Certification 2.0?

For reasons which I'm contractually obligated not to disclose (meaning I could tell you, but I'd have to wound you...it's not that important :)), I have an abiding interest in the certification process at Microsoft. Prior to the release of these new certifications, I was not a huge fan. Not just of Microsoft, you understand, but any certification that I had been exposed to. The biggest problem (as I saw it) was a combination of meaningless questions (who wants to remember whether it's Save or Write...I can just Google...er...MSN Search for it) and the watering down of the value of the certification through sites that include 'dumps' of questions and answers from people who have taken the exam. When I saw a 9-year old as the youngest MCSD, I figured the overall value was not that high.

The latest round has made an attempt to solve the problem of meaningless questions. However, it is still possible to get dumps of the questions and answers, so the watering down process still exists.

But the value of certifications is not dead. A friend of mine, Howard Dierking, is in a position to improve the process to make them more valuable on a number of fronts. Check out this post to get a sense of the ideas that he is working on. More importantly, let him know if they make sense or if you can suggest any improvements. I think these ideas are a good step towards making certifications relevant. And since I now hold a couple of them, I have a vested interest. ;)