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Certifications – Educational Aspirations ???


On twitter today, a medium where most conversations happen, I happened to post this tweet in relation to the companies not respecting and nurturing VCDX (including mine to some extent, although I am trying to change that).

What I didn’t expect was a deep dive into the ‘ability’ or inability to comprehend what a certification, a mere certification would enable. I try pursue excellence, I also fail more often than not, because I don’t have the opportunity or time to learn about everything that I want to.

I am trying to change a few things in my team, not because I now have a certification but because I think I can do a better job as an architect/ consultant/ hands and feet guy. Do I feel that my VCDX cert is not being appreciate in my company? Sometimes. Do I want to act on it? Yes, in a positive way.  I have already had conversations with people in my team who understand my abilities and my capability in doing more than what I am currently doing.

Let me make myself clear, I am proud of myself to have achieved VCDX certification. I have said time and again that the certification is a proof to myself that I can achieve anything I set my mind onto.  I also have a Masters Degree so I know what I am talking about when it comes to the realisation (both in terms of educational status as well as monetary value) of hard-work. But having a VCDX doesn’t guarantee  a job offer. If anyone is thinking of pursuing VCDX ‘only’ to get a better job offer or to get a pay rise then you are doing it for all the wrong reasons. It guarantees that you can present your case in front of 3 people who happen to have more knowledge about a particular subject that you do.

A very good friend of mine, someone who has helped me immensely during my pursuit of VCDX, Grant Orchard (@grantorchard) had this to say about making yourself worthwhile. I agree with every single word of his post. Achieving VCDX did open some doors in my mind that have been shut. I am now not scared of pursuing things I have no knowledge about or talking about what I do know in front of other people.

Having four letters in Signature and a number next to it doesn’t automatically qualify that you are an architect. It just validates that you have a basic understanding of the principles of VCDX. If you want to pursue true Enterprise architecture, try TOGAF. And that too is just another certification.

Do I consider myself above the likes of William Lam or Grant Orchard or Nick Marshall or thousands more who work in various industries around the world just because I happen to have gotten through VCDX, no , HELL NO. My father (A Doctor with 3 post graduate degrees) told me when I was in school, “If you are not learning something everyday, you are going backwards in life”. These words echo to me when I think about where I want to be in 5 years time.

My previous post was in support of having a fear of failure be it for VCDX or anything else. Yes I fear failure a lot more than I tend to be happy about the success.

VCDX or CCIE or MCM or even a PhD is not something that should be taken for granted. There is always something new to learn. There is always something that someone else will know more about, have more experience with and be able to master more easily than any given person in the world.

A piece of paper (Even a Masters Degree) is worthless if you cant apply the theoretical knowledge of what you learn. Certification without knowledge or experience is not worth the fancy ribbon around it.


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