Letters to Redmond
Readers Respond October 2004
Readers share their take on our recent salary survey and more.
So, Why Get Certified?
It's interesting that your Salary Survey [September] results for "No Microsoft Certification" lists a better salary than most certified categories! Could it be that many in that category are supervisors or have been in the field long before certifications appeared? They may feel like they don't need certification and therefore don't think anyone else should, either. I've seen it everywhere when applying for a job—experience counts way more than any certification, especially when those interviewing you aren't certified. It's been my experience that certifications also have little to do with salary increases from year to year.
— An MCSE
Good observation, but the sample of people who have no certification changed this year. We decided to open the survey to those who hold other certifications but may not necessarily hold a Microsoft title. The No Microsoft Certification category doesn't exclude those who do hold other, salary-laden titles, such as the Cisco CCIE or any of the major security certifications. Naturally, this category could be composed of those who hold no certs whatsoever. So, you'd be partially right in your observation.
—Michael Domingo, Editor, MCPmag.com
The new name is going to be Redmond magazine, but the slogan is "The Independent Voice of the Microsoft IT Community"? No way those two things go together. I see the word "Redmond," and I think right off the bat that it's some sort of official Microsoft publication. It's not just the content of the magazine that makes it important, there are many other reasons as well.
I was unable to go to college for a variety of reasons and I struggled to afford training materials and take the tests. I am very proud of my certifications. Receiving a magazine called Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine was a monthly reminder that I finally did it; that I finally got over the hump and I have a career doing something I love. Every time it arrived it told me "You did it!!"
Receiving MCP Magazine always made me feel like part of something larger, something that I had put a lot of effort into being a part of. As soon as I became an MCP I did it all: ordered the magazine, downloaded the official logos for use in my correspondence and I carry the wallet card with me every day. Having the mailroom drop off Redmond magazine in my office in-box just won't give me that same sense of pride and achievement. To be honest, even if the slogan were something along the lines of "The Independent Voice of Certified Professionals," it wouldn't bother me so much.
I understand that the current title probably excludes a lot of potential readers and makes it more of a niche publication. But that's kind of what I like best about it. There are already several "voices" of the general Microsoft IT community at-large. In fact, I already subscribe to several, and don't know if I really need another one. The fact that MCP Magazine was a special publication just for MCPs (or so I thought, or assumed, by the title) was what made me want and read the magazine. Now, not so much.
— James Frasch
I throw away most of my Infoweek and InfoWorld magazines and rarely read more than one article per issue. I don't need another business magazine with "important" news about Microsoft policies and politics. I need a technical magazine that tells me how to write shortcuts for creating and deleting user accounts, how to recover from DNS problems, and how to implement Kerberos (all past features in MCP Magazine). I make it a priority to read MCP Magazine cover-to-cover.
Your magazine has been a magazine for the guy in the trenches who sits around waiting for servers to reboot. You'll lose your soul—and your readership—if you change that.
—Name withheld by request
If relevance is what you want, we'll deliver. Redmond will continue to publish information that's tactical in nature, and you will still find your favorite IT personalities offering advice to make your networks faster and safer. We'll also offer new, compelling content that puts all your work into perspective, helping you deal with management-level challenges. And remember, we'll still provide Redmond magazine for free to those who qualify.