What's a SME Anyway?

by Jill Burroughs | Jan 19, 2012

Ever wonder how CompTIA comes up with content for its global certification exams? More to the point, ever think you may have what it takes to be a part of the process?

If your answer to either of the above is a “yes” or even “hmmm,” then you’re in luck as we continue to advance our industry-leading certifications next month.

CompTIA relies on industry experts, known as Subject Matter Experts (known in the acronym-happy world as a “SME” sounded out as the not-actual-word “smee”), to provide objectives and blueprints for our exams. These IT professionals confab with peers and our CompTIA staff at exam development workshops at our headquarters in Downers Grove, Ill. Together, this brain trust creates and reviews items associated with the latest in technologies, knowledge sets and best practices in the IT industry.

We're seeking prospective SMEs with extensive experience in document imaging for a workshop February 27 - March 2 to help update our CompTIA Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+) exam.

The following week, from March 5-9, we need professionals with strong knowledge and understanding of the main cloud computing principles and concepts from a business and technical perspective, as well as what is involved in moving to and governing the cloud. These SMEs will help develop content for our CompTIA Cloud Essentials Exam.

The week of April 23-27, we are looking for IT professionals who have extensive experience in the field of PC repair and troubleshooting to update our CompTIA A+ certification exam.

Jill Burroughs, CompTIA’s senior director of exam services, said workshop duties differ as do the qualifications of the participants.

“The qualifications of SMEs vary depending on the program,” Burroughs said. “We aim to include SMEs from various backgrounds and disciplines in order to get a well-rounded view of how the technologies are used.”

The altruistic nature of the workshops isn’t the sole benefit, Burroughs said. And, she wasn’t referring to the daily stipend, free meals and free-wheeling Wii tournaments.

“We asked our current SMEs what brings them back and they say the number one thing is the networking,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for them to be with their peers and really make a difference in their industry. 

“For both the SMEs and their employers it’s a chance to influence the direction of the industry by taking part in creating the standards.”

For more on these and other upcoming workshops, click here.

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