I really appreciate that Microsoft has made it easier to track and plan one’s certification with their Certification Planner site. Currently, I use a program I wrote that tracks all the requirements for each certification or body of knowledge in which I’m interested in attaining the credential or knowledge and experience. Periodically, I’ll revisit those details and confirm their accuracy or adjust their priority/weights.
Using Microsoft’s applet was simple to use. It lists each possible track one could take to a certification goal in a simple tree structure where folders provide key information such as whether you currently meet all the requirements and if not, the number of objectives remaining and which ones qualify.
Aside from the link I include in this post, one can get to the site from the Microsoft Certification Home Page and then selecting “Certification Planner” from the “View My…” button list in the left navigation menu.
Once you select the track that you’d like to pursue based on your in-progress certifications, a pop-up will launch with that certification at the top level. What I really like here is that the system knows by the tests you’ve passed or failed what tracks are possible and only lists those tracks. A neat side effect is that it allows for some enlightening discoveries like simple specialties that can be added. For example, one might not know that by substituting one exam for another not only can the same base certification be achieved but that with another one or two exams, a specialist track can be attained as well.
Look how lazy I was to not have taken a simple test on a product which I am very familiar! The shame! ;->
There are a few improvements I’d like Microsoft to make:
- Allow for selections of test criteria which can then be downloaded (or stored on Sky Drive)
- Support other browsers and operating systems better. (I’ve not gotten the applet to work under OSX browsers.)
- Allow attribute such as font size to carry from the main style sheet.
Overall though, I give Redmond some props for continuing to improve their educational and related training and certification systems.