Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Microsoft Certified Architect - Is it worth it?

Since I pass my MCA certification (solution architect) last year, I keep getting many questions from peers about MCA. Given the cost and efforts involved in getting certified, many wonder if it is worth getting certified.
I think, it definitely is. Here is why -
1) First, it is pretty hard to get through. That is what makes in more valuable. It is recognized highly in the industry. You may be surprise to know how many CIOs are aware of this certification. I am personally benefited from the MCA title at numerous occasions.
2) It is not only the Technology certification. It stresses equally on many other aspects such as Leadership, Communication, Organizational Dynamics, Strategy, and Processes along with technology (breadth and depth). You will not be able to get through if you are too operational OR too hands-off.
(Contrary to popular belief it is nothing to do with Microsoft technology. I presented case study based on J2EE technologies.)
3) It certifies the experience and not the knowledge alone. In the interview, all the questions are targeted for judging what you have done (rather than what you know). The questions are pretty deep. It is almost impossible to bluff in front of 4 experienced senior architects.
4) It is a great experience of going through the certification process - the mentoring, preparations and appearing in front of the board for interviews. You learn a lot in the process. You don't lose much even if you happen to fail.
5) Finally, though it is tough, if you have experience of architecting systems and if you put right efforts preparing your case studies and presentations, it is something achievable. It is definitely worth trying if you want to make career as an architect.

If you are not aware of Microsoft certification process, refer to -

I found a very interesting blog that describes the architecture process in a much lucid way -

I will be happy to assist if you are preparing for the certification.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Amit for giving your experience and insight for the preparation of MCA.

    It is very crisp and consice information for an MCA aspirants.