MCM Lab exam, attempt two

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Failing is good. At least I know what’s expected from me now. I can imagine the re-test being similar, but not the same, so memorizing parameters and stuff would mean nothing.

I started to study instead. Study meant even more advanced consulting, trying to get customers to do things I need to test, which is much harder than you can imagine, because customers often know what they want to have done… I also started to look at the MCM Videos. They were a great help in keeping track of what I’d revisited and what I still had to do. iPad with a video player, and long train rides was my rescue here 🙂 Also reading Paul Randals and Brent Ozars blogs took some time here. (Actually the entire and are well worth a visit)

The last of April arrives in giant leaps. I took another long train ride, looking at videos and doing some SQL-stuff on the train. The two days (sat-sun) before the exam was well spent in a mix of lab/BOL and walking around in Berlin.

Exam day: Even though I was well prepared for the exam, slept well and expected 6.5 hrs of brain mashing activities, I was really empty when I got out. First feeling was that I completed all test parts this time. But then the second guessing started… I should have done that instead. Ahhh, I forgot to check that statement – or did I? – And the second waiting period started.

It took until July 4 before I got the mail this time. The title was something “Congratulations” and I had got the perfect start of my vacation. Croatia, you are going to be visited by a fresh MCM!

MCM Lab exam, attempt one

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Back in Berlin. New Years Eve!

First I went to the big party at Brandenburger Tor. A lot of music and wurst, no beer. Brain must be fit for the certification.

This time I had actually done some preparing. First the obvious prepairing – reading BOL and consulting. Then also some installing of clusters, optimizing and testing aspects of T-SQL. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I expected worse than last time.

Certification started. 6½ hrs later the certification ended – and I wasn’t done. That has NEVER happened to me. I usually do a 2 hr cert in 45 minutes. Now I wasn’t done!

Exiting the building, I walked. Just walked. A few hours later, I was at the hotel. I think I must have ate something, but I don’t know what. It felt bad. I know I failed some of the lab, but… No, I didn’t think I had passed. A few days later I got the verdict: Fail! – but not by much. Much less than I would  have expected from the feeling.

After sorting out my mind, I was also a bit amazed. Imagine squeezing so much hard and harder knowledge to be performed (as in artistery/performance) in that relatively short time. Next time I have to work faster, think smarter and be “expertier”.

First attempt of SQL MCM theory

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In august 2011, I went to Berlin, that happened to be the closest MCM certification center for me in Sweden. I didn’t know what to expect from this certification at all. Somewhere I hoped that working with SQL Server from 1994 and teaching Microsoft courses since 1997 would help…

Certification started at 9:30 in the morning, so I went there a day before, to be able to chill in the hotel bar – or nervously trying to sleep 🙂

When the (food- and drink-less) certification was over, I felt brain-picked! I really felt like someone had squeezed my head for knowledge. I took a well deserved japanese soup and the waiting begun.

Happiness!! In a few weeks I got an email that said I passed the first test. Now it was “only” the 6.5 hour lab to pass.