Page 4 of 4
Apart from holding two MCITPs the other prerequisites for Certified Master, SQL Server 2008 are:
- Five or more years of experience with SQL Server 7.0 or later: installing, configuring, and troubleshooting
- One or more years of experience with SQL Server 2005 or later: installing, configuring, and troubleshooting
- Thorough understanding of SQL Server design and architecture
- Thorough understanding of SQL Server core components and dependencies, such as online transaction processing (OLTP), high availability, disaster recovery, performance-tuning optimization, storage, security, manageability, and data distribution technologies
- Ability to speak, understand, and write fluent English
According to the FAQs on the Microsoft Certified Master Program page, the average experience for Master candidates is 10 years and some candidates have as many as 20 or more.
The procedure for qualifying as an MCM is very different from the lower levels, entailing three weeks of intensive classroom training (currently offered only in Redmond) entailing three computer-based tests, and a final lab-based exam. There is a non-refundable deposit payable when you fill in the online registration so it isn't to be undertaken lightly. Acceptance into the program is based on eligibility determined from your CV backed up by an interview if necessary. Current statistics indicate that approximately 70 percent of candidates pass the written, in-class exams on their first attempt. and 60 percent of candidates have passed the final, lab-based exam on their first attempt. For the lab based exam, 80% have passed at their second attempts.
If you want to get to the final rung, MCAP Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) the only route is via the MCM. This elite credential is intended for those with ten or more years of experience in IT who consider themselves architects who specialize in using Microsoft technologies to provide expert solutions and is the highest level of professional certification on Microsoft server products.
As the highest level of certification it is designed to test technical breadth, technical depth, communication, strategy, organisational politics, process and leadership. Gaining the credential involves preparing a dossier that includes your work history, an architectural solution case study, and a document showing how your skills and work experience directly apply to each of the seven architect competencies. If this documentation suffices candidates appear in person before a Review Board to present a case study (30 minutes) and answer questions on it (40 minutes). After a 5-minute break there's a further 40 minute session in which the Review Boards conducts a second Q&A. Alternatively, they may ask the candidate to participate in a role play, in which the Review Board members simulate customer situations that require the advice of a consultant followed by 5 minutes for the candidate to make any additional comments and hear the Review Board's response. This certainly sounds like a gruelling experience and again Redmond is the only current location.