How many of you have done Certification for SQL Server?

  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    CirquedeSQLeil (3/6/2010)


    Jeff Moden (3/5/2010)


    Grant Fritchey (3/3/2010)


    I think this really comes to down to personal preference and/or experience. Here's my 1.5 cents:

    I am not certified. Based on my current job, salary, experience level, and experience interviewing for other jobs, I'm unlikely to become certified in the near future. I might change that attitude in the future if I were to move into consulting (for whatever reason, it seems more important there).

    My attitudes towards those that are certified? That's nice. But if I don't know them, I'm going to assume less knowledge from that individual instead of more based on the number of times I've interviewed people with multiple certifications who absolutely did not know the job of a DBA or the technology involved in any way that would lead me to want to hire them.

    Ditto... ditto... ditto... [font="Arial Black"]DITTO[/font]!

    I won't regale you good folks with all the nightmare stories I've been through with interviewing people because I've already posted them a dozen or more times. While I'm sure that there must be some good people out there like Mr. Corbett and several of the SS Ninja's on SSC that embrace the true spirit of certification and actually practice "the arts", I've certainly not had the pleasure of meeting any during interviews I've had to conduct and I haven't met any on the job that could actually do anything other than knock their ring on the table.

    I've been extremely soured on the idea of certifications and even degrees. I don't care how many letters there are after someone's name, their resume better show that they've either done something worthwhile or have the potential to do so and, to me, the letters behind their name are not necessarily a good indication of either. Saying that certs and degrees show initiative to learn new things means nothing to me because it simply hasn't been demonstrated to my satisfaction in the folks that I've had to personally deal with on the job or as a candidate for employment. In fact, quite the opposite has been true in my observations... the occasional SQL Server black belt or Ninja that I've had the pleasure of working with have NOT had certifications of any type and only rarely have a degree in any even remotely related field.

    Maybe I've just been unlucky but I'd much rather have someone tell me that they've got the SQL Server Developer Edition installed at home and they practice SQL problems every night rather than telling me they've been a professional student on the subject and have earned a cert or two.

    I once had somebody recently complete certification by going through one of these bootcamp deals. Listed as previous experience - Rope Maker. Another was a truck driver trying to make the transition with an MCSE and no IT experience. It is very difficult to even bring those people in for an interview, unless it is an entry level position.

    Thus if the Letters are couple with Experience - no harm. And for some places, the letters help break through the front door for an interview.

    You would have give those people kudos for trying to improve their opportunities in life, and on that basis I would be tempted to give them a chance. It would only be for an entry level positoin though and they would have to work out at the interview and demonstrate they would fit in.

    I do hope the trainers at bootcamp don't give the impression that the certs will enable them to walk into a senior position.

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  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994664

    george sibbald (3/6/2010)


    You would have give those people kudos for trying to improve their opportunities in life, and on that basis I would be tempted to give them a chance.

    If they were brand new to SQL, I'd say "yes"... but all of these folks had 3 to 10 years worth of experience so I give them no kudos because they didn't follow up on the "opportunities in life".

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104772

    Roy Ernest (3/3/2010)


    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

    No, you are not the only one. I don't have any SQL Server certification, and from what I've seen of MCDBA I regard it as worthless.

    Tom

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104772

    CirquedeSQLeil (3/6/2010)


    I once had somebody recently complete certification by going through one of these bootcamp deals. Listed as previous experience - Rope Maker. Another was a truck driver trying to make the transition with an MCSE and no IT experience. It is very difficult to even bring those people in for an interview, unless it is an entry level position.

    Thus if the Letters are couple with Experience - no harm. And for some places, the letters help break through the front door for an interview.

    I might give the guy who'd been a rope maker an interview, or the truck driver. And if they show ability and knowledge at interview, well and good. If they did a bootcamp deal, rather than proper training with time to absorb and digest and get it into long term memory, they probably won't, unfortunately, but even so if they installed SQLS developer edition at home and practised everything they learnt from boot camp and played with it they might actually be useful.

    The ones who I don't want to know about are the ones who have been a junior or trainee DBA or sysadmin for 6 to 10 years and have finally gone for certification because they think it's how they can get up the tree a bit without being able to anything useful - after that long unable to rise from junior DBA or deputy assistant sysadmin to DBA or sysadmin a shiny new certificate from MS (or anyone else) is a not a ticket into my good books.

