Slug: on-certification Date: 2000-11-05 Title: On Certification layout: post

I've been encouraged by many in my profession to work on getting Microsoft Certified. Practically the entire network engineering staff at my comany is in a race to get the most MC*s after their name.

I've often wondered about the whole certification "thing". I'm not super-programmer, but I've got a very broad set of knowledge - including several scripting and programming languages, mac and unix system scripting, web design and development, basic OO programming, XML, and more. all this I've learned on my own motivation over the last 6 years I've been in the field.

Point One: I wonder which Certification would show prospective empoyers or clients that I know what I'm doing and would encourage them to hire me? I don't think there is one.

Point Two: The Certifier (usually a vendor) gets to decide what knowledge is relevant to know about their product. In the case of Microsoft, when the test asks me what product will best meet a client's needs, you can bet that a Linux-based router running off a floppy won't be one of the choices!

Point Three: The power to de-certify is too tempting not to abuse. When Windows 2000 came out, Microsoft expired the certification for NT4, meaning that all the MCSE's that had NT4 certs had to re-certify on Win2K. This meant more revenue for Microsoft in the form of pre-tests, testing, and training. More importantly, by forcing all the MSCE's to upgrade their skills mid-stream, they would "encourage" enterprises to switch to Windows 2000 sooner than they might have. (Especially right after having spent two years getting all their NT4 machines Y2K compliant.) Note: Microsoft may have changed their minds about that particular decision after an outcry from their maket, but the point stands.

Anyway, all this was to warm you up for a link, via Joel On Software, to this article.