After spending a month trapped in certification limbo, I am happy to announce that I’ve officially finished my Windows Server 2008 certifications, giving me my MCSA: Windows Server 2008 and my MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008 certifications. This means that I just have to write two more exams to get to the Windows 8/Windows Server 2012 level, and then decide if I want to pursue an MCSE.
What was particularly fun about this set of exams was the time limit. I learned in early January that several exams that I needed to write were scheduled for retirement at the end of January. This meant that in order to get my credentials, I had to finish 5 exams in about 4 weeks. I did it by the skin of my teeth, with plenty of late nights and lots of studying.
I even learned something interesting about the Microsoft exam system. It seems that an exam’s retirement date is simply the last day that you can register to write it. You can still actually write it up to 8 weeks out (at least based on Prometric’s scheduling system), but there is no second shot if you fail. Going into this, I didn’t know that, so had to take a gamble that I would be able to write the last exam that I needed, the 70-643, which was scheduled to be retired on January 31. My options were to either write it in Kelowna on January 30, which in January is a dangerous drive from here, or to schedule it for February 4th and risk not being able to write it or get the credit.
I wasn’t willing to risk the Coquihalla in January, so I took the risk and wrote and passed the exam on February 4th. Of course, that wasn’t the end of it. It can take 7 to 10 days for Prometric to report the results to Microsoft and get the exam added to your transcript. So, I waited patiently, if anxiously, until February 20, and still had not received a response. Worried, I sent an email to the appropriate department, who, after checking into it, promised to fix the problem within 3-5 business days.
As of last night, everything has finally registered properly in the portal, so I can breathe a sigh of relief, proudly display my new credentials, and move onto the next challenge.