So, as I dig deeper into this whole Visual Studio 2008 story, seeking alignment with products and industry use, one thought continues to occur to me. This thought leads me down a path that in my mind makes sense but may not resonate well with all.
How long does it take you to fully implement or utilize new technologies into your projects and gain a clear understanding of how this technology feeds into your applications and infrastructure?
Here is where this thought comes from. In the IT industry in general, makes no difference if we talk about developers or IT pros, there are always early adopters and then those who are not. Early adopters have access to the new tools and technologies by virtue of who they are or what they do. These organizations and individuals are typically Microsoft partners, MVPs, MCTs etc. But, what about the rest of you, those who only see glimpses of the products in public betas and CTP releases, or perhaps MSDN subscribers? You make up the majority of the users and you get a small window of opportunity become familiar with the new stuff.
Here is where I start to think out loud. Don't take this as an indication of what will happen, just take it as someone who is talking out loud to himself, trying to justify his thoughts.
For those of you who are certified, how much weight to you place on the Pro level certification as compared to the TS level certification? Remember that the TS level is designed to be the certification that proves skills in the "how to" arena. That is, you know how to implement specific features of the .NET framework. The Pro level is where you step away from the "how to" and more into the why, when and where of technology choices in the tools you use. In other words, you are given a somewhat high level application design from perhaps an architect. You are the one responsible for choosing the technolgies that will be used to implement the architecture, ie SqlClient compared to ODBC, Generic Collections in lieu of standard collections etc. This spec is passed to the TS who is responsible for implementing the functionality by writing the code.
So, for new technologies, how would you feel if the TS was the only certification released at product launch with the Pro certification delayed by 6 months to a year? This would allow ample time for adoption of the new technologies by a wider audience, yielding much better understanding of the usage of the technologies and thereby providing a much larger and more precise set of criteria by which to create the Pro level exams.
It is my opnion that this will create a much more relevant and accurate certification for the Pro level.
Again, these are just random thoughts as I work through the certification picture for VS2008. They may be like a single firework in the 4th of July celebrations. A bright spark but for a moment in time that if not captured in some form, will be certain to die out and fade with the next one that follows.
As usual, your thoughts and comments are welcome.