Updating Certifications

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 717790

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Updating Certifications

  • nicksamuel

    Valued Member

    Points: 58

    Hi Steve - I think it is amazing that you can think up a new question challenge each day (and that you can produce the editorial similarly - and sometimes they are really interesting!)

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75308

    I find a certification syllabus or learning path extremely useful in prioritising what I try and learn.

    I went through an exercise at my previous place of employment where we restructured job names/roles/grades aligned more closely with SFIA.  One of the most useful things about the exercise was that it gave every IT employee visibility of the following

    • What was expected of them in their role
    • What would be expected if they wanted to work to the next level
    • The difference/similarity between what they had today and where they needed for a different role

    It gave clarity and in some cases surprised and inspired people to move into different roles.

    I feel a learning track or programme can reveal something very similar.  As a manager I was as much in people development as I was in software development, if not more so.

  • smithgts

    Newbie

    Points: 1

    I do think certifications are useful as a learning aid, and in targeting what you need to learn for your job.  I too did the old Novell / MS MCSE/Cisco CCNA certs, largely through books and on the job learning.  I now feel that would be much more difficult in the modern "cloud" environment.  That is, constant roll out and rapid changes, learning material is out of date before it is printed.   I did do security+ and i am now doing CISSP study.   Security wont go away any time soon.   My own personal gripe is with examination boards wording questions badly to make certs more difficult, which I don't believe is a true test of a persons working knowledge.

  • Alex Gay

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2195

    I have come across mixed responses to the usefulness of industry awarded certificates.

    Academics, or those with an academic background, point out that they have no oversight and don't come from an accredited, independent organization, and lack depth, covering what to do but not why you do it and omit the underlying theory entirely.

    People starting out in a new career feel that they are a way of showing you know how to do the job when you lack relevant experience on your CV.

    Old hands who have been doing the job on a daily basis for years can be quite dismissive saying that they don't cover topics that are relevant to their daily work at the coal-face or concentrate on the latest and greatest at the expense of tried-and-tested methods.

    I have found that some, or all, of these to be true, in varying amounts, at various times.  I have found that MS training courses are good enough to get you up and running with new technology.  They show you what is possible and give you basic examples to start working with the technology and make sure that the basics are well ingrained.  If you want to study the underlying theory there are more academic texts available covering those topics.  They can prove a base level of competency, which looks good on a CV, but after 15+ years I have surpassed the contents of the starting level courses but have yet to master all of the complexity of the SQL Server platform.

  • latkinson

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1232

    I got no kick with the questions and the editorials. In fact, the questions and editorials help me focus on things that might improve my queries, so keep it up. As to certifications, I am trying to get ready to pass 70-767 (designing a Data Warehouse), but I am having a lot of trouble finding the Azure role that covers that subject area. It would be nice if there were a map available between the old exams and certs and the new roles.

    Luther

     

     

  • BTylerWhite

    Say Hey Kid

    Points: 684

    I'm actually stuck in that boat myself trying to finish off the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics now, before it's retired. I can appreciate the new direction Microsoft is taking with the role-based certifications, but as of this moment, I don't see too many direct replacements of the current SQL Server MCSA tracks to test knowledge with these newer certifications. Hopefully they will continue to add more paths! Another difficulty I find with the Azure based certifications is that it's more difficult to really "play" and learn new things in Azure once those credits expire.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 717790

    nicksamuel wrote:

    Hi Steve - I think it is amazing that you can think up a new question challenge each day (and that you can produce the editorial similarly - and sometimes they are really interesting!)

    Thanks, and Ha!

    I actually bundle and bunch up this work. A few times a week I'll try to build 3-4 questions on a topic and spread them across weeks. Do this enough and you end up with a full schedule. Same for editorials.

    I used to try to do this each day and it was a nightmare and very stressful.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 717790

    latkinson wrote:

    I got no kick with the questions and the editorials. In fact, the questions and editorials help me focus on things that might improve my queries, so keep it up. As to certifications, I am trying to get ready to pass 70-767 (designing a Data Warehouse), but I am having a lot of trouble finding the Azure role that covers that subject area. It would be nice if there were a map available between the old exams and certs and the new roles.

    Luther

     

    I agree, and would like some mapping.

    Would like some ASDW questions if you want to try your hand at testing others 😉

  • DamianC

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7828

    Must admit I'm pretty annoyed by this as I'd planned to do both the 70-767 and 70-768 this year, having worked through 70-761 and 762 in the later part of last year.

    Really I'm just getting some certificates to tag onto countless years working with SQL. Although, I certainly found with 761 and 762 I learnt a couple of new bits along the way (azure, for example)

    Now debating over whether to put the effort in as it means going through the syllabus and organising and sitting the exams for both (last time I needed 6 weeks notice) before the end of June

    I don't use Azure where I work but I suppose any alternative exam that covers it more in-depth can only be beneficial

    Thing is, it's really not clear what the alternative is - does anybody know?

    With the 70-4nn to 70-7nn series it was fairly straight forward

    I can find anything about SQL role based certification, certainly not something like SQL Server Developer or Datawarehouse designer / developer

     

    Any thoughts?

     

    Thanks

     

     

    - Damian

  • DamianC

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7828

    BTylerWhite wrote:

    Another difficulty I find with the Azure based certifications is that it's more difficult to really "play" and learn new things in Azure once those credits expire.

     

    Agree regarding Azure credits as this means paying.

    The beauty of the previous exams were that you could download the developer edition for free and away you go

    Also with the data warehouse ones, you can download VS community and SSDT for free and again, away you go.

    The only issue I've found is with MDS which needs Windows 10 Enterprise as it seems to need Windows Authentication in IIS

    So, with all this you can sit and play around on your home machine (practice installs etc.) - so I don't have to be connected to the office where security prevents certain tasks

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  DamianC.

    - Damian

  • Rod at work

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 33199

    WOW! I didn't know this, Steve. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I'm like you and remember the importance that Microsoft, Novell, etc. certificates had. A MCSE was almost a guarantee of getting a job. Back in the day I started pursuing a MCSD cert. I did complete some of the tests, but not all of them. Life interfered and that was the end of it.

    But I always thought I'd get back to it. It's GREAT to know about the retiring of those certs. I'll at least look at the role based certs. Even if they aren't as important as they were in the past, I found it does help one improve their skills.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • latkinson

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1232

    I did find this: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/implement-sql-data-warehouse/

    Its one of the training modules, and it falls under the Data Engineer role. But I had to work backwards, first to find the course, then to find the role it was listed under.

    Luther

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