I never did complete my MCDBA. As I was preparing to, I transitioned to my systems architect role, meaning I had to deal a lot more with security, server configurations, and Active Directory. So my focus shifted, just as I was preparing to go after that particular certification. I know I could now, but with SQL Server 2008 coming out, I'm not sure there's a lot of value in it because of how I view certifications and certification testing. I know certifications can get you past a recruiter's screen, but I tend to use certification exams to validate I know the objectives of the certification. As a result, I've not worked on any Microsoft certs since my NT 4 MCSE. In the intervening time I certified on GSEC (though I didn't renew this one when it came up for renewal), the obligatory Security+, and the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). The latter was by far the hardest test I've ever taken mainly because it wasn't all cut-and-dry facts. A lot of judgement calls in that exam. But then again, that's part and parcel of the job of an information systems auditor.
SQL Server 2005 is exceptionally broad across all its facets. There are several certifications. While I work with SQL Server, every day I find something new or interesting about it that I didn't know before. The blogs on SQL Server are filled with all kinds of great information. As far as platforms go, it's a significant knowledge upgrade from SQL Server 2000. Therefore, pursuing certification on it makes sense in my eyes. Let's look at the certifications which are available:
First the "lightweight" ones, the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist certifications, which involve passing a single exam:
Then, the "heavyweight" ones, the Microsoft Certified IT Professional certifications, which require passing multiple exams:
To complete the two MCTS and the first two MCITP, there are a total of six exams. The last MCITP, Business Intelligence Developer, requires one more certification exam, but I haven't seen any books out for it yet and the first six is enough. So I'll focus on them. Speaking of books, here's what I've decided to go with:
This should keep me busy studying for the next few months. The catch is to set aside the time each night to make steady progress towards each test and then to go and take the exams.