I wanted to put this post up earlier, but waited for official confirmation from Microsoft. Last Wednesday I took the 70-462 (Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases) certification exam and passed it!
Those that know the new SQL Server 2012 certification setup are saying, "So what, you still have 1 more to pass before MCSA and 2 more after that for MCSE". Yes, that is correct, but thankfully I was able to take all 5 of the exams in the SQL Server 2012 MCSE Business Intelligence series when they were in beta form last Spring. After waiting a few months to get the results on those beta exams (when you take them in beta you don't get the immediate results like you do for normal exams, they have to manually graded and evaluated) I found out that I had passed 3 out of the 5: 70-463 (Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012), 70-466 (Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012), 70-467(Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012). Ironically enough these are the last 3 exams in the series, not the first ones. I already passed 70-461 (Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012) in March after a few attempts as well.
With that I got my confirmation on Saturday morning from Microsoft that I had achieved the requirements for the SQL Server 2012 MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) certification. While I was relieved to get that message, I immediately logged into the MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) website to see if everything was there for MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) Business Intelligence as well. For some reason it was only showing the MCSA, not the MCSE. I was a bit surprised, but figured I would wait a couple of days to see what happened. Sure enough on Sunday morning I did get the message that I had the MCSE as well. Guess the MCP systems run a pass each night and can only pick up one of these certifications at a time.
For those of you out there that are also trying to get the new SQL Server 2012 certifications, keep pushing yourself to get them. For me getting these certifications is more of a personal goal, even though there are some benefits from Pragmatic Works as well. Hopefully you will also get the support your need. I have linked to each of the pages on the Microsoft site for the exams that I took. Microsoft has also published a great series of pages and videos on the Born to Learn 90 Days to MCSA series. If you are in the Denver area there is a Certification Study Group that meets every Thursday (except the 3rd Thursday of each month) at the Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church - Community Life Center (contact marketing at denversql dot org for more information).
If you have never taken a Microsoft certification exam before, I would encourage you to sign up to take one to get an idea of what they really are like, even if you really aren't ready. If you can sign up for one before May 31 there is a Second Shot deal going on, where you can get a voucher code that allows you to retake an exam that you didn't pass the first time again for free. Just make sure you request the voucher first and when you setup your exam appointment put that code into the voucher box on the registration form, then you will need to use that same voucher code again when you register to retake that same exam again. The Second Shot vouchers only work if you put it in the first time you take that specific exam.
This was my big goal for early 2013, so I'm glad to have that one off my back. I'm enjoying not worrying about studying for any other certifications right now, but I'm sure I'll find more to challenge myself with! I'm pushing myself to do more speaking engagements this year and so far it looks like it is paying off with 2 SQLSaturdays over the next 2 months (#215 in Jacksonville, FL & #200 in Philadelphia, PA). I'm planning on speaking at the Charlotte BI Group in August and I will be submitting for at least 3 other SQLSaturday's for September thru October. Plus, I did submit for PASS Summit as well, which hopefully I will get chosen for as well.