Contents tagged with Personal
Wow, 2015 has been one really interesting year for me! For the 9th year I will do my summary post (here’s the olde ones: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006).
2015 started really cool with me joining Avanade here in Sweden and boosting the Collaboration efforts. It is an incredible team we have here and some amazing customers and opportunities ahead and I don’t regret this move for a second. And now in December I internally switched role to an even more interesting position – Nordic Digital Workplace Architect. Avanade has really understood what a Digital Workplace is and I’m really looking forward to focusing even more on this. Enough of Avanade talk, but if you’re interested in working in the front line of the future Digital Workplace and with us, contact me!
Over the years I’ve done less writing about technical stuff, partly because I’m not that deep into this as I once was but mainly due to the fact that I’ve been bored about what has happened in this space over the last few years. BUT – as you will notice within a few months, things are happening! *wink, wink*
This year I started a new series of blog posts called What’s new on the Office Roadmap. It’s a direct result of Microsoft being unable themselves to communicate their plans. The current roadmap site is despite all the feedback a disgrace. I’ve logged and blogged 31 changes since March – which is awesome, there are some really nice things coming and I do look forward to seeing this running in my clients tenants. Office 365 is killing the competition now when it comes to collaboration and productivity.
The most read articles, from this year is:
- SharePoint Team Sites is dead. Not very suprising to see this on top. I’ve got so many hate mails from this one I stopped counting. Unfortunatley people can’t read between the lines – but you just wait and you’ll see.
- Has Yammer played out its role? Another one I guessed would be on the top. This one, on the other hand, has given me so much good feedbaclk and I think even the Yammer team noticed it, since now three years later they start to fix stuff that they should have fixed ages ago.
- SharePoint Online and Azure AD Dynamic Groups.
- Office 365 Groups for Admins. This is the place holder for my series on administration of Office 365 Groups
- Enhancing your Office 365 Groups using custom Connectors and Cards for Groups. A fairly recent post, but a lot of reads.
Also this year I’ve been invited to speak at conferences. Actually I’m invited to way more conferences than I can speak at, which is cool. Thank you! You can find all my presentations at this page
For the sixth time I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award. Thanks Microsoft. I love the interaction we now have with the SharePoint and Office 365 teams!!!
Last year I didn’t have any specific predictions more than 2015 would be about services. I think we’ve seen this happen; Windows 10 is almost like a service, Office 365 is expanding more than ever, Azure is kicking some serious butt.
What about 2016? I think 2016 will be mainly two things:
- Microsoft will be cool again. I’m not talking about ninja cats or things. Microsoft is once again driving and inventing the future. Microsoft is doing a lot of things right at the moment (well except for Windows Phone, 2016 might be the last year unless they do something revolutionary)
- It’s all about the users. Users doesn’t care about tech, well at least not the majority. The users choose the servvice, technology, product, app, hardware they like – coporate policies or not, IT departments just have to understand that. Consumerization of Enterprise IT has been on the wall for some time and next year it will happen.
Happy new year
Happy new year to all my followers and readers. 2015 was great but 2016 will be awesome. I haven’t been this excited about what is going to happen since…I don’t know when.
I’m very excited and glad to announce that this is my last day at Connecta/Acando and starting on Monday I will be joining the Avanade forces here in Sweden. I will take the role as the Collaboration lead, continuing my passion for SharePoint and the future of collaboration on the Microsoft stack.
Joining Avanade and in this role seems like one of the most exciting things I could do at the moment. We’re standing on the brink of huge changes going on in our collaborative environments. Cloud, devices, services, security and identity – there’s so many things going on right now and there’s so many things to think about, plan for and execute on. Also Avanade, being such a global company but being fairly small here in Sweden, brings a lot of opportunities on the table for me and my future customers. I’m looking forward to expanding and building the Collaboration team here in Sweden in combination with the Nordic and global teams – and build the best Collaboration delivery team on the Microsoft platform! If you want to be a part of this, then just ping me!
The last five years has been a great ride with Connecta. I need to thank my colleagues for all the inspiring moments. And I also need to thank my former managers who believed in me and allowed me to aim for and pass the MCM, MCA and MCSM certifications! And good luck with the Acando deal – you’ll need it, and don’t let the Google clone droids assimilate all of you…
That’s it for now – 2015 will be a great adventure, and you can if you want to join me in it!
