How many of you have done Certification for SQL Server?

  • Roy Ernest

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 38778

    Am I the only one who does not have any certification to show for SQL Server? Do you really need to get certified? Is certification really important? I have seen lots of certified professionals (MCDBA and other) who has no clue what so ever about being a DBA. Is certification over rated? Lots of questions...:-D

    -Roy

  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    not this old chestnut again!

    Of itself certification does not prove anything, but at least it shows some effort has been put in on your career, and HR and management tend to like them. Techie interviewers would tend to put less store in them.

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  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    I'll re-phrase the above I think, certs are evidence you can use to show you have put effort into your career

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  • WayneS

    SSC Guru

    Points: 95387

    Lot's of good questions Roy.

    As one of the people that does have certs, I like them. I know that I meet the minimum standards for being a MCDBA / MCIPT - Database Administrator. I feel that it shows that I care enough about my career to do that little bit extra. (It's one thing to be constantly learning. It's another to have an actual piece of paper that says I know enough to be certified.)

    The new tests have more interactive questions, where not only do you have to know what the answer is, but also how to utilize SSMS to achieve the desired results. As the certs move on to more of those type of questions, I feel that they will become more valuable.

    As it is, it is entirely too easy for someone to get one of the test prep kits, memorize the answers, go take the test, and become certified. Those that you see on the forums with the certs giving all these BS answers are, IMO, these. They cheated to get the certification, and they will probably cheat to get the job (homework/interview questions).

    Not to say that the prep kits aren't useful... they are. The ones that I have seen have a lot of questions, with the background information about why things work and why the different answers are/are not correct. But, they also make it easy for someone to get certified without having the actual knowledge, by just memorizing the answers to questions. It's amazing just how many of the questions on these prepkits are on the test.

    Wayne
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008
    Author - SQL Server T-SQL Recipes


    If you can't explain to another person how the code that you're copying from the internet works, then DON'T USE IT on a production system! After all, you will be the one supporting it!
    Links:
    For better assistance in answering your questions
    Performance Problems
    Common date/time routines
    Understanding and Using APPLY Part 1 & Part 2

  • Roy Ernest

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 38778

    Thanks for the feed back both of you. When I see answers and questions from the Certified professionals I loose faith in them. That is why I started this topic. When I interview, I dont even look at their certification. I look ath their experience and then ask practical questions.

    -Roy

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442342

    I would like to get the certs, just haven't had the time.

    My desire to get them is more for validation of my own knowledge, but it would be nice to have them to fill in the boxes I see in some job descriptions. I'd hope that my experience would mean more than the certs, however, as experience shows application of knowledge/skills where the certs just show knowledge in specific areas.

  • Roy Ernest

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 38778

    It has been a long time since I have read anything to study. I usually read to just gain my knowledge. Reading to take a test is way different than reading for knowledge. I might have issues to do that now. Well, I will never know till I try it I guess.

    -Roy

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720484

    Five of six years ago Microsoft published some surveys that showed about 100,000 MCDBAs, but closer to 1,000,000 people calling themselves SQL Server DBAs. Most people don't have certs, in my experience.

    It seems like a lot of people, and in some ways it is. Those are the more vocal people that seek it, but it's not necessary. As george said, you can use it to show you've proven some knowledge, but not necessarily effective skills.

    I got the MCITPro because I was writing books on the exam, so I needed to take the exams. The cert was a side benefit. I wouldn't mind going for an MCM, just to go through the classes, not really because the cert helps.

    If it helps you, get it. Some companies use it as a screen, but I'll say that I've been hired without having the cert before even when it was supposedly required.

  • Roy Ernest

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 38778

    So far I have been hired at all places without having to show any of my certificates. Not even my Degree certificate from my university.

    Couple of my friends have been telling me to take the masters. I do not even know if I can do it..

    -Roy

  • spaghettidba

    SSC Guru

    Points: 105673

    I'm not certified, but I'm plannig to get some cert. It doesn't prove anything, but it's a minimum requirement for some jobs.

    Last week I was officially nominated DBA in my organization because I'm the highest skilled person on SQL Server here, but I will have to take care of Oracle too. I know very few about Oracle and will have to study and take courses. Since I will be studying, I want to capitalise the effort and get certified.

    I think it's easier when you start from scratch, because you know nothing and you are aware of it. When you've been working with the product for years and you know it quite well, there are lots of things you don't know, but you don't even know you don't know.

    Horribly complicated... I think it's time to take English classes along with Oracle!!:-D:-D:-D

  • WayneS

    SSC Guru

    Points: 95387

    I agree that experience counts.

    But what irks me even more is the places that won't even look at you if you don't have a college degree... I've been in IT for > 20 years, SQL since 6.5, DBA since 2003, but the door is slammed in my face because I don't have a degree (that thing called life keeps getting in the way). And what bites me even more is that, IMHO, most of those in IT with a degree can't do the job and should ask the college for a refund. Personally, I'd prefer someone to have a certification over a degree... even if they "cheated" by the test kits, they usually have more knowledge on the subject.

    Edit: All this having been said, those that I have run into that started off by working in the field, and then went on and got their degree, have usually been some of the best qualified that I've seen.

    Wayne
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008
    Author - SQL Server T-SQL Recipes


    If you can't explain to another person how the code that you're copying from the internet works, then DON'T USE IT on a production system! After all, you will be the one supporting it!
    Links:
    For better assistance in answering your questions
    Performance Problems
    Common date/time routines
    Understanding and Using APPLY Part 1 & Part 2

  • GregoryF

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6296

    I've been a SQL DBA since 1998, never taken a certification test. My resume speaks for my qualifications, not a test of theoretical knowledge that many people memorise for them exam but can not put in practice.

    Experience counts for far more than a paper certificate from the vendor.

    /* ----------------------------- */
    Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!

  • Gail Shaw

    SSC Guru

    Points: 1004484

    Got an old developer cert, all the SQL server 2000, 2005 and 2008 (except BI), one Windows Server exam and two sharepoint certs (one of which I managed to get without ever having even installed the product).

    2 degrees, working on a 3rd.

    Total SQL experience, about 7-8 years, started with SQL 2000. Total IT experience, round about 12 years.

    Competence, well, I'll leave that up to others to judge. 😉 😀

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • Gail Shaw

    SSC Guru

    Points: 1004484

    As for should you get certified, this blog post parallels my usual thinking on the subject

    http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2009/04/certifications-are-the-icing-on-the-cake/

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442342

    greg-877697 (3/3/2010)


    I've been a SQL DBA since 1998, never taken a certification test. My resume speaks for my qualifications, not a test of theoretical knowledge that many people memorise for them exam but can not put in practice.

    Experience counts for far more than a paper certificate from the vendor.

    I remember about 20 years ago I was looking at getting Novell certified as the company I was working for had a Novell network and in the 3.5 years I was with them went through 6 Novell Administrators (I was the system administrator for the Data General system). At that time, Novell required 1 year verifiable experience before they would certify someone. Perhaps vendors should go back to a similar model.

    They could tier the certifications, as well. One level for those that have passed the certification tests, but lack real worled experience, a higher level for those with verifiable experience of 1 -3 years, 4 - 6 years, etc. I would think each level would also require tougher testing requirements.

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