Certification Challenge Update
A few months ago I posted a note on my certification adventure and thought I’d post a brief update.
My feelings on certification are mixed. A decade ago I had the highest certifications available from Microsoft and Novell but at times I word work with others who had the same certifications and I didn’t always see the knowledge and/or troubleshooting skills one would expect. Once I had a level of experience which I felt spoke more loudly than my technical certs I gave up on them. I allowed them to expire and focused on a business MBA instead, which (thus far) hasn’t helped my career but I really enjoyed the knowledge and understanding I gained from it.
Having said that certifications do have value in that it is often a checklist or validation that you have some current knowledge in a fast changing field. The best certification exam I ever took was a Novell Uber CNE or something like that were the test was to fix and repair a REAL broken NDS tree. As often there is in the real world, there is more than one possible solution to a problem and you were graded by the efficiency of the path you took. Most certification exams prove little more than that you can pass a multiple choice exam — but the VCDX “exam” is the exception here. To become a VCDX you must present a complete datacenter design and defend every decision you make in front of a panel of judges. Now that’s a certification that you can’t fake!
Back to me. My goals were to get certifications from NetApp (NCDA), Microsoft (MCITP) and VMware (VCP & VCDA).
I passed the NCDA exam and I’m about halfway done with the MCITP path. For me the most interesting and relevant certifications are the VMware ones, but unfortunately a mandatory 5-day class is required to take the VCP exam and budget and logistical constraints are an obstacle here. When resources allow for it, I’m really looking forward to starting the VMware path, with a longer term goal of working towards VCDX certification.