Firstly, a hearty congratulations to the 8 Year old (and 1 day) Lavina Shree who recently completed her MCP Exam in C#.
She has made quite an accomplishment for defeating the previous title holder Arfa Karim from Pakistan who was 10 Years old at the time she completed her MCP exam in 2005.
Okay, time for the Therapy Faq on this.
Q: Should I feel bad about myself and my own certifications?
A: No, why should you feel bad? If you had a photographic memory and were 8 years old, wouldn’t you be able to find the time to study just a bit? I mean, outside of your regular 80 hour workweek fixing networks or dealing with your significant other, I’m sure you’d be able to find a few minutes to study for an exam, right?
Q: What? But seriously, she’s 8 years old! Not even 9 years old like the other reports are saying!
A: Wait, you’re right. I forgot these exams aren’t based upon sole memorization and require you to have to think about extremely bound concepts the likes of which cannot exist in books. I mean when I go into the Oracle to take the exam, it analyzes what I have in my brain and then starts providing dynamic questions the likes of which noone could ever hold challenge to.
Q: Does this happening make the Certification process at all less valuable?
A: Absolutely not. That same analysis could be said of the Bar Exam, SAT’s or GRE’s. Some people are extremely good at certain things (say, memorization) but that is not to say that they know everything there is, only what they’ve read. So, while you can know the ‘answer’ to a defined question, if provided with a question outside the context of original discussion that shows your true ability to innovate and provide a solution. If I want someone to be able to recite back to me verbatim a fixed question/answer, I’d get Wikipedia or something.
Q: So you’re saying I should feel good for this girl, and not feel bad about myself?
A: Exactly. I think it is great, prior to this a lot of people didn’t even realize there was such a thing as the MCP. Now perhaps some may feel this is bad PR, but any PR is better than none, and this will pass. Especially when a girl who is cited as having performed feats of memorization at age 3? No, this will definitely do wonders for the Certification community and help to improve the process as a whole for years to come. We’ve been watching it come for the past several years as tests have improved to be more relevant, and this will be no different.
Good luck out there, get ready for a whole new Certification year! And I look forward to the new innovative Betas as you should!