Catching up with the times
It would be easy to write a motivational post, but that is not really my way of doing things, rather, I will just tell my story.
As I related in my previous blog on passing my PRINCE2 Practitioner certification last Thursday morning, I was suddenly furloughed a month ago and rather than sit at home twiddling my thumbs, I considered going on a PRINCE2 course and when I was booking the course I was offered a bundled deal to do both PRINCE2 and TOGAF certification which just happened for fall on consecutive weeks.
Like project management, I was first introduced to TOGAF just a few months after recovered from cancer by an ex-colleague. I went as far as buying the study guides and registering on The Open Group website, that was just 9 years ago, but nothing really came of it. I even explored doing the course in in South Africa then, I eventually went to India instead to attend courses for Microsoft and Cisco certifications.
Keeping the faith
I suppose what made TOGAF a bit of a chore was the volume of theoretical processes that I thought only a classroom training environment could help ameliorate. The Knowledge Academy for all its poor customer service record does appear to have some really good trainers. Mustafa Ahmed took our TOGAF course and from the first day, I began to have confidence, it could be done.
This was my second week of courses and something seemed to have triggered an immune response in me that by the third day of the course, I was coughing, spluttering and running a fever that I had to return home early without acquiring anything. The trainer sent me an update of what was covered for the day and I was able to return for the fourth and last day of the course.
His advice was to take the test within two weeks of the course, or we’ll begin to forget what we had learnt. I first had to get PRINCE2 done from before I could begin to think of scheduling the TOGAF test.
Brought to the edge
It was an exasperating ordeal to get the Exam Bookings department of The Knowledge Academy to forward me the test voucher, it took 3 emails and 4 phone calls over 8 days to get that resolved. The service is an atrocity that makes an appalling review appear too generous for words.
You’re tested to the point of losing your cool and in my view the staff care not a jot about the frustrations of their customers. It is a test of patience that one has to pass.
When the voucher arrived, I found I could not get a test window at any of the Prometric Vue test centres up north in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds or Birmingham. Only one test centre London had availability and so I chose to travel to London to take the test today.
Tested to the limit
I was caught in a quandary of my preparedness, having acquired the official study guides, the full standard documentation and a pocket guide. Something seemed to be missing until I found a YouTube video TOGAF® Level 2 Exam Questions – Tackling Those Effectively! This in addition to the tips I got on the course meant I could be boxing clever to win this match.
The TOGAF® 9 Combined Part 1 and Part 2 Exam is 40 questions for Part 1 in 60 minutes, immediately followed without results for 8 scenario questions for Part 2 in 90 minutes. I raced through Part 1 reviewing a few thorny questions and was done in just under 33 minutes. Part 2 was harder, the recommended approach is 10 minutes per question, I spent 18 on the first and had squandered 30 minutes without a satisfactory answer for the second. Open book tests don’t mean easy results. You will in some instances be told where to go in the TOGAF standard document, it doesn’t make it any easier.
I tried some and skipped some that I returned to for review, by the end, I had just 3 minutes to spare and passed both Parts. Part 1 presents a bit more difficulty as it relies upon memory and specifics from the TOGAF documentation, Part 2 is about the application of the TOGA methodology and I did much better on that by far.
They helped me do it
On reflection, I marvel at the determination and daring that saw me decide to take two highly process-driven courses with much documentation, standard and theory, just 4 weeks ago and in that time clear both tests that give me certifications in project management and enterprise architecture.
Yet, without the amazing support of Brian my partner and my friends Funmilola and Kola, I probably would not have had either the courage or determination to see this through. They are my cheerleaders, constantly telling me I can do it and do it well. It gave me such great pleasure to share my successes with them.
Now to new challenges and rewarding prospects. There is the minor issue of a holiday in South Africa to plan now. Phew! It’s done.