Brainbench-a-thon, Part 4

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had once been a search-engine optimizer. That was not a fun job; it was freelance position I found out about from a friend of a friend, and the people I worked for were just plain crazy. They had actually been advertising for a "web designer", but they never wanted any real design work; they just wanted somebody to optimize their horrible FrontPage templates for robots, and develop turnkey kits for spamming search engines. Sadly, I stuck around even after realizing this, because I needed a job and I thought I could use it as a portfolio-builder.

The worst problem was the lack of intelligent feedback from my employers. Their webmaster refused to turn on their webserver's access-logging because he said they didn't have disk space for it. So I never had realistic feedback about whether I was affecting their site traffic; instead, they just blindly assumed that sales were proportional to traffic, so that if sales didn't go up, it must be my fault. (See the problem? I could be sending them millions of hits, but their crappy sales pitches could be wrecking everything, and I would never know.) Eventually, they accused me of being incompetant and lazy, I accused them of being dishonest and illogical, and we had one of those weird blow-ups where I say I quit, and they say I was fired. (I still have the letter of separation they sent, warning me they would seek legal action if I tried to access their servers. The best part? They misspelled "separation".)

Anyway, in honor of my failed run at being a "web-designer-cum-search-engine-optimizer" I took the Brainbench tests for "Web Design Concepts", "HTML 4.0", "Web Design for Accessibility", "Internet Research and Evaluation", and "Workplace Concepts". Now I have a bunch of useless "Master's Level certifications" showing that I know understand HTML, search engines, a bunch of miscellaneous web design principles, and how to be a good worker. Who's incompetant now, buddy?

Incidentally, I'm only two tests away from qualifying as a web designer, according to Brainbench. Unfortunately, fully qualifying requires at least one software-specific elective, and all the electives are for software I don't use. I'm screwed because I don't use closed source, low-accessibility formats like Shockwave. What else is new?

Posted at 11:27:54 PM EDT on 08 July 2004 from Trenton, MI