Buck Woody (blog | twitter) is often seen as one of the wise men of the SQL Server community and with good reason: he often brings a perspective filled with great wisdom. Take for instance, his post to the MCM news:
Create your own MCM program - Learning to Learn
Buck's point is that "certification isn't required to learn" and that learning is the key. Experience has shown he's right. Many IT folks who are high up in their careers aren't carrying certifications and it doesn't seem to hurt them. Folks aren't coming to them asking them if they have this certification or that certification. The reason is because they have demonstrated expertise in their subject areas. You only get this through learning. Having a certification, at least not a "pinnacle certification," isn't a guarantee that someone has those skills.
Certifications should be testing skills, which is Steve's point, and Steve also points out that it doesn't seem like the certifications are doing that. The gist of both posts is that you want to develop your skills. Therefore, that should be the focus of any IT professional who wants to improve his or her position. As you improve your skills, certainly attempt the appropriate certifications. So how do you get there? That's what Buck's post is all about.