Microsoft Certified Architect

News and thoughts on the Microsoft Cerified Architect Program

  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    The MCA PM has left the building

    • 2 Comments
    The PM is gone, long live the PM. I could go on, got a million of 'em... I've been the PM for the MCA program since inception and wanted to give a year-end report card on the program and introduce the new MCA PM. I’ve recently taken a new position...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    Changes to the MCA program

    • 3 Comments
    Don't know if you saw, but at TechEd in the US (6/4/2007) we opened the registration for the MCA program permanently. We’ve done that in conjunction with other changes based on refining and growing the program. What we’ve found – IT architects that...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    What Color are Architects

    • 3 Comments
    A while back my group at work did personality training based on colors, very much like the letter (Type A personality) or animal (beaver and squirrel) tools that do the same thing. In it there are four colors, red, blue, green, and yellow. You answer...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    Andy, when are you opening the application process again???

    • 0 Comments
    The question I seem to be getting the most right now is when will we open the public application process again. Our web site says early 2007 and it is getting to be early 2007. I'm working right now to reopen the application process in April/May/June...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    The time is your worst enemy

    • 0 Comments
    Why is the time such an enemy when facing the review board? Did you ever dig into the overwhelming amount of sub-competencies that are checked, measured and evaluated? For each competency and sub-competency you must get a tick from most (if not all) members...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    MCA World Tour

    • 3 Comments
    I'm on the road right now hosting MCA review boards. Two weeks ago we were in Singapore and had some very interesting interviews. One candidate from Korea and one from Japan came through and that required us to engage a translator service to translate...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    Couple of sample questions

    • 0 Comments
    I tried to avoid writing too many sample board questions as MCA review board is very free-flowing and you never know where the interview will head to. But the pressure is on and here is another batch of random questions that happened on past boards I...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    Behind the closed doors

    • 1 Comments
    Let me try to explain what happens when the MCA candidate leaves the room and the Architecture Review Board (ARB) starts the deliberation process. The board’s first exposure to evidence of competencies comes through the submitted documentation. It...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    The submitted documentation

    • 1 Comments
    I spent last couple of nights reading the whole bunch of documents submitted by board-ready candidates. Sifting through pages and pages (and pages) of material made me very aware that there is obviously not enough guidance on what to put in and how to...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    Common fallacies around MCA programme

    • 2 Comments
    MCA is too expensive When was the last time you heard of well-regarded MBA programme that is cheap? On the other hand the $10K is the training budget for two years of any senior IT professional (2-3 conferences per year). And the MCA programme is not...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    MCA certified architects as of October 2006

    • 2 Comments
    Total certified: 148 MCA Breadth: 70     Solutions: 48     Infrastructure: 23 MCA Depth: 78     Messaging: 78   Geographic distribution: North America: 91     MCA Breadth: 48     MCA Depth: 43 Non-NA: 57     MCA Breadth...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    MCA mentoring

    • 0 Comments
    Each MCA candidate is allowed four mentoring sessions to prepare for the Review Board interview. However, each of these sessions is scheduled separately, so a candidate might or might not meet with the same mentor more than once. For this reason, mentors...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    Broken egos, smashed pride

    • 3 Comments
    How do I know that the screening for the first open round of MCA invitations is over? Because my mailbox is starting to fill with opinionated emails ranging from " I'm sooo lame, I'll never be an MCA architect " to " This MCA is sooo lame, now I don't...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    MCA and Intercultural issues

    • 0 Comments
    As the MCA programme grows there will be many unforeseen aspects and hurdles on its path of expansion. One of them is the approach to different languages and different cultures as the programme expands beyond American-centred boundaries . Let’s tackle...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    MCA Study guide for Dummies

    • 8 Comments
    This is very amusing: http://eplanetlabs.com/mca.html For the MCA programme where you have to work with a mentor for at least 6 months and then sit the review board of 4 inquisiting people, you pay “ just $29 ” and you will “ pass on your First attempt...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    The Architect title

    • 4 Comments
    What is all the fuss about the title Architect? An architect is a person who translates the user's needs into the technical requirements, so an architect sits on both sides of the fence – the demand side and the supply side. Being the central pivotal...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    The first public application period for the MCA program is closed

    • 2 Comments
    At TechEd in Boston (on 6/12) we opened the first public offering of the Microsoft Certified Architect program. The offering was for the first 250 applicants or until July 14th, whichever came first. We've been developing this program for over two years...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    A sample question for infrastructure MCA candidates

    • 1 Comments
    The information about review board questions is still too vague and hazy? You need a specific example? OK, here we go... Automatic software updating is one of the critical knowledge areas for any infrastructure architect. Grab a marker and sketch your...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    The value of MCA certification

    • 2 Comments
    These days all progressive IT firms recognized that many technically gifted people have no desire to enter the management chain. As an individual contributors they are more valuable, more motivated and often better paid than management. Don’t get me wrong...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    What questions to expect?

    • 2 Comments
    So, you want to know what the MCA review board will ask? Instead of giving you the battery of answers, let me instead explain the different cognitive levels that the IT architect has to demonstrate to the board to pass the review. (The taxonomy used is...
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    MCA review board

    • 9 Comments
    Readiness I tried to prepare for the board review couple of weeks before but with no guidelines or specific topics this is impossible task. I focused on reading as diverse material as I could find: Gartner slides from the last ITXpo, Business trends reports...
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