It’s been a while since I started looking at the whole Microsoft Certified Architect programme. In fact, it’s been so long, they changed the structure and introduced another certification – Master, and a number of product-based streams. You can read more about it on the Microsoft Learning site. Finally, I made up my mind about a month ago and spent the last few weeks learning as much as I can about it.
Lesson 1: Blogs are your friends.
There are many useful blogs out there that provide very useful information about the MCM program. A special mention has to go to Brent Ozar for his comprehensive report on preparation for and experience of the program. Although I’m preparing for Exchange and he completed (ahhh) SQL, the information is very pertinent.
Lesson 2: USB keys are your friends.
You need to submit a previous design document with your application. If you are a contractor and change roles relatively quickly, you end up with any number of design documents scattered between your home computers, online file stores and email attachments. For me, the right document at the right version was on my key chain and I could edit it immediately.
Lesson 3: Find & Replace is your best friend.
One of the requirements is to sanitise the design documents by cleaning up all client data. Wow! I never thought there could be that many server names, configuration settings, IP addresses and examples that can be found in a 60-page Word document that pertain to a single client. And then the bombshell – Visio drawings converted to JPEGs, but not on the USB key. Oh, the joys of MS Paint.
In the end, the application consists of:
- $125 fee
- Sanitised design document
- 2 x Recent Project Involvement
Application processing takes up to two weeks.