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Certification Watch (Vol. 17, No. 21)

News about a crafty acquisition by Microsoft (and other developments), allergy an under-the-radar big data cert, and more.

CertMag Launches Cloud Computing Salary Survey


Cloud chip conceptThere's a new Salary Survey PLUS in the works over at CertMag, the web component of Certification Magazine. While recent PLUS surveys have focused on established, long-tenured certification entities (ISACA and Cisco), this one is taking a bit of a different tack. With most cloud certification programs being relatively new, the CertMag crew is apparently casting a wide net: Instead of focusing on a single subset of cloud certs, they're looking at all of them. Amazon Web Services, Cloud Credential Council, HP, Oracle and so forth. So whatever cloud certification you hold, there's an excellent chance that they'd like to hear from you. At 43 questions, the survey requires a bit of a time investment, but the results should be interesting.


Microsoft Buys Minecraft, Announces Certification Tweak


Yeah, OK, we get it. It's not strictly news that bears heavily on the IT certification realm. And yet, the acquisition of Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion, announced earlier this week by Microsoft, is the sort of thing that just can't be allowed to pass without any comment at all. Will corporatization turn Minecraft into Mein Krapf? Or can Microsoft discover previously unknown realms and hitherto unguessed purposes for the self-guided gaming sensation? As you think about that, we should also mention that there has been an intriguing development at Microsoft Learning as well, which is adding a new dimension of choice to one of its flagship certification tracks. If you're purusing an MCSA credential for either Windows Server 2012 or SQL Server 2012, you can now tailor your certification effort by choosing which exams to take.


What Is Extreme Certification?


We have extreme sports and extreme foods, so there might as well be extremes in other areas of life. Why not extreme certification? Matthew Morris, who frequently provides Oracle certification exam reviews (and various other content) to GoCertify, has a guest post up at the official Oracle Certification blog. The post weighs the pros and cons of using two new exams to transition from Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) status to Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) status. On the plus side, Morris says the new transitional exams (which are still in beta) are likely to save certification candidates both time and money. The "extreme" notion comes into play when he addresses the negatives, and warns potential test takers that the new certs will require a heavy preparation burden. If you're preparing to advance your Oracle standing, proceed with caution.


Brits Bullish About Internet Of Things


We hope you're not tired of hearing about the Internet of Things, particularly if you live in the United Kingdom. Because the drumbeat for the advance of internet technology and connectivity is about to get louder. The British Computer Society is following up its own recent IOT survey with a call to action seeking advanced discussion of the Internet of Things. U.K. government officials have reportedly announced a £45 million investment in Internet of Things infrastructure. The BCS, on the other hand, thinks that may not sit well with everyone concerned. BCS polling of U.K. citizens reveals that 82 percent of those surveyed want to be able to opt out of IOT infrastructure , while 68 percent have IOT-driven privacy concerns. The BCS has alsready moved to arrange IOT panel discussions at upcoming political conventions later this month.


EMC Updates Cloud Certification


The landscape of cloud certification can change as rapidly as, pardon the metaphor, clouds scudding across the horizon. While many vendors and cloud computing organizations are rushing new certifications to markets, some more established cert providers are already rolling up old cloud certs and replacing them with new ones. That's the news from EMC2, which is bidding adieu to the current version of its EMC Proven Professional: Cloud Infrastructure and Services (CIS) certification, unveiled at the end of 2011. The current exam, E20-002, will be retired on June 30, 2015. A new exam, E10-002, is set to come online Oct. 17. A CIS FAQ addresses the substance of changes to the credential.


The Next Hot Certification For Big Data


The rush to prepare for an explosion in "big data" is having a cloud-like effect on the certification landscape. With big data analysis widely predicted to be the next major trend in computing and IT, certifications are popping up like dandelions. At least one voice in the crowd, however, isn't buying all of the hype. IT executive Matt Asay of Mongo DB, making his case in a recent piece at ReadWrite, says that big data certs may be catching fire, but there's something even hotter. As Asay sees it, the open source server configuration and managment tool Puppet is what's going to enable big data in the first place. So instead of looking for certification opportunities on the ground floor of big data, technologists who want to really have their skills in demand should dig down to the foundation and get a Puppet certification. One option that could be about to explode is the Puppet Labs certification program. Hope those guys are ready for a major traffic influx.


That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..