In this case BTL stands for Born to Learn, the many-voiced and very active blog over at Microsoft Learning. Just last week (March 26), regular poster and MS Learning employee Veronica Sopher published a guest post from MCP community member Steven R. McEvoy, whose claim to fame is to have taken 31 Microsoft exams since 2007 (plus another 6 CompTIA and also 3 Apple exams). His post is entitled “6 Reasons Why I Certify” and is worth reading in its entirety, especially if my brief summary here excites further interest or curiosity.
His six reasons are both short and compelling, a rare and beautiful combination in a world of overblown rhetoric and omnipresent hype:
1. I love to learn.
2. To stay current.
3. Because of new responsibilities at work.
4. Because of new technologies I manage.
5. Because if I do not plan on writing the exam I won’t get around to it.
6. For fun.
As I look this list over, I don’t see much missing from his list of “reasons why.” About the only other items I can think of in fact could include only a few items, such as “Curiosity,” “My job requires me to earn this certification,” “My employer pays for IT certifications,” “I need to develop related skills and knowledge,” or “To help research a possible new technology direction.” Simply, put McEvoy’s list does a great and fairly complete job of covering the majority of good reasons why IT professionals might decide to pursue and earn a technical certification of some kind. And if his list isn’t complete enough for you, I hope my additions will indeed round them out fully and fairly.
And of course, there’s always the career development angle to consider as well. Countless salary and job satisfaction surveys for IT professional seek to demonstrate increases in pay and responsibility, improved prospects for promotion or new jobs, and enhanced job satisfaction for those who obtain a nice portfolio of IT certifications, and then do the necessary to keep them up-to-date. I just thought it might be nice to step back from the rat race that so often comes with pursuit of IT certification and learning, and to reflect on the reasons why we jump into the meat grinder, and to consider that the trials and tribulations might eventually end in some rewards.