Study Guide Content
Each of the books was quite thick, containing literally hundreds of pages. I was quite surprised at the amount of text I was to begin studying. It didn’t take me long to realize that these books were written extremely poorly. The CEH’s choice of actual modules was quite good, though I have issue with how the actual content of the modules was presented. The courseware books really came across as being more of a Teacher’s Guide than a self-study course. I say this because there would commonly be a PowerPoint slide on the top of a page, then an explanation written beneath each slide. I don’t so much have issue with that, though it also wasn’t uncommon for the explanation written beneath to be the exact text that just appeared in the above PowerPoint with nothing extra added. That didn’t seem to make much sense.
I found a number of core issues with the courseware books:
- Proofread: The books are in dire, dire need of being proofread.
- No Clear Flow: Technical information can be dry, but there is still a need to make the content readable in an attempt to at least be in somewhat of a story format. The content of the modules often didn’t have any logical flow, and often an area would be covered to what you believe to be completion, then an item relating to that area would appear seemingly out-of-turn later in the module.
- Overwhelmed with Tools: Without question, it is important to be familiar with the various hacking tools that are available; that is pretty much the point of this course. That notwithstanding, tool after tool is literally dumped on the reader, without context of why you would want to use one tool over another. The tools were not logically grouped within each module, either, so it was difficult to have comprehension of the purpose of the tools after reading the module. Also, there’s more to hacking than just knowing the tools. The tool’s use needs to be put into context with an example of when the tool should be utilized. This was not adequately done in the courseware material. I actually went back to count the various tools that were discussed, and unofficially the count was over 250. I didn’t have the heart to actually go back and count each and every one for an exact number. Personally, I think that number could have been drastically reduced with more emphasis on select tools, their use and the situations in which you would want to use that tool. Instead, the reader is just literally dumped with brief explanations of hundreds of tools.
- Choppy: Reading the material felt like reading thousands of individual pages - not thought-out and modules had no flow to them. I actually told my boss that in reading this material, that I truly felt the authors had Attention Deficit Disorder with poor grammar skills.