Well, after twelve Microsoft exams, I've finally reached where I wanted to reach - I have my MCP, MCAD, MCSD.NET, MCDBA and now, my MCSE certifications. Apparently (according to others I know), the timeframe I've done this in is pretty impressive, although I have to admit, I didn't find many of the exams particularly difficult... Anyways, here's how I did it (according to my MCP transcript):
- Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (Microsoft Windows 2000) - Nov 27, 2003
- Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (Microsoft SQL Server 2000) - Jun 12, 2003
- Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (For Microsoft
- Microsoft Certified Application Developer (For Microsoft
- Microsoft Certified Professional - Feb 14, 2003
I'd never really thought about doing the MS certs before, except in passing. To me, they've always seemed a bit iffy - we've all run into those paper MCSEs and the like in our time, and they don't inspire huge amounts of confidence. Then, there's the cost: AU$245 per exam. After twelve exams, that's AU$2940 - a lot of cash. I'm very lucky that the company I work for is very training oriented and has payed for the lot, otherwise I wouldn't have even considered doing this.
The exams themselves, I thought, weren't particularly hard. For those of you who don't know, they're basically just computer driven, multiple choice questions, with the occasional 'drag and drop' type thing thrown in there. I will say, however, that the newer exams (i.e. the
As I mentioned though, the worth of the qualification is somewhat in question - given the huge availability of 'brain dumps' (which are basically collections of actual exam questions) on the Web, people can just memorise the answers and pass the exams. The exams change occasionally, but the dumps are generated as fast as they change. I've steered clear of them for the most part, but there are people I know who have the certifications based more or less entirely on the dumps. Now this doesn't necessarily mean they're no good at what they do - most of them are extremely intelligent and very competent... but does this reflect the majority of certified professionals? Who knows?
As a sidebar, I might continure studying to get my MCSA (one more exam), update my MCSE to Win2k3 (two more exams on top of that) and grab the MCSE: security cert (two more exams, I think). For now, though, I think I might go play with PostGreSQL (best OS database, hands down) instead...