12 is a lucky number for some

Registered as SharePoint Server 2010 MCM number 12 after passing the exams and qualification lab on 12th February during my 12th year with Microsoft Consulting Services.  I attended SharePoint MCM rotation 7 from January 24 to February 12, 2011 at the Microsoft Campus in Seattle.  The MCM course is by far the best Microsoft technology training experience since I began working with the first version of SharePoint in 2001.  It reminded me of the Guerrilla COM Training taught by Don Box I attended many years ago; the week-long Guerrilla workshop was a sprint versus the three week MCM marathon (including countless hours pre-MCM working on the pre-reading list).  The classroom facilities were excellent and Microsoft cafeteria food surprisingly good.

Microsoft Caffeinated Master

 
Master of the Onion Rings

The MCM instructors are some of the smartest people I know and well respected by the SharePoint community.  There were 13 other highly skilled SharePoint practitioners  from Australia, Germany, India, New Zealand, Netherlands, Singapore, and United States attending rotation 7 together with me.  Four of us from Melbourne and Sydney celebrated Australia Day with our MCM classmates passing out Koala clip-ons, Tim Tams, and Fosters (a cruel joke).

Official Drink sponsor for the Masters

A typical MCM training day started at 8am and completed around 6pm with short breaks and lunch in between.  Evenings were spent working on hands on labs past 10pm.  I was keeping in touch with my wife and daughter on Windows Live Messenger which was a nice finishing line to look forward to at the end of each long MCM day.  Staying at the Homestead five minutes walk away from Microsoft Building 40 was a wise choice.  Weekends were spent studying for Monday morning exams and making full use of 24x7 access to labs for more hands on practice in preparation for the qualification lab.

The MCM exams and qualification lab are tough and challenging for even the most experienced SharePoint practitioners.  I was tested and stretched beyond my level of comfort and experience with the product.  The MCM motto of Know what you know, Know what you don't know, and Never confuse the two is a permanent reminder of how far more I have to travel on my journey down the SharePoint highway of knowledge.

Is SharePoint really this complex?

 

A big thank you to the MCM rotation 7 class

My MCM experience was enriched by the classroom discussions and hands on labs assistance from other attendees.  They are all SharePoint legends already and deserve to wear the MCM badge on successful completion of the exams and qualification lab.  I bought the legendary edition of Halo Reach from the Microsoft Company Store and it sits proudly in my home office as a tribute to the five ANZ team members among the fourteen SharePoint Spartans who battled with the MCM rotation 7 exams and qualification lab.

The ANZ SharePoint Spartans - Aaron Saikovski, Elaine Van Bergen, Gerald de Run, Camilo Borges, Alexandre Bacchin

Thank you to the program manager Brett Geoffroy and MCM instructors (Scott Jamison, Kimmo Forss, Sean Livingston, Neil Hodgkinson, Steve Peschka, Bill Baer, Spencer Harbar, Todd Baginski, Todd Carter, Vesa Juvonen, Paul Randal) for delivering a fantastic learning experience and preparing me to successfully become part of the chosen few in the Masters community.

Post qualification lab celebrations at the Rock Bottom Brewery with real beer (they don't serve Fosters)

 

Dedicated to my family

Finally I need to thank my wonderful wife and beautiful daughter for their support.  The path to MCM began at SharePoint Conference 2009; followed by time away from family working on SharePoint projects with Microsoft clients and partners in Canberra and Sydney getting the necessary hands-on experience; and spending Christmas and New Year working through the pre-reading list instead of taking my family on holiday.  My Masters success is dedicated to them for their love and support before and during the MCM rotation.

Post-MCM my daughter is still too young to understand anything about daddy's other job that does not involve playtime with her.  My wife is still the Master at home.  And I am back in the trenches architecting and deploying SharePoint solutions in Melbourne and Canberra.  We are looking forward to our family holiday at Disneyland later this year; my Master has also given me a few days off to attend the SharePoint Conference in Anaheim. 

Amelia is more interested in trading Daddy's MCM shirt for biscuits