The time has come for me to do, as I’ve done now for eight years (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006), my annual post to sum up the year. It is always fun to look back to what happened the past 12 months. This past year has been a somewhat “in-betweeners” year.
We (me, my clients, colleagues etc.) are standing on the edge of something big and the bridge over to the other side is really, really long. Some hesitate to pass the bridge, thinks it is to steep down, some people are running across it in fear, some take it just easy and some pass it half-ways and then stalls there not knowing which direction to go. Microsoft has already passed the bridge to the other side, they ran as fast as they could. But, they dropped so many things on the way over, things that I and others need to pick up and fix and very often even remind Microsoft that they dropped it at all!
Confusing – yes, stressing – hell yea, annoying – yup, new opportunities – oh YEA, wanting to go back – nope!
I think I hit an all-time low in blog postings this year. Not that it has been so little to write, rather that I’ve been having to little time. I have a bunch of posts in the works, that never has been published, due to various reasons.
According to my telemetry this is what you peeps liked this year:
- Office Web Apps 2013: Excel Web App ran into a problem - not rendering Excel files
- How to patch the Distributed Cache in SharePoint 2013
- SharePoint 2013 with SAML Claims and Provider Hosted Apps
- SharePoint 2013 with SAML Claims and SharePoint Hosted Apps
I’m really glad that the last two of those posts ended up that high. Really liked working those scenarios out.
I’ve been fortunate to be invited to a number of conferences the past year as well. The highlight of course is the SharePoint Conference 2014, where I had a total of three sessions. The most awesome experience from that conference was when the room after one of my sessions were empty and people stayed for an hour and a half just asking questions!
For the fifth time I was awarded the Microsoft MVP Award for my community contributions. Always an honor and passing the five year mark was a bit special.
Each year I try to predict what is going to happen to us and our business in the future. Last year I talked a lot about SharePoint being a service (six years after the SharePoint Services announcement at PDC08), Azure dominating the cloud space and Microsoft focusing everything on Services. SharePoint may not yet be dead, this product has more lives than a cat. Azure is still growing faster than I can keep up with and I like it! And the Services piece – I think this is the most important of all my predictions last year. Microsoft is focusing on owning the services and the data – the device, product etc. is not the top prio. Take a look at the Microsoft Band – an awesome device but the service behind it is what makes the big difference, no other vendor is even close to competing in that space.
So, 2015, what will happen? I think I stick to my Services, services, services prediction. 2015 is all about the services! I’ll leave it to that. If you don’t understand how the services will change our business you better look for a career change.
I have to admit that 2014 was not one of my favorite years, due to multiple reasons. I’ve been pretty tired of this whole “SharePoint & Office 365” situation and it has taken me some deep reflections and analysis to get my inspiration back. But 2015 will be a really interesting year. Too keep you on the hook a little bit more, head back to this blog on Friday!
Happy New Year!
I whish all of you a Happy New Year and I hope that your 2015 will be an awesome ride!
Wow, 2013 was an interesting year and the time has come for my annual blog post to sum up the year that soon has passed us and looking a bit into the crystal ball for the next one. This is my seventh summary post and it is always fun to look back at what has happened during the last 12 months (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006).
For me the year has been really intensive on all levels; I don't think I´ve ever experienced such a huge demand for my professional services as of now, there is so much new stuff to learn and it´s harder and harder to keep up, I have a hard time resisting doing tons of community stuff and at the same time we had a huge construction work at our house, and of course having two soon-to-be teenager girls takes its toll!
The number of blog posts I create every year continues to decrease, but I do hope the quality improves and that you still get some decent value out of my posts. There are so many good bloggers out there and I don´t want to repeat what everyone else is writing about. There are a couple of posts that I´m quite proud of and here´s the list of the ones you have visited the most the last 12 months:
- Enabling PDF Previews with Office Web Apps 2013 March update
- SharePoint 2013 and Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010 Service Pack 3
- Office Web Apps 2013: Patching your WAC farm with no downtime
- Enabling PDF Previews in Document Libraries with Office Web Apps 2013
- Office Web Apps Server 2013 – machines are always reported as Unhealthy
There´s no coincidence that four of the top five posts written this year is about Office Web Apps Server 2013 (WAC) – it is my new favorite server product, and I think it is one of the core server products/services that will be a huge and integral part of the "One Microsoft" and its services.
I also had the benefit of participating in a "real" writing project – as a co-author of "Inside Microsoft SharePoint 2013". This was my second book written together with some of the most famous SharePoint book authors. If you still haven´t ordered yourself a copy then you´re missing out on something!
