Back to Basics
So forget about your MCSE already!
- By Dian Schaffhauser
OK, so I was wrong in my last column about how
Microsoft would treat certification for the Whistler
line. It won’t be seeding questions into existing
exams — it’ll be seeding entire exams into the
MCSE track. (If you haven’t heard the few details
available, make sure to read “News”
That said, I’d like to take up the cause of the
lowly MCP title. At our recent MCP TechMentor
technical conference in Florida, when I asked
the more than 850 attendees how many of them had
tackled any Windows 2000 exam (pass or fail),
about 50 people stood up. And when I asked how
many of those had achieved their entire Windows
2000 MCSE? I could count them on just a few fingers.
Yikes. If that doesn’t send a shiver down the
spines of Microsoft’s marketing folks, I don’t
know what would. After all, any vendor’s certification
program exists indirectly as a way for a company
to extend the reach of its sales force. MCPs act
as an army of technical experts to push Microsoft
technology. Without your influence and day-to-day
support efforts, who will deploy and administer
A couple of nights later, over dinner, one of
our magazine contributors said something that
dumbfounded me: “People who get their Windows
2000 MCP really have something to be proud of.”
I thought I had misheard. “MCP?”
Granted, as the editor of MCP Magazine, I’m surrounded
by over-achievers — people who write books, teach,
and consult, and who consider it essential to
learn the software and earn new certifications
as quickly as possible.
So it’s been a long time since I saw real ongoing
value in the MCP — a certification you get by
passing a single test. Where’s the challenge in
Time to take a new picture.
Consider giving up the idea of having your MCSE
before the end of the year. Let go of the assumption
that you’re obliged to maintain a continuum in
your MCSE standing. Not having it for a while
probably puts you at very little risk on the job
or in your personal life — unless you’re the sole
MCSE support for a solution provider that needs
your title to maintain its partner standing with
Make the time in your schedule to study and work
with the software. Then worry about the certification.
Consider a new kind of goal: “I will achieve
my Windows 2000 MCP before the end of this year.”
Just one exam.
Could becoming a Windows 2000 MCP have meaning
for you? Tell me at email@example.com.
Dian L. Schaffhauser is a freelance writer based in Northern California.