Last Tuesday I passed a certification exam that was quite valuable. It was a difficult exam, but in the end the system congratulated me. I was extremely happy… and then I had to wait. Minutes, hours… it was not until the next morning that I received the email from CompTIA congratulating me on my new certification. I was then able to download the logo, add it to my CV, and announce that I had earned it.
A week later (this past Tuesday) I passed another exam. It was a very simple exam, probably geared more toward either novices or sales people. Passing it meant absolutely nothing to me, and the credential was meaningless. I finished the exam in less than 20 minutes. I got up from the exam desk, poured myself a cup of coffee, and when I got to my desk there was an e-mail from Microsoft congratulating me on passing the exam.
I understand that these things have come a long way from when I started down the certification path. When I passed my first exam (March, 2003) I walked out of the exam room and was handed a score report. Both the secretary and the score report informed me that I would receive notification from Microsoft within 2-3 weeks, at which point I would be able to start using the MCP logo. Yes, we have come a long way.
Don’t you think though that they might build some sort of system that would prioritize meaningful exams, and rather than let us sit nervously for a day (wondering if we misread the exam screen, that maybe we did not actually pass), they could send off an e-mail just a bit quicker?