    I think I've commented elsewhere that the training industry (and particularly the guys who run boot camps) are largely responsible for the total worthlessness of certifications as anything other than an indication of a desire to learn (and not even useful for that unless they are an indication of an attempt at major career change - as above, in many cases they are an on the contrary a clear indication of unwillingness to learn to do anything useful).

    Tom

  • ChrisMoix-87856

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7288

    This is off the top of my head, so there will probably be a lot of implementation problems, etc. with the idea, but here goes.

    Microsoft needs more levels for the "Server" certifications like SQL Server, Exchange, Windows Server, etc.

    Right now, they have MCTS (relative newbie) and MCITP (slightly further along) and then MCM (Way, way above MCITP). There needs to be a more of a continuum. I think that most of the MCTS and MCITP exams could be passed by studying a book alone.

    I have been working with SQL Server since 6.5, and I'm far from an expert because I have to get work done. I think that there is a lot of value for people just starting to be able to get an MCTS by reading a book and playing with trial versions of software.

    Microsoft needs to innovate and come up with a way to cover intermediate learners. In most of their official circulum they seem to treat everyone as a beginer, and their certifications (excluding the MCM) reflect that.

    I have a lot of certs and a lot of time in grade, but there are whole areas of the SQL Server product that I couldn't answer questions about off the top of my head. I'd hate to get dismissed as a know-nothing cert holder simply because I have some certs and can't answer a question about a feature that I haven't used.

    Anyway, long story short, I'd love a certification track from MS that followed more of a continuous improvement model, instead of every Database Administrator cert asking the same questions about t-log vs. differential backups, etc.

    Chris Moix

    MCSE (2000), MCDBA (2000), MCTS (SQL 2005), MCITP (Admin, 2005, and a couple of other vendor certs I can never remember...

  • ps.

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 29250

    Unfortunately, for the past 1 year, i've been planning to go for certifications (starting with MCTS) but didnt give the exams... lol..



    Pradeep Singh

  • Eddie Wuerch

    SSChampion

    Points: 12268

    I've picked up a lot of certs over the years, and one thing I can say with certainty: I have learned something new each time.

    For nearly everyone, studying for a certification exam requires you to get outside of your comfort zone. How can anyone say they know everything they need to know to do their job unless they've made the effort to see what all is out there? I will admit that the quality of the knowledge necessary to pass the exams is hit or miss, but I always find myself touching topics I wouldn't ordinarily look at. Sure, after reviewing some of the topics I will decide I won't pursue them any further, but I can't make that decision until after I've gone through them and tried them out.

    Does gaining the cert make you an expert? Nope. SQL Server certifications do however set up a nice 'try everything once' learning path, and that is a very valuable thing.

    As an MCT, I'm required to maintain the premium certs for the stuff I want to teach (that's why I list all of mine in my sig). Keep that in mind if any of you are considering adding training to your skill set. For independents, training often opens up the door to future consulting opportunities, after presenting yourself as a knowledge leader and working with a company's staff.

    Personally, I encourage everyone to get certified, as you will either have to pick up some new things for your trick bag, or you happen to know everything already and the test should be cake (and, after taking one, you'll at least know what you're talking about if you're in the 'I hate certs' camp.)

    -Eddie

    Eddie Wuerch
    MCM: SQL

  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281210

    Like Eddie, I have picked up my fair share of certifications. Each one taught me something and I found the knowledge gained useful. I then employed what I learned in my job making it that much more valuable.

    Certs are good when you take the time to learn the material and then apply it.

    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

  • John Rowan

    SSC Guru

    Points: 56440

    For the record, no certs or degrees here. The only people that I've run accross that have certs and actually know what they are talking about is out here on SSC. I worked with a person at my last job that was a certified DBA and did not know how to take a backup with SSMS.

    John Rowan

    ======================================================
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    Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help[/url] - by Jeff Moden

  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281210

    John Rowan (4/6/2010)


    ... how to take a backup with SSMS.

    Can you provide the script for that? 😉

    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

  • John Rowan

    SSC Guru

    Points: 56440

    This was actually SS2000 EM and my meaning is that he was completely unaware of how to use the GUI to backup a database. Not that I'm that proficient in using the GUI tool either as I script out my backups. He was just completely ignorant of how to even right-click the DB to get options.

    Not that this is a slam on those of you who are certified, I admire many of you regulars our here on SSC (certified or not). This is just an example of getting the 'knowledge' and not having an inkling of experience.

