How many of you have done Certification for SQL Server?

  • Roy Ernest

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 38778

    So jack, Your advice would be to take the certification..Right?

    -Roy

  • Jack Corbett

    SSC Guru

    Points: 184381

    Roy Ernest (3/5/2010)


    So jack, Your advice would be to take the certification..Right?

    For me it's the classic "It Depends". I think it was the right move for me, but someone like Grant who has a couple of good books in his history, it doesn't add anything since he clearly knows his stuff. An unknown like myself, I think it adds something to my experience.

    I think a cert without experience means nothing. A cert validates your experience and the experience validates the cert. If you are already known as a top-level person (Grant, Gail, etc..), then the cert is unnecessary.

    Oh, a benefit of the certification is that you need to get these to be a MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) and I'm thinking about going that route as well.

    Jack Corbett
    Consultant - Straight Path Solutions
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  • Roy Ernest

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 38778

    Jack Corbett (3/5/2010)


    Roy Ernest (3/5/2010)


    So jack, Your advice would be to take the certification..Right?

    For me it's the classic "It Depends". I think it was the right move for me, but someone like Grant who has a couple of good books in his history, it doesn't add anything since he clearly knows his stuff. An unknown like myself, I think it adds something to my experience.

    I think a cert without experience means nothing. A cert validates your experience and the experience validates the cert. If you are already known as a top-level person (Grant, Gail, etc..), then the cert is unnecessary.

    Oh, a benefit of the certification is that you need to get these to be a MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) and I'm thinking about going that route as well.

    Then I should definitely take the certification.. 🙂 I am no Gail or Grant. 🙂 They even have Black belts and the only belt I have is the one that I use to hold my Jeans in place...:hehe:

    -Roy

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442359

    Roy Ernest (3/5/2010)


    Jack Corbett (3/5/2010)


    Roy Ernest (3/5/2010)


    So jack, Your advice would be to take the certification..Right?

    For me it's the classic "It Depends". I think it was the right move for me, but someone like Grant who has a couple of good books in his history, it doesn't add anything since he clearly knows his stuff. An unknown like myself, I think it adds something to my experience.

    I think a cert without experience means nothing. A cert validates your experience and the experience validates the cert. If you are already known as a top-level person (Grant, Gail, etc..), then the cert is unnecessary.

    Oh, a benefit of the certification is that you need to get these to be a MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) and I'm thinking about going that route as well.

    Then I should definitely take the certification.. 🙂 I am no Gail or Grant. 🙂 They even have Black belts and the only belt I have is the one that I use to hold my Jeans in place...:hehe:

    I have that same belt, and it is black. 😛

  • Stuart Davies

    SSCoach

    Points: 18878

    I don't have any certificates - but then I don't claim to be a DBA (or a developer for that matter). I may be the sort of person that many of the luminaries here would throw their hands up in horror with. Yes I've done 7 and 2000 Admin courses then based on those principles bought books and read up on 2005 (haven't touched 2008 yet) admin. Same with coding.

    Do the systems I work with throw problems - yes can I cope with them (so far) - yes.

    If I had the time (and the cash) would I get a cert - yes.

    -------------------------------Posting Data Etiquette - Jeff Moden [/url]Smart way to ask a questionThere are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand (the world). There is no such thing as a dumb question. ― Carl Sagan I would never join a club that would allow me as a member - Groucho Marx

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 396693

    I don't know who this top-level Grant guy you're talking about is.

    I recently interviewed at a company where it was made pretty clear, just how little I know. You're only as good as your experience and the information you've been exposed to. Can I talk to query tuning? Sure. Can I talk to BI data modelling? Uh, no.

    I think that's the one, maybe the only, thing that certification gives you that's tangible, and that's exposure to information you might not otherwise have put your fingers into. For example, Jack mentions log shipping. It's not something I've done (well, not since SQL Server 7, when we did it ourselves, not using some fancy tool provided by Microsoft, and we had to walk up hill, both ways, to get it done), so I wouldn't be able to talk to that either.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    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 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Roy Ernest

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 38778

    The top level Grant guy we are talking about is a scary one... 😛

    Yes true regarding the knowledge base. I know nothing about BI, I have done only Log shipping that was developed in house and not the fancy tool. 🙂

    But But... Just because I read about BI because I had to it since I had to pass the examination will not help me gain actual knowledge.. Would it?

    -Roy

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 396693

    Roy Ernest (3/5/2010)


    The top level Grant guy we are talking about is a scary one... 😛

    Yes true regarding the knowledge base. I know nothing about BI, I have done only Log shipping that was developed in house and not the fancy tool. 🙂

    But But... Just because I read about BI because I had to it since I had to pass the examination will not help me gain actual knowledge.. Would it?

    Yes & No, and in my experience, mostly no. I'm underwhelmed by those that have certifications and no track record. A cert and a track record, usually a fine combination, but the other direction, in my experience, it's about 70/30 that the person is extremely ill-informed and unknowledgeable.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    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 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Jack Corbett

    SSC Guru

    Points: 184381

    Grant Fritchey (3/5/2010)


    I don't know who this top-level Grant guy you're talking about is.

