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One Week Left to Apply for Microsoft Certified Architect Program

| by Marcie Jones Follow 0 Followers on Jul 07, 2006. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

The Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) program has proceeded past its initial beta and is accepting additional appolicants for its final pre-launch stage, but interested applicants must apply by July 14th to be considered for this round.  The MCA program is intended to certify individuals with extensive, large-scale architecture experience, though that experience can include non-Microsoft technologies.  To date, less than 100 MCA certifications have been awarded, and Microsoft states on the program website that they expect fewer than 1 in 5 applicants to achieve the certification. 

Applicants must first provide their employment history, a description of how they meet a set of core architecture competencies, provide an architectural case study from one of their projects, answer a set of multiple-choice questions, and pay a non-refundable $200 application fee.  If the application passes the initial asssessment, the candidate will then be interviewed by phone.  The phone interview determines acceptance into the program, at which point the candidate is assigned a mentor who will help them prepare their materials for consideration by the review board.  Finally comes the review board interview, where the candidate makes a 30-minute presentation and fields questions from a panel of certified architects and/or industry experts.  Accepted architects must also pay a $10,000 program fee.

According to the MCA website, there are certifications for three kinds of architect job roles: 

Solutions architects communicate primarily with business owners within a company and with the technical staff that delivers the solution. The projects they work on affect the enterprise. They design the solution to take advantage of the existing assets, and then integrate them into the existing environment adhering to the enterprise architecture and solving the business problems of the business owner or unit.

Infrastructure architects communicate primarily with operations managers who are responsible for maintaining the IT environment and end users and with the engineers that maintain specific areas of the infrastructure. They typically report through the IT group and are responsible for creating an architecture that meets the business and service level agreement requirements of the business owners and supports the applications and solutions that are required to operate their day-to-day businesses.

 • Product or Depth architects communicate primarily with the solutions or infrastructure architects, IT and application decision makers, and the technologists. As soon as product decisions for architecture have been made, the product architect, with a deep level of experience and knowledge of the products being used, comes in to help develop the more specific product architecture.

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