November, 2005

Nigel Parker's Outside Line

Juxtaposing the web, media and mobile for New Zealand developers.
  • Nigel Parker's Outside Line

    New Generation of Microsoft Certifications for you and me!


    Some things I've heard about our "older" MCP exams...

    "They don't measure industry experience"... "I can rope learn from the answers readily available on the Internet"...

    In fact these are some of the reasons that I didn't sit the MCP exams before joining Microsoft!

    Welcome the new generation of Microsoft Certifications -  A initiative to increase value and raise the bar across the board.

    Something I often hear that strikes a nerve with me... "Open Source developers are generally smarter have computer science degree's and produce high quality solutions... albeit they get sidetracked along the way". Those same people stereotype Microsoft developers as "business focused but not as technically competent".

    Since I have an Honours Degree from the University of Auckland (BTech), and I worked as a Open Source developer for 3 years before working with Microsoft technologies for 5 years I can fit into both sides of this stereotype ;)

    IMO one of the reasons these stereotypes exist is because there are so many more Microsoft developers out there... some educated... some with years of experience... some who understand Fast Fourier Transforms, Dijkstra's Algorithm, Software Patterns, Haskell, lex & yak... hell they might even use a binary search tree instead of a for each statement! But you or your employer needs to be able to find them! How do you know if you are hiring a lemon?

    The marketing line...

    "The new generation of Microsoft certifications is more specific and targeted to reflect the detail of what you do and to prove your expertise to those who need to know."... hmmm this sounds a bit like the NZCA

    Jokes aside I like the concept!

    1. The Technology Specialist series helps you demonstrate your technical skills with exams that map to the kind of work you do: Web apps, Windows apps, distributed apps etc
    2. The Professional Developer certification then tests your design, planning, and project management skills.
    3. The Architect Series - a rigorous, peer-reviewed program that gives you something to really shoot for.

    Think about it the Technology Specialist is all about the Technology! Your certification will be retired when mainstream product support for the particular technology expires.

    The Professional Developer certification gives an indicator of your proven ability to perform on the job... this one requires recertification to maintain active status.

    The Architect Series - was built and is granted by the architect community (old boys club)... Do you have 10 years of advanced IT industry experience, have 3 or more years of experience as a practicing architect, possess strong technical and managerial skills... still love your job and want to own another boat ;)

    Go to the site... take a look around... tell me what you think... share your perceptions and opinions through the comments on this post!

    Remember if you sign up for the technical sessions at Connect you get a voucher to start your journey towards these new competencies.

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

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