The Microsoft Certified Master Certification Target Audience

Jay Grieves (aka Big Swinging Developer) gives 3 steps to manage developers:

  1. Find out what success means to your team.
  2. Determine how each team member can be a valuable part in making that happen.
  3. Monitor.

For me, this was the most important part of the article:

The secret to being a Big Swinging Developer is to be a force multiplier; make other people more valuable and you become incredibly valuable.  Don’t believe me?  Which do you think is worth more: improving your own effectiveness by 50%, or improving 10 people’s effectiveness by 10%?

This is the best way I’ve seen yet to explain something completely different – the Microsoft Certified Master program.  I hear people on Twitter complain that Microsoft’s out of touch, that the MCM certification doesn’t matter to DBAs, that it’s too expensive and takes too much dedicated time.  (If you haven’t heard of the MCM before, it takes around $20k and four weeks of training at the Microsoft campus.)

The MCM cert makes sense for people who are force multipliers: people who work in groups of highly trained, highly skilled IT professionals who all make a living off the same Microsoft product.

Take me, for example – I work with dozens of developers, support engineers, product managers, documentation writers, and so on who all make their living exclusively off Microsoft SQL Server.  They run into unbelievably challenging situations all the time, and they need resources who can give them detailed, accurate answers the first time.  If I get an MCM, I’m not going to be 50% more effective – but I bet I can make 20 people 5% more effective.  Plus, those 20 people are really hard to find, really hard to keep and really hard to train (because training at this level is freakin’ expensive), so making those 20 people 5% more effective is worth a lot of money.

No, the MCM cert doesn’t make sense for most SQL Server professionals.  But when it does make sense, it makes a LOT of sense!

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7 Comments. Leave new

  • How are those prereq certs going for you? 😉

  • You know, you’ve really hit it on the head with this one. Yes, I will be (and think I already have been) more effective since going through the Exchange MCM rotation 01 — but I *know* I can help my co-workers and colleagues be more effective.

  • I definitly dont like offending other people, but even the MCM might be very good to improve your skills to help others (my primary reason too) you should not use a percentage scale! Why? – it all depends on the starting level! Look at this:
    Your Skill: 1000
    mentioned improvement by 50%(??): 500
    other skilllevel: 250
    mentioned improvement by 10%(??): 25
    you must have 20 people to get the same performance, but: I’m pretty sure, that you are able to boost them by 8% even without the MCM.

  • I was very interested in the MCM program until I saw the price. I too work with a group of highly skilled Microsoft engineers that run into complex problems that need speedy resolutions, but to be honest nobody that I work with cares about certifications. Can you solve the problem or not? This is the bottom line. I can do this without a $20K certification. Employers today are having job candidates solve lab problems to prove they’re not just paper certs, so my goal is to just be a bad a** with my Windows skills, other MS apps, knowledge and scripting with vbscript and powershell. You don’t need a $20k cert to prove that you are strong in all these areas. Study on your own and save $$$. Over time your team will recognize your value to the team. I’m not opposed to the MCM program, but only if someone else fits the bill.

    • Hi, Dustin. I’m curious – when you say that you “don’t need a $20k cert to prove that you are strong in all these areas,” I’m curious – how *do* you prove you’re strong in all those areas to a future employer? I’m not being flip – I really do want to know the answer.

      I’m especially curious from the employer’s point of view. I’m constantly trying to help companies find strong people like yourself, but I haven’t found an easy way (short of using my peer network or checking very high-end certifications) to quickly filter through hundreds or thousands of applicants for a given position.

    • Hi,
      I m imu i want to call my MCM (Microsoft Certified Master) ,
      But not geting,How can I register for Exam and from Where.
      Pls, Suggess me..

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