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From the Database Cafe - A Table with a View Susan Richards

It feels strange to even discuss this but I believe that I might have taken my last MS certification test.

I have been testing in SQL Server and Windows for 14 years.  From an MCSE in NT 4.0 through SQL 2008 MCITP, I have made a point of learning the ins and out of the new releases and then testing when I feel ready. 

When MS decided to start releasing SQL every 2 years I was still on board.  I figured that I'd keep my credentials updated even though the committment to study is becoming harder to achieve. 

The tests have never been about what most people do but instead have been about the far reached corners of each release.  When SQL Server was my job as well as my hobby preparing was easier as I spent a great deal of free time learning about the product.  However now my life has changed and SQL is my job. It is not even in the top 10 of my hobby activities.  I no longer read web sites and blogs for fun.  I no longer buy tech books for each release.  I do not care one bit about the cloud and actually find its references irritating.

I learn new areas of the products as needed and am an excellant DBA.

Microsoft no longer cares about DBAs.

I guess I understand some of the change as many things in SQL are more automated then ever and the need to turn every knob and push every button no longer exists, but being a DBA is a valid career.  I do not need to be a developer and I do not need to be a BI developer.  

To continue my certification path, I decided at the beginning of this year to get my MCSA.  I passed 70-461 and 70-462 just using web resources and BOL.  Then it was time for 70-463  Implementing a Datawarehouse.  I studied very hard for this test.  I use SSIS all the time for moving data from here to there but it is not our ETL tool and never will be. I have administered data warehouses for years so I expected this to be a challenge but not something beyond my experience.   I went through the Training kit, watched the virtual academy vids, read BOL etc.  That was not enough. I pounded practice exams.  That was not enough.  I postponed the test twice and studied even harder.  But at the end of the day the test was beyond me. 

I expected 50 questions.  I got 79 and it went downhill from there.  Each question required too much reading and the questions were difficult to understand.  I make no further excuses because if the intent was to only have those that use SSIS and perform ETL, day in and out pass then it was accomplished.

Microsoft has made it very clear that being a DBA is not enough for their certifications. 

Those that drink the Koolaid will go into depth about how the role is changing and that to be a DBA you need to be fully emersed in SSIS but that is not true in most shops.  Just like I don't need to deeply know C#,  I don't need to know the far corners of SSIS.  If I need to know something I can look it up.  Trying to pull this stuff from my memory banks is not necessary. 

So I really believe that this was my last test unless Microsoft changes the certs again, but maybe not even then.  The certifications no longer matter as my 20+ years of experience are my crendential.  

I am thankful for the career that this technology has afforded me and I will continue to learn but I have jumped from the cert train.  

 

     

 

 

 

 

Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 9:31 AM MCSA , 70-463 , SQL Server , certification | Back to top


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