Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
User Journal

Journal Journal: Twelve down... how many more to go?

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 .NET) - Apr 23, 2003
  • Microsoft Certified Application Developer (For Microsoft .NET) - Mar 26, 2003
  • 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 .NET ones) were much trickier - I mean this literally, as many of the questions seemed to deliberately go out of their way to trick the examinee. Often they'd present three or four correct answers, and say 'choose the solution that will maximise performance' or something like that - I like that, personally, it shows (to me) that if you can do that, you know what you're doing.

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...

Slashdot Top Deals

Drilling for oil is boring.