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MCSD and MCSE

P: n/a
Hi,
I need advices on my interogations, I am interested in learning both
MCSD.Net and MCSE on windows server 2003, I have all my time, all the books
and software( will learn them at home and where I worked I build a network
with a cisco routers I can play with etc)... but I want to know how relevant
is it to get both ?? I mean in the marketplace I'll never be asked to do both
at the same time .... and they don't complement themselfves like the mcse
with cisco cert... or mcsd with others database certification etc.. also is
it hard to maintain the knowledge since things change too.

Thanks a lot for your advices

Kaven
Oct 25 '06 #1
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27 Replies


P: n/a
In my opinion, while these are nice to have, they do not do much for you in
terms of carrer advancement. There are many people who believe that getting
your MCSD, MCSE, MCT, etc. is just a matter of knowing how to take MS tests
and the title does not necessarially reflect your actual knowledge and
skills regarding that particular topic.

No offense to those reading this that have the certs., but there are many
who feel this way about the MS certifications.

"Kepler" <Ke****@discussions.microsoft.comwrote in message
news:36**********************************@microsof t.com...
Hi,
I need advices on my interogations, I am interested in learning both
MCSD.Net and MCSE on windows server 2003, I have all my time, all the
books
and software( will learn them at home and where I worked I build a network
with a cisco routers I can play with etc)... but I want to know how
relevant
is it to get both ?? I mean in the marketplace I'll never be asked to do
both
at the same time .... and they don't complement themselfves like the mcse
with cisco cert... or mcsd with others database certification etc.. also
is
it hard to maintain the knowledge since things change too.

Thanks a lot for your advices

Kaven


Oct 26 '06 #2

P: n/a
Hi Scott,
In my opinion, while these are nice to have, they do not do much for you in
terms of carrer advancement.
That definitely depends on what kind of career path you want to take.
Consulting companies commonly look for MCSD developers, in my job-hunting
experience, while most small to medium-sized RAD shops do not because they
won't put all of the MCSD skills to good use anyway.

I think employers get output of a better quality, in general, from teaching an
experienced solution developer about particular business processes and
requirements than if they were to teach a programmer experienced in only one
niche, or not at all, about solution development requirements that goes beyond
their current knowledge. Although I believe many business try the latter to
save money and that creates application management nightmares for all
developers alike when programmers are expected to handle more than they know,
usually within strict time constraints, and so the software produced is of low
quality. Many businesses focus on one niche in the software development
market but MCSD certifies that the developer has knowledge pertaining to many
facets of the software development lifecycle, for any type of business, and
that really broadens their horizon for job placement. Any niche should be
suitable for an experienced MCSD, hence the consulting usage.

(I don't know anything about MCSE, so I can't comment on that.)
There are many people who believe that getting your MCSD, MCSE, MCT, etc. is
just a matter of knowing how to take MS tests and the title does not
necessarially reflect your actual knowledge and skills regarding that
particular topic.
Those people are generally wrong. If you study for the tests and passed them
then you most likely learned something useful. The tests aren't simply about
memorizing keywords. And if you want to take the tests in the first place you
better know what you're doing otherwise you could fail, which wastes your
money and time. I don't know anyone who's willing to spend money and time to
try to pass 5 certification tests without really understanding the material
they just studied, only to find that even if they do pass all 5 and earn their
MCSD that they can't succeed in the interview process because they really
don't have experience or understand the material.

I do believe that certifications aren't everything, of course. You need to
back them up with experience and a true understanding of the covered materials
to succeed in the software business, but they do let employers, potential
employers, clients and potential clients know at the very least that you
studied to pass the tests. Studying even just to pass one test is doing more
than some people in the business that I've worked with have done to acquire a
better understanding of general software development. I think many
organizations recognize certifications as an achievement, with merit, and that
even just the desire to be a better developer is worth a lot.

But I don't recommend novice programmers going out and getting certified
first - I recommend gathering experience first otherwise you might just get
hired for your charm, burn out, and give certifications a bad name ;)

<snip>

--
Dave Sexton
Oct 26 '06 #3

P: n/a
"Kepler" <Ke****@discussions.microsoft.comwrote in message
news:36**********************************@microsof t.com...
I need advices on my interogations, I am interested in learning both
MCSD.Net and MCSE on windows server 2003, I have all my time, all the
books
and software( will learn them at home and where I worked I build a network
with a cisco routers I can play with etc)... but I want to know how
relevant
is it to get both ??
Qualifications of this sort are always a bit of a debatable point, and their
relevance is entirely down to the circumstances of the job/contract you're
applying for.

At the bottom level, there are some that I have always been sceptical of -
specifically the Novell CNE and its siblings. My reason for this is simple:
I once worked on a networking magazine, and we got a press release from
Novell trumpeting the fact that a 14-year-old lad had become the youngest
holder of a CNE. They didn't manage to come up with a satisfactory answer to
my question: "Okay, so if a 14-year-old kid with no experience of applying
technology to business can get this qualification, what does that say about
its value?". Also a colleague who was a CNE basically said he didn't think
it was worth doing, and he only did it cos the company wanted him to and
they paid for it. I've also come across some pretty nonsensical on-line
Linux qualifications (I did one for a laugh once, which took about 15
minutes, and I now have a very cool-looking certificate proclaiming I'm an
Advanced something-or-other).

At the top level, there are some that I consider very good. CCIE is the
classic example: if you're a big Cisco house and you want the best, you'll
get a CCIE. A CCIE I met on a course once described the CCIE exam as "the
most stressful 48 hours of my life", and my impression is that if you can
pass it, you're darned good.

Then you get the bit in the middle, where the "is it relevant to the
circumstances" issue comes into play. My feeling is that something along the
lines of a Windows Server MCSE is worth having if you use Windows Server
products to any extent, simply because the darned thing has so many things
that you simply wouldn't find out about accidentally. Windows Server today
is a bit like MacOS in the early 1990s - any idiot can get it running, and
do day-to-day adds/moves/changes, but when it breaks, you'll only fix it if
you know what tools to use, how to use them, and where to look for the
broken bits. So if I had a business that relied on Windows Server, I'd
probably be tempted to favour an MCSE.

As far as development qualifications go, I like developers who have some
formal education/training in software development. As we all know, there's
more to development than knowing how to use C, VB, Java, etc - you have to
know how to actually structure programs, devise algorithms, etc, etc. I once
interviewed 17 people for a developer role, and asked them to write a simple
program (it required them to devise an algorithm for a simple problem, then
implement it). The task took me just over eight minutes, but none of them
achieved a solution within an hour. So a starting point for me when
employing programmers/developers is to ask for "some kind of formal training
in software development"; a university degree would tick this box, but so
probably would a development-oriented MCSD. Of course, ticking the box is
only the start, and just because you have the qualification doesn't mean
you'll get the gig (after all, of the 17 failures I interviewed, two were
university Computing graduates and one was an MCSD :-).

