A Quick Word on SharePoint Certs

Posted: November 17, 2010 in MOSS 2007, SharePoint 2010

     So as of this week, I got 2 out of 4 of the 2010 certs out of the way. Historically, I have not been a big fan of certs. I have worked in enough client sites where they were loaded up with folks on certs who were not anywhere near what I would consider useful in the real world setting.  Frequently, it was the guy in the corner with 4 servers in his cube, and no certs who held the office together.

     All that being said, working for a small Gold Certified partner, it is not an option to not get certified. We all have to have them to keep our Gold Certification. With 2007 I found time to get in the MCTS on WSS 3.0 and MOSS administration and configuration. I can honestly say learning what I needed to in order to pass those exams was EXTREMELY helpful. Even with the experience I had with MOSS before the exams I found a lot of holes that I never would have plugged without the exams.

     Flash forward to 2010 and these exams are even more useful. The important thing is to resist the temptation to just pull down a brain dump and memorize questions. Yeah having the cert itself is nice but, IMO, long term, learning the content, the meat of these certifications is far more valuable. Granted this is easy to say when you have an employer who pays for your exams. However, it have been to many clients who have hired SharePoint folks with certs and who have a dangerous level of knowledge. By dangerous, I mean the guy who passed the install and config exams by memorizing the questions. Who, when put into an environment with heavy GPOs, firewalls, SSL, NLB, and Active/passive SQL servers, blows up an entire production farm and leaves 3,000 users in the dark because while he remembers the questions form the exam knows nothing about the actual functionality of SharePoint. When you get into the thick of it, memorizing questions and answers with a large multi-server platform like SharePoint, will not give you the knowledge you need to do the job. Maybe on a good day, it will be enough. Maybe on a simple deployment it will be enough. However, in a heavy deployment, on a tough day, you will hurt your organization and find yourself unemployed.

     Also, let’s be honest SharePoint is HUGE. I mean really huge. There are a ton of components/features in there.  The only way to learn how to use SharePoint to server your organization to its fullest is to learn at least high level, all the capabilities. I would recommend picking up the WROX SharePoint 2010 Administration book (http://www.wrox.com/WileyCDA/WroxTitle/Professional-SharePoint-2010-Administration.productCd-0470533331.html) ISBN: 978-0-470-53333-8 and read it cover to cover. I cannot tell you how many clients I go to who have a SharePoint implementation in place and an enterprise license, then go out and buy other software to meet a need which their SharePoint enterprise license provides. Learning the base capabilities of SharePoint can help this. Learning the meat of the product by really studying for the exams will get you there.

      Alright, I am getting off the soapbox now everyone. Good luck on getting certified and more importantly learning as much as possible on the platform to better serve your organization.

  1. Charlton Heston says:

    Get off your soapbox you hippie

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