Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) of SQL Server
The Microsoft Certified Master program measures technical expertise and experience. It’s Microsoft’s highest technical certification. It costs thousands of dollars and involves the toughest exams I’ve ever seen. This is nothing like the MCITP program, and there’s a reason why you haven’t heard of it.
As of early 2011, there are less than a dozen SQL Server 2008 MCMs in the United States who don’t work for Microsoft, and I’m one of ’em. Here’s what you need to know:
- About the Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server Program – I explain the old version of the program compared to the new (2010) version.
- SQLskills MCM Videos: Behind the Scenes – I was honored to help deliver 40 hours worth of free video training to the SQL Server community to help them prepare for MCM certification. I wrote about the process of recording these videos.
Here’s my story of the original MCM program experience back when it cost almost $20,000 to achieve and required three weeks of time onsite in Seattle:
Preparing for the Microsoft Certified Master Course
- What is a Microsoft Certified Master – an overview of the whole thing before I started.
- MCM Prep – Prerequisite Reading – the reading list you’re assigned before attending. You NEED to read this stuff.
- MCM Prep – Exams 70-433 and 451 – the database developer tests you have to pass before registering.
- MCM Prep – Interview with Joe Sack – one of the guys who manages the MCM program.
- MCM Prep – How Would You Change the MCM? – I asked readers how they’d do things differently.
Inside the Microsoft Certified Master Training
- SQL MCM Day 0 – the night before the first day of school.
- SQL MCM Day 1 – I started class on the Ides of March and had to start prioritizing things immediately.
- SQL MCM Day 2 – we covered more about prior versions than I’d expected, and I was happy with that.
- SQL MCM Day 3 – I figured out that there were a ton of subjects covered, and not everybody was going to master all of ’em.
- SQL MCM Day 7 – my thoughts right before my first exam. I was pretty worried.
- SQL MCM Day 8 – my thoughts afterwards. Whew.
- SQL MCM Day 10 – going outside of my comfort zone.
- SQL MCM Day 14 – my daily routine, how I studied.
- SQL MCM: Logistics – where to stay, what to bring.
- SQL MCM: Taking Good Notes – my techniques for watching lectures.
- SQL MCM: When You Should Go – how to tell when you’re ready, and how to get in free if your company’s got a Premier Agreement.
- SQL MCM: And Now, the Bad Stuff – near the end of the 3 week journey, I discussed my disappointments.
- SQL MCM: David Ikeda & Joe Sack – these two guys do a great job of managing the MCM program.
- SQL MCM: The Exams and Final Lab – how hard are they? Hard. Really hard.