Hope this helps,

David C
Oct 26 '06 #4

P: n/a
Hi Kaven,

I took the MCSD and MCDBA and it is a good way to get a broad feel of .Net
framework, but as system developer also involves lot of system
understanding and integration, you would also benefit from MCSE. The DBA
certainly have paid off. Then again, it's not exactly the certificates
that are useful, and as pointed out by others, you can easily get the
certificates by learning only the specific answers to the specific exam
questions. Therefore many disregard these certificates.

On the other hand, having a general computer science background you can
rarely point out that you know various aspects of a certain programming
platform as many of the exams would be theoretical rather than practical.
Therefore having the certificates would let you point of that you have
hands on knowledge of practical programming.

All that said, I would probably not have started doing MCSD(.Net) now as
it only certifies .Net 1.1 and vs.net 2003 knowledge, and most of the .Net
2.0/vs.net 2005 certificates have been released now as MCPD and MCPDEA
with the exam books being released already or soon.

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcpd/
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...p/default.mspx

On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 02:00:02 +0200, Kepler
<Ke****@discussions.microsoft.comwrote:
Hi,
I need advices on my interogations, I am interested in learning
both
MCSD.Net and MCSE on windows server 2003, I have all my time, all the
books
and software( will learn them at home and where I worked I build a
network
with a cisco routers I can play with etc)... but I want to know how
relevant
is it to get both ?? I mean in the marketplace I'll never be asked to do
both
at the same time .... and they don't complement themselfves like the mcse
with cisco cert... or mcsd with others database certification etc..
also is
it hard to maintain the knowledge since things change too.

Thanks a lot for your advices

Kaven



--
Happy Coding!
Morten Wennevik [C# MVP]
Oct 26 '06 #5

P: n/a
Certs, on top of experience, add credibility. If you interview well, they
may push you over the edge over another candidate. A few years ago, certs
were the rage; the same is not true today (at least not in the Nashville
market).

Overall, I think learning MCSE is good for a developer, as you understand
development implications on systems. Not sure of the use in the other
direction (network engineer with an MCSD -- actually MCPD now), but a case
could be made. If you are truly certing, and not cheating with brain dumps,
you will learn a lot, which is a definite bonus, even if you never actually
take the tests.

--
Gregory A. Beamer
MVP; MCP: +I, SE, SD, DBA
http://gregorybeamer.spaces.live.com

*************************************************
Think outside of the box!
*************************************************
"Kepler" <Ke****@discussions.microsoft.comwrote in message
news:36**********************************@microsof t.com...
Hi,
I need advices on my interogations, I am interested in learning both
MCSD.Net and MCSE on windows server 2003, I have all my time, all the
books
and software( will learn them at home and where I worked I build a network
with a cisco routers I can play with etc)... but I want to know how
relevant
is it to get both ?? I mean in the marketplace I'll never be asked to do
both
at the same time .... and they don't complement themselfves like the mcse
with cisco cert... or mcsd with others database certification etc.. also
is
it hard to maintain the knowledge since things change too.

Thanks a lot for your advices

Kaven


Oct 26 '06 #6

P: n/a
Hi Dave,

I don't disagree with most of your comments, but I do have to try to bring
the scales back into balance a little.

With regard to this section:

SCOTT:
>There are many people who believe that getting your MCSD, MCSE, MCT, etc.
is just a matter of knowing how to take MS tests and the title does not
necessarially reflect your actual knowledge and skills regarding that
particular topic.
DAVE:
Those people are generally wrong. If you study for the tests and passed
them then you most likely learned something useful. The tests aren't
simply about memorizing keywords. And if you want to take the tests in
the first place you better know what you're doing otherwise you could
fail, which wastes your money and time. I don't know anyone who's willing
to spend money and time to try to pass 5 certification tests without
really understanding the material they just studied, only to find that
even if they do pass all 5 and earn their MCSD that they can't succeed in
the interview process because they really don't have experience or
understand the material.
There are many companies out there that will "guarantee" a customer that
they will pass the MS exams if they learn from them. These companies know
what to teach students about taking the MS tests in general and what topics
in particular need to be studied.

I don't believe that being wary of a potential employee's actual skills,
knoweledge and experience because they list any kind of certification (MS,
Novell, etc.) is wrong. Unfortunately, I have had the "pleasure" of working
with many (and I do mean many) MS certified people who had no real
understanding about the things they were certified in.

-Scott
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:OH****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
Hi Scott,
>In my opinion, while these are nice to have, they do not do much for you
in terms of carrer advancement.

That definitely depends on what kind of career path you want to take.
Consulting companies commonly look for MCSD developers, in my job-hunting
experience, while most small to medium-sized RAD shops do not because they
won't put all of the MCSD skills to good use anyway.

I think employers get output of a better quality, in general, from
teaching an experienced solution developer about particular business
processes and requirements than if they were to teach a programmer
experienced in only one niche, or not at all, about solution development
requirements that goes beyond their current knowledge. Although I believe
many business try the latter to save money and that creates application
management nightmares for all developers alike when programmers are
expected to handle more than they know, usually within strict time
constraints, and so the software produced is of low quality. Many
businesses focus on one niche in the software development market but MCSD
certifies that the developer has knowledge pertaining to many facets of
the software development lifecycle, for any type of business, and that
really broadens their horizon for job placement. Any niche should be
suitable for an experienced MCSD, hence the consulting usage.

(I don't know anything about MCSE, so I can't comment on that.)
>
I do believe that certifications aren't everything, of course. You need
to back them up with experience and a true understanding of the covered
materials to succeed in the software business, but they do let employers,
potential employers, clients and potential clients know at the very least
that you studied to pass the tests. Studying even just to pass one test
is doing more than some people in the business that I've worked with have
done to acquire a better understanding of general software development. I
think many organizations recognize certifications as an achievement, with
merit, and that even just the desire to be a better developer is worth a
lot.

But I don't recommend novice programmers going out and getting certified
first - I recommend gathering experience first otherwise you might just
get hired for your charm, burn out, and give certifications a bad name ;)

<snip>

--
Dave Sexton


Oct 26 '06 #7

P: n/a
gsj
On Wed, 25 Oct 2006 17:00:02 -0700, Kepler
<Ke****@discussions.microsoft.comwrote:
>Hi,
I need advices on my interogations, I am interested in learning both
MCSD.Net and MCSE on windows server 2003, I have all my time, all the books
and software( will learn them at home and where I worked I build a network
with a cisco routers I can play with etc)... but I want to know how relevant
is it to get both ?? I mean in the marketplace I'll never be asked to do both
at the same time .... and they don't complement themselfves like the mcse
with cisco cert... or mcsd with others database certification etc.. also is
it hard to maintain the knowledge since things change too.
I'm not sure that having the certification will carry much weight with
knowledgable employers. Depending on the market you work in though,
they might carry weight with employment agencies - I do contract work,
and have done for years, and I know that having them can help - an
agent might not know the difference between perl and CGI, but they do
know how to search their candidate database for buzz words.

Personally, I think the value of certifications is that they provide
you with a decent curriculum. If you're trying to learn how to program
or be a sysadmin in your home at night, it's hard to know which areas
to concentrate on - getting MCSE certification (provided your study is
based around learning how to do the stuff, rather than on how to pass
the tests) will give you a good basic education in MS systems. It
won't make you an expert - but the knowledge you pick up, and the
keenness you've shown in aquiring that knowledge in your own time,
might help get that first job.

