Got my latest Certification: IBM Certified Associate – Social Software and Unified Communications

Just got my latest certification … I will probably do a few more soon. Nice to get this email in your in-box:


From: “IBM Certification Program” <ibmcert>

Date: Aug 5, 2014 7:06 PM
Subject: IBM Certified Associate – Social Software and Unified Communications
To: <victor>

Dear Victor Toal,

Certification: IBM Certified Associate – Social Software and Unified Communications
CandidateTesting ID: xxxxxxx

Congratulations on achieving your certification and welcome to the world of IBM Collaboration Solutions certifications! Your commitment to increasing your expertise and knowledge with IBM Collaboration Solutions technology is an asset to you and your customers. The Professional Certification Program from IBM distinguishes professionals in the IT community as experts in leading-edge technology.

Your certificate is attached below, in .PDF file format. You can view your certificate, using Adobe Acrobat Reader V6.0 or higher, and print it on any high quality color printer.

Please remember to access services at the IBM Certification Member Site Information:
– select “Request e-Certificate ” to request all your certificates
– select “Account Services” to update demographics, email address, and request transcripts
– select “Member eStore” to order premium certificates and wallet cards
– select “Entitled Resources” to obtain your certification marks



Connections Certified – Finally!

As if yesterday I am now finally IBM Connections certified:


I had had just no time previously but here at Connect the certification tests are all free for participants so I went for it – and past! It was about time too, having worked with Connections for the last 6 years not having a certification just seemed strange. I do not test well (my dyslexia makes it hard for me) but I guess doing all these crazy IBM Connections projects finally paid off.


Technology documentation and the time it takes to read all that stuff …..

I speed read, I learned it a long time ago and it is the only way for me to keep up with all the information I need to take in and study to keep up-to-date on technology. sometimes I really think all the “lifetime of learning” stuff sux as it takes away all that time from golf and my dogs …aaehhhh and the kids AND the wife of course!

But I digress – one of the ways I deal with this issue is speed reading. I can take in long texts with good comprehension and retain it well when I speed read. Quieting the inner voice, skimming over pages faster than the eye can follow to just “take it in” all that. I usually tend to print allot if I want to speed read as I use the technique that makes your eye follow the fingers. That technique does not work well for me when reading on a computer screen that sits in front of me on the desk. I don’t have an electronic reader device (Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.) and I imagine I could use the technique there as well but on a computer screen it is hard.

Enter the play from left stage:

One of the other consultants here at the client I am working at currently introduced me to this website and I love it. Basically you can highlight a chunk of text, click on a button on your toolbar and it takes you to where it then flashes the words in front of you ion the screen. Using I can read at speeds in par with my “manual” technique as the site allows you to control how many words it flashes at a go, how fast it goes though a text, font size, etc. . .

Every day I have to go through multiple 1000 – 5000 word technical articles, knowledge base documents and often I just don’t have the time to do print and read right before a meeting or a presentation when I might need that information. Now I feel I can. My normal “cruising speed” is somewhere around 550 – 600 words/minute for good comprehension, and faster when I just want an overview of the document content. Now I can even go though documentation WHILE SITTING IN THE MEETING and then be able to talk about it. is free, they also have links to software that will teach you how to speed read and I might look into that. I am trying to increase my speed to an average of 850 – 900 words/min and above if I can. l maybe that SW will help, who knows.

Go and give it a try – and here an official THANKS to Jim Knight who introduced me to and a shameless plug for you to visit his site and have a look at his products.

Disclaimer 1: No animals were harmed in the process of creating this podcast

Disclaimer 2: I get zilch, zip, nothing and a big, fat NADA from either or Lavatech for this article

Prometric Offering – the “Take it again Exam”

I got this one yesterday, I assume allot of you have received it as well – this is actually really good! I always try to keep my certifications as up-to-date as possible, especially since it forces me to learn about those features I might not utilize that much or have overlooked.

Prometric – IBM Professional Certification Offering

Take It Again!
Take it once … Take it twice. Quickly retake an exam for no additional cost – EASY!

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Double your opportunity for success with IBM’s “Take It Again” program.* This new voucher program provides the peace of mind that, in the event you do not pass on your first attempt, you are able to quickly and easily retake the exam for no additional cost.

Take It Again is a voucher program, offered worldwide, by IBM Professional Certification. With Take It Again you may purchase specially priced vouchers so that in the event you do not pass an exam on your first attempt, you may quickly and easily retake the same exam for no additional costs.

1. Obtain your Take It Again voucher from the Prometric Take It Again Web Site (link resides outside of
2. Schedule and pay for your initial exam, using the voucher number. (Note: To be eligible for the free retake, you must provide the TIA voucher number when scheduling this original testing appointment.)
3. Take the exam.
4. If you do not pass the exam you may register to take the same exam again using the same voucher. (Note: After taking the original exam, please wait a minimum of one day before attempting to register for the retake. This will allow time for the original test results to be entered into the system.)
5. There is no additional charge for retaking the exam.

Most IBM exams are included in the Take It Again program.
Eligible tests, prices, and ordering information is provided on the Prometric Take It Again Web Site (link resides outside of

Take Advantage of “Take It Again”

• IBM Cognos & IBM
• Information Management
• IBM Lotus
• IBM Rational
• IBM Service Oriented
• Architecture (SOA)
• IBM Tivoli Software
• IBM WebSphere

• IBM Power Systems
• IBM Storage

• IBM Internet Security

• Advanced Manufacturing
• Science
• IBM Infrastructure
Systems Architect
• Innovation enabled by
On Demand Business
• IBM Learning
• PL/I
• Retail Store Solutions

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