The Joys of Moving

First a side story: several years ago before I joined Microsoft, I blogged about my general dislike for professional/technical certifications (that post is here).  I've had to give this position a lot of thought as both a Microsoft representative and an evangelist.  Being in the field and talking with so many people and customers, various convictions are tried daily. 

So, 3 years later, what do I think?  I still don't _personally_ care for certifications.  I think for many folks, it's an ideal way to enhance the resume and provide focus for career development.  For certain businesses, it can be an effective tool to screen candidates.  But even then, it's only a starting point.  As Joel Spolsky's classic article points out, the idea is to find people who are smart, and get things done.  Certifications -- on their own -- do little towards satisfying these criteria.

The sentiment of why I don't like 'em was reiterated in my wife's recent ventures with the DMV.  I'm not picking on her or the state of NC, but this story does (I hope) illustrate my point.  We both need to get our NC driver's licenses.   Off she goes to the DMV, armed with the needed paperwork.  She needs to take the written driver's test (this was a little bit of a surprise, since a lot of states just issue and go), and without looking at the driver's manual, she fails the test.

How is this possible?  Some of the questions are just silly.  For example, one question asked what the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) maximum is, listing various levels like .04, .08, .10, etc.  The correct answer -- not given -- is: don't drink and drive.   The number of feet to stay behind an emergency vehicle?  How about just "be smart"?  (I know, I know ...)  But given that Greensboro and North Carolina in general house some of worst driver's statistically (not my words, it's the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saying it), you'd think they'd welcome out of state drivers with open arms.  :)

Oh, and after flipping through the book for 5 minutes:  passed the exam with a perfect score.
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