As to which one to do.... do the one you're most interested in. Then
if you feel like it afterwards, do the other. Don't worry too much
about which one will give you the best job prospects - you'll learn
more in your first few weeks on the job than in a couple of months of
relatively undirected study. It doesn't even matter if you don't end
up working in the precise field you've studied - it's all
interrelated. I did the CCNA many years ago - I didn't want to become
a network engineer, but I had to work with them, and it was useful to
be able to understand what they were saying :-)

gsj
Oct 26 '06 #8

P: n/a
Hi Morten,
All that said, I would probably not have started doing MCSD(.Net) now as it
only certifies .Net 1.1 and vs.net 2003 knowledge, and most of the .Net
2.0/vs.net 2005 certificates have been released now as MCPD and MCPDEA with
the exam books being released already or soon.
That's not really true. MCSD tests basic framework concepts, including
knowledge of WinForms, Web and services, and the MSF, all of which applies to
any version of the framework. Also, I believe the elective could be SQL
Server 2005 or another next gen exam. But even choosing SQL Server 2000 will
makes sense for a while to come.

--
Dave Sexton

"Morten Wennevik" <Mo************@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:op***************@tr024.bouvet.no...
Hi Kaven,

I took the MCSD and MCDBA and it is a good way to get a broad feel of .Net
framework, but as system developer also involves lot of system
understanding and integration, you would also benefit from MCSE. The DBA
certainly have paid off. Then again, it's not exactly the certificates
that are useful, and as pointed out by others, you can easily get the
certificates by learning only the specific answers to the specific exam
questions. Therefore many disregard these certificates.

On the other hand, having a general computer science background you can
rarely point out that you know various aspects of a certain programming
platform as many of the exams would be theoretical rather than practical.
Therefore having the certificates would let you point of that you have
hands on knowledge of practical programming.

All that said, I would probably not have started doing MCSD(.Net) now as it
only certifies .Net 1.1 and vs.net 2003 knowledge, and most of the .Net
2.0/vs.net 2005 certificates have been released now as MCPD and MCPDEA with
the exam books being released already or soon.

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcpd/
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...p/default.mspx

On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 02:00:02 +0200, Kepler
<Ke****@discussions.microsoft.comwrote:
>Hi,
I need advices on my interogations, I am interested in learning both
MCSD.Net and MCSE on windows server 2003, I have all my time, all the
books
and software( will learn them at home and where I worked I build a network
with a cisco routers I can play with etc)... but I want to know how
relevant
is it to get both ?? I mean in the marketplace I'll never be asked to do
both
at the same time .... and they don't complement themselfves like the mcse
with cisco cert... or mcsd with others database certification etc.. also
is
it hard to maintain the knowledge since things change too.

Thanks a lot for your advices

Kaven


--
Happy Coding!
Morten Wennevik [C# MVP]

Oct 26 '06 #9

P: n/a
Hi Scott,
I don't disagree with most of your comments, but I do have to try to bring
the scales back into balance a little.
:) By all means...
SCOTT:
>>There are many people who believe that getting your MCSD, MCSE, MCT, etc.
is just a matter of knowing how to take MS tests and the title does not
necessarially reflect your actual knowledge and skills regarding that
particular topic.
DAVE:
>Those people are generally wrong. If you study for the tests and passed
them then you most likely learned something useful. The tests aren't
simply about memorizing keywords. And if you want to take the tests in the
first place you better know what you're doing otherwise you could fail,
which wastes your money and time. I don't know anyone who's willing to
spend money and time to try to pass 5 certification tests without really
understanding the material they just studied, only to find that even if
they do pass all 5 and earn their MCSD that they can't succeed in the
interview process because they really don't have experience or understand
the material.

There are many companies out there that will "guarantee" a customer that
they will pass the MS exams if they learn from them. These companies know
what to teach students about taking the MS tests in general and what topics
in particular need to be studied.
But aren't they still teaching relevant material? And anyone interested in
programming will naturally ask questions about material that they don't
understand. It just comes with the territory. I don't think those
organizations are doing anything wrong, as long as they are teaching the
relevant material and not the specific, relevant multiple choices (which BTW
can't be done on some tests in particular, such as the MSF exam that is
required for MCSD). But even if it's the latter I'm sure those who pass have
acquired some new knowledge. (But GL on the interview :)

My point was simply that anybody who passes 5 exams for MCSD must have learned
something useful, even if they only studied to pass the test, which as I
mentioned I believe is fine if you're willing to waste time and money retaking
them because you don't really understand the material and probably won't get
much farther than working in a RAD shop that just likes to boast about their
certified, inexperienced developers :)

Just having some knowledge, e.g., enough to pass the tests, isn't usually
enough to potential employers so I guess the real question is, are MCSDs
generally more knowledgeable and experienced than those without certification?

I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately answer this,
and my guess is that the answer will change from region to region, however I
think it would be safe to assume that, generally speaking, MCSDs are more
knowledgeable and experienced than non-MCSDs simply because there are
definitely a lot more non-MCSDs out there. All other things being equal, if
the ratio of "good" to "bad" is they same in both categories, than simply
because there are less MCSDs than non-MCSDs, there must be more non-MCSDs too
that don't know what they are doing. Therefore, you are more likely to find a
knowledgeable MCSD developer than you are someone knowledgably in the general,
professional population.
I don't believe that being wary of a potential employee's actual skills,
knoweledge and experience because they list any kind of certification (MS,
Novell, etc.) is wrong. Unfortunately, I have had the "pleasure" of working
with many (and I do mean many) MS certified people who had no real
understanding about the things they were certified in.
That's a shame and I definitely believe that. However, I've had experience
working with a lot of people that weren't certified but shouldn't even have
been professional programmers, let alone architects, DBAs, or even "solution
developers" in general. Many college grads and even autodidacts, including
me, fit this bill at the beginning of their careers. I think the
certifications show that a small population out there have knowledge, at least
some experience, and the desire to learn more. The people that you worked
with may not have been great developers but were they any worse than those
people that weren't certified?

--
Dave Sexton

Oct 26 '06 #10

P: n/a
Hi Scott,
All other things being equal, if the ratio of "good" to "bad" is they same
in both categories, than simply because there are less MCSDs than non-MCSDs,
there must be more non-MCSDs too that don't know what they are doing.
Therefore, you are more likely to find a knowledgeable MCSD developer than
you are someone knowledgably in the general, professional population.
On second thought, this doesn't make sense :)

Assuming that the ratios of "good" job candidates to "bad" job candidates were
the same between a sample of the MCSD population and the general population,
then a potential employers odds of finding a "good" candidate from either pool
would be the same as well. I guess I wrote that statement biased towards MCSD
and assumed, even though I wrote differently, that the MCSD population has
more "good" candidates than "bad" ones.

I'd like feedback from people who have done a lot of interviews of candidates
on both sides to determine a more realistic ratio.

