Just in time for next version of SharePoint to arrive I just completed the final certification exam for SharePoint 2007, the 70-630 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Configuring. As always I did think that it should be some tricky questions or problems to solve in the exam, I even installed a MOSS RTM last night just to walk through the admin interfaces before the infrastructure upgrade. But to my disappointment this certification was by no means any challenge. This was by far the easiest of the four exams.
After taking the two developer (70-541 and 70-540) and the configuring exams (70-631 and now 70-630) I really think that Microsoft has failed in creating exams that has any kind of value as a certification. To have some kind of validity on these exams/certifications they should give you a challenge, it should be (must be) hard to pass them. I really hope that Microsoft totally changes how these certifications are outlined and put together for the certifications of the next version of SharePoint. Passing these exams today says nothing (and do not even mention if you failed them). Make the questions into more troubleshooting, especially the configuring exams, have questions on the best practices, make some kind of scenario with linked questions and perhaps even some kind of virtual lab I understand that all problems and best practices are not “invented” when the exams hits the streets, but why not having a level 2 exam coming a year or so later, that has some higher status.
Last week at the SharePoint User Group meeting we had a session with Sweden’s first SharePoint Master who told us about the Master certification program - and that is what I call certification. Ok, not everyone will be or even have the chance to be a Master (read Spencer Harbars post) and I do not want the standard exams to be this hard/impossible. Those who passes the MCM are not only Masters they are immortals!
Anyways, I know have the four ones and really looking forward to being acquainted with SharePoint 2010. Not all was bad with these exams though, they made me read through a set of books, making some labs on my own and with that I learned a whole lot.