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Certification...Is it worth it?

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    I'm in the middle of upgrading my MCSD certification to .Net. So I wondered what are everyone's thoughts on Microsoft certification. Personally, I'm upgrading my certification for my own benefit. I'm not expecting a promotion, raise or a shiny gold star. I just want to increase my knowledge and tests are a good way to do that.

    So what does everyone else think??

  • User profile image

    As long as they're paying for it, take every test you can.

    Personally I think upgrading is a scam, as are publishing companies (as pointed out by Richard Feynman), as are most universities. And by scam I mean "not so fairly balanced trade-off of money for knowlege".

    That's not to say people won't be impressed by it though. I think it shows initiative at the very least, and that can "NEVER*" be a bad thing.

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    If you gain useful personal/professional knowledge from it then great.

    For me, having been in the software development world for 15+ years, I am somewhat dubious about its real value for assessing development skill. We have had some MSCD job candidates come through our door, with every acronym on their resume, that could not code their way out of a paper bag. We have also had some MSCD candidates that are very capable, but not outstanding.

    Topics under MCSD are enough to make a developer "dangerous" and maybe get their foot in the door, or their feet wet with the technology. But a good developer has always been made up of good analytical and problem solving skills, experience, and a certain amout of creativity (difficult to measure).

    If you are just starting out in the development world, MCSD can increase your chances of making the first cut as a job applicant. Otherwise, it may not be worth it.


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    I think when you are dealing with people who understand software development, can talk to you about your experiences and figure out if your resume matches your skillset, it doesn't do you any good. 

    However,taht is not always the case.  I have been in lots of companies who have no software dev experience, and have gotten jobs just because I have a certification, though it certainly hasn't made me a better programmer.  Programming mkaes me a better programmer Smiley

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    I think certification and Experience goes hand and hand. Having a certification tells the employer that you have a certain skill set. Experience tell them that you can use that skill set.

    If you have the chance (and money) then go for it.


  • User profile image

    I think the key is a balance of experience and certification. I have heard from hiring managers that the certification will get you an interview, you experience and how you interact in your interview and how your able to convery that experience will get you the job.

    All I can say is that before my MCAD.Net I never landed a contracting gig at MS, but since the certification I got one on my second interview. So in my personal experience, it helped a lot.

    Good Luck!

    ~ Knute

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    being a self taught programmer the concept of classroom / guided learning is weird to me.  but, lately my experiences in .net have been better due to a greater understanding of the framework grown over the past 2 years.  getting a certification might help you get to the mastery stage much quicker.

    i always considering dropping the cash on getting a cert, but given the enormous resources available online (for free!) it seems kinda pointless.

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    For me, it was very benefical to get MCSD .NET.

    I have taken 5 exams (even if only 4 were actually required) to get MCSD .NET for Windows-based and for Web Applications, using C#.

    I paid for all the exams from my own money as the organization I worked for didn't want to pay for taking exams, because they were simply not wanting to move into .NET era. They sticked with C++ (however I hear today they MUST move to .NET because their projects also involved AutoCad and the new versions of AutoCad's APIs are using .NET Framework Smiley).

    I have learned from Microsoft Press' books and self-paced kits. As a total price I think I have paid about 500-700 USD for all the stuff, including for the tests (passed them all from the first attempt, so no money loss in that area Smiley).

    After becoming a MCAD .NET I got immediately a new job with a much better salary (compared to the previous one, from the non-.NET company). From the first month I practically got all my money back.

    After becoming a MCSD .NET I got another job which allowed me to travel from Romania (my country) to Switzerland, to live at a pretty nice hotel, and to work for a large Microsoft Certified Partner (Linkvest), being hired to work there by another Microsoft Certified Partner from Romania, a partner of the former (Akela). This job is excellent paid and it is very interesting in many areas. It's .NET, both Windows and Web-based Applications (so my 5 exams instead of required only 4 were worthy because otherwise they wouldn't hire me).

    Overall, becoming a MCSD .NET does not have only financial advantages as one may think from what I said. It worths learning because you understand the technologies from their core and not only from their surface, and you also learn good general concepts (analyzing requirements, planning, designing), and that helps you a lot in every new project you have, be it .NET or not.

    And for me, personally, becoming MCSD .NET was also a step for moving further to become a MCT. I love to share what I know about Microsoft technologies with others, and being a Certified Trainer is the best way to be able to do it in a professional way. Reward will not be the money itself, but the satisfaction of doing something right.

  • User profile image

    Oh, I forgot to say that I'm not a MCT yet, but this is only a matter of enrolling and taking a Microsoft Official Curriculum course (I haven't done this in the past because I could learn all things from the books and online...) Smiley

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