--
Dave Sexton

Oct 26 '06 #11

P: n/a
I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately answer
this
I think you've hit the nail on the head with this. My experience tells me
that employers care about what you know and what you can do for them, cert
or no cert. For programmers anyway, most employers ask for examples of
programs that the candidate has written or worked on and ask them to explain
their solution. Some employers give a "test" of their own during an
interview to weed the "talk the talkers" from the "walk the walkers".

-Scott
Oct 26 '06 #12

P: n/a
Hi Scott,

[Just having some knowledge, e.g., enough to pass the tests, isn't usually
enough to potential employers so I guess the real question is, are MCSDs
generally more knowledgeable and experienced than those without
certification?]
>I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately answer this

I think you've hit the nail on the head with this. My experience tells me
that employers care about what you know and what you can do for them, cert
or no cert. For programmers anyway, most employers ask for examples of
programs that the candidate has written or worked on and ask them to explain
their solution. Some employers give a "test" of their own during an
interview to weed the "talk the talkers" from the "walk the walkers".
True, but I was just stating that I think experienced interviewers know better
if MCSDs commonly "walk the walk" and whether those that aren't certified
generally just "talk the talk". In my limited experience working with MCSDs
and interviewing people in general, both points seem to be true. If so then
employers would benefit from holding MCSDs in a higher regard over the general
population of developers.

--
Dave Sexton
Oct 26 '06 #13

P: n/a
Nice to see how other people think about certification paths ,,,,

I am a autodidact programmer ( started on the C64 ) , and i passed a few
MS certifications ( VS6 track ) when i was already an experienced
enterprise programmer .

I believe that passing a certification track tell you that the person has at
least some basic knowledge about the subject , in that i fully concur with
Scott , however isn`t that with all study`s and educations ?? if a person
passed for his drivers license test , this does not automaticly makes him a
good and experienced car driver
it only means that this person has enough knowledge to control the car and
might become a good car driver .

regards

Michel Posseth

"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comschreef in bericht
news:eW****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
Hi Scott,

[Just having some knowledge, e.g., enough to pass the tests, isn't usually
enough to potential employers so I guess the real question is, are MCSDs
generally more knowledgeable and experienced than those without
certification?]
>>I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately answer
this

I think you've hit the nail on the head with this. My experience tells
me that employers care about what you know and what you can do for them,
cert or no cert. For programmers anyway, most employers ask for examples
of programs that the candidate has written or worked on and ask them to
explain their solution. Some employers give a "test" of their own during
an interview to weed the "talk the talkers" from the "walk the walkers".

True, but I was just stating that I think experienced interviewers know
better if MCSDs commonly "walk the walk" and whether those that aren't
certified generally just "talk the talk". In my limited experience
working with MCSDs and interviewing people in general, both points seem to
be true. If so then employers would benefit from holding MCSDs in a
higher regard over the general population of developers.

--
Dave Sexton


Oct 26 '06 #14

P: n/a
Hi Michel,

<snip>
I believe that passing a certification track tell you that the person has at
least some basic knowledge about the subject , in that i fully concur with
Scott , however isn`t that with all study`s and educations ??
Yes, and having the certificate proves that you either studied, have
experience, or did both.

I believe that having certifications also shows a willingness to learn and the
desire to increase your skills as a developer. All other things equal, of two
developers with the same qualifications applying for the same position, I'd
hire the person that is certified over the person that isn't just like I'd
hire the person with the college degree over the person that isn't. I have no
formal education in computer science and I still feel this way.
if a person passed for his drivers license test , this does not automaticly
makes him a good and experienced car driver
it only means that this person has enough knowledge to control the car and
might become a good car driver .
But I know plenty of drivers, with licenses, that I'd be wary when saying they
know how to control the car :)

So I don't think being MCSD shows that you know how to use your knowledge, per
se, but it does show that you have knowledge about the subject matter and that
is the first step to understanding how to increase and refine your skills as a
developer. Employers should test potential employees to see if they know how
to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems. The test on MSF, I
believe, does this very well and that's why I tend to hold MCSD in a higher
regard than some of the stepping-stone certs. Sadly, I feel that some of the
other tests lack in the department of real-world application. But then, I'm
no testing expert ;)

--
Dave Sexton
Oct 26 '06 #15

P: n/a
I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.

The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me what
you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:eW****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
Hi Scott,

[Just having some knowledge, e.g., enough to pass the tests, isn't usually
enough to potential employers so I guess the real question is, are MCSDs
generally more knowledgeable and experienced than those without
certification?]
>>I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately answer
this

I think you've hit the nail on the head with this. My experience tells
me that employers care about what you know and what you can do for them,
cert or no cert. For programmers anyway, most employers ask for examples
of programs that the candidate has written or worked on and ask them to
explain their solution. Some employers give a "test" of their own during
an interview to weed the "talk the talkers" from the "walk the walkers".

True, but I was just stating that I think experienced interviewers know
better if MCSDs commonly "walk the walk" and whether those that aren't
certified generally just "talk the talk". In my limited experience
working with MCSDs and interviewing people in general, both points seem to
be true. If so then employers would benefit from holding MCSDs in a
higher regard over the general population of developers.

--
Dave Sexton


Oct 26 '06 #16

P: n/a
Hi Scott,
>I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.
I think experienced human resource personnel would disagree.
The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me what
you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".
I agree that's a better approach to finding the right employees for the job
than hiring only on the criteria of certifications and degrees. The point is,
who do you ask to show you what they can do? I would choose a person with a
cert or degree over someone without, because the person that possesses the
credentials are telling you what they can do and that's the first step. The
question I posed before tries to clear up whether or not certs actually tell
an employer what the person can do, and that's why I've asked for feedback
from people with a lot of experience interviewing job candidates with and
without certifications and degrees, but my experience tells me that MCSDs are
generally better solution developers.

Resumes are complete nonsense and I think they should be generally ignored by
any serious employers as credentials. Certs and degrees fill in the spot
nicely because they are neutral, just like SSL certs. They also look nice on
a wall if they aren't damaged during shipment :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:u4****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.

The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me what
you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:eW****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>Hi Scott,

[Just having some knowledge, e.g., enough to pass the tests, isn't usually
enough to potential employers so I guess the real question is, are MCSDs
generally more knowledgeable and experienced than those without
certification?]
>>>I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately answer
this

I think you've hit the nail on the head with this. My experience tells me
that employers care about what you know and what you can do for them, cert
or no cert. For programmers anyway, most employers ask for examples of
programs that the candidate has written or worked on and ask them to
explain their solution. Some employers give a "test" of their own during
an interview to weed the "talk the talkers" from the "walk the walkers".

True, but I was just stating that I think experienced interviewers know
better if MCSDs commonly "walk the walk" and whether those that aren't
certified generally just "talk the talk". In my limited experience working
with MCSDs and interviewing people in general, both points seem to be true.
If so then employers would benefit from holding MCSDs in a higher regard
over the general population of developers.

