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The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Posted by TestOut Staff on

First there was Amazon. Now everyone is doing it. Amazon Echo, the home assistant "smart speaker" that offers you a voice-activated connection to the web, as well as to various internet-enabled devices in your home, lit a tiny consumer fire at the end of 2014 as a special offering to Amazon Prime members. (The cheery program that responds to Echo commands is named Alexa.) Then the gizmo caught on, fueled by a general release in 2015, and Amazon's first-ever Super Bowl ad (featuring Alec Baldwin) in 2016.

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At the end of 2016, Google entered the fray with its "Hey, Google"- activated Google Home device, a similarly operated and similarly capable smart speaker setup. Google Home got its own Super Bowl push earlier this year, with an assist from the late John Denver. Not to be outdone — or at least not indefinitely — Apple and Siri finally got into the mix earlier today with the release of the HomePod. And there's more where that came from: Microsoft, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung have reportedly all boarded the smart speaker train.

And that's how you know you're doing something right — or at least something with enormous profit potential — whether in the IT realm, or in just about any other walk of life. Whenever someone has a bright idea, imitators are certain to pick up on whatever vibe is being laid down and see what they can do with it themselves. Sometimes you get the Beatles and the Monkees. The obvious imitation just doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi as the original.

Sometimes, however, Version 2.0 ends up being superior to the original. Sometimes the next person or team to pick up the trend hits on something that makes everything even better. Along those lines, you could say that certification is the better way of learning about IT than the trial-and-error bumbling, user manuals, peer forums, and help desks that used to be, for most people, the best hope of picking up a new technology. In 2017, there's a far better way of doing things when it comes to IT learning.

As business and society both become increasingly tied to computers and computer technology, a steep learning curve has emerged for certain workers. We're talking about the folks who aren't already eyeing retirement, but also didn't have the benefit of growing up with a computer, tablet, or smartphone in every room of the house. Not to worry: TestOut Continuing Education can help you adapt to the new reality of the global workforce in no time at all.

TestOut's LabSim technology not only makes it easy to learn, but reinforces the concepts taught with "hands-on" simulations that let the user walk through IT processes step-by-step. There's a big difference between knowing what the steps are and actually executing them. TestOut CE's courseware doesn't just prepare you to pass a test —  it prepares you to do a job. Actually, if you follow the IT education realm at all, then you may have noticed that there are a lot of learning programs that now follow this model.

Hey, Google: What's the old saying about what imitation is?

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