For those considering the Microsoft Certified Architect program, some guidance on what to submit as documentation has been posted to the MCA blog:
The submitted documentation
It's an interesting read... even if you're not actively pursuing the certification because it gives some insight into what is expected of an MCA candidate. I like the Technology depth section which points out you're to know a technology area, not a product. Also, if you don't know a product well within a technology area, you best not list it. I think too often in resumes some folks put whatever they can in order to get it past the recruiters. For instance, if they touched Exchange because their previous employer was using Exchange for mail, it's on the resume "with experience." I've seen that far too often as I go to do tech interviews. It's refreshing to see the MCA will call you on what you say you know.
The case study part also sets apart the MCA. You must have a case study and you must know it end-to-end. This certainly hammers home the experience requirement and prevents it from being a "paper" certification. I like the guidance that even if you were only involved in one aspect of a case study, you still must be able to talk about the whole thing. After all, your influence as an architect is what is being looked at.
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