I passed the first test of 3 for my Microsoft MCAD Certification! I passed the test called "Developing Windows Based Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic.NET and Microsoft Visual Studio"
It has been a longtime goal of mine to get the Microsoft Certification for Programmers, so it is a great personal victory for me to have passed the first test. I didn't actually think that I would pass it, I was taking it to see how hard the test was and how hard I would have to study to pass it because I got a take-it-again-for-free coupon. :) But I did in fact pass it on my first try. I scored a 775, while the minimum score to pass is a 700, so I passed by a margin of 3 questions on a 38 question test. I was certainly happy coming out of the test.
Now I think I will stop having those nagging nightmares where I'm in school again and can't find my class. Something that didn't bother me conciously, but something - perhaps in retrospect humerously - that bugged me subconsiously. So it's a great personal victory for me. In addition to a great professional affirmation of my skillsets, it's proof to myself that I haven't lost my academic touch.
Gotta go celebrate!
(added 3/19/2005) My father-in-law, Stayner Lewis, asked a good question about the certification: "what kind of certifiation is this." So.. let me put this certification in perspective. Most professional professions have their industry accepted degrees/lisences/certifications/advanced degrees. Lawyers have the bar, Actualary accountains have their standard set of tests, CPAs have their test/certifications. Business people can get an MBA. Well programmers are a interesting animal. There isn't really a common advanced degree or an industry wide certification for programmers. Maybe because programming is relatively new compared to law, medicine, tax, and insurance. Also, the skill that need to be demonstrated are technology specifc: Sun's Java Language Microsoft's .NET language, Cisco's various languages, etc. So what can a programmer do to further his education and demostrate compentency in programming skills? This is where Professional Programming Certifications come into play. Each company produces its own set of tests, and Microsoft's program is called MCP, Microsoft Certified Professional.
When I finish the "MCAD" certification that I'm working on, the acronym will go next to my name on my business cards and email signatures etc: "Joseph Fluckiger, MCAD". Has a nice ring to it doesn't it? anyway, hope that helps clarify a bit.