Careers: Interviews
Ed Tittel, Best-Selling Author, World Authority in Technology and Certification

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., DF/NPA, MVP, CNP has an exclusive interview with Ed Tittel.

Ed TittelEd Tittel is a well-known author, trainer, and speaker. He's been working in the computer industry since 1981, and has filled roles as a software developer, an IT manager, a trainer, a systems engineer, technical marketer, and even technical evangelist. He's contributed to over 140 computer books, and is perhaps best-known for creating the "Exam Cram" series of IT certification preparation titles in 1997. Ed has also written for numerous computer magazines and Web sites, and is a regular contributor to Tom's Hardware,, and Digital Landing.

For more information on Ed visit his web page at

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:32: Ed shares what triggered his initial interest in technology and then certification.

:02:29: You have achieved many awards and recognitions. Which ones were the most rewarding and why?
"....Being chosen by the Network Professional Association for a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 for still sticks with me as one of the outstanding, a website that tracks certification activity, recognized me as a runner-up as the Best Certification writer in the whole time they ran the survey from 2001 to 2005...."

:03:26: From a long and distinguished career, what key lessons would you like to share with the audience?
".....As long as people can keep their minds fresh and their skills sharp, they'll be able to remain effective as IT professionals because so much keeps changing and there is so much new material that has to be absorbed and mastered and applied in the practical sense..."

:04:14: Can you profile your current areas of research and work?
"....I've had an ongoing effort to dig more deeply in Windows Vista and understand how to make it work more effectively. I've created a website called where I keep a running commentary of what I am learning and what I'm doing....I've updated for the 12th Edition, HTML for Dummies for Wylie....I just finished with Mike Stewart and Mike Chappell the 4th Edition of CISSP Study Guide for Sybex...."

:05:18: Please share your picks for the top trends in IT?
"...It remains the case that Information Security is a hot area....Other areas include high end networking topics of all the general area of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)...."

:07:02:  What you do see as the top trends in Business?
"....Making more and more interesting access to all kinds of Enterprise processes and activities available through the web....The whole Web 2.0 phenomenon really seems to be changing the way that people approach looking for information, analyzing information, and presenting information....Anything having to do with XML....Data management and Data Presentation...."

:08:22: Where is it all going in IT education?
"....Distance learning, self-paced study, and ways of using online communities to increase your knowledge and skills seems to be very much the way that things are going both from the individual side and in terms of what companies and academic institutions are offering as well...."

:09:33: Can you share stories centered around one or more of these themes: Amusing, Surprising, Inspirational, Disruptive, Historical?
"....Let's pick the historical with a little dash of amusing and that's the sense that there is always a dynamic at work in the IT industry between fat clients and thin clients and on the server side of the equation, between server based processing and client based processing...."

:11:51: The UN-founded International Federation for Information Processing or IFIP has their Professional Practice Partnership Program which received full ratification at the world general assembly in August 2007 with their first implementation meeting in Montreal hosted by CIPS in October. This marks an historical inflection point and speaks to IT as a recognized profession with global standards, profession-based code of ethics, and widely adopted professional certification-all happening in 2009. Can you comment on the benefits of this global initiative?
"....I think that this IFIP initiative is going to be very beneficial from three different standpoints for the IT industry at large....One of the biggest benefits of the IFIP initiative is that for the first time we are going to have something defined that's going to be as well recognized in Europe as it is in North America as it is in Asia and it will create more of a level playing field for IT professionals to be able to move around the world. The second thing particularly where a Code of Ethics is concerned, is creating something that is single and monolithic and standard and widely distributed. It is of great benefit because you don't have to worry about changing approaches and changing governing principles as you move from one community to the next. The third thing...particularly for people either getting started in IT at the university level or even at the high school programs like the Cisco Academy, also for those pursuing advanced Masters or some PhD degrees, they are going to be able to have this information integrated as part of their IT training...."

:14:57: What four questions would you ask and what would be your answers if you were doing this interview?
"....I'd like to take a spin on that and say what are the four questions that I get asked the most as a certification expert by the various readers that I serve....By far the four most common questions that I'm asked are....'Which certification should I get so that I can make the most money'....'What is more important to employers, degree versus certification or degree versus experience or experience versus certification'...'Whether or not pursuing additional degrees has value'....'Are particular types of skills worth pursing in the sense of developing oneself as a more well-rounded employee'..."


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