From the looks of it this is a certification that actually carries some weight.
Although only in pilot the program looks very comprehensive.
Microsoft (and other vendor) certification programs come in for a fair bit of criticism (and rightly so) as to the actual competency they indicate, given that brain dumps are all over the place – ie passing the exams might be nothing more than an indication of persistence and memory, rather than skill with a technology.
I personally do value the certification process for our developers. To me it shows that they atleast made the effort to learn the product a little and sit the exam… you’d be surprised how many people these days are content to just sit back and make no effort to improve themselves (I call it ‘Striving for Mediocrity’, but I’ll save that discussion for another day)
But a program like the Microsoft Certified Architect, with its Industry chosen Review board and mandatory presentations to even get past first base is a step in the right direction. Here is a qualification that requires its candidates to thoroughly understand their skills and prove their abilities.
If a resume came across my desk with this certification I’d certainly value it above others.
The site indicates the program is expected to be live in the first half of 2006. It will be interesting to see whether it makes its way down to Australia.