--
Dave Sexton



Oct 26 '06 #17

P: n/a
Well, I do happen to have quite a bit of experience in HR (with a specialty
in recruitment and selection). If I am looking for a software developer,
engineer or architect, I will put in requirements for applicants such as
college degrees and minimum experience requirements. Those are the things
that will weed out the folks without the minimum requisites I am looking
for.

Now, if I had 2 applicants with identical backgrounds and one had the certs
and one didn't, I have to tell you that the certs wouldn't, in any way,
shift my focus to the one that has them. I've just seen too many people
that have the certs, but not the skills & knowledge.

I would (as most tech empoyers do) give each applicant either a test of my
own or ask them to provide examples (not written, code) of projects they
have worked on and solutions they have created.

It's just my opinion, and I am in NO WAY saying that anyone who has a cert
doesn't have knowledge. I'm simply saying that a cert doesn't tell me what
"skills" and "experience" they have. And, that's what I need to know if I'm
hiring someone.

:)

-Scott

"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:em****************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
Hi Scott,
>>I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.

I think experienced human resource personnel would disagree.
>The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me
what you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".

I agree that's a better approach to finding the right employees for the
job than hiring only on the criteria of certifications and degrees. The
point is, who do you ask to show you what they can do? I would choose a
person with a cert or degree over someone without, because the person that
possesses the credentials are telling you what they can do and that's the
first step. The question I posed before tries to clear up whether or not
certs actually tell an employer what the person can do, and that's why
I've asked for feedback from people with a lot of experience interviewing
job candidates with and without certifications and degrees, but my
experience tells me that MCSDs are generally better solution developers.

Resumes are complete nonsense and I think they should be generally ignored
by any serious employers as credentials. Certs and degrees fill in the
spot nicely because they are neutral, just like SSL certs. They also look
nice on a wall if they aren't damaged during shipment :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:u4****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>>I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.

The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me
what you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:eW****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>>Hi Scott,

[Just having some knowledge, e.g., enough to pass the tests, isn't
usually
enough to potential employers so I guess the real question is, are MCSDs
generally more knowledgeable and experienced than those without
certification?]

I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately answer
this

I think you've hit the nail on the head with this. My experience tells
me that employers care about what you know and what you can do for
them, cert or no cert. For programmers anyway, most employers ask for
examples of programs that the candidate has written or worked on and
ask them to explain their solution. Some employers give a "test" of
their own during an interview to weed the "talk the talkers" from the
"walk the walkers".

True, but I was just stating that I think experienced interviewers know
better if MCSDs commonly "walk the walk" and whether those that aren't
certified generally just "talk the talk". In my limited experience
working with MCSDs and interviewing people in general, both points seem
to be true. If so then employers would benefit from holding MCSDs in a
higher regard over the general population of developers.

--
Dave Sexton




Oct 26 '06 #18

P: n/a
Correction:

I would (as most tech empoyers do) give each applicant either a test of my
own or ask them to provide examples (not VERBAL, code) of projects they
have worked on and solutions they have created.

Oct 27 '06 #19

P: n/a
Hi Scott,

I had no idea that you worked in HR, so it's nice to hear those comments from
someone with real experience in seeing how people measure up. But my personal
experiences still differ so I'm not sure I can concede to your perspective
without some other opinions from HR people too. Just out of curiosity, if you
don't mind me asking, where exactly have you conducted interviews for solution
developers?

Here I've tried to create a comparison of different credentials to each other
and on-site testing used when determining whether a candidate is suitable for
job placement. In each row I list the minimum set of proof that I believe can
be safely assumed, in general, for each credential and in each of the metrics
listed. The purpose was to help me organize, and therefore understand, the
relationships between the credentials and there potential value to employers,
but I really like how it turned out so I'm going to post it ;)

(Originally, I wrote this chart in a grid layout but out of a fear of
misalignment I chose horizontal partitioning instead - I hope it's legible :)

College

Cost At least some; usually high
Time Invested At least some
Learning Some proof
Studies At least enough to pass
Knowledge At least enough to pass; acquired through studies
Experience No proof
Skill No proof
Person No proof

Certification

Cost At least some
Time Invested At least some; more for those without experience
Learning Some proof
Studies At least enough to pass or supplemented by experience
Knowledge At least enough to pass; acquired through studies and/or
experience
Experience No proof
Skill No proof
Person No proof

Resume

Cost Generally free
Time Invested None
Learning No proof
Studies No proof
Knowledge No proof
Experience Some proof, but only when job history is supplied and
can be verified
Skill No proof
Person No proof

On-Site Testing

Cost N/A
Time Invested N/A
Learning No proof
Studies At least enough to pass or supplemented by experience
Knowledge At least enough to pass; acquired through studies and/or
experience
Experience No proof
Skill Some proof
Person Some proof, but only after meeting them in person
All other things being equal, it's clear to me that certifications and degrees
can make up for some of the places where resumes lack. It's also clear that
on-site testing is the best means for finding a suitable employee. Since you
can't very well meet and test everyone that has applied for a position, in
many cases, it makes sense that you should probably value degrees and/or
certifications over resumes when choosing who you are going to interview.

I've worked with several college grads that I wouldn't hire for my own
business and I'm sure the same would be true for some MCSDs, but I find that
many of the developers I've worked with that don't have any credentials really
have been novice programmers with well-written resumes. They are hired many
times without adequate testing and are expected to author WinForms and web
applications, design databases, analyze business requirements; generally
architect and implement solutions far beyond their ability. In the past, a
lot of them have relied on me for help, and in many cases I was learning
myself so I was just doing the research for them. Training for these new
hires ends up being a free course on entry level .NET in some cases.
Therefore, I'd prefer at least some credentials over those candidates that
only supply a resume, but I respect your experiences as well. Therefore, I
would just caution employers to be wary when inviting people in for an
interview based solely on their certification and/or educational achievements,
although there isn't really much else to go on, and should test them as you
have suggested to get a better idea of their knowledge and skills (although
not necessarily their ability). But I definitely don't think that
certifications should be completely disregarded when browsing the market.

I don't want to get carpal tunnel, so I'm done for the night. (sorry for the
excessively long post :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:Ou***************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
Well, I do happen to have quite a bit of experience in HR (with a specialty
in recruitment and selection). If I am looking for a software developer,
engineer or architect, I will put in requirements for applicants such as
college degrees and minimum experience requirements. Those are the things
that will weed out the folks without the minimum requisites I am looking
for.

Now, if I had 2 applicants with identical backgrounds and one had the certs
and one didn't, I have to tell you that the certs wouldn't, in any way,
shift my focus to the one that has them. I've just seen too many people
that have the certs, but not the skills & knowledge.

I would (as most tech empoyers do) give each applicant either a test of my
own or ask them to provide examples (not written, code) of projects they
have worked on and solutions they have created.

It's just my opinion, and I am in NO WAY saying that anyone who has a cert
doesn't have knowledge. I'm simply saying that a cert doesn't tell me what
"skills" and "experience" they have. And, that's what I need to know if I'm
hiring someone.

:)

-Scott

"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:em****************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>Hi Scott,
>>>I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.

