Win your degree test in six easy steps

Only valid for Computer Science and Software Systems USAC 😀 --- Many friends of mine have this question ¿What I have to do to pass the test? So as I'm very lazy to answer individually and I passed the test four weeks ago. I realize a simple algorithm with six easy steps to pass it successfully. Step 1: Pass all the courses studying and doesn't use "chivos" Yeah it's the first step. If you pass all the courses without study. Don't pretend to be superman and take this test. You will lose it :). It's very stressful and difficult. Go ahead and look for another option to obtain the degree. Step 2: Focus on the last two years and review your notes: Because the test it's a "bet for all" case study and simulates a real life business-TI scenario. Don't be afraid if you don't know Mathematics. Physics or Compilers. Focus on:
  • Analysis and Design
  • Advanced Software
  • Networking
  • Systems Theory
  • Economy
  • Modeling and Simulation
Of course you'll need the knowledge from other courses. But not so deeply as the mentioned above. And if you lost all your notebooks or documents (like me :D). Go to the next step. Step 3: Good data sources: This depends on your actual skills. Recommended Books:
  • Engineering of Software. A practical focus. - Roger S. Pressman (high priority)
  • Evaluating Project Decisions - Addison Wesley (hick priority)
  • Agile software development - Alistair Cockburn (gives good arguments but haven't big importance)
  • Head First Object Oriented Analysis.and.Design - OReilly.(maybe you were stupid to design this is your last chance to improve your skills :D)
  • If you also don't know about TI hardware infraestructure look for a cisco or sun data center design guide. I'm not a master in this area but I hadn't the enough time to study it I only saw the books superficially.
Blogs:
  • The Open Road - One of my favorites. Open Source business models
  • InfoQ - Great SOA and RAD articles
  • John C. Dvorak on PC Magazine - Acid an funny critics of TI area
Step 4: Relax While you study find fun. You cannot study 16 hour per day. My options were:
  • Talk one, two or three hours of the day with my girfriend 🙂
  • Read niubie
  • Go to a big rock concert (Metallica) and see my girlfriend the previous weekend
  • Listen some metal music (it's relaxing for me)
Step 5: Were almost ready So if you studied a lot. The last day before the test week I recommend to take away books and notes. Play a classic game all the day. Buy your suit. Think on the world peace . . . (you catch the idea right?). And don't forget to install all your software in your laptop. I worked during the test with:
  • Dia
  • Open Office
  • Debian GNU/Linux
  • Bash
That's all :). Step 6: The decisive week The test only has a duration of three days. Maybe from Monday to Wednesday or Tuesday to Thursday starting at 8:00 and finishing 15:00 every day. This is the most stressing part of the test and you have to:
  • Think your solution.
  • Make the document for your solution and send it the three days before 15:00.
  • Eat crappy food because the time is gold
The fourth day you only have to write your presentation and send it (also before 15:00) but take in consideration that the exposition time it's under 20 minutes (10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 font size it's excellent for this). And finally the decisive day it's here SATURDAY. Practice your presentation two or three times. And find a good soundtrack to wait for your presentation turn. My selection was random but the last four songs where carefully selected.
  • Blind Guardian - Valhalla (to feel myself like a warrior)
  • Manowar - Call to arms (also for the feeling)
  • Tourniquet - Ark of Suffering (to elevate my heart beats per minute)
  • Megadeth - This day we fight (it's time to fight :D)
So if you did right all the steps the presentation depends only on you and if you really know your solution. You'll be asked in the areas that the Engineers in charge of the test have good skills in my case were:
  • Economics (I really had problems to answer these and I almost lose because this questions)
  • Networking (Easy)
  • Analysis and Design (Not so easy but I was in charge of this laboratory 🙂 )
  • Operative Systems (Technical details but I also I was in charge of this)
In the words of the Engineers in charge of the test "I won because I present an excellent technical solution but my Economics skills were a bad joke and I need to improve my knowledge in this area with a master degree). Well thanks God I won :). If you are here congratulations. Maybe you lost the test but it's normally and it's a good experience. And if you won. Go to Taco Bell right now.
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