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Confessions of a recovering certification junkie

Jay Schneider | March 27, 2018

Years ago, I had a bad certification habit. It started, harmlessly enough, with CompTIA's A+ and Network+ as my gateway. Since those certs counted as electives for Microsoft's MCSA, it only seemed logical to begin taking Microsoft exams. (Of course, the MCSA was really just a stop on the road to the MCSE, so...) I soon started pursuing other vendor and industry certifications, gobbling up certs in networking, server administration, cyber security, ITIL, project management, and e-Discovery. It wasn't long before I found myself scanning the internet late at night, browsing for more and more certification options. It had become an obsession.

Challenge and accomplishment

confessionsAt the time, I was a Technical Instructor and Corporate Trainer, so I rationalized my pursuit as necessary to perform my job, but I'll confess to you that I didn’t go after certifications because it was a requirement—I enjoyed the challenge and the accomplishment. I loved to fully immerse myself in the subject matter, consuming all that I could through books, courses, colleagues, and real-world hands-on experience (I was also a System Administrator at the time, so I got to use my newly learned skills everyday—usually to fix something I may or may not have broken the day before.) As I transitioned into management and leadership positions, my daily challenges shifted to managing IT Projects, monitoring cybersecurity threats, and probably the most challenging test of all--managing humans. I went from a pace of multiple certifications per year, to multiple years between certifications.

Last year at ZyLAB, we launched our own online certification program, and I'll admit I was more than a little excited. Sure, and I had the inside advantage of working for ZyLAB, and had direct access to the people who actually designed and built ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery, but still, it was a great opportunity (excuse) to tackle another certification. Since our program started, I've enjoyed seeing both my clients and colleagues become ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery Certified Legal Review Administrator and Application Administrator.

ZyLAB ONE has an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that requires little or no training to use successfully, so why bother to go through the certification program? I’m glad you asked.

 

Validate your Proficiency

You won't find a question on the exam asking how to spell "ZyLAB," but you also won't be required to have mastered regular expressions, either. We are not trying to trick you with impossible questions, but want to be sure that if you are ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery Certified, you know how to properly use the features of the software to effectively and successfully perform your job. A ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery certification will be evidence that you understand the concepts and theories behind the design so you can transition from working with ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery, to have ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery work for you. A casual user may be able to survive on keyword and Boolean searches, but a ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery Legal Review Specialist will know why a quorum search is far superior to a long string of ‘OR’s. Anyone can start tagging documents easily, but a certified user will have a complete understanding of how to leverage “scope settings” to tag entire families and duplicates, making review that much more efficient. In short, becoming certified in ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery proves you really know how to use the software.

 

Know What’s Possible

ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery has many powerful features, but the needs of an Public Disclosure Officer performing a FOIA request can be different from an attorney in a litigation matter, which can also be different from an investigator at a Federal agency. A new ZyLAB user may be able to perform his or her job adequately with just a few key features, but as a ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery Certified user, you will be familiar with all the powerful capabilities available. It’s easy to make quick redactions manually when reviewing documents, but do you know how to effectively configure Auto-redactions to do this automatically? Perhaps you are comfortable with basic wildcard searches, but do you know how to use regular expressions to find patterns? (Note: I didn’t say you had to master regular expressions, only know that it’s possible to use them. We will show you some examples.) So watch the videos, see what’s possible, pass the test, then feel free to forget it (Seriously. Read this). When the day comes that you need the feature, you’ll know it’s there. Just use our in-app help, user manuals or online videos to refresh your memory.

 

Bragging Rights

Impress your friends at parties, or, at least on throw a new accomplishment on your LinkedIn profile. It’s okay to be proud of your achievement—you earned it.

Oh, and before you say you're too busy and don't have the time...

 

Learn at your own pace with ZyLAB’s online, on-demand training and certification program

The only downside to ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery's easy-to-learn and intuitive interface is that new users can easily begin analyzing documents, performing searches and conducting a review will little or no training. Why is this a downside? With such busy and demanding work schedules, and the fact that you can begin successfully using ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery immediately, new users often start getting to work with ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery immediately, and as a consequence, don’t invest the time in exploring the many powerful features which can may help them work even more efficiently. We understand the time constraints and how busy life gets.

Our online, on-demand training allows you to watch short, easily digestible videos (most are around 5 minutes) at your convenience. Not having time won't be an excuse when you can view a training video in that bonus time you get when a meeting wraps up early (or while waiting for everyone to join that conference call) or while standing in line for coffee. And when you are finally ready to get certified? The exam is online, too. It’s available whenever you want. Go ahead, take that exam at 1:00 am, after the kids are asleep, the dishes are done, and you finally have a moment to yourself.

I'm looking forward to the evolution and expansion of ZyLAB Training & Certification, not only because it may give more opportunity to feed my own learning and certification habit, but to see a growing community of ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery experts who know how to maximize the potential of using ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery. Learn more here.

Written by Jay Schneider

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