I´ve continued to do sessions at conference, perhaps not that many this year. I try to choose conferences that fits me, my family and clients and also I try to focus on creating good, new and interesting content. I´m not the kind of person that like to do the same content over and over again. I´m incredibly lucky being in this position and being able to travel and meet all the awesome people around the world. I know there are a couple of conferences that I would like to have presented at, but had to turn down due to other commitments…maybe next year. To read more about the presentations I´ve done over the last year and see the decks and some video recordings, check out my Presentations page.
I got re-awarded the MVP status once again, now my fourth time. It´s always really nice to be given this award.
Talking about the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, MCSM, could be a couple of posts on its own, but let´s try to crunch it down. Early January this year I attended the beta rotation of the brand new MCSM program for SharePoint. This program was totally redone to suit both on-premises SharePoint 2013 and Office 365/SharePoint Online (contrary to what some people think and say). There is/was no better training for SharePoint, in the cloud or not, than this program, and there will never be such a good program again! I was fortunate to pass both the written exam and the qualification lab "in-rotation" (that is no retakes or anything), being one of the first ones. Unfortunately the whole MCSM program was cancelled during this year. But once a Master always a Master. I´m really proud that I am one of the few who has passed MCM for SharePoint 2010, MCA for SharePoint 2010 and MCSM for SharePoint (2013) – a bit sad I didn´t get the chance to get the 2007 exam and get a full hand :-(
Can´t write this post without a little section about SharePoint. What will happen to SharePoint, will it cease to exist? To some degree I do think so. But SharePoint as a product has played out its role in my opinion. SharePoint is just a piece in the puzzle of future collaboration software. Take a look at how Workflow has been moved out of SharePoint, how Office Web Apps is a separate product, how applications now are Apps outside SharePoint, how Enterprise Social now is a service (in Yammer). SharePoint will be there in the form of building sites and acting like a glue between all the other services. Will it be known as SharePoint? I don´t really know, but in a few years, I don´t think so. It sounds like judgment day for some, and it might be, unless you are prepared. I think this "brave new world" will for the ones who can accept the change be full of opportunities…and I´m looking forward to it! On the other hand the recent messages from Redmond that SharePoint on-premises ensures the current on-premises customers that SharePoint as a product will be here for another couple of years, which is good, it gives you good options to slowly move from a product to a service. But the innovation will be in the services, Office 365 and Azure, not in the products.
Last year's predictions was not that off the chart. The Cloud message is ever increasing, and there´s no end to it. I also predicted a "collapse" of the SharePoint community, to some degree I think that has started to happen. The community is still thriving but there is not a single community as it used to be. There has been several new community sites and community conferences started this year. Not that it is a totally bad thing, but in my opinion it does not help the community moving forward. We´re also seeing many of the old community celebs and influencers moving away from SharePoint as a specialty and instead focusing on the new set of services.
So what about 2014 – what do you think Wictor?
SharePoint is dead, long live SharePoint. I wrote it above; SharePoint as a product is slowly going away, instead "SharePoint as a service" is where the focus should be. If anyone of you watched the PDC08 keynote, when Azure was announced – do you remember the slide where "SharePoint Services" was one of the listed services. I think this is where we´re going, six years later.
Azure domination! The Azure team at Microsoft is really impressive right now, look at all the different services they announce and improve. Being a bit late to the game, but now being captain of the Cloud movement. If it was something I would bet my career on now, it would be Azure.
Services, services, services! Everything will be services. Combine the things I said about SharePoint, with the things about Azure and add the recent announcements of the killed ForeFront products (and others). Microsoft is all in on the Devices and Services thing and you should be too. This changes the way we design, build and sell our professional services.
The future does look a bit cloudy, doesn´t it.
Happy New Year
That was it! I do have a lot more to say, but you all should be on vacation right now stocking up on energy for 2014 so I keep it short. Next year will be an intensive year for me, I know it. I´m already excited about the new engagements I have planned for early 2014, about the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas (last SP conference?) where I will be a presenter for the first time, and also the big change at Microsoft with a new CEO – how will that affect me!?
So, to all of you I wish a Happy New Year and I´m looking forward to seeing a lot of you out there next year!
I just received the confirmation that I am renewed as SharePoint MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) for my fourth consecutive year. It’s an honor being chosen among all the professionals around the world, especially now when SharePoint is getting more and more widespread and is being adopted by more and more companies worldwide.
