To Certify Or Not to Certify?
In episode 64 we interviewed Patrick Thomas, the program manager for the MCP program which includes certifications. There continues to be quite a bit of discussion around certifications, so it only makes sense that we give our take on the matter. Both Steve and I are certified, so this may give away some of our thoughts.
Certification is a tricky thing. Much of the value you get out of a certification is dependent on where you on in your career and what your next step is going to be. This is going to be different for every person, so this decision is one that only you can make. This can make a decision on which certification to get and even when to get it a challenge.
Our conversation really revolves around what a certification will get you and what it won’t help you with. Do you agree with our list? Leave your comments below.
Here is our list of Pros and Challenges with certifications:
- Measure your skills
- Foot in the door
- May not really measure your skills
- Not the only way to show skills
- Lots of prep work, with little way to gauge your progress
- Lateral Help
- Text Anxiety
“Having those certifications listed on your résumé may make you stand out as a little bit better.”
“It gives you exposure to more stuff that you may not have thought about trying in the past.”
“There are just a lot of features to know, and then try to create a test that can cover all of that is just daunting task.”
“The blogging… or the speaking at SQL Saturdays allowing you to create that portfolio, certifications are no longer the only way to do that.”
Listen to Learn
00:28 Introduction of the topic: to certify or not to certify
01:41 Companero shout outs
03:28 Updates about the upcoming Companero Conference
04:20 A little teaser of who will be next episode’s speaker
05:39 Show notes links
05:56 The pros of certification
06:10 Pro #1: Giving you an opportunity to measure your skills
08:30 Pro #2: Getting your foot on the door
10:51 Pro #3: Giving confidence to the technology workers and the employers
11:45 Pro #4: Exposure
12:28 The challenges of certification
12:37 Challenge #1: It may not help you measure your skills
13:48 Challenge #2: Your exam exposure and the employers expected exposure may differ
15:53 Challenge #3: Creating a test for too many features will be a very daunting task
18:53 Challenge #4: It’s not the only way to show your skills
22:18 challenge #5: There is a lot of prep work required that is very time consuming
26:16 Challenge #6: Lateral help
27:08 Challenge #7: Test anxiety
Meet the Hosts
With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at databasehealth.com and provides training through SQL Trail events.
Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.
Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.