Patrick Keisler is a Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft with over 15 years of SQL Server experience working in various fields such as financial, healthcare, and government. He currently holds an MCSE Data Platform certification, MCITP certifications in SQL Server 2008 for administration and development, and CompTIA Security+. You can follow him on Twitter or listen to him speak at various SQL Saturdays and user group meetings.
For years, actually more like a decade, I've been saying that I'm going to get certified in SQL Server. Well finally after years of saying it, I finally did. I passed my first exam, 70-432, this past week. I have to say it was easier and at the same time harder than I thought it would be. Easier, as in the content that was covered in the test was already 2nd nature to me, because I had been doing this stuff for years. And it was harder, because of the way Microsoft asked the questions. Even if you know the concepts behind using a particular feature, you still have to know how to do it. Now I'm on to my next exam, 70-450, Designing and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
You may be wondering why I am spending time getting certified in 2008 instead of going straight for 2012. With the certification retirement date fast approaching on July31, 2013 for the 2008 exam, I thought it would best to get certified in 2008 and then move on to 2012. It's too late for me to get certified in 2000 or 2005, so I wanted to make sure I have certifications from multiple versions.
My wife asked me after I told her that I passed this exam, "What is my end goal?". My answer was to get as many of the SQL Server certifications as I can. By that I mean that I want to be certified at the highest level of in SQL Server. It would be extremely satisfying if I can get to the architect level, but I may not even be able to get to the master level. Only time will tell. No matter what level I finally obtain, I still know that I'll be learning more and more about SQL Server as I go along, and that's the REAL end goal.