I’d like to take the opportunity to say thanks all my colleagues at Connecta, that put up with me, and all my friends around the world that I’ve learnt to know throughout these years. I’ll continue to write obscure blog posts and show up at conferences, and I will continue to organize the Swedish SharePoint User Group meetings.
Thank you all for the support!
Only one day and a few hours left of the year of 2012 and the time has come for me to make my (now traditional) summary post. I’ve done it now for six years (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006) and it’s always fun to look back at what has happened during the last 12 months.
This year has been an interesting year to me and contained some really interesting milestones, happenings and events.
This year I’ve written basically the same amount of posts as in 2011, even though a new SharePoint version has been released. Basically it comes down to that I’ve been working a lot and haven’t had time to finish up some of the posts I’ve started and I’ve been busy with other commitments in the community. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed what I’ve written – I try to keep the quality up rather than the quantity.
What’s really cool is that I now on average have more that 1.300 daily subscribers to my blog, a 30% increase since last year. Thank you!
The most popular posts this year has been:
- How Claims encoding works in SharePoint 2010 – a post you should read IMO and still valid for SharePoint 2013
- Visual Guide to Azure Access Control Services authentication with SharePoint 2010 – part 1 – The first part of six posts in the series.
- SharePoint 2013 – Introduction to the Minimal Download Strategy – MDS – An MDS overview.
- SharePoint 2013 – Claims is the new black – the post title says it all
- SharePoint 2013 – A look at the hardware and software and other requirements – my pov on the hw and sw requirements
The most popular post (from all years) is still the “Fix the SharePoint DCOM 10016 error on Windows Server 2008 R2” post.
No books this year – done that once…
I was re-awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, MVP, award for SharePoint for the third consecutive year. I’m honored by still being a part of this group of community contributors.
Microsoft Certified Architect – MCA
What I’m most proud of this year is that I passed the Microsoft Certified Architect for SharePoint, MCA, certification. This is a certification, currently only held by five individuals worldwide, which proves that you can “architect” a business and technical solution based on SharePoint and related technologies. What I do like about this certification is that it is not just a test or a lab (you get those tests while doing the MCM/MCSM, which is a pre-requisite for the MCA) but instead it is a mix of interview, business case, portfolio, presentations and Q&A’s, where you really must show that you understand business requirements, budgets, time plans etc. You can read more about my take on the program here – What is a Microsoft Certified Architect?
Conferences and travels
I got my fair share of travelling this year as well, a bit less than last year – which my family appreciated though. I had the opportunity to speak at a couple of conferences – where the International SharePoint Conference 2012 was the highlight. This conference was something extraordinary for both the attendees and us speakers. I really enjoyed working together with the team on the dev-track building out our solution and sessions and it was so fun having the whole team on the front row supporting (and a little bit of heckling) each other during the three days. I will be back next year in London!
I also had a blast at the first SharePoint conference in Croatia, and I hope I’m invited again and as usual our local SharePoint and Exchange Forum – which just keeps growing!
Microsoft arranged the SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas to unveil the spanking brand new SharePoint version…well it turned out that the product was released a month ahead, so the conference didn’t have much new information. In my opinion this was a pretty bad conference – the depths of the sessions was to low, to many of the speakers should not have been allowed on stage, and what a total disaster when all Microsoft talked about was how good the cloud is and they had no Internet connectivity. I really hope that the conference team get their stuff together and rethink a lot of things for the next conference!
I can’t really write a summary post of 2012 without talking about the Cloud. Microsoft (and other vendors) really put all their money on the cloud this year – nothing new with this, it’s been going on for years, but this year it’s more clear than ever. Well, the cloud is nothing new – it’s just a new name for the Internet, Application Service Providers, etc etc, it’s more of a marketing term.
Since the release of Office 365 the transition of SharePoint to the cloud has started (BPOS was first but SharePoint wasn’t cloud ready at all at that time). With this new wave of SharePoint and 365 the SharePoint cloud offering is even more evident – and we don’t know now where it will end, I’m not sure even Microsoft knows that yet.
We’ve been running 365 for a year and a half now and we still suffer a lot from different strange issues (that could be a post on it’s own!). Hopefully once upgraded the service will be more stable and useful.
I might sound a bit doubtful about the cloud – and I am. For the vast majority the cloud (read 365) is a great option instead of hosting and managing their own instances. But for large enterprises (the clients I’m normally working with) 365 is not even an option…
Only time will tell…
This is the part I really enjoy writing and thinking about at this time of the year – looking back at my last years predictions and looking in the crystal ball for the upcoming year.
