SQL Server 2008 and Certifications

Ok, so we have communicated to you about Visual Studio 2008, but some of you are saying what about SQL Server 2008?

Well, as you may or may not know, SQL Server 2008 will not ship until some time next year, 2008.  As a result, you have lots of time to get ready for the product launch.

You should also start looking at getting ready for the certifications.  Currently on our plan are two new SQL Server TS level exams.  Exam 70-432 will be the SQL 2008 equivalent to 70-431 for SQL 2005 and 70-448 will be the equivalent to 70-445, again on SQL 2008.

What can you do to prepare for them?  Take a look at the prep guides for 70-431 and 70-445 at this time to get a good start.  The design session for 70-432 is taking place tomorrow through to Friday which means the exam outline won't be decided until that is complete.  This shouldn't stop you from preparing now however as you can concentrate on the items in the prep guide for 70-431, as the features across 2005 and 2008 are relatively the same except for new additions.

What are the new additions?  Download the November CTP and install it so that you can become familiar with it now.  Open Books Online and pay attention to the What's New section for features that have been added or changed.  These will likely be on the exam.

Microsoft Learning also has three eLearning clinics on what's new in SQL 2008 and you can access them for free right now here.

If you have been reading my earlier posts around the Pro level certifications and exams, you know that I am leaning toward delaying the release of the Pro level exams until 6 months to a year after the TS exams release.  This is to provide an opportunity for you to get more experienced with the product and understand how it fits in your organization.  By doing so, this will also help to create better Pro exams that are more relevant to the technology and its use, with the information coming from industry experts who are at the Pro level.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.