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Microsoft Certified Architect Program

The Microsoft Certified Architect Program validates top industry experts in IT Architecture. These professionals have 10 or more years of experience in IT with at least 3 years of experience as a practicing architect, and possess strong technical and leadership skills and form a distinguished community. Unlike other IT certifications, this credential was built and is granted by industry architects, as candidates must pass a rigorous review board with previously certified architects.

This certification is targeted to practicing solutions architects and infrastructure architects who have successfully applied frameworks and methodologies to create an architecture that serves the entire IT life cycle. These architects can employ multiple technologies to solve business problems and provide business metrics and measurements to describe the success or failure of the projects they drive.

The certification has already received the thumbs-up from some of the IT industry's most influential veterans. "Setting standards is important, especially if those standards are high enough to create an assurance that someone who meets the standard is capable of doing a high-quality job," said Tony Redmond, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for HP Services, whose team worked with Microsoft Learning to develop the Microsoft Certified Architect credential. "Apart from individual achievement, a program like this is great for customers because you know that when you work with one of the elite, you truly are working with one of the best."

The Microsoft Certified Architect Program is currently in its pilot phase and is conducting initial board reviews with recognized industry architects. Once the pilot program is complete, the certification will be available to the general public. Entry into the program will be limited as each person selected to enter the program will be assessed and coached by a Microsoft Certified Architect. Those interested in entering the program will complete an application, and selection for entrance will be limited by the number of certified architects available to support the candidates.

The difficulties with this is are many...

  • Institution of Architects is not happy with this as only it holds the right to certify architects! (Albeit not the same type but...)
  • Microsoft have failed to get buy in from the relevant institutes such as the IEEE.
  • Cost - at a rumored $10K a shot this is not a normal certification and certainly not in line with say Chartered Engineer / Incorporated Engineer
  • Will a Microsoft certification be seen as worth while following on from the less than successful vision of MCSE and MCSD
  • Numbers will be very limited - how long before this is another requirement for Gold Partner qualification (or the rumored Platinum Partner!)
  • Very US centric - the need for 4 'peers' to sit in judgment means the need for 4 to be available in the UK for example
  • Why only Solution and Infrastructure why no Enterprise Architect, System Architect

So, I've got 10 years + experience (started in 1980) , been an architect for 5+ years, could get sponsorship for the$10k. Do I need it - I don't feel it is 'worth it' yet. Now I was a Chartered Engineer in my previous career and before that an Incorporated engineer. That did mean something where ever I went....

I would very much like to see the Engineering Council run with this one - then we would be talking.....

Devils advocate thought - bet MCS guys get qualified quick and we'll all have to have a MCA on our projects - if we don't have on MCS will supply on at cost.

Final thought - watch the pay hike for MCA's - only pay it if you think its worth it!

This is a hot topic that will run and run. I'm still not convinced.......



Posted on Tuesday, November 8, 2005 7:35 PM Architecture | Back to top

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