Survey: SQL Server MCM cancellation – does it affect you?

I’m sure most of you have heard the news now that Microsoft has effectively cancelled the MCM/MCSM/MCA program abruptly, with a cold email sent at 10pm last Friday night. There’s a lot of anger in the community about the way it was done – with only one month’s notice for people to attempt the exams before everything closes down October 1st.

The Connect item to bring the certifications back had almost more than 850 up-votes before it was closed and made inaccessible outside of Microsoft (due to abuse from a small handful of people) and there are lots of impassioned comments berating Microsoft for cancelling the program. Plus many people have blogged their thoughts – I liked Jason Brimhall’s post that I linked to in my commentary in yesterday’s SQLskills Insider newsletter.

[Edit: the survey is closed – results are here.]

I think it would be interesting to know just how many are affected by this decision, as I know that many of you have invested time studying for the MCM and money and time attending classes like ours.

And that’s the point of this survey. I’ll editorialize the results next week. You’ll notice there’s only one “No I’m not affected” answer – that’s because I’m only interested in the number of unaffected people.


14 thoughts on “Survey: SQL Server MCM cancellation – does it affect you?

  1. I’m taking the lab a week from tomorrow on the 12th. If I don’t make it out successfully, it sure would have been nice to have another month or two to beef up for a retake. I just have to pass on the first try right?

    Thanks for the survey, and the training.

    -Ryan Rinehart

  2. People who have invested time studying for the MCM will have learned skills that they can use in their job, this is not a loss in my opinion. Companies that offer classes will be harder hit since… well… there is no MCM anymore, however those classes are still useful. hat said employers might be reluctant to pay for these classes if there is no certificate attached to it.

    I think we will just have to wait to see what happens a couple of months from now, maybe they will reverse the decision or come up with some other type of certification (but then again who is going to trust them not to kill that as well)

    Who know maybe the new CEO that comes in will think the MVP and RD programs are a waste of time and scrap those too?

  3. This is bad form on Microsoft’s part, all around.

    At the very least, they need to allow everyone who has completed the Knowledge Exam sufficient time to have two attempts at the Lab Exam.

    Looking back, I’m very glad I had the chance to do the SQLskills “rotation” for the MCM. I made a lot of good friends, and received tons of encouragement that culminated in my completing the SQL MCM.

    And then a month later, it gets canceled.

  4. That is such a bummer.
    I had worked my way through the rest of the SQL Server 2008 certs this year, and was hoping to cap it with the MCM before the New Year.
    Now I will have to console myself with the MCSA and MCSE, but no MCSM, for SQL Server 2012.
    This is like climbing most of the way up Mt. Everest, only to find that the last few thousand feet had been lopped off.

  5. Wow, so I’m scared to say this because everyone seems so mad. I went to college, got a job as a DBA, and then my experience built from there. The certifications have always just been something my manager nags me about for some marketing reason. I’ve never had a problem getting a job and I’ve always been paid well. The market is short on DBA’s right now, so who really needs to distinguish themselves, I have recruiters calling me all day without it. All the blogs and comments on the cancelling of the program seems very one sided.

    Would you not blog if you didn’t have MCM next to your name? The people make the community, not Microsoft’s stamp.

    I’d be interested to see a global map of the number of MCM’s per country.

  6. I missed the MCM 2008 due to personal commitments and was planning to perhaps do the 2012 one. I always viewed the MCM as the PHD of SQL server.Lets hope that Microsoft brings something new to the table, they have over the years made some really tight decision’s and also some good one’s lets not forget that. To all current MCM’s you still have my respect (whatever that means to you). Please do not stop sharing your knowledge and your experiences and keep the web content up to date , cause guys like me that cannot attend master classes, Pass summits or Tech-Ed’s, use your knowledge you share online to become better at my job .

    In light of everyone being up in is a old joke I found on the net.

    Q. What platform does Oracle run best on?

    A. An overhead slide projector.

    Have a nice day.

  7. I think the only sensible choice Microsoft have is to reverse the decision; as Denis says, even if they come up with a new cert to replace it, it’s going to be hard for people to believe that will be around long enough to warrant working towards and add value to their career, when Microsoft will simply change it for something else later on anyway… Microsoft need to stop ‘playing’ with all these certs and renaming them as well (The whole MCSE/MCSA change is confusing; I now have MCSE/MCSA for Windows/Exchange and SQL Server 2012….and they are completely different cert paths). Good luck to Ryan and all those about to sit the Lab exam; hopefully Microsoft will extend the deadline for those already signed up to take this if needed.

  8. Really feel sorry for the people who have studied or are currently studying for these qualifications. They are very expensive and have read about the many hours people study in order to gain the qualification. I aspired to complete these certifications, but will think long and hard now on studying for any mircosoft certification if this is how they are going to treat the professional community.

    On the plus side there seems to be a market opening up. Will you offer a “SQL Skills” SQL Server Certified Master? Would be a well recognised certification.

  9. Cancellation of MCM does not really affect me, I had always thought of it as another way for Microsoft to make money because it is very expensive. A number of MCM is very low (less than 300) in any case and most companies do not know about MCM certification. I think there is no demand for MCM hence Microsoft to come to the decision of cancellation.

  10. It all come down to ROI $.Right now the Demand is greater then the supply for DBA’s (my phone doesnt stop ringing…Thank god). Therefore there is little to np ROI for an MCM for most DBA’s. I am sure there is for a few of us but probaly not enough to keep the program going.

  11. I helped interview some DBA’s with Blue Chip Resumes, which were very impressive, however we asked some simple questions in a short test and was amazed that most of the candidates struggled. This was a test to see that they could do the job, not trying to catch anybody out with tricky questions. I feel strongly that certification which could be relied on is very valuable for a lot of Microsoft customers, unfortunately MCM is the only Certification that backups someone’s experience with their level of expertise. Anybody can say they are a DBA, the fact that most of the Certificates have no value does not mean people without them are any good!

    1. Geoff,
      I’ve interviewed A LOT of people. The same goes for those with MS Certifications. Experience is all it comes down to. Plenty of people have studied their way to a pass grade on a certification but still don’t know how to “do the job”. Maybe colleges should start offering a degree in database administration.

  12. So I got an email today that is from advanced certifications looks like good news!:

    Hello Candidates,

    According to our records, you are registered for an upcoming MCM/MCSM Knowledge or Lab exam. To allow additional time for exam preparation, and earning of the certifications, we have extended the retirement date of the exams to December 31, 2013. Registration for the exams must be completed by December 17, 2013.

    If you would like to leave your exam as scheduled, there is no action required. If you choose to reschedule your exam, please send an email to with a few preferred dates. We will do our best to accommodate your requested date. There will be no fee’s associated with rescheduling your exam. The new exam time is not confirmed until you have received a new outlook invitation. Due to the high volume of requests, our response may be delayed.

    Best regards,

    Advanced Certification Operations

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