    John Rowan

    ======================================================
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    Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help[/url] - by Jeff Moden

  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281210

    John Rowan (4/6/2010)


    This was actually SS2000 EM and my meaning is that he was completely unaware of how to use the GUI to backup a database. Not that I'm that proficient in using the GUI tool either as I script out my backups. He was just completely ignorant of how to even right-click the DB to get options.

    Not that this is a slam on those of you who are certified, I admire many of you regulars our here on SSC (certified or not). This is just an example of getting the 'knowledge' and not having an inkling of experience.

    I think it is an unfortunate situation where that person got the certification and did not learn some of the key elements. That concept can be better displayed via experience, but it is also a key piece of information for the certification process on 2000.

    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

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104772

    John Rowan (4/6/2010)


    This was actually SS2000 EM and my meaning is that he was completely unaware of how to use the GUI to backup a database. Not that I'm that proficient in using the GUI tool either as I script out my backups. He was just completely ignorant of how to even right-click the DB to get options.

    Not that this is a slam on those of you who are certified, I admire many of you regulars our here on SSC (certified or not). This is just an example of getting the 'knowledge' and not having an inkling of experience.

    Are you saying he couldn't right click and follow the menus? Or that he couldn't remember the exact lists of options offered at each level of that menu tree? If the former I agree he was a waste of space, but if the latter I agree with his approach - why should he waste brain space with any of that useless clutter when a single click will put the appropriate level of it straight in front of him?

    Of course I would expect him to be able to script it off the top of his head in QA as well, because that requires real knowledge of the API that he might have to use in some scripts which he might have to write, instead of just knowledge of how some particular GUI presents the options.

    edit: I hate English, both the loony spelling and the crazy grammar and the opaque syntax (and what the hell is the English for both when there are three things, anyway?). It mayks mee mayk two menny misstayks.

    Tom

  • John Rowan

    SSC Guru

    Points: 56440

    Tom.Thomson (4/6/2010)


    John Rowan (4/6/2010)


    This was actually SS2000 EM and my meaning is that he was completely unaware of how to use the GUI to backup a database. Not that I'm that proficient in using the GUI tool either as I script out my backups. He was just completely ignorant of how to even right-click the DB to get options.

    Not that this is a slam on those of you who are certified, I admire many of you regulars our here on SSC (certified or not). This is just an example of getting the 'knowledge' and not having an inkling of experience.

    Are you saying he couldn't right click and follow the menus? Or that he couldn't remember the exact lists of options offered at each level of that menu tree? If the former I agree he was a waste of space, but if the latter I agree with his approach - why should he waste brain space with any of that useless clutter when a single click will put the appropriate level of it straight in front of him?

    Of course I would expect him to be able to script it off the top of his head in QA as well, because that requires real knowledge of the API that he might have to use in some scripts which he might have to write, instead of just knowledge of how some particular GUI presents the options.

    edit: I hate English, both the loony spelling and the crazy grammar and the opaque syntax (and what the hell is the English for both when there are three things, anyway?). It mayks mee mayk two menny misstayks.

    He had no idea that right-clicking would bring up an options menu. When I showed him this, he said 'Aaaaah'. Then, when we got to the backup window, I had to explain what everything on that screen meant. As far as scripting backups in QA, that wouldn't even be on this guy's radar. I think this is an extreme example, but by point is that he was a certified DBA and because of that, felt entitled to work on our DBA team. Needless to say, we never brought him on board our team.

    John Rowan

    ======================================================
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    Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help[/url] - by Jeff Moden

  • ChrisMoix-87856

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7288

    ...

    but by point is that he was a certified DBA and because of that, felt entitled to work on our DBA team. Needless to say, we never brought him on board our team.

    Did you call up Microsoft (or hit the website) and verify the certification?

    I'm just wondering because, in a previous job, I was one of a group that interviewed a sysadmin candidate. He had misspelled MCSE on his resume (MSCE), and I raised a warning flag with the hiring manager. They said basically that it must've been a typo - don't worry about it.

    Long story short, he turned out to be a horrible hire and was lying about the MCSE. If you can't even spell it correctly on your resume, I don't want to hire you, really certified or not.

    From the sound of this "certified" DBA, he either bought a braindump and memorized or he just flat out lied about the certfication in the first place. I've seen some crazy things through the years while conducting interviews.

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