Last years predictions wasn’t that good – Silverlight is till not dead (someone hooked it up to a CPR machine) and all the browser vendors seems to be on some kind of honeymoon. My wish that 2012 was a bit less cloudy failed miserably! The only thing I think I got right was that Windows Phone would have momentum and by looking at some stats there’s some truth in that.
So what do I think about next year?
- Cloud, cloud and cloud! The cloud marketing will continue, it will be shoved down our throats, we’ll be so sick of it by the end of 2013. But this will be the way forward. It will be really interesting to see what will happen to traditional “on-premises” products – will they vanish? Just take a look at how Microsoft has discontinued a lot of products this year!
- Identities, certificates, federation! I think one of the most important things for next year and the years following are having a good identity infrastructure and identity management in place. This should be a priority for all companies and architects working in our business. It’s also the basic requirement to get any cloud services to work properly.
- Apps, devices and integration! For the cloud, hosted services etc to work the integration story must be better. We’ve seen a good start with Windows 8 (RT), Windows Phone 8, Office 2013 etc – but it’s not fully there yet. I think that this is what will be improved over the next 12 months and that might also be the key differentiator between the three large “ecosystems” – Windows, Linux/Android and the fruit camp.
What do you think?
Thank you and a happy new year!
With that I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and say thank you for 2012. I‘ve been having my doubts about 2013, but now I ‘m really looking forward to it. I have some cool events and travels planned, I know that my work at Connecta will contain some interesting opportunities and I know that the demand for SharePoint is ever increasing…
See you on the other side!
How to contact Wictor Wilén.
Wictor is using the @wictor handle on Twitter - follow him at http://twitter.com/wictor
To e-mail Wictor use the following e-mail address wictor (a) wictorwilen.se
YES! I'm finally alive with a new hosting provider - this time it's Microsoft (who could have guessed that!). Thanks to the just released Azure Web Sites I have now moved my blog from my old custom blog implementation (that has been a fun project though), to running Orchard on Azure Web Sites using SQL Azure. This finalizes my cloud migrations - last year I moved e-mail and everything but the site to Office 365 and started with a hosted service for this site, but for running this little blog that was a bit to expensive (you're not clicking the ads enough).
You have to bare with me for a little while until I get everything spinning. I apologize for any inconveniences with updated posts in your blog readers and other physical or mental illness caused from this. All blog posts should have been migrated fine (I know some stuff haven't got correctly through) keeping the old URL's and everything. I built a quick Orchard theme and haven't tried it in obscure browsers yet. Also Azure Web Sites is only in preview, so I expect it not to work 24/7 (my previous hosting provider didn't have that either though...).
If you do find something peculiar, don't hesitate to comment on it...
[Update] There seems to be an issue with Azure Web Sites/Orchard when I'm updating or adding modules, which makes the site go down for a couple of minutes. Hopefully I won't do this as often though...
Wictor Wilén is a Group Manager and SharePoint Architect working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2010.
Wictor is specialised in SharePoint Solution Architecture and has been involved in the SharePoint industry since the birth of SharePoint. He is also heavily involved in the SharePoint commnuity and is co-founder of the Swedish SharePoint User Group, SSUG. Wictor is author of SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action and co-author of Inside Microsoft SharePoint 2013.
2015 Group Manager/Collaboration Lead at Avanade Sweden
2009 - 2015 Director at Connecta AB (later Acando AB)
(2012 - 2014 Virtual Technical Solutions Professional, V-TSP, at Microsoft)
2007-2009 Architect at Pdb DataSystem AB
2000-2007 Co-Founder/Architect at iBizkit AB
1998-2000 SystemsDeveloper/Architect at Netsolutions/Framtidsfabriken/Framfab
Awards and Certifications
2013 Microsoft Certified Solutions Master - SharePoint (MCSM)
2012 Microsoft Certified Architect - SharePoint 2010 (MCA)
2011 Microsoft Certified Master - SharePoint 2010 (MCM)
2010 Connecta Specialist of the year
2010-2014 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional SharePoint Server (MVP)
2009-2014 Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
Multiple MCP, MCTS, MCITP, MCPD SharePoint, Windows and .NET certifications
Wictor has published one book called SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action (Manning).
