SQL Server 2012 Certifications Revamped

  • I think I'll probably end up taking the exams. Simply because I will spend some time learning about 2012 and the various aspects of it. I could probably do with doing some more work on cloud based solutions too. So in that respect I guess the certifications are good in directing my attention to what might become more relevant in years to come in this profession. Plus it's always nice to have something to show for all the studying you've done!

    Having said that, I would be very concerned if someone looked at my CV and gave me a job solely based on the number of certifications I had. Passing an exam is a skill in itself, but doesn't necessarily translate into someone being able to do a job. I've known plenty of people who have had MCDBA or MCTS qualifications, and I wouldn't let them anywhere near my database solutions!! Experience and personality I find are more important traits in a person in deciding whether they are capable of managing SQL Server.

    And I'll echo what others have said with regard to separating out the technologies. It will be fine for me as I have a hand in both DBA and BI, but that's not the case for everyone. Though I think there are great benefits in having a decent understanding about the different technoloiges SQL Server has to offer, it should not be mandated that you should have a more detailed understanding of all of them in order to get certified.

  • // removed as double posted

  • Marco Barroso (5/21/2012)

    (2) Implementing Data Warehouses should not be on basic SQL Server cert. It should be on its own track under BI .. anyone with logical sense would agree with that.

    In the same way that a person who does datawarehouses I should know how to write great queries, consider the impact of indexes and be able to perform basic DBA tasks, I would beg to differ with you on the point of DBAs not needing to know at least the basics of data warehouse and BI implementations.

    The reasons are many but not least:

    1) Most DBAs will perform some BI tasks and doing any task well is what you should be aiming for

    2) If there is a seperate BI team then understanding their requirements and typical tasks means that you can work with them better (or if you think they're like developers you might want to say manage them, herd them, lock them down etc)

    3) Gives you an avenue for growth should you want it - being a DBA is a great job I'm sure you'll all agree but how many BI people are on call 247?

  • But the problem is that it doesn't sound like it's the basics of data warehousing. Knowing these cert tests, it will require a comprehensive knowledge that goes beyond the basics and goes beyond what most good SQL DBA's/Developers need to know.

  • TravisDBA (5/21/2012)


    The reason they keep changing them all the time is because the main purpose of certifications is to continue to make money for the certifying body IMHO. 😀

    I completely agree. I have written some exams for 2008 R2 and I am an MCP. My personal feelings about these exams is that:

    1) I did learn some things (but not many) from the material that I will use in the future.

    2) I did learn some things from the material which helps me understand how Microsoft programs their software (not quite like a boss).

    3) The mark on the exam is inconsequential to actual programming and problem solving ability.

    4) If they don't keep giving us a reason to keep taking more exams, they won't have anyone taking them.

    So, why did I wrote these exams? Microsoft Partnership Program. I wrote them so that my company could get a break on Microsoft software licenses. If getting a 2012 MCSA or MCSE of either kind will help my company, I will write them. And I will also be a marginally better programmer because of it. However, experience cannot be replaced with exams. I would take a quick learner who can problem solve and has experience over anyone with a list of exams beside their name and no experience.

    It's all about the bottom line. And the bottom line is: those exams are almost worthless unless you are using them toward the Partner program to get free licenses from Microsoft.

  • mhaskins,

    Exactly right. It's like I have said before on this forum and have gotten castigated for saying it, the only people that I have noticed that are fully behind these Microsoft certifications are people who either work for Microaoft, or they have a vested interest in you studying to get them. 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • mhaskins 96481 (5/22/2012)

    TravisDBA (5/21/2012)


    ...the main purpose of certifications is to continue to make money... 😀

    I completely agree.


    It's all about the bottom line. And the bottom line is: those exams are almost worthless unless you are using them toward the Partner program to get free licenses from Microsoft.

    I don't think the answer is "to make $"

    A group of friends and I got together to study for the VB5 exam (~1998) and in the beginng we all planned to take the beta test version (the reduced price one).

    None of us took the real test for various reasons, but we did meet weekly for about six months and learned a lot on our own.

    Why I didn't take the test - thirty percent of the grade was on using the MSFT VB installer in various ways. No one used that thing, we all bought a $200 product (one license per site) that had a WYSIWYG interface and computed DLL dependencies for you.

    I did take the beta (1) on the off chance that they would throw out enough questions about the installer that I could pass and (2) just to have the experience.

    Excluding the installer portion I got an admirable 85+ percent on all sections (probably 90%+ overall).

    I think I showed my results and got a job based on my test results (which msft reported as a fail; but I considered a good showing).

    So, why are the exams done like they are:

    The exams are set up to make people study what msft wants them to study.

    And it's still a free market in the USA, so they are free to do that if they want.

    I will probably continue to not participate (unless my employer starts picking up the tab or offering raises based on certifications).

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