We kicked off the seventh rotation of the SQL Server Microsoft Certified Master program on Monday and I have to say how impressed I am with this latest batch of 12 candidates.  The cumulative experience in the room is significant, and the intelligence and skill level is very high.  Even though we have a room full of experts, this is still a very thoughtful and humble group.  This bodes well for the next three weeks.

It is only the third day of the first week – and the journey is just beginning for them.  Over the next three weeks they’ll be getting instruction from luminaries of the SQL world – including Paul Randal, Kimberly Tripp, Adam Machanic, Gert Drapers, and Greg Low.   

At night, they must study.  During the weekends, they must study. 

Study for what?  Three two hour “written” exams and on the last day, a six hour hands on qualification lab. 

They will get a couple of breaks.  Tonight we’re taking a trip to Seattle for a round of darts, pool and beer.  And on the last week, we’ll be taking a trip to Building 35 to meet a few members of the SQL product team. 

But what will they be doing tomorrow night, or the night after, or next Saturday night?  Studying and lab practice.  Wish them luck!