TotalSeminars CompTIA A+ course page.

Review: Total Seminars A+

Ethan Glover

CompTIA exams get a lot of criticism. And I'm one of the people who will tell you that they're not worth your time. You can apply to 200 jobs in the time it takes to pass one low level exam. The minor advantage certifications give you in getting to the top of a resume stack, are just not worth the investment. That goes doubly so for CompTIA. Mostly because these exams are meant for IT support technicians, not developers.

So why am I talking about CompTIA A+ courses here? For people first getting into programming the material is valuable. If you don't know about TCP/IP, file systems and terminals for different operating systems, virtual boxes and user management, you'll want to take these courses.

You may have at one point seen a t-shirt that says something like, “Yes, I'm a programmer. No, I can't fix your computer.” I'm not saying that should change. IT support and development are two very different specializations. But I do think developers should be familiar with the hardware they're working on and have the basic knowledge that CompTIA covers. Besides, this course can even help you make better decisions in building your programmer by day, gamer by night rig.

Mike Meyers' is a great presenter. Watching his courses reminds me of watching TechTV when I was a kid. It's interesting, he's a fun guy to listen to. In terms of the level of detail on each topic, it is supposed to be a basic overview for a basic exam. And it's a perfect level of depth for developers.

This review covers two courses, the Core 1 and Core 2 videos cover two different exams. In taking both you'll see some similarities between the two. In fact the intro sections are copies. But the courses do cover different material for the same topics. I wish the similar sections for these two were combined, but I'm not going to knock the courses for that. As they are made for people trying to pass two separate exams.

These courses are the perfect place to start getting a familiarity with the hardware, software and networking you'll use as a developer. I don't advise wasting time on exams, but that decision is up to you. Because of the quality of presentation and level of knowledge presented, I give Mike Meyers' TOTAL: CompTIA A+ Certification Core 1 and Core 2 a 5 out of 5.