When I was in college, I used to think that getting a Microsoft certification or a sun Certification is a mammoth task which can be done only by people with thick glasses (My idea of an expert)
Then one of my friends introduced me to BrainBench. I took a couple of exams and got some decent scores. I took them just to show off to my friends that I am some one above them and that I add something that they don’t have. Some kind of a child ego.
Soon when I landed up in a job doing some web development using PHP, my company expected me to do a certification (any certification for that matter, as their client needed it). So I started to search for the correct one. After some weeks of research I settled down to MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator) in SQL Server, as I had some interest in Databases and also I had some exposure to SQL Server in college (I used it in my college project). A local prometric center also offered me an offer. So I went and registered.
Then came the preparation phase. I settled down to do a self-learn rather than going for some training for two reasons. First I didn’t had the time second all through my life I hated attending lectures. I installed the trial version of SQL Server 2000 in my system and started playing with it.
I really found it difficult. Even though I have registered I postponed my exam date for more than 4 times, since I was not that confident.
It took me more than 3 months to write my first exam (70-229) and at last I got a score of 875. After seeing the score I got a lot of confidence in me. I believed that I could do it. You know it was really a great feeling to put MCP next to your name and add the MCP logo in your resume, homepage, email etc..
Before that confidence could fade away, I got an offer from a big software development company. Thanks for my confidence which made me get through the interview process. Although I have to work in J2EE in my new job I thought of finishing my remaining 3 exams for my MCBDA Track.
Then I took my 2nd exam (70-228). This time I took it with in 3 weeks of preparation. I jumped off my seat when I got a score of 946 in that exam.
And now as I am writing this I am preparing for my 3rd exam (70-290). This time I am going to write it with in 2 weeks of preparation.
During the process I have found out a couple of new things
- First – getting a certification is not such a mammoth task. (Even though I wear thick glasses now, (when I am not hiding behind contact lens)
- Second – Having a certification doesn’t tag you as an expert.
- Third – But a certification is really a tag for an expert.
I found even carrol (http://weblogs.asp.net/bkcarroll/archive/2004/01/22/61838.aspx) talking about the same thing.
Update : Thanks Satya for finding out those typos, which I have overlooked in my original article. Now I have corrected them.