Last Friday I got the fantastic message that I had successfully passed the Microsoft Certified Architect - SharePoint 2010 (MCA) certification, something I'm really proud of - but something most of the community never ever heard of. During this weekend I've been pinged and messaged by a lots of people asking the question "What is a Microsoft Certified Architect?". In this post I intend to answer it as thorough as possible, including my own personal aspects of it.
First of all let's answer the most common question - "How does the Microsoft Certified Architect relates to the Microsoft Certified Master exam?".
I might agree that Master sounds way cooler than Architect, but that isn't the real story. The Master certification (MCM) is the most highly technical exam you could ever get in the Microsoft world. The term technical is important here. During the MCM rotation and the exam you explore and learn all the scary and exciting internals and externals of SharePoint (or the other MCM:able products/technologies) from a technical perspective. You will learn from the best teachers and SME's and you will be in a class together with some really awesome and skilled persons. The MCM is both a course (3 weeks on site, or 1 week on site and 10 weeks off-site), a written exam and a qualification lab. Read more about my MCM experience in one of my older posts. To even apply for the MCA you need to be an MCM on the specific product your applying for and on the current version. This means that Microsoft already tested and verified your technical skills! So one could actually say that the MCA is like the Microsoft Certified Grandmaster...
"What is the MCA then?".
So, let's take a look at the Architect certification (MCA). The MCA takes the certification to another level, and focus on the business side of SharePoint (or the other MCA eligible products; SharePoint, Exchange, SQL and AD). The MCA is not a course, it is not something you sit in class and learn for a couple of weeks, it is not something you can study for - it is something you learn over the course of several years of experience with the products, in real business cases together with one or more customers.
"How do I apply for the MCA?".
When applying for the MCA you must supply a portfolio which includes details about real customer gigs, your CV and other documentation to prove that you are in the business for real. Once the program manager thinks you have "what it takes" and that you proven that, you will be scheduled for a board appearance. You need to work on your documents and prepare for the board presentation. This is not something you should do with your left hand - you need to put in some real effort here to produce a good set of documents and a good presentation. It is up to you to prove that you have "what it takes".
"So, how does the MCA board appearance work?".
The board appearance is the certification. You will spend almost a day together with the MCA board (consisting of other MCA's or specific SME's). You will do a presentation, a case study and you will have several intense Q&A sessions. Enough to make you choke. The board will then grade you on six different competencies (full list and details on the official site). Once you are done - all you can do is wait for the pass/no-pass e-mail. This is an exhaustive day for which you need to prepare. But as I said earlier - it all comes down to the actual experience you have in the industry and how used you are to being in these situations with clients. You can't study for the Q&A sessions.
"What's the value of an MCA certification?".
The MCA, and the MCM for that matter, costs a lot of money. So is it worth it? In my opinion definitely. It's really hard to say what the exact payback is. We're currently early in the SharePoint MCA process with quite few certified MCA's and only time will tell. I can directly say that I learnt a lot while preparing for the board appearance - with a lot of time reflecting on past projects. Also the actual board appearance was great in that way that the board tested me; both on my strong areas and weak ones - and now I know what parts I might need to step up on. Studies done on the MCM community shows benefits such as a higher hourly rate, easier recruitment, better and safer deliveries. So the MCM/MCA are really a quality stamp, with MCM focused on the technical aspects and MCA on understanding and implementing business requirements.
"Why did I do this?".
This is the question my wife asks me! Well, first of all I always try to be better in what I'm doing. And going down the MCA route surely did this. I now know what I know and know what I don't know and know what I want to know... Also I think it is great for my company, Connecta, to have this certification - it will definitely be a USP in attracting clients and co-workers. A big thank you to Connecta and my managers who believed in me enough to send me on both the MCM and MCA journey! In the end I know that both me personally, my company and my co-workers will benefit from this.
"I want to learn more about the MCA?".
So, now I've been ranting about the MCA (from my perspective) and there are probably tons of questions that remains unanswered. Use the following links to learn more.
- Microsoft Certified Architect program
- Microsoft Certified Master program
- Regularly held online events with the MCM/MCA program managers. If you're just a little bit interested make sure to attend one of these held by the awesome program mangers for the MCM/MCA programs and have your chance to ask your questions
- Announcing the Microsoft Certified Architect: SharePoint Server 2010 - MCA/MCM/MVP Spence Harbar writes about the SharePoint MCA program
That's it. I hope you have a far better understanding of what a Microsoft Certified Architect is.