For the last couple of months, I’ve had a lingering item sitting in my Outlook todo list. Finish that damn BizTalk 2006 exam.  It may seem strange that a BizTalk Technology Specialist wouldn’t have the BizTalk certification and one may wonder why I didn’t knocked that exam off as soon as it came out. Participating in the beta was in fact what most of my fellow TS’s did and there are many blog posts out there to show for it. So why didn’t I get it done as well? It basically came down to an issue of timing. I started with Microsoft at the end of February of this year. BizTalk 2006 and the beta exam came out shortly after I joined. We’ll, it took me a number of months to get my feet under me with the new role and to adjust to the Microsoft culture, processes and lifestyle. I felt at the time that there were more pressing issues and jobs for me to undertake than fooling around with the beta exam, I left that to other more seasoned MS veterans. Once I settled into the role and really got my head focused around the MS sales processes and such, I was eager to get out into the field and really start extoling the virtues of BizTalk. After a few months of doing that, I began to remember about that pesky certification that I needed to do. So this week, I blocked off a couple of days for a refresher dive into the documentation and planned the exam for today. Glad to say I passed as it would have been a real kick in the ass to fail a certification on the very technology that I’m paid to specialize in.

On a side note, I met with a developer from one of our BizTalk partners about 3-4 weeks ago that had just taken the exam. This bright fellow managed to obtain the awesome score of 1000 out of 1000. While I’m humbled to say that I didn’t manage to match that lofty score, I am really happy to see that we’ve got some really bright and skilled BizTalk developers out there.

For those of you that are looking at going for the certification, I’ve got the same advice for you that you’ll see most everywhere else. There is lots of BAM, lots of BRE and lots of BAS. If you’ve got a firm handle on those technologies, then you’re looking good. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got a good understanding of the new messaging elements that shipped with 06. Recoverable interchange, failed message routing etc. Good luck if you’re planning on going for it.

Cheers and keep on BizTalking