Last week, in the immediate aftermath of the sudden announcement by Microsoft of the cancelling of the MCM/MCSM (Microsoft Certified Master) program, I kicked off a survey asking how the decision affects you. I hoped it would be one more data point that would help persuade Microsoft Learning (MSL) that the MCM program should continue. Alas, it is not to be, as on Monday’s con-call between the MCM community and MSL it was made very clear that the program is effectively dead.

Although the MCM webpage still says that October 1st is the deadline for taking the exams, for those of you now hurrying to complete the certification, MSL have extended the deadline to December 31st. See Ryan Rinehart’s comment for confirmation of this.

Here are the results of the survey.

MCM Death of the MCM program

The “Other” responses are:

  • 5 x “I had always planned to work towards MCM certification.”
  • 4 x “I’m disappointed, but accept the rationale.”
  • 3 x “I am taking the lab a week from tomorrow. I’d like to be able to retake if i don’t make it!”
  • 3 x “I support ms decision because the design of mcm is wrong though mcm’s purpose is right”
  • 3 x “I’m pretty much tired of all the changes going on, and will probably wait for SQL 2014 certification.”
  • 3 x “Just one more reason why i never pursued certs in the first place. the programs change to frequently”
  • 3 x “no i don’t see this having any direct effect on me but i am disgusted that miscrosoft can treat peoples investment of time and effort so casually.”
  • 1 x “Combination of spent time & money studying and taking the prerequisite certifications because they are prerequisites”
  • 1 x “I am an MCM who was planning to sit the MCA review board and won’t be able to before the program shuts down.”
  • 1 x “I was enrolled for the October rotation.”
  • 1 x “I was waiting for a BI one”
  • 1 x “I’m MCSM: Messaging and had another rotation (DS) scheduled in October”
  • 1 x “stop whining, its not like they are going to change this because of this poll”
  • 1 x “What is MCM?”
  • 1 x “Yes, I have a team of SQL Professionals and MCM is on all of their personal goals. I had 2 due to take this by EoY – one who is stuck between Exam and Lab, with booking engine down. Very disappointed that this prestigious and aspirational Certification is being cancelled”

And there you have it. I feel particularly bad for those people who have spent time and money taking prerequisite exams, or have passed the knowledge exam but not the lab exam.

I made my feelings on the decision pretty clear in the Insider newsletter editorial last week – I’m very sad about the decision, the manner in which it was made, and the manner in which it was communicated – having been deeply involved in the SQL MCM program since the very first Ranger rotation inside Microsoft.

I’m not going to waste your time by reiterating the same arguments about certifications and the MCM program that you’ve probably read several times now over the last two weeks. But I do urge you to read the eloquent post by Joe Sack (who used to run the SQL MCM program) on the subject and the really disappointing con-call with MSL: We can handle the truth.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything Joe says, including the part about being very wary of advocating any future advanced certification that Microsoft comes up with, if they even do – which many of us doubt.

Although the MCM has been removed as the focus point for learning goals, learning still goes on, and people will still aspire to make themselves better SQL Server professionals.

Don’t give up learning – it’s always worth it.