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Please advise on which MS Certification

Hi as most will know I have been benefiting from your vast experience
for about a month or so now, and have decided to try to learn C#
programming more academically and structured and study towards a
qualification.

I would like to know which qualification you think best suited please.
I want a qualification that will

(a) allow me to learn as much about c# and .net as possible.

(b) be very advantageous in about 2-3 years time as a qualification in
itself to prospective
employers.

Could you please tell me which exam you reccomend and which track.
I had no prior programming experience (short of quickbasic about 10
years ago when I was still at school) until about a month ago when I
started learning C#.

(c) My last question. I am not very rich at the moment and so aim to
learn what I can from books and the Internet instead of attending
centres. Taking this route do you think that I stand a good chance of
success? Also roughly how much do you think the certification exams
will cost me if i'm self taught?

Thanks very much,

And have a wonderful christmas!

Gary-

Dec 22 '06 #1
6 2243
Well, I don't know about employment as it has been a while since I
applied for a job, but a reasonable "starter for 10" might be MCTS
leading to MCPD in one or more areas (winforms, web, etc):

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcts/default.mspx

Some people denounce MCP as parrot-learning, but personally I found
that 70-536 gave quite a broad exposure to the key .Net concepts; if
you can use the qualification, then "great", but either way you might
drastically improve your knowledge for very little cost. There is a
published syllabus, but you can study the required areas yourself on
MSDN2 if you like, or there are various books / courses etc; plus
self-paced, which is good. But IMHO avoid the Northrup 70-536 book...
full of minor and major errors, omissions, etc.

Then, I have seen other people post on groups that they actively
discrimintate against MCP... which seems a bit odd to me, but they
have their views...

Marc
Dec 22 '06 #2
Thanks Marc I'm seriously considering your suggestion. One thing that
has struck a chord though is the following from the audience profile
blurb: -

"... Candidates should have at least two to three years of experience
developing Web-based, Microsoft Windows-based, or distributed
applications by using the .NET Framework 1.0, the .NET Framework 1.1,
and the .NET Framework 2.0. Candidates should have a working knowledge
of Visual Studio 2005..."

I don't have 2-3 years experience developing with .net (or any
programming language for that matter.) Do you think this is a genuine
prerequisite to attempting the course?

Thanks,

Gary-

Marc Gravell wrote:
Well, I don't know about employment as it has been a while since I
applied for a job, but a reasonable "starter for 10" might be MCTS
leading to MCPD in one or more areas (winforms, web, etc):

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcts/default.mspx

Some people denounce MCP as parrot-learning, but personally I found
that 70-536 gave quite a broad exposure to the key .Net concepts; if
you can use the qualification, then "great", but either way you might
drastically improve your knowledge for very little cost. There is a
published syllabus, but you can study the required areas yourself on
MSDN2 if you like, or there are various books / courses etc; plus
self-paced, which is good. But IMHO avoid the Northrup 70-536 book...
full of minor and major errors, omissions, etc.

Then, I have seen other people post on groups that they actively
discrimintate against MCP... which seems a bit odd to me, but they
have their views...

Marc
Dec 22 '06 #3
The other advantage is that it is quite cumulative...

There is a "core" (non-qualifying prerequisite) exam (70-536), then
each of the next MCTS exams count as a qualification... and then the
web/win MCPDs have the corresponding MCTS as a pre-req (the enterprise
MCPD requires all 3 MCTS); this means you can build your credentials
gradually, rather than a behemoth course with no payback until the
end.

Marc
Dec 22 '06 #4
It depends on how serious you are in your approach to it. Without
experience, you will set yourself up for failure if you just skim-read
the book, take the test (prep) exams, and then turn up for the exam. I
have also seen it reported many times that 70-536 (the first of the
lot) is also slightly harder than the other MCTS exams, possibly due
to bredth.

But: if you *seriously* take the time to understand the areas, by
actively "playing" with each area hands-on (writing code) until you
are comfortable with it, then it should be quite achievable. A
colleague of mine scraped a pass on 70-536, and he has *never* worked
with .Net for proper coding projects - just snippets and samples from
the training. But he put the work in, and played with the framework /
VS.

Marc
Dec 22 '06 #5
Thanks for the advice Marc,

Gary-

Marc Gravell wrote:
The other advantage is that it is quite cumulative...

There is a "core" (non-qualifying prerequisite) exam (70-536), then
each of the next MCTS exams count as a qualification... and then the
web/win MCPDs have the corresponding MCTS as a pre-req (the enterprise
MCPD requires all 3 MCTS); this means you can build your credentials
gradually, rather than a behemoth course with no payback until the
end.

Marc
Dec 22 '06 #6
[Copied to the MCTS & MCPD Newsgroup, as that's really the appropiate forum]
<ga********@myway.comwrote
Hi as most will know I have been benefiting from your vast experience
for about a month or so now, and have decided to try to learn C#
programming more academically and structured and study towards a
qualification.

I would like to know which qualification you think best suited please.
I want a qualification that will

(a) allow me to learn as much about c# and .net as possible.

(b) be very advantageous in about 2-3 years time as a qualification in
itself to prospective
employers.
The current certification track is the best way to go.The older MCAD / MCSD
tracks are currently of value, but I if you're looking a few years out,
they'll be of signifigantly less value by then.

You would want to start off with an MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology
Specialist). There are 3 versions of this you'll want to look at:

Web (aka: ASP.Net)
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...s/default.mspx

Windows (aka: Windows Forms)
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...s/default.mspx

Distributed Applications (Web Services, COM+, etc)
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...s/default.mspx

This will get you a very well rounded and solid grounding in .Net.

Once these are done, you may opt for the next tier of certificiations, the
MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer).

The Professional Web Developer:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...v/default.mspx

The Professional Windows Developer:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...v/default.mspx

The Professional Enterprise Developer:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...p/default.mspx
Could you please tell me which exam you reccomend and which track.
I had no prior programming experience (short of quickbasic about 10
years ago when I was still at school) until about a month ago when I
started learning C#.
Each of the links listed above lists study material. You've got alot of
homework to do though!
(c) My last question. I am not very rich at the moment and so aim to
learn what I can from books and the Internet instead of attending
centres.
That's a great route to take. Myself and the majority of people I know went
this route.
Also roughly how much do you think the certification exams
will cost me if i'm self taught?
It's still not cheap. Books are in the $50 per book range. Online sample
exams, which I would strongly recommend (from both Measure Up and
Transcender) are in the $50-$100 per test range, although they do offer
packages to make things much cheaper. The tests themselves are in the $120
per test range.

--
Chris Mullins, MCSD.NET, MCPD:Enterprise
http://www.coversant.net/blogs/cmullins

Dec 22 '06 #7

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