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Poll: Most Agree With Decision on Certification Changes

Despite initial flood of negative comments, respondents to a poll on MCSA/MCSE program changes overwhelmingly positive.

There's often a pattern to the reaction from the Microsoft IT community when Redmond changes the certification rules. First is anger, then resignation, then acceptance and happiness. It happened when Redmond first announced it was going to decertify all Windows NT 4.0 MCSEs at the end of 2001, then rescinded its plans and went to versioning. And it’s happened again with the upgrade to Windows .NET Server 2003 certification, if the results of a recent MCPmag.com poll are any indication.

As reported in the January issue, Microsoft originally decided to use a mix-and-match path to MCSE and MCSA certification, allowing tests from either Windows 2000 or .NET to count. Now Microsoft has backtracked and says it will simply offer upgrade exams for those holding a Win2K MCSE or MCSA.

On the MCPmag.com Web site, following the story about the switch, hundreds of responses were posted, most of them very negative toward the flip-flop. But a poll shows that most respondents think it’s a good idea, even though the naysayers are still well-represented.

Visitors to MCPmag.com were asked to say whether they thought the idea of upgrade exams for .NET certification was positive or negative. Out of 568 votes cast, about 60 percent thought it was a good idea, with slightly more than 31 percent disagreeing. Approximately 8 percent couldn’t make up their minds.

This comment from a Web visitor was fairly typical of those upset at the change: “This is just great. We were told to get the Win2K certs because Microsoft would not require us to take more classes and exams for .NET, but now they’re changing their minds? This is wrong. It would be different if Microsoft had told us back in the early Win2K days that this was going to be the case. I guess now I might just look at someone else’s certs and quit shelling out money to a company that changes the path on us every six months. I am tired of testing to keep up to do what it takes for us to stay current and employable.”

Win2K MCSAs/MCSEs will need one or two more exams to upgrade to .NET MCSA/MCSE. Is this a good idea? (Total votes: 568)
.NET Upgrade Results

Representing the opposite end of the spectrum was this comment: “Everyone whining about this recent decision is simply looking for a free cert. Who cares that the Win2K and .NET certs are going to be distinct now? Frankly, I think this will benefit us since each certification—NT/2000/.NET—will tell employers, recruiters and so on exactly what we are certified to do.”

The poll results can be found at http://mcpmag.com/polls/PollResults.asp?PollsID=95. Comments on the news from Microsoft can be found at http://mcpmag.com/news/article.asp?EditorialsID=535.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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