figure out multiple products
b) Trying to talk to multiple vendors
c) Trying to figure out how to get any product to talk to any product of another vendor

8. The most important people to communicate with the night before your big B2B site goes live is:
a) your suppliers
b) your end users
c) your headhunter

Mike Cohn lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and certifies the reliability and accuracy of this examination, within an error rate of plus or minus 80%.