Last month I reviewed a new Java book written by the venerable Michael Ernest on my blog. While it was an excellent book and I felt it would help any developer pass the first level of Java programming certifications, Mike brutally pointed out passing an exam didn’t mean that much. The remark struck me as odd, at first, but then he went on to explain that learning to become a good programmer was much more important than the certification.
I agree… like totally! The other day I caught a re-tweet for @MSLearning that broadcast how the trainers for Microsoft Learning got together and decided to provide free resources and discounts to help technical folks get their Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications along a couple of different tracks, specifically Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012. In consideration, I found this important and signed up immediately. Now before we pooh-pooh the idea by assuming Microsoft’s simply looking to make a quick buck off their certifications program, I thought it might be prudent to make a couple of observations.
Why Certifications are Important
While certifications (for which I asked my company to budget the exam costs this year) are critical to my career goals, it’s more important to me that I always strive to learn and grow. Building my skill-sets in one or more areas of development helps me in others. My point is you should grab whatever chances you can to study for certifications, even if you never intend to go actually take the tests. “What?” you say. “That’s crazy!” Is it? Most of us that frequent ChurchMag made a commitment as technical professionals to take our churches, youth groups, and organizations to the highest technical level possible. We use our God-given talents to implement that vision. I think it’s safe to say we all want to empower the Church to achieve its goals when it comes to technology.
MCSA is a Worthy Goal
After viewing the first video on SQL Server 2012 (see a screenshot below), I have an even stronger desire to learn more now.
I think it will better enable me not only professionally but personally. And while I fully intend to take my MCSA for SQL Server 2012 this year, a goal I think is worth it, I believe those of you who at least enroll and view the materials can also benefit. Particularly if you work in Microsoft arena. God bless and happy coding!