The Path to MCSM SharePoint

RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
I just want to say it upfront: I understand very clearly that I may not be able to pass the MCSM exams in the time frame that I have set for myself (1 year, 6 months). But that is beside the point. My intention is still a good one. I have reached a point in my career where I can either sit where I am, and I’m not unhappy where I am, or I can set some goals and push myself to the next level. And even if I am not able to achieve the final goal, simply following the path will be worthwhile. And since second shot is back, I'm going to take advantage of that as much as possible.

MCSD SharePoint

The first stop on the path is going to be preparing for and passing the MCSD SharePoint certification exams. I have already completed the non-SharePoint related prerequisites so I figure the final two required exams will probably be the most important and difficult for me as I have nearly a decade of general Windows server administration, plus 6 years of SharePoint consulting/administration on top of that. Due to that experience the MCSA on Server 2012 and the SharePoint administration exams should be very low hanging fruit once the dev exams are out of the way.

Study Plan

Getting a good foundation in SharePoint architecture and planning. I feel I have a fairly solid understanding of Information Architecture and Governance and those are theoretical fields that remain fairly constant regardless of the content management system so an understanding of the architecture of the components that make up a SharePoint installation is an obvious starting point. In my opinion any developer that lacks that kind of understanding is doing themselves a terrible disservice as it simply increases the chances that they will build brittle solutions that can’t scale and might pose a danger to the system’s performance.

Architecture Related Study Material

Planning Deployment of Farm Solutions for SharePoint 2013

Identity management for SharePoint 2013 IT pros

Architecture design for SharePoint 2013 IT pros

Microsoft SharePoint 2013: Designing and Architecting Solutions

Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Inside Out

SharePoint PFE Blogs

Anyone who is serious about getting a deep understanding of any MS product needs to follow the PFEs that support it.


Microsoft Premier Field Engineer - SharePoint Dev - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Microsoft Premier Field Engineer - SharePoint Dev

Once I am near the end of these resources I will post a study plan specifically for the SharePoint developer track based on Microsoft’s exam objectives. I am currently compiling a OneNot book using the Cornel note taking format. If anyone wants a copy, send me an email or PM. I am not going to post a direct link for copyright reasons. It’s a lot of copy and paste with summation of the above links. So I don’t think it would be right to link to it directly.

Also, I have to complete the 70-487, so I can't put a lot of time into this before I take that exam. But I will update this as I go on.


  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
  • netsysllcnetsysllc Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Tim Sneath Senior Director, Microsoft Learning at Microsoft Corporation - responded why in a post in this link

    His email address is in there, I recommend everybody email him to change his mind, here is what I sent him:

    Dear Tim Sneath,

    I read your post in the connect forum about your decision to retire these master level Microsoft Certification programs. You mention there is a chance at a replacement program in the future, however it does not make sense to cancel these programs before that point. You recently removed the expensive training barrier from the test but have not given it time to see if more people will work to achieve this accomplishment. Additionally this makes Microsoft the only vendor that does not have any master level certifications in order for professionals to show their life long work, skills and abilities. The MCSA and MSCE of past and present still have tarnished records of being paper certificates in many circles. Why would I now try for my MCSE if there is no path beyond that point? It would make more sense for me to move to Cisco and work towards a CCIE in order to show my experience and skill level I have spent over a decade building.

    Microsoft has a serious image problem for many reasons the last few years but this decision along with removing TechNet is like a knife in the back of all IT professionals. Even with the shift to more consumer type devices and the cloud, skilled IT professionals will still be needed for a considerable amount of time. I would urge you to reconsider this decision or announce a replacement program immediately. Show us that Microsoft cares about IT professionals, talk is cheap!


  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I saw his post last night. He hinted at a replacement in the future so I am going to go ahead with my plan and hope that something affordable but still technically rigorous rises out of the ashes. If not, then this generation of certifications may be my last as I have hit a point in my career where they just don't hold any real value. Here are some more write-ups of interest.

    Microsoft Learning kills MCM and MCA accreditations | Tony Redmond's Exchange Unwashed Blog

    I have to say that last night when I initially read this it really depressed me. But in all honesty I even said in my original post I was not certain that I would even take the exams, at least not in the time frame that I had posted, so I've decided that I will continue along the path that I have plotted. I think SharePoint is an amazing product when implemented by people who've actually taken time to understand it (rather than just installing it and imaging what you see is what you get). So I think that I should be aware there is some cognitive dissonance between my actual plan and the reaction to this news. I'm going to stick to this path and make sure that my skills with Azure are up-to-date as much as possible. From there, we will see what the next two years hold.
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