Musings of an eclectic itinerant polymath is a blog by Ryan Cheley. His posts explore his passion for learning new things by trying them out and seeing how spectacularly he can fail at them. 

Getting CPHIMS(R) Certified - Part III

I walked into the testing center at 8:30 (a full 30 minutes before my exam start time as the email suggested I do).

I signed in and was given a key for a locker for my belongings and offered use of the restroom.

I was then asked to read some forms and then was processed. My pockets were turned out and my glasses inspected. I signed in (again) and had the signature on my ID scrutinized with how I signed on test day. It only took three tries ... apparently 19 year old me doesn’t sign his name like 39 year old me.

Now it was test time ... even if I could remember any of the questions I wouldn’t be able to write about them ... but I can’t remember them so it’s not a problem.

It took me 80 minutes to get through the real test of 115 questions (15 are there as ‘test’ questions that don’t actually count). The only real issues I had were:

  • construction noise outside the window to my left
  • the burping guy to my right ... seriously bro, cut down on the breakfast burritos
  • one question that I read incorrectly 4 different times. On the fifth time I finally realized my mistake and was able to answer correctly (I think). As it turned out I had guessed what I thought was the correct answer but it was still a good feeling to get the number through a calculation instead of just guessing it

When the test was completed and my questions scored the results came back. A passing score is 600 out of 800. I scored 669 ... I am officially CPHIMS. The scoring breakdown even shows areas where I didn’t do so well, so I know what to focus on for the future. For reference, they are:

  • Testing and Evaluation (which is surprising for me)
  • Analysis (again, surprising)
  • Privacy and Security (kind of figured this as it’s not part of my everyday job)

Final Thoughts

When I set this goal for myself at the beginning of the year it was just something that I wanted to do. I didn’t really have a reason for it other than I thought it might be neat.

After passing the exam I am really glad that I did. I’ve heard myself say things and think about things differently, like implementation using Pilots versus Big Bang or By Location versus By Feature.

I’m also asking questions differently of my colleagues and my supervisors to help ensure that the we are doing things for the right reason at the right time.

I can’t wait to see what I try to do next

The Technical Debt of Others

Getting CPHIMS(R) Certified - Part II