My MCM experience

This is sort of a delayed post but its better late than never right? In March I got to attend MCM SharePoint R2 rotation in Seattle Washington along with I guess 16 other SharePoint peeps mostly internal full time MS employees and a handful of partners and MVP’s. There has been couple of really good posts on MCM experience by Spence, Maurice, and others so I’m not going to repeat some of the things you may have already heard, hopefully this post will give you some additional perspective.


Things you should do before you start your MCM training

  • You will get a very comprehensive list of pre-read, make sure you read through as much material as you can, sometimes this can be very hard especially in my case I was in the middle of the project and couldn’t get through many items in the pre-read list.
  • Make arrangements to stay in corporate housing (ABODA) and if you can share with another candidate it can work out very affordable, especially external folks. Additionally you can pick up your favorite vegetables/meat or what ever from grocery store and cook your meal instead of eating out everyday. There is also an ok gymn.
  • Depending on the time you are in Seattle get a good understanding of what the weather is like around that time, ask the MCM coordinators about weather and make sure you come prepared. In my case I was there in March and pretty much rained every day, I’m an avid runner, I didn’t bring my rain gear and couldn’t run outside, so I basically had no runs the entire 3 weeks I was there. Really threw my schedule off
  • Be prepared to be in Seattle entire 3 weeks that means no travelling back on weekends.

During the training

  • Take advantage of the Infrastructure available for you, for ex MCM team provides every candidate a server environment with 16GB ram and plenty of hard drive space for all those VMS, there is also pre-configured farms available for HOL and anything else you may want to work on. I stayed late most of the days to work on some infrastructure type of things that you probably won’t do much, for ex things like configuring log shipping, mirroring, ADFS setup etc
  • Learn as much as you can, I can remember last time I was in a similar environment was back in college, you won’t get opportunity like this to dedicate entire time purely for learning and not being bugged by your wife and kids :)
  • Stick to a good balanced schedule, and take advantage of networking opportunities (Get together at BLDG 16 was cool, I enjoyed my conversations with Brion Stone (Mr. Search) and others
  • Last but not least “HAVE FUN” Seattle definitely has some good restaurants around, I personally loved the Malaysian Restaurant and the Vietnamese PHO, then there is also Udupi Palace a South Indian vegetarian restaurant (I’m originally from South India so finding this place really made my day). <update> Don’t drink and drive, Spence and I almost had our mug shots taken, got pulled over after few drinks and it was my confident “no sir I did not have any drinks that saved the day” :) </update>

I haven’t passed MCM yet, but I’m confident I will soon. If I were to do it all over again I would probably spend more time reading through pre-read, like I said I was in the middle of project with 3hr commute everyday, was just too much for me to have any kind of time to go through all the pre-read, had to work my behind off 3 weeks I was there. Also I would read the QUAL lab instructions bit more thoroughly I ended up working on wrong farm and lost lot of time troubleshooting, there is just way too much stuff to do so you can’t waste any time troubleshooting

Lastly my congrats to all 6 that passed first try, I know it is not a walk in the park, so I tip my hat off to them and my best wishes to future candidates and there is no better feeling to do it first shot.


I’m now MCM for SharePoint 2007




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