Feeds

Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win

Redmond decides it won't replace Masters certifications, so lesser certs get more rigour

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has decided it won't replace the Masters-level certifications it once described as the "pinnacle" of a Redmond-centric IT pro's education.

Redmond ”retired” the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM), and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) certifications last year.

At the time of the canning, Redmond said only a couple of hundred IT pros a year felt the need to ascend those peaks of attainment, leading Microsoft to suggest the qualifications weren't helping its products to succeed.

Last September, Microsoft's head of certifications Tim Sneath told The Register Microsoft was “looking to see if there’s a better way to create a pinnacle, WITHOUT losing the technical rigour.”

Today, Sneath told us that Microsoft is not planning a new pinnacle but is in the process of adding rigour to the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certifications to reflect the fact there's nothing tougher on offer in Redmond's new certification regime.

Sneath said Microsoft wants to make the MCSD and MCSE “harder for everyone”.

To that end, he said Microsoft will add "a variety of richer test types that make it harder for people to memorise answers. We're also adding richer questioning types. In test for SQL certifications we ask you to actually create an SQL query.”

The requirement to actually wield SQL has been included to make certifications reflect more real-world effort, instead of just theory.

In the same vein, Microsoft is trialling a new Review To Cert Pilot” that sees developers hoping to place an app in the Windows store have their code reviewed by members of Microsoft's Premier Field Engineering (PFE) team. Passing that review and winning a place in the Windows Store will replace one or more exams needed to attain the MCSD.

Sneath said this kind of structure is designed to make Microsoft certifications more rigorous, while also making it possible for more people to attain the qualifications. Microsoft wants big and broad community of certification-holders, rather than being able to point to a small elite.

"We are looking to much broader impact," he said.

As the new certifications are formalised, Microsoft will find ways to promote MCSE and MCSD as something special. Sneath said when he won his MCSE around 20 years ago “I thought I was pretty special. We want to bring that back.” ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa
Top money, cheap rent and food ... and fear of a late-night knock
Adobe appoints former Reg man as open-source chief mobile lead
Proprietary player prepping for community skoolin'
Young Germans: PLEASE! ANYTHING BUT a digital STARTUP
But Spanish and Italian youths want to set them up themselves
Get a job in Germany – where most activities are precursors to drinking
A Brit explains the fun to be had rolling rocks down country lanes
Amazon hiring drone flight ops engineer in Cambridge, UK
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is running test flights for Prime Air delivery drones
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.