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The MCM Program is dead. Long live the MCMs!


The MCM Program is dead. Long live the MCMs!

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Grant Fritchey
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The MCM Program is dead. Long live the MCMs!

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I agree completely on the non-master certs. I feel they can be valuable for someone with little or no experience as you get at least a bit of a leg up against other inexperienced SQL professionals, but see almost no use for them for anyone with 3 or more years experience.

My friend recently asked if I wanted to run through the 2012 certs, something like 7 books and tests, and I didn't really see the point in it. I think I'd rather spend that time on a master's degree.

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TravisDBA
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Great article Grant. It backs up what I have been saying about MS certs for years. They are just too easy to braindump and pass and after that you dump everything you memorized. Worthless IMHO, and it sullies the entire certification process. If someone tells me they are certified in SQL Server while I'm interviewing them it immediately sets off alarm bells in my head. I am definitely not alone on that either.:-D

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What do you guys recommend instead?
I have a couple years experience with SQL, SSRS, and vb.net.
But I don't feel I have enough knowledge to get a job anywhere else.
I was hired on because of my industry knowledge (the industry our software is for, not the computer industry) to write reports and have mostly self-taught myself.
I was going to try and get the MCSE in BI, but after this it seems it may be counter-productive.
Steve Jones
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carpainter69 (9/16/2013)
What do you guys recommend instead?
I have a couple years experience with SQL, SSRS, and vb.net.
But I don't feel I have enough knowledge to get a job anywhere else.
I was hired on because of my industry knowledge (the industry our software is for, not the computer industry) to write reports and have mostly self-taught myself.
I was going to try and get the MCSE in BI, but after this it seems it may be counter-productive.


If you learn to do things, and can talk/blog about them, it's not a bad idea. If you can explain in an interview how this has grown your career, it's not a bad move.

The MCSE can focus you and help you learn more if you work at it. Regardless of whether you pass the tests.

The MCSE can also teach you very little if you look to memorize things and just pass tests.

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Grant Fritchey
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carpainter69 (9/16/2013)
What do you guys recommend instead?
I have a couple years experience with SQL, SSRS, and vb.net.
But I don't feel I have enough knowledge to get a job anywhere else.
I was hired on because of my industry knowledge (the industry our software is for, not the computer industry) to write reports and have mostly self-taught myself.
I was going to try and get the MCSE in BI, but after this it seems it may be counter-productive.


Steve's input is good. Basically, I'd say there are no good replacements. But, the real issue is that there are no good lower level certifications. While getting those certs as Steve says can help you and your knowledge, the issue for me is, as an interviewer, I don't respect those certs. I won't look at them and say to myself, "Ah, good. This person has take the time to learn stuff and pass this test." It's because I don't know if you did that or not. I just ignore certs most of the time.

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The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
Theodore Roosevelt

The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server Query Performance Tuning and SQL Server Execution Plans
Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
TravisDBA
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Grant Fritchey (9/16/2013)
carpainter69 (9/16/2013)
What do you guys recommend instead?
I have a couple years experience with SQL, SSRS, and vb.net.
But I don't feel I have enough knowledge to get a job anywhere else.
I was hired on because of my industry knowledge (the industry our software is for, not the computer industry) to write reports and have mostly self-taught myself.
I was going to try and get the MCSE in BI, but after this it seems it may be counter-productive.


Basically, I'd say there are no good replacements. But, the real issue is that there are no good lower level certifications.


True story Grant. However, IMHO, the higher level certs are also somewhat diminished as well. Particularly, if MS is going to just give up on them because they are just not generating enough money for them (like MIcrosoft needs more money :w00tSmile. Talk about a slap in the face to all the people who were currently heavily invested in the process of acquiring the MCM? I wouldn't be surprised if most people never went for another cert from them. It puts a stain on the whole certification process IMHO. It really makes you wonder where/who this decision actually originated from? :-D

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"
carpainter69
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So what do you look for in an interview, is it how they respond to questions, their demeanor?
This is the only job in the computer industry I've had and I didn't have to interview for it (I spent 15 years in an unrelated field).
Grant Fritchey
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carpainter69 (9/16/2013)
So what do you look for in an interview, is it how they respond to questions, their demeanor?
This is the only job in the computer industry I've had and I didn't have to interview for it (I spent 15 years in an unrelated field).


Yes.

Ha! Kidding. I'm going to ask technical questions. I had a core set of basic questions that I used for quick eliminations, mainly phone screening. I posted those several years ago on my blog. After that, assuming you got through the screening, the technical questions are open-ended. Like "So, you get a phone call. They say the database is running slow. What do you do?" And then we talk. I let the interviewee lead the conversation and I just prod things or redirect them, but if someone wants to dig a hole, I let them. I need to know how they're going to respond to the same thing in the real world. This gives me an understanding of their knowledge and skill set AND their demeanor and approach. You need to know both, not just if they can do the job, but if they can fit in well enough with the team.

----------------------------------------------------
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
Theodore Roosevelt

The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server Query Performance Tuning and SQL Server Execution Plans
Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
TomThomson
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carpainter69 (9/16/2013)
So what do you look for in an interview, is it how they respond to questions, their demeanor?
This is the only job in the computer industry I've had and I didn't have to interview for it (I spent 15 years in an unrelated field).

What Grant says in answer to that is good and useful. But he forgot to say that even if he respected the certifications at a lower level than MCM all they would do is help you get the interview, they would not be an interview topic.

In your CV (resumé if prefer to you call it that) tell us what you have done - you are someone with a good knowledge of X industry who has learnt database stuff in order to do things for X industry, and you think what you have learnt maybe has a wider scope - so tell us what you have learnt and what you are doing to contuinue learming, tell us why and how the X industry reports you produced were valuable to your employer, and tell us why and how you think your knowledge and experience could be valuable to us; if you make a plausible job of that, we'll move on from there - maybe a short telephone interview to se if the CV appears to be real, not a fabrication of lies and hald-truths; then a face to face interview and don't be surprised if someone like me brings an X-industry expert to help me at the interview. Technical questions about the database things you claim to know; questions about whether you've taken studying database stuff further than you nedeed just for the job you were doing (if you have, and can discuss the stuff intelligently, that's a big plus; but I won't expect you to demonstrate competence in things you've learnt but as yet have no real experience of). Expect questions that are about attitude to work and to colleagues, too - I will need to know if you will fit in: someone who can't fit in with the team is no use to me, even if they are a genius. And expect questions about your willingness to learn and to take on responsibility: someone who won't learn would be no use to me, and I'm not rare in that respect; someone who isn't prepared to take responsibility for anything may be employable in very junior posts, but in any other post only if I have a vacancy where it doesn't really matter if that job gets done (regrettably, company bureaucracies sometimes generate such jobs) and normally I don't tolerate the existence of such posts.

Tom

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