I think experienced human resource personnel would disagree.
>>The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me
what you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".

I agree that's a better approach to finding the right employees for the job
than hiring only on the criteria of certifications and degrees. The point
is, who do you ask to show you what they can do? I would choose a person
with a cert or degree over someone without, because the person that
possesses the credentials are telling you what they can do and that's the
first step. The question I posed before tries to clear up whether or not
certs actually tell an employer what the person can do, and that's why I've
asked for feedback from people with a lot of experience interviewing job
candidates with and without certifications and degrees, but my experience
tells me that MCSDs are generally better solution developers.

Resumes are complete nonsense and I think they should be generally ignored
by any serious employers as credentials. Certs and degrees fill in the
spot nicely because they are neutral, just like SSL certs. They also look
nice on a wall if they aren't damaged during shipment :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:u4****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>>>I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.

The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me
what you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:eW****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl.. .
Hi Scott,

[Just having some knowledge, e.g., enough to pass the tests, isn't
usually
enough to potential employers so I guess the real question is, are MCSDs
generally more knowledgeable and experienced than those without
certification?]

>I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately answer
>this
>
I think you've hit the nail on the head with this. My experience tells
me that employers care about what you know and what you can do for them,
cert or no cert. For programmers anyway, most employers ask for
examples of programs that the candidate has written or worked on and ask
them to explain their solution. Some employers give a "test" of their
own during an interview to weed the "talk the talkers" from the "walk
the walkers".

True, but I was just stating that I think experienced interviewers know
better if MCSDs commonly "walk the walk" and whether those that aren't
certified generally just "talk the talk". In my limited experience
working with MCSDs and interviewing people in general, both points seem
to be true. If so then employers would benefit from holding MCSDs in a
higher regard over the general population of developers.

--
Dave Sexton




Oct 27 '06 #20

P: n/a
Hi Dave,

Thanks for posting your thoughts on this (I can always tell when a thread
will go on for a while).

I have had about 8 years of general HR experience working for corporate
hotel & restaurant chains. From there, I worked for an IT Training &
Consulting firm (formerly Professional Development Group [N.E. based] now
known as Knowledge Impact) for 5 years. I started as an instructor and
became heavily involved in Recruitment & Selection of, not only instructors,
but architects, engineers and software developers. We were, in fact,
delivering the MS curriculum at the time.

For the last 6 years, I have owned and operated my own training & consulting
business (TechTrainSolutions.com) and, in that time, I have hired several MS
certified contractors for various projects. Because I have had experiences
(bad ones) with MS certified folks (not all, mind you) in my former
position(s), I have known not to rely solely on the cert.

It's difficult working with contractors, because you don't often get to meet
them, face to face, before making the hire decision. Sometimes I am looking
for instructors (and MS certified people tend to do well as instructors) and
sometimes I am looking for engineers, architects and/or developers.

One decision I made for my business at the very beginning, was to NOT
become, nor work with MCT's (MS Certified Trainers). That may sound strange
coming from the owner/operator of an IT training business. But, when you
are an MCT, you are forced to use the MS curriculum (which, by the way
sucks!) and you may not deviate from it. As a trainer myself, I can tell
you that having the courseware, outline and exercises mandated in such a
severe way is not condusive to learning. It's condusive to maintaining
consistency, which is what MS wants, but not condusive to educating people.
I wanted and need the flexibility to throw away the lesson plan if that's
what a particular group needs in order to understand the concepts and
implemenation of whatever we're discussing.

Anyway (and back on topic), one important fact that you shouldn't forget is
that many certified people expect better compensation because of their cert
(like a college grad would) and most larger companies provide their own on
or off-site training to their employees (by hiring companies like mine).
From dealing with these HR people for over 10 years, I can tell you that
they'd rather hire someone with skills and train them on what they don't
know than to hire someone claiming to know it all.

Ok well, my fingers are getting tired as well.

Take care,

Scott
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:OH****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
Hi Scott,

I had no idea that you worked in HR, so it's nice to hear those comments
from someone with real experience in seeing how people measure up. But my
personal experiences still differ so I'm not sure I can concede to your
perspective without some other opinions from HR people too. Just out of
curiosity, if you don't mind me asking, where exactly have you conducted
interviews for solution developers?

Here I've tried to create a comparison of different credentials to each
other and on-site testing used when determining whether a candidate is
suitable for job placement. In each row I list the minimum set of proof
that I believe can be safely assumed, in general, for each credential and
in each of the metrics listed. The purpose was to help me organize, and
therefore understand, the relationships between the credentials and there
potential value to employers, but I really like how it turned out so I'm
going to post it ;)

(Originally, I wrote this chart in a grid layout but out of a fear of
misalignment I chose horizontal partitioning instead - I hope it's legible
:)

College

Cost At least some; usually high
Time Invested At least some
Learning Some proof
Studies At least enough to pass
Knowledge At least enough to pass; acquired through studies
Experience No proof
Skill No proof
Person No proof

Certification

Cost At least some
Time Invested At least some; more for those without experience
Learning Some proof
Studies At least enough to pass or supplemented by
experience
Knowledge At least enough to pass; acquired through studies
and/or experience
Experience No proof
Skill No proof
Person No proof

Resume

Cost Generally free
Time Invested None
Learning No proof
Studies No proof
Knowledge No proof
Experience Some proof, but only when job history is supplied
and can be verified
Skill No proof
Person No proof

On-Site Testing

Cost N/A
Time Invested N/A
Learning No proof
Studies At least enough to pass or supplemented by
experience
Knowledge At least enough to pass; acquired through studies
and/or experience
Experience No proof
Skill Some proof
Person Some proof, but only after meeting them in person
All other things being equal, it's clear to me that certifications and
degrees can make up for some of the places where resumes lack. It's also
clear that on-site testing is the best means for finding a suitable
employee. Since you can't very well meet and test everyone that has
applied for a position, in many cases, it makes sense that you should
probably value degrees and/or certifications over resumes when choosing
who you are going to interview.

I've worked with several college grads that I wouldn't hire for my own
business and I'm sure the same would be true for some MCSDs, but I find
that many of the developers I've worked with that don't have any
credentials really have been novice programmers with well-written resumes.
They are hired many times without adequate testing and are expected to
author WinForms and web applications, design databases, analyze business
requirements; generally architect and implement solutions far beyond their
ability. In the past, a lot of them have relied on me for help, and in
many cases I was learning myself so I was just doing the research for
them. Training for these new hires ends up being a free course on entry
level .NET in some cases. Therefore, I'd prefer at least some credentials
over those candidates that only supply a resume, but I respect your
experiences as well. Therefore, I would just caution employers to be wary
when inviting people in for an interview based solely on their
certification and/or educational achievements, although there isn't really
much else to go on, and should test them as you have suggested to get a
better idea of their knowledge and skills (although not necessarily their
ability). But I definitely don't think that certifications should be
completely disregarded when browsing the market.

