The value of Technical Certifications for Practicing Architects

By Steve Force

Even at this stage of my game, over 40 years into what we use to call Data Processing, I still pursue technical certifications.

One would think that at this point of my professional life, I would remain focused on Enterprise Architecture and CxO-level reading and learning. Indeed, I do. And have done so for years, having earned an MBA almost 15 years ago, and have held the PMI PMP almost as long (Certified ScrumMaster came later.)

However, I also keep my technical tools sharpened as well, as I firmly believe a practicing IT architect needs to remain firmly grounded on technological changes in addition to business transformation strides. Why? Because to me they go hand in hand. This is my professional focal point–where these two meet. For me, it is a very satisfying place to be.

hat technical Certifications do I personally deem important? Cloud Architecture. Which providers? For my practice– Amazon Cloud Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. OpenStack and Pivotal are secondary considerations.

So what’s new on my certification front? Well, since Microsoft is retiring their MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect then end of March, for the new MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, and since I already had one of the three tests under my belt, I will complete the MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect this month. Keeps me on my toes.

So, as of now, not including my many other industry certs (AWS, etc) and professional certs, I now have successfully passed over 26 Microsoft exams dating back to 1994.

Each exam is difficult; I am glad I am keeping up with technology. It is who I am.

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