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Monday, April 03, 2006

Back to the Oars

It's Monday, and back to work. I actually got up extra early to get to work early this morning, hoping that it would mean I could make it home correspondingly early tonight. Alas, 'twas not to be. I did get a lot done, but I was still a little late getting home, which was bad, since Heather Marie had cooked a very nice dinner for us.

Nothing big or exciting happening this week, at least until Thursday, when a bunch of us from work are planning to attend the Northwest Arkansas .NET User Group meeting. Two of us have been before, but the rest are NWADNUG newbies, which is good, because they're giving away free books for bringing new people. Regardless of the free books, I think it will be well worth the trip. We're pretty heavily invested in C# and .NET, so it's probably good to build those skills.

With that sort of skill-building in mind, I'm once again contemplating going for a Microsoft certification. Long, long ago, when I started working, I studied for the MCSD tests at the prompting of my employer, but we finally decided not to bother with it, since so many of the questions dealt not with real technical issues, but with nitpicky Visual Studio options. I'm not sure that the new MCPD will be much different, but it's newly updated for .NET and C# 2.0, so I thought I might try it. Unfortunately, the study guides (and the tests themselves?) won't be out until this summer. No hurry, I guess.

I'm also not entirely sure that MS certs really advance my skills in directions that I'm interested in taking them, but to the best of my knownledge, there isn't a "General Programming Skills" certification, nor an "All Around Computer Science" verification. Well, I guess technically my Master of Science degree would qualify as the latter, huh?

I've also looked into IEEE and ACM memberships. The IEEE seems a little excessive for my wants and needs, though, so I'll probably just go with the ACM, if either. I think someday when I own my own software company I'll provide professional memberships to my employees. Seems like a nice perk, and one that says, "We're interested in investing in your skills." I'm probably naive, over-optimistic, and under-jaded for that type of thinking, though.

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