I don't want to get carpal tunnel, so I'm done for the night. (sorry for
the excessively long post :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:Ou***************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>Well, I do happen to have quite a bit of experience in HR (with a
specialty in recruitment and selection). If I am looking for a software
developer, engineer or architect, I will put in requirements for
applicants such as college degrees and minimum experience requirements.
Those are the things that will weed out the folks without the minimum
requisites I am looking for.

Now, if I had 2 applicants with identical backgrounds and one had the
certs and one didn't, I have to tell you that the certs wouldn't, in any
way, shift my focus to the one that has them. I've just seen too many
people that have the certs, but not the skills & knowledge.

I would (as most tech empoyers do) give each applicant either a test of
my own or ask them to provide examples (not written, code) of projects
they have worked on and solutions they have created.

It's just my opinion, and I am in NO WAY saying that anyone who has a
cert doesn't have knowledge. I'm simply saying that a cert doesn't tell
me what "skills" and "experience" they have. And, that's what I need to
know if I'm hiring someone.

:)

-Scott

"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:em****************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>>Hi Scott,

I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.

I think experienced human resource personnel would disagree.

The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me
what you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".

I agree that's a better approach to finding the right employees for the
job than hiring only on the criteria of certifications and degrees. The
point is, who do you ask to show you what they can do? I would choose a
person with a cert or degree over someone without, because the person
that possesses the credentials are telling you what they can do and
that's the first step. The question I posed before tries to clear up
whether or not certs actually tell an employer what the person can do,
and that's why I've asked for feedback from people with a lot of
experience interviewing job candidates with and without certifications
and degrees, but my experience tells me that MCSDs are generally better
solution developers.

Resumes are complete nonsense and I think they should be generally
ignored by any serious employers as credentials. Certs and degrees fill
in the spot nicely because they are neutral, just like SSL certs. They
also look nice on a wall if they aren't damaged during shipment :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:u4****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl.. .
I hear you Dave, I just disagree that you can say (with any generality)
whether or not a cert holder knows more than a non-cert holder.

The mantra that has worked well for me in these situations is "show me
what you can do" don't "tell me what you can do".
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:eW****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl. ..
Hi Scott,
>
[Just having some knowledge, e.g., enough to pass the tests, isn't
usually
enough to potential employers so I guess the real question is, are
MCSDs
generally more knowledgeable and experienced than those without
certification?]
>
>>I think only those experienced in interviewing could accurately
>>answer this
>>
>I think you've hit the nail on the head with this. My experience
>tells me that employers care about what you know and what you can do
>for them, cert or no cert. For programmers anyway, most employers
>ask for examples of programs that the candidate has written or worked
>on and ask them to explain their solution. Some employers give a
>"test" of their own during an interview to weed the "talk the
>talkers" from the "walk the walkers".
>
True, but I was just stating that I think experienced interviewers
know better if MCSDs commonly "walk the walk" and whether those that
aren't certified generally just "talk the talk". In my limited
experience working with MCSDs and interviewing people in general, both
points seem to be true. If so then employers would benefit from
holding MCSDs in a higher regard over the general population of
developers.
>
--
Dave Sexton
>
>




Oct 27 '06 #21

P: n/a
On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 17:21:43 +0200, Dave Sexton
<dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote:
Hi Morten,
>All that said, I would probably not have started doing MCSD(.Net) now
as it
only certifies .Net 1.1 and vs.net 2003 knowledge, and most of the .Net
2.0/vs.net 2005 certificates have been released now as MCPD and MCPDEA
with
the exam books being released already or soon.

That's not really true. MCSD tests basic framework concepts, including
knowledge of WinForms, Web and services, and the MSF, all of which
applies to
any version of the framework. Also, I believe the elective could be SQL
Server 2005 or another next gen exam. But even choosing SQL Server 2000
will
makes sense for a while to come.
MCSD only tests knowledge of .Net 1.0 or 1.1, but you can indeed go for
SQL Server 2005 or Biztalk Server 2004/2006 as the elective exam.

If you take MCSD you can upgrade to MCPDEA with two additional exams.
--
Happy Coding!
Morten Wennevik [C# MVP]
Oct 27 '06 #22

P: n/a
Hi Morten,

MCPD is definitely an upgrade path, so just to be clear, I wasn't suggesting that MCSD should be taken instead of MCPD. But it
sounds like your suggesting that MCSD is obsolete, and I strongly disagree.

[
How can I determine whether I am an appropriate candidate for earning the MCSD for Microsoft .NET certification? What skills are
covered?

The MCSD for Microsoft .NET credential is appropriate for professionals who design and develop leading-edge enterprise solutions
with Microsoft development tools, technologies, platforms, and the Microsoft .NET Framework. The MCSD job role includes analyzing
business and technical requirements, and defining the solution architecture, as well as the tasks typically conducted by
MCADs-implementing the requirements and building, deploying, and maintaining the solution. We expect candidates to have at least two
years of experience in a lead-developer job function. Typical job titles include software engineer, application analyst, software
application developer, and technical consultant.

MCSD FAQ on MSDN:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcsd/faq.asp
]

[
If you are developing .NET Framework 2.0 applications that use Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, the new Microsoft Certified Technology
Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credentials provide a simpler and more targeted framework to
showcase your technical skills in addition to the skills that are required for specific developer job roles.

The Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) and Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) credentials provide
developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio .NET with industry recognition of their Microsoft .NET development skills and experience.

MCPD on MSDN:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcpd/
]
MCSD Required Exams:

2 of the core exams (Developing and Implementing Windows-based Applications, and Developing and Implementing Web Applications) are
geared towards VS.NET, however they test basic framework knowledge as well as language grammar of the specific language chosen
(i.e., VB.NET or C#) that can apply to any version of the .NET framework.

1 of the core exams, (Developing XML Web Services and Server Components) is geared towards XML Web Services and service technologies
to test knowledge that in many ways can be independent from any version of the .NET framework.

1 of the core exams is unique to MCSD (Analyzing Requirements and Defining Microsoft .NET Solution Architectures) and it tests
knowledge that can be used completely independent of the .NET framework, including knowledge and understanding of MSF guidelines,
which can even be used in Visual Studio Team System, which I expect to be around for a while to come.

1 elective includes choices for several exams that test knowledge and skills of other Microsoft products that have nothing or little
to do with the .NET framework in particular.

MCSD for Microsoft .NET Certification Requirements
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mc...entsdotnet.asp

--
Dave Sexton

"Morten Wennevik" <Mo************@hotmail.comwrote in message news:op***************@tr024.bouvet.no...
On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 17:21:43 +0200, Dave Sexton <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote:
>Hi Morten,
>>All that said, I would probably not have started doing MCSD(.Net) now as it
only certifies .Net 1.1 and vs.net 2003 knowledge, and most of the .Net
2.0/vs.net 2005 certificates have been released now as MCPD and MCPDEA with
the exam books being released already or soon.

That's not really true. MCSD tests basic framework concepts, including
knowledge of WinForms, Web and services, and the MSF, all of which applies to
any version of the framework. Also, I believe the elective could be SQL
Server 2005 or another next gen exam. But even choosing SQL Server 2000 will
makes sense for a while to come.

