Friday, April 03, 2020

PASS Professional Development Virtual User Group: Certification Exams Inside Out

Thanks for the 90+ who joined today's PASS Professional Development Virtual Group webinar on Certification Exams Inside Out: How to Think Like a Certification Exam! This was a lot of fun. Thanks everyone for joining us! And great questions!

If you have any further questions on cert exams that we didn't get to during the webinar, reach out on Twitter or LinkedIn. And if you've become unemployed because of covid-19 and my wife Christine Assaf or I can help, let's talk. We're all in to help. Hit us up on LinkedIn.

Here's a link to the slide deck:

Sorry about all the technical foibles that our Paresh and I encountered! We weren't able to record it for some reason. Here's a recording of a past presentation of this talk if you want to share with folks who didn't see it live:

Stay safe, stay home, wash your hands. Here's some further Q&A:

Q: Does it still make sense to get one of the "old" certifications (MCSA, MCSE) as long as they're offered by Microsoft? 

A: Sure. Exams are always changing generationally and expiring. If being a SQL DBA is still a big part of your career, those older exams do not expire until January 31, 2021 and they will continue to show on your public transcript until January 2023, and the certifications still count towards partner competency attainment through January 2022, I believe. I wouldn't dedicate a lot of time and treasure in achieving them, but if you think you're close, go right ahead. Eventually you will be able to and you'll want to get the newer certifications, as always. Learning new skills in your trade has always been part of the game.

Q: How does the new Azure Database Administrator Associate certification compare to the previous MCSA and MCSE certifications?

A: This is probably a question better answered by others. Aside from further emphasis on newer and especially Azure-hosted technology, I couldn't speak to question format or selection other than what is publicly available anyway. In general, the exams have for a decade been trending towards broader sets of experience (again, an emphasis on delivering solutions as opposed to mastering features).

Q: Tell me more about beta exams.

A: Not free any more, but check the Microsoft Learning community blog for opportunities like this, where you can take a beta exam for 80% off if you're early to it. And while beta exams aren't scored immediately, if you pass the beta exam, you do get credit for passing the exam.

Q: Can you spread crunchy peanut butter with a fork?

A: Yes. That's just science.