Wow… It’s been a crazy summer. The chaos started back in May when I began hardcore preparations for the SP2010 Upgrade rotation. This was followed by the actual rotation itself in early June. Shout out to my U2 buddies out here!
So the rotation training was fantastic but the testing didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. I made a critical mistake on my Qual Lab that cost me almost an hour to recover from. It was enough to tank my effort. Total bummer. Kind of ruined my summer knowing I would have to go through the preparation process all over again.
After a nice summer vacation with the family plus a few weekend excursions (and several baseball tournaments) we’re now into late July. Time to work through some more hard core Qual Lab preparation. Good news, I passed on the second effort! I also managed to get my other pre-requisite test out of the way.
All leading to the fact that as of September 21st, I’ve officially earned the SharePoint 2010 MCM certification! Soooooo glad to have that off my plate before the SPC 2011 conference!
I added in some embarrassing detail here because I want folks to know that this just isn’t an easy process. Yup. I FAILed the qual lab the first time around. I also missed the upgrade knowledge exam by a couple points the first time around because I spent all my study time preparing for the Qual Lab! The fact is, I don’t have an opportunity to practice my Dev skills as frequently as I would like in my daily job. So I have to study REALLY hard and practice executing configurations and deployments that I don’t regularly encounter to overcome that lack of regular practical experience.
It’s a funny thing really. One of the instructors asked “How many DEV Pros do we have in the class?” followed by “How many ITPROs do we have in the class?”. It was a fascinating question. When I started my SharePoint career back in the early SPS 2003 days, I was definitely a DEV Pro. But over the years my skills and experience have gradually shifted to the ITPRo side of the SharePoint house. For the first time, I realized, that while I can still develop any component necessary to meet a customer requirement, I no longer consider it to be my strongest asset. Just an interesting observation.
The difficulty of the SharePoint MCM certification is intentional and absolutely necessary. It’s not impossible but it will always be REALLY hard. Broad practical experience is absolutely required for success. This accomplishes two things. First, it ensures that those who acquire the certification really do know their stuff. Second, it preserves the integrity of the certification for those who went through the process before us!
I also have to say that while my initial experience with the SP2007 MCM certification process was very positive a couple years ago, the program has made significant progress! Brett Geoffroy has done a fantastic job moving this program forward. I’m amazed at how smoothly the process flows given the logistical complexity that is SharePoint MCM. Props to Brett, the MCM instructor team, Microsoft for the investment in time and money, and all of those behind the scenes folks that I’ve never met but who contribute quietly in the background to make this program the success that it is!
Also… I’m not sure if the names are public yet so I won’t mention them specifically. But I also wanted to congratulate my SharePoint MCA friends who recently passed their boards. Great job guys!
Anyway, it’s all over and I’m the proud holder of the SharePoint 2010 MCM certification. I look forward to another couple of years of not having to go through this process…. until the NEXT upgrade cycle begins and I start all over again!