Another MS Exam – Oasis or Blur

Just convinced myself to start studying for the 2008 MCDBA 70-453 (or wotever it’s called now) upgrade exam. Every time I start the process I question the ROI in time and money terms. This debate somehow reminded me of the Brit Pop band wars of the mid 90’s when I sat my first exam.

Mainly positive, the only real negative I came up with is cost. Gone from 30 quid to 120 quid in 16 years – if I get a chance I will plot this against CPI /cost of beer.

1. It gives you a good grounding in most areas of the relevant technology.

This is especially relevant now that products have so many features , it is very likely that your current role doesn’t utilise all those technologies. Exams gives you the opportunity to learn / play with most aspects of the chosen product.

(Ed: SQL on 4 floppys anecdote removed)

2. No one got sacked / not employed for doing Exams

It shows your current and future employer that you are motivated enough to study / geek outside of normal work hours. That must be positive.

3. Self Esteem and motivation and laziness

Obviously when you spend some time working on something and achieve the desired result it feels good 😉 . This can help counter war weariness a Production DBA sometimes feels after too many days / on call nights in the trenches.

Personally I find it quite hard these days to pick up a geek book / articles /web cast whatever unless there is a measurable end goal.

4. CDI.

Whilst it doesn’t apply to me as I am not on the scene any more, But if you are , next time a boy/ girl u like asks u what u do – whip out your MS Certification card – you’ll be amazed at the results.

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