Tradition has been a driving force in human society for as long as mankind has been around. People, it seems, have a natural affinity for doing things over and over again. You could view it as a survival instinct: Certainly the organisms, people included, that tend to thrive on our Mother Earth are the ones that discover successful behaviors and repeat them. On the other hand, some behaviors don't appear to confer any survival advantage or evolutionary benefit at all, but we slavishly reenact them anyway, year after year. (Perhaps this explains how we got eight seasons of Castle, for example, even though only the first two or three were any good.)
With the summer solstice last week, an excellent recent example of meaningless adherence to tradition popped into world news reports as residents of the Norwegian hamlet of Alesund (pictured above) carried out their annual ritual of celebrating St. John's Day with a massive bonfire. A really massive bonfire. We're talking about tens of thousands of pallets piled up to a world-record breaking (speaking of empty and meaningless traditions) height of 155.5 feet, and then, um, set afire. Because ... fire. And St. John? (Right about now the chorus of the Styx rock ditty "Too Much Time on My Hands" is running through our heads.) I mean, come on, you can't even get close enough to roast hot dogs, or make s'mores.
Some traditions, however, add up to more than just a whole lot of hot air. At TestOut Continuing Education, we stick to a simple business formula of making the best learning products available to IT students, year after year. Our certification courseware is second to none because we've been committed to discovering what works for IT learners and making continual improvements for 25 years. We want everyone who uses our tools to become a customer for life. That means constantly evaluating what we do to see how we can make things better, faster, more functional, and more effective.
As described in a recent article for Certification Magazine, TestOut gathers data from our users every day. Our continuous monitoring helps us find room for improvement even in products that may have seemed to be working just fine. And whenever we discover a better way of meeting the goals of our IT learners, we immediately start making changes. You may have heard it said that, "Where there's smoke there's fire." At TestOut Continuing Education, we aren't just piling up a lot of wood for a few hours' spectacle because of a day on the calendar. Our tradition of excellence is all about blazing a path to IT employment — your path to IT employment.