When will Microsoft recognize the increasing number of SharePoint developers? If you followed my previous posts you no doubt recognize that I have been working with SharePoint technology since SharePoint Portal Server 2001, well since Tahoe which was the code name that ultimately became SharePoint Portal Server 2001. I have been thinking about the SharePoint community and its incredible growth. What is still missing is the certification route for SharePoint Technologies.To date there have only been partner-related exams such as 74-132: Designing a Portal Solution with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies and 74-133 – Customizing Portal Solutions with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies (including Microsoft Content Management Server).
If you have been around or involved in MS-centric developmentor design you no doubt know about or have been involved in one or more ofMicrosoft’s certification tracks for developers.With the release of Visual Studio 2005 once again the various tracks and certifications are changing. Once again demonstrating your SharePoint know how is not available but with a little luck SharePoint Technology in 2007 will show up closer to Office 2007 release date. Looks like this time around if Microsoft chooses to recognize SharePoint Technologies as core development/design and administration function the certification tests can be slipped into the mix easily enough.
While I am not overjoyed with the new cert tracks, particularly around the ITPro versus the Pro Developer naming,I am optimistic that SharePoint developers and administrators might get a chance for some recognition with the new realignment of the certification tracks.
Overview of the New Generation of Microsoft Certifications
I have included the image of the “New Generation of Microsoft Certifications”
Basically there are three levels of competency, technology, professional and architect.
The Technology series focuses (obviously) on a technology. Depending on the technology there is either 1 or 2 test to pass for to obtain the MCTS initials. Currently the technologies available for the MCTS certification includes:
- .NetFramework 2.0 Web Applications
- .Net Framework2.0 Windows Applications
- .Net Framework 2.0 Distributed Applications
- MS SQL Server 2005
- BizTalk 2006.
The Professional seriesfocuses on a set of skills needed for administrators or developers.The MicrosoftIT Professional Certification focuses on “your specific area of expertise” and involves three or four certifications test. This level of certification appears to cover a broad scope of a selected technology area. Currently there are three MCITP tracks for certification:
- Database Developer
- Database Administrator
- Business Intelligence Developer
The Microsoft Professional Developer series focuses on Web, Windows and Enterprise application development. This side of the Professional series requires three to five certification tests. There are three corresponding tracks:
- Web Developer
- Windows Developer
- Enterprise Application Developer
At the top of the image site the coveted Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) which has its own set of requirements before even attempting.
But What About us SharePoint People?
While that was a nice overview of my understanding of the new certification tracks I can’t just leave it at that.Once again there is no mention of any SharePoint technology.But I do see glimmer of light, maybe.It is easy to see that SharePoint certifications can easily be slipped in by adding the following certification tracks:
Microsoft Certified Technology Series
- Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007
Microsoft IT Professional Series
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Developer
- MS Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007 Developer
- MS Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007 Administrator
- MSOffice SharePoint Portal Server 2007 Designer
There that was not hard, relatively painless.The MCTS cert will cover the basics of the new Office Server and would only require a single test. The MSITP series would involve two or three, ok maybe four tests tops covering a broader use of the technologies to design soltutions and portals.Here is a simple example:
For MS Office SharePoint Portal 2007 Developer MSITP would require:
- MS Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007 MCTS
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Developer
- MS Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007 Development
It is past time to formallyacknowledge the growing number of SharePoint administrators, developers and designers with certification on par with MS Sql Server, MS BizTalk and MS Exchange. With the new 2007 version on the horizonit is now time for the SharePoint community to be recognized as certifiable.