On Monday, October 3, 2011, Microsoft not only held its annual SharePoint conference in Anaheim, CA, it also added a new Microsoft Certified Architect credential on this technology platform to its existing collection of such certifications. Thus, SharePoint now takes its place alongside Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, and Windows Server Active Directory as a critical technology for the company and its legions of customers.
Brett Geoffrey writes in detail about the new program on Microsoft's The Master Blog in a post entitled "Announcing MCA for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010... and our very first SharePoint MCAs!" In the words of this posting "...this new certification is intended to recognize and validate the expertise of the highest-achieving SharePoint architects."
At this same event, Microsoft also announced the names of the first two individuals to attain this pinnacle certification: Spence Harbar, an enterprise architect who runs his own consulting firm (harbar.net), and Kimmo Forss, and architect who works for Microsoft Consulting Services, who specializes in cloud-based SharePoint implementations and teaches the SharePoint MCM program curriculum.
Another interesting development for the MCM program--besides Microsoft finally adopting the three-letter MCA acronym for this credential--is what what company calls its "...revised and restructured review board process, which applies across all of the MCA certifications," which emphasizes the distinction between the value of technology-specific architect credentials (like the MCA) and technology-agnostic certifications (like the IASAglobal.org's role-based architect certifications for enterprise, software, infrastructure, information, and business professionals).
Here's how Microsoft explains its revised review board process:
What’s different about the review board process? We’ve revised the scoring criteria based specifically on product-specific MCA certifications, and we’ve added technology/workload-specific supplemental scoring criteria for each product. The grading process and methods have been revised, as well as the portfolio review and approval processes. A new case study process replaces the former role-playing exercises, and there is a case study for each product.
For more information see the MCA Review Board Process Overview Web page.