    I recently interviewed at a company where it was made pretty clear, just how little I know. You're only as good as your experience and the information you've been exposed to. Can I talk to query tuning? Sure. Can I talk to BI data modelling? Uh, no.

    I think that's the one, maybe the only, thing that certification gives you that's tangible, and that's exposure to information you might not otherwise have put your fingers into. For example, Jack mentions log shipping. It's not something I've done (well, not since SQL Server 7, when we did it ourselves, not using some fancy tool provided by Microsoft, and we had to walk up hill, both ways, to get it done), so I wouldn't be able to talk to that either.

    I agree. The SQL Server footprint has grown so large that you can't know or be an expert at it all. Like you, I know nothing about BI (okay I know some SSRS and SSIS) and am not planning on the cert for that, but in the case of yourself, I would think that the depth of knowledge you have shown in the query tuning area would show your ability to learn and master techniques and technologies so that would make me consider hiring you even if your current skills aren't perfect. Certainly if I need someone to build a cluster or implement log-shipping day one I want someone who has done it, preferably many times, but if I want someone who will be able to do it down the road as our needs grow than someone like you would be a good choice.

    Jack Corbett
    Consultant - Straight Path Solutions
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  • Jack Corbett

    SSC Guru

    Points: 184381

    Roy Ernest (3/5/2010)


    The top level Grant guy we are talking about is a scary one... 😛

    Yes true regarding the knowledge base. I know nothing about BI, I have done only Log shipping that was developed in house and not the fancy tool. 🙂

    But But... Just because I read about BI because I had to it since I had to pass the examination will not help me gain actual knowledge.. Would it?

    You'd have the knowledge theoretically, but not experientially which is where it really counts. Kind of like my recent blog post, The Journey from Smart to Good, you'd be smart, but not necessarily good. Knowing how to do it is one thing, but doing it and dealing with the issues that come up that aren't explained in the documentation are 2 different things. Of course getting the knowledge may lead to you implementing it where you are because you know understand how it should be used.

    Edit: Added link to blog post that I forgot the first time.

    Jack Corbett
    Consultant - Straight Path Solutions
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  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281252

    Lynn Pettis (3/5/2010)


    Then I should definitely take the certification.. 🙂 I am no Gail or Grant. 🙂 They even have Black belts and the only belt I have is the one that I use to hold my Jeans in place...:hehe:

    I have that same belt, and it is black. :-P[/quote]

    Do you two ship the belt back and forth? 😛

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281252

    Grant Fritchey (3/5/2010)


    I don't know who this top-level Grant guy you're talking about is.

    I recently interviewed at a company where it was made pretty clear, just how little I know. You're only as good as your experience and the information you've been exposed to. Can I talk to query tuning? Sure. Can I talk to BI data modelling? Uh, no.

    I'm not too fond of interviews like that. It sounds like they made it clear to you that you didn't know enough. Interviews that expect you to know everything are a bit overboard. Interviews that expect you to know what you are talking about, are quite necessary. If you can learn, know what you're talking about, and have a proven track record - then that is a good fit.

    I think of interviews, where they beat you down, is more of a chest thumping exercise and point of pride. I can just see the interviewers now - "bwahahaha I know more than Grant Fritchey the MVP."

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281252

    Jack Corbett (3/5/2010)


    As far as the test, I think I could have passed it without any studying and if you have experience with the enterprise level of the version you are testing for, you likely wouldn't need a lot of study to pass this specific test. I'm scheduling the second test and not going to put a lot of effort into studying for it. I'm pretty confident I can pass it, if not I'll use my second shot code.

    I would like to see the test be a little harder. Not enough questions in my opinion.

    I'm glad you threw in the second shot in case you fail. I had a similar experience in the past with an MS exam where it was really easy. I studied a lot for it and thought it was far too easy. Since the next exam was similar, I decided to study less. I still passed, but by the skin of my teeth. I don't like just barely passing - and it could have easily been a fail. Occasionally they mix it up a bit on the exams and throw some real doozies at you. I would still study.

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • Gail Shaw

    SSC Guru

    Points: 1004484

    Jack Corbett (3/5/2010)


    If you are already known as a top-level person (Grant, Gail, etc..), then the cert is unnecessary.

    When you're bidding for work (consulting), a collection of qualifications can make the difference between getting the project and not. Often the people who are deciding which company scores the contract don't know who's who in the DB industry. They know the big-name consulting companies and, if you're a smaller company competing against the big names, titles and achievements make a big difference.

    Also, if your company has or is aspiring to MS partner status, they are required to have a certain number of certifications held by employees. Higher the partner level and more specialities, the more certifications are required.

    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
  • Matt Miller (4)

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124208

    Lynn Pettis (3/3/2010)


    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.

    Funny you should mention Novell, they're one of the reasons I got out of trying to get/stay certified in various products. I got really tired of being on the treadmill to get through the certs fast enough for them not to expire. Instead I resorted to documenting how many certified CNE's butts I "saved" by fixing their messes.

    It's sad but true that you will often enough get dropped from consideration if you lack any and all certifications. You don't even make it past the HR/recruiter person who is going down the checklist. Hopefully your resume is strong enough to shine through in other areas, so you will end up on someone's radar, hopefully for something worthy in your experience.

    As of now I will often enough resort to taking the training, reading the material etc..., but

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

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