Once I passed the 70-431 I think it gave me the positive reinforcement that I was able to do this and I just need to keep at it no matter how difficult things got. Here I am, not a SQL DBA by title, but getting thrust into the position due to circumstances and desire to get it done I have to try and become really good at what I do. I decided to go with the 70-443 next so I purchased the 70-443 Self Paced Training Kit from Solid Quality Learning as well as the Sybex MCITP Administrator: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Database Server Infrastructure Design Study Guide. I’ve since bought all 3 of the sybex in this series as I like them for referrence better than the Self Paced kit. I continued to spend hours every night pouring it into those books and practice. I also set a date and paid my testing fee to give myself a deadline, and I passed the test on my first try. The only test left was the 70-444 and I was relieved to hear that it may not be as hard as the 443. I purchased the Self Paced kit for this exam and went through the same process to finally become a MCITP Database Administrator. For me, it wasn’t about becoming a “Paper Tiger” as much as it was forcing myself to learn. I wanted to gain credibility and experience in a field that was new to me in a sense. I also understand that it’s not that hard for some people to pass these test without knowing the material. For me, there’s no way I could have passed it without an understanding because of how I function. It helped me to stay focused and I would encourage you to find what will keep you focused as you seek to be the best DBA or developer that you can be.
Since that time, I’ve tried to take advice from others about getting involved in the community. I’ve gone from reading blog posts and forum questions to writing blog posts and answering questions. Sometimes the best way to learn something is to try and find an answer for someone who can’t find it themselves. That covers most of the introductions for now and I hope you’ve gotten a little better idea of how I got to where I am at and how we can learn from each other and continue on our journey of becomming a master SQL DBA (or whatever you want to master in the SQL world).