Today I passed a Microsoft exam, specifically 70-483 Programming in C#. I believe this will be the 8th one I've passed to date. Despite the title sounding fairly simple, the exam syllabus was quite wide and included parts of the C# language and .NET Framework a lot of people may not have used before. I was therefore relieved when I passed it.
Working with Azure most days, If I do any Microsoft Exams next, they will probably be the Azure ones starting with Azure Fundamentals and eventually the Machine Learning with Azure one.
Most places I have worked (including Leasing.com) have been Microsoft Silver Partners meaning if they have a number of developers that are Microsoft Certified, the business gets free/reduced MSDN subscriptions. This equates to a saving of thousands of pounds in licensing fees so it makes sense for businesses to encourage their developers to get Microsoft Certified.
If you are a software developer working with Microsoft technologies I recommend sitting at least one of these exams to become Microsoft Certified. They have certainly helped me throughout my career especially when starting out.
Lead by Example
Even though as Development Manager, I find myself writing less code these days I feel it is important to not only practice hands on development (more in my free time TBH) and sit these exams. Working with developers whom have been reticent to sit the exams in the past, it allows me to guide them as to which exam matches their strengths and help them prepare for the exams.
I also feel it hypocritical to encourage my developers to sit these exams if I don't sit them myself. I have always struggled with people in positions that manage developers whom aren't technical themselves. This is one of the reasons I keep the technical part of my role up to par.
Diploma Business Administration
My current learning goal that I am pursuing is a Diploma in Business Administration from Oxford Learning College. The syllabus is pretty standard for a course/qualification of this kind
- Business Administration
- Human Resource, HR, Management
- Team Based Leadership
- Management Accounting
- Project Management
- Consulting Skills
- Presentation Skills
- Strategic Planning
- Concepts of Organizational Change
- Managing in the Global Economy
Now that I've got this Microsoft Exam out the way, i'm going to crack on with the Business Administration Diploma.
Future Masters Degree
Sometime in the future, perhaps finishing the Business Administration Diploma i'd like to do a Masters Degree in Innovation, Management and Leadership. I think this would serve me well as my career continues to takes me in a more management and leadership direction and is more in line with my future career aspirations.
I am very fortunate to work for an employer (Leasing.com) that promotes and subsidises employee learning and encourages personal development.
As the average person spends 90,000 hours of their life in work*, and in a world where the workplace is becoming increasingly competitive it makes sense to me to constantly work to improve oneself in as many aspects as possible.
That's why in my opinion, you should "Always be learning".