Well, yesterday I took another step in my continuing education and sat two exams for my course (Masters of Systems Development) that i’m doing by distance from Charles Sturt University. One of the exams was a regular essay and short-answer university exam with the main difference being it was delivered through a prometric testing center.
A full half of my masters degree however is made up of microsoft certification exams however and I passed my first one yesterday, making my way into the hallowed halls of MCPdom, with a pass on .Net 2.0 Fundamentals.
I’ve read a lot about certifications and people’s opinion seems to vary on how useful or valuable they are. Its interesting though, I can say they are not a pushover. You really need to have studied and learnt a lot even to pass this first, foundation exam of the software developer line. Its also interesting to note that the people who are the most vigourous attackers of certifications, microsoft ones in particular, don’t actually have any. Having not taken the exam and realised what it takes to pass it (particularly when working full time and doing another subject as well 😉 ), how on earth can you judge the value of it?
Admittedly a certification isn’t proof of capability or talent, but it certainly shows a level of dedication that is often absent in our profession, where a lot of people think its fine to learn a few visual basic keywords and then call themselves a software developer.