Some people who know me and have heard me talk about this certification: may ask, did you change your mind?!?!
Answer: Yes, actually, I had revised some points and had considered that this certification is an interesting challenge.
Let me explain…
The MCM is a difficult certification to be obtained, either by the amount of study and experience required, the exams costs and depending on the country you live, you needed to take one of the exams abroad.
I set a simple rule for my studies: I have to be able to use in my job the skills and knowledge acquired through courses or books.
If I don’t have a perspective to use it, I’ll not start a learning process.
These days, the time for all of us is scarce and we can not waste it.
Returning to the MCM, I remember that I talked to Erickson Ricci about it, and in the beginning I was not in favor of such certification in Brazil, because the return would not compensate.
I also talked to Nilton Pinheiro in the beginning of this year at IBM in Hortolandia about the importance of this certification for IBM, and he said something interesting: that is important at least as business opportunities.
I recently attended a webcast with Fabricio Catae from Microsoft, he is a MCM. In this webcast it was possible to know interesting points related to MCM.
A high-level certification like this one, is not a free pass for large companies such as Microsoft and IBM, but we can say that more than half of the way or requirements have been achieved.
What is missing then?
- The company has an opening and/or interest in hiring you
- Your experience is relevant to a position within the company
- If you have the soft-skills required to work with your peer and the customers.
The last point is the famous “soft-skills”. We have heard about this topic, but often over estimated.
Some people think that they need to be like “little angels” to be considered as good soft-skills and some companies sometimes over estimated as well.
In my point of view: yes, it is very important … but do not think that being a super nice guy will be the solution. Sometimes is the discussion that generates a positive change or improvement.
Of course you can not be “The Problem”, the person who is always involved in situations… always the same, who initiated discussion with no reasons/arguments in its favor … in this case, I can tell you. .. you’re wrong..
Did you watch the videos of the Microsoft program: “Be the Next Microsoft Employee”?
In one of the episodes, one of the judges (a Microsoft employee) asked to one of the candidates: Why he didn’t discuss his idea/point of view with the group?
Conclusion: The candidate was afraid of to create a situation, but the Microsoft’s judge said something like this: Here you can and should discuss the “idea”, never attack your coworker, but you can question the idea.
These days, information access is easier, we can meet people who did not know something until yesterday, but today this person knows or he/she worked on something that you don’t. In this case, doesn’t matter if you have more years of experience than the other person, he/she has a an experience that you don’t, and that can make a difference.
Returning to the MCM, I had decided to make some analysis and the result you can see from the charts below.
The data below were taken from MCM certification page and do not expect to be 100% updated with today’s data, however it’s useful as a reference to see the growth and location of certified professionals.
- A considerable increase of MCMs between SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008, but are still only ~ 82 certified professionals worldwide.
- 45% of the current certified professionals are located in the United States (37 people)
- 52% of the current certified professionals are Microsoft employees (43 people, including our Brazilian/Ninja…Fabricio Catae)
Summary: This certification can be a major turning point in your career, if you decide to get it I wish you the best of the luck and do everything to be worth, because the effort is too much to be wasted.