Certification Update

Mea culpa.

A friend pointed out to me that I was behind the times.  I kept using the acronym MCDBA to refer to SQL Server certifications when that is "SO 2000s".  Then I read Joe Webb's blog on the Certification Treadmill and it got me thinking about the topic again.  First, a quick check of the Microsoft web site shows that MCDBA was the acronym of choice for SQL Server 2000, but with SQL Server 2005 and 2008, you have your choice of pursuing an MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) or an MCITP (Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional).  For 2008, each of these comes in three different flavors (that's a total of six certifications for those of you struggling with the math).  They are Database Administration, Database Developer, and Business Intelligence.

Based on some of my previous posts, some people believe that I am against certification, and that is simply not true.  I think certification has its benefits, but like so many accomplishments in life it is not the attainment of the certificate that is important, but rather, what you learn from it that is significant.  (just like one of my favorite quotes: "The greatest reward for man's dedication to excellence is not what he gets from it, but what he or she becomes through it.")  That is to say, I'm not so impressed by the fact that you passed the test and got the certificate, but rather tell me what it is that you learned (i.e. retained) from your studies and how have you put that into practice.

From what I've read about them, I like the new 2008 certifications.  I like the three different focus points.  Heck, I may even pursue one or more of these myself, if I can carve the time out of my already too-busy life.

What NOT To-Do

One of my favorite authors on the subject of Leadership is Dr. John C. Maxwell.  Occasionally, he talks about how most people have To-Do lists, but more importantly, he recommends that leaders develop a NOT-To-Do list.  I was reminded of this while watching the video of Jason Fried (from 37signals) present at the 2008 Business of Software conference.  He has some provocative comments about the evils of specifications, along with some really good ideas.  Find an hour to sit and watch it, and then come up with your own Not-To-Do list.