I was recently asked by a potential SQL MCM candidate if we could share testimonials about the SQL Microsoft Certified Master program from non-Microsoft employees  Out of the 57 MCMs in the world, only 12 are not Microsoft employees  (by the way – the numbers on our Meet the Microsoft Certified Masters and Microsoft Certified Architects page only show SQL MCMs/MCAs that have opted-in to share their status).  Nonetheless, these folks represent 21% of an already small (but growing) community.

So after emailing a few of our non-Microsoft SQL MCMs, we got a few replies that I thought would be great to share with the world (with their permission, of course).

The following quote is from Bob Duffy, a Database Architect for Prodata.  Bob holds both the SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 versions of the Microsoft Certified Master certification, as well as being a Microsoft Certified Architect:

“I can 100% recommend the MCM programs. Three weeks to get master level content from some of the best guys in the world is awesome. It really is a chance to solidify knowledge, fill cracks, move up a notch, see different perspectives and get the top most technical certification on the planet for SQL Server. After 18 years in the database industry it was the most I have been  pushed in terms of knowledge and experiences in such a short space of time. Before the MCM I was almost coasting along on knowledge and self-improvement.

 For me there has been tremendous benefit, especially in terms of :

a)    Instant recognition, especially when dealing with Microsoft related customers and projects.

b)           Access to the MCM content and IP as it matures each release.

c)            Nearly lifetime membership to a network of elite experts  in SQL Server.

d)           Moving to the top of the pile on potential candidates for a project.

 As a side note the pressure and challenge are huge too – no one takes it in their stride without some sweat…”

Thanks much to Bob for sharing his experiences - and I'll share more testimonials over time,

Joe