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Certification announcement by Microsoft and the Coronavirus outbreak

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In this post I want to cover the recent certification announcement by Microsoft and the Coronavirus outbreak. Because both are relevant topics at the moment.

Now, for the benefit of those who missed the announcement. Last week Microsoft announced that the MCSA, MCSD and MCSE certifications will be retired at the end of June.

From now on the focus will be on the new role-based certifications. You can read the announcement in detail here.

In addition, if you want to see what role-based certifications are currently available you can click on the link here. Afterwards, click the ‘certification type’ filter option and select ‘Role-based’.

Now I know this announcement has caused a lot of reactions from people. For instance, I have heard about people starting petitions online to get the deadline extended.

Azure requirement

Another key point is that it looks like for most of the new role-based certifications you will require access to Azure.

For example, the new Azure Database Administrator Associate certification. Which I know some people are already excited about and you can read about in detail here.

Of course, this could prove difficult for a lot of people. Because they only work with on premises versions of applications and operating systems.

If they have a Visual Studio Subscription there is a workaround for them. Which is to use the Azure credit that comes as part of their Visual Studio Subscription and study in their free time.

Otherwise, they may have to pay for their own Azure credit.


Personally, I have to admit I have mixed thoughts about these changes. Mostly because like others, it’s the second time I have seen MCSE related exams being retired.

At the same time, the newer style of the MCSA and MCSE certifications have being around for some time now. For example, I gained the new style MCSA certification for SQL Server 2008 back in 2013.

Of course, it’s annoying for those who have already started working to gain the certifications that are due to be retired. I know how it feels because it happened to me last year.

However, hopefully these changes will lead to more stability of certification paths and the introduction of more advanced certifications.

Personal choice

As far as gaining the certifications that are due to be retired are concerned, it’s all down to people’s personal choice.

People who have started studying for these certifications will have a decision to make. Which is if the certification is worth the effort to study hard and pass their outstanding exams before the end of June.

I posted previously some study tips for these exams to help others. Which you can read in detail here.

Corona virus

For those of you who aren’t aware, a Data Platform event was postponed last weekend due to spread of the Coronavirus.

It’s a big concern globally at the moment because of how fast it has spread.

Of course, I realise that people still need to travel as well. With this in mind, you can read the advice form the World Health Organization in detail here.

In addition, if you’re an event or user group organiser now would be a good time to consider backup plans like remote sessions just in case.

One positive thing

Because I want to end this post on a high note, I want to cover something positive that happened last week for Data Platform Professionals.

SQL Server 2016 SP2 Cumulative Update 12 was released last week which fixes a fair number of issues. You can read about that in detail here.

Final word

I hope this post about the certification announcement by Microsoft and the Coronavirus outbreak helps spread awareness about both.

I’m sure a lot of you have your own views about these topics and gaining Microsoft certifications in general.

With this in mind, you are more than welcome to share with a comment below.

Certification announcement by Microsoft and the Coronavirus
Published inCertificationsFood for thought

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