Twenty years as a Microsoft Certified Professional – time flies when you’re having fun


I just noticed that last week was the 20th anniversary of my first Microsoft certification. I had to travel nearly 500 miles (from Fortaleza to Recife) to reach the closest official testing center available in Brazil in August 1995.

You’re probably thinking that I started by taking the Windows 95 exam, but it was actually the Windows 3.1 exam (which included a lot of MS-DOS 6.x stuff). The Windows 95 exam was my next one, but that only happened over a year later in December 1996.

I went on to take absolutely all of the Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 exams (many of them in their beta version). At that point we had multiple Microsoft Certified Partners in Fortaleza and I worked for one of them.

I continued to take lots of exams even after moved to the US in October 2000 and after I joined Microsoft in October 2002. I only slowed down a bit after joining the Windows Server engineering team in October 2007.

In 2009 I achieved my last certification as a Microsoft Certified Master on SQL Server 2008. That took a few weeks of training, a series of written exams and a final, multi-hour lab exam. Exciting stuff! That also later granted me a charter certification as  Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (Data Platform), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (Data Platform) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (SQL Server 2012).

My full list is shown below. In case you’re wondering, the Windows 10 exam (Configuring Windows Devices) is already in development and you can find the details at





Comments (8)
  1. Marcio Schneider says:

    Nice list, congrats!

  2. SahaluS says:

    Wow, that’s a quite an accomplishment. Never heard of Fortaleza, it sounds far-out there, but apparently not, if they had several Microsoft Partners back then. Good job!

  3. Rafael Silva says:

    Your name never tricked me 😉
    Mtos parabéns.

  4. Anonymous says:

    (This comment has been deleted per user request)

  5. Valmir Meneses says:

    Congratulations! You were responsable for my path in Microsoft Certifications.

  6. Agnaldo says:

    José Barreto, estava lendo um post de Kimberly Tripp, onde diz que você escreveu um bom artigo sobre optimize for ad-hoc workloads, pensei que um nome assim poderia ser de algum Brasileiro, e que satisfação, ler este artigo e ver que você chegou tão longe, mérito seu claro, mas uma carreira como a sua serve de muita inspiração para uma nova geração de brazucas.

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