What to do about certification

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After my editorial “The Missing Certification” I was amazed at the debate that took place. As of the time I’m writing this, this thread has over 7,000 views and 600 replies!

It’s incredible to see people debating certification, but what’s evolved is kind of a working thread that looks at creating a new certification that’s in between the MCITP and the MCM. I think those certifications are too easy, and too hard, respectively, for the average person.

In my mind, we ought to have a stepping stone for certification that includes some harder tests along with a narrower focus that can better assess if an individual has a skill. So far the debate has been a general focus, but I hope that they work towards a narrow focus that creates tests in specific areas.

As an example, in my mind, I’d like to have a series of T-SQL tests that examine how well someone can solve common problems, and implement well performing solutions. I’d think there would be 2-3 tests here, and that some level of scoring for each one that could be presented as a part of your resume, but also would show that you understand how to use the language. I’d anticipate tests that covered:

  • Basic ANSI SQL
  • T-SQL Enhancements (from 2005/2008)
  • High performing T-SQL – Covering improvements that avoid RBAR type solutions and write code that performs extremely well.

We’ll see what happens, and while I know certification is no guarantee, I think that we can get a better process that has a good chance of actually assessing a person’s skills.

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