MCSD only tests knowledge of .Net 1.0 or 1.1, but you can indeed go for SQL Server 2005 or Biztalk Server 2004/2006 as the
elective exam.

If you take MCSD you can upgrade to MCPDEA with two additional exams.
--
Happy Coding!
Morten Wennevik [C# MVP]

Oct 27 '06 #23

P: n/a
Hi Scott,
Thanks for posting your thoughts on this (I can always tell when a thread will go on for a while).
I have a habit of participating in long threads :p

<snip interesting stuff>
Anyway (and back on topic), one important fact that you shouldn't forget is that many certified people expect better compensation
because of their cert (like a college grad would) and most larger companies provide their own on or off-site training to their
employees (by hiring companies like mine). From dealing with these HR people for over 10 years, I can tell you that they'd rather
hire someone with skills and train them on what they don't know than to hire someone claiming to know it all.
Understandable, but I don't think that simply having MCSD claims that you think you know it all :)

And I've been expressing a lot, the idea that you won't be able to assess somebody's skills until you've chosen them from a large
number of other candidates - forget hiring. And I assume that these HR people you speak of hold resumes in a higher regard than
certifications and degrees. I really don't understand that line of thought.

So, what criteria do you base your decision on inviting someone from a large pool of candidates, none of which you have met or even
spoken to, into your office (or online) for a skill assessment?

--
Dave Sexton
Oct 27 '06 #24

P: n/a
Hi Dave,
And I assume that these HR people you speak of hold resumes in a higher
regard than certifications and degrees. I really don't understand that
line of thought.
Degrees carry weight, certs do not (for me and many others - not everybody).
Resumes can, and certainly are padded often, but a good interveriewer can
generally weed out the fluff and get to the related work experience that is
relevant. And, work experience (if verifiable through references) is worth
more than any degree or cert to an interviewer.
So, what criteria do you base your decision on inviting someone from a
large pool of candidates, none of which you have met or even spoken to,
into your office (or online) for a skill assessment?
Verifiable work experience (not, I was the Cheif Software Architect, but
the company is out of business and I don't have any references), length of
time in the field and degrees attained. Once I get them in the door for an
interview, I'll ask technical questions and see if they can "talk the talk".
If I like the candidate, I'll either ask them to take a written skills
assesment or give them an assignment to complete that can demonstrate to me
that they can "walk the walk".

For me, the cert means nothing. It doesn't factor in at all. This is based
on my previous experiences (many) with cert holders and I'm certainly aware
that, for others (like yourself), the cert carries some weight. But, as I
said in my first reply, I don't believe that a cert truly shows a
prospective employer much.

-Scott
Oct 27 '06 #25

P: n/a
Hi Scott,

Well I do appreciate your insight into one POV, however typical or unconventional it might be. It has prompted me to really analyze
whether I think certification should hold any merit, and to be perfectly honest, from this conversation alone I have lowered the
regard in which I hold certifications, somewhat. I'll be searching for employees at some point (if I'm lucky enough to acquire
another client :) and I'll take your advice then.

I must say that it's a bit disconcerting to me that even neutral certification providers aren't establishing tests that really set
apart those that know the material from those that don't, in your experiences. After all, if companies are going to test certified
people on their own, then I completely understand why certification might not be very important to them. And I've always
recommended testing potential employees anyway. Therefore, I think that certifications should be more difficult to achieve so that
companies can feel satisfied that they don't have to rigorously test the candidates that hold the certs. But I'm sure it would take
a long time and a lot of proven candidates before your convinced that certs have any merit.

I'm still surprised you have found so many people that acquired certifications and couldn't "walk the walk", which I assumed to be
quite difficult for novice programmers to achieve. When I passed the MCAD tests I asked the woman at the testing facility how my
scores compared to the general scores she's witnessed in the past and she said that mine were higher than usual (not saying this
just to stroke my ego; I have enough experience where I'd just have given up if I got anything less :), and that most people get
about 10% higher than the minimum passing grade. So it seems that us validated certificate holders might benefit if they just
raised the minimum passing grade, assuming of course that the majority of candidates that couldn't "walk the walk" just passed
within that ~10%.

But I still believe that certifications should hold at least some merit in job hunting. Maybe that's just wishful thinking since
I'm certified and plan to acquire more certifications in the future, but I won't be looking for jobs anytime soon, just clients -
and clients don't necessarily know what tech HR people know - maybe that will work to my advantage. But at least in my case, I
hope, my certifications aren't misleading to clients or even HR people for that matter. Unfortunately, it seems that others have
made it so by leaning only on the certificates they have acquired, and that's a shame. I have only the elective remaining to
achieve MCSD, and I'm planning on getting MCPD, as time permits. I hope the MCPD tests are much harder than those for MCAD, but I
will say that I didn't find the MSF test to be so easy and I believe that many of the programmers I know wouldn't pass that test
even after studying for a month (and I mean that with all due respect :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message news:e$****************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
Hi Dave,
>And I assume that these HR people you speak of hold resumes in a higher regard than certifications and degrees. I really don't
understand that line of thought.

Degrees carry weight, certs do not (for me and many others - not everybody). Resumes can, and certainly are padded often, but a
good interveriewer can generally weed out the fluff and get to the related work experience that is relevant. And, work experience
(if verifiable through references) is worth more than any degree or cert to an interviewer.
>So, what criteria do you base your decision on inviting someone from a large pool of candidates, none of which you have met or
even spoken to, into your office (or online) for a skill assessment?

Verifiable work experience (not, I was the Cheif Software Architect, but the company is out of business and I don't have any
references), length of time in the field and degrees attained. Once I get them in the door for an interview, I'll ask technical
questions and see if they can "talk the talk". If I like the candidate, I'll either ask them to take a written skills assesment or
give them an assignment to complete that can demonstrate to me that they can "walk the walk".

For me, the cert means nothing. It doesn't factor in at all. This is based on my previous experiences (many) with cert holders
and I'm certainly aware that, for others (like yourself), the cert carries some weight. But, as I said in my first reply, I
don't believe that a cert truly shows a prospective employer much.

-Scott


Oct 27 '06 #26

P: n/a
Well, let me close out my thoughts on this topic with comments contrary to
my own thus far (just to make sure I don't get in trouble with the fine
certified folks around here)....

As much as I have had several bad experiences with MS certified people in
the past, I have also worked with some very talented and knowledable
MCSD/E's over the years. But, in the end, the people I know who are real
guru's didn't need the cert to prove that to me.

Good luck Dave!

-Scott
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:uw****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
Hi Scott,

Well I do appreciate your insight into one POV, however typical or
unconventional it might be. It has prompted me to really analyze whether
I think certification should hold any merit, and to be perfectly honest,
from this conversation alone I have lowered the regard in which I hold
certifications, somewhat. I'll be searching for employees at some point
(if I'm lucky enough to acquire another client :) and I'll take your
advice then.

I must say that it's a bit disconcerting to me that even neutral
certification providers aren't establishing tests that really set apart
those that know the material from those that don't, in your experiences.
After all, if companies are going to test certified people on their own,
then I completely understand why certification might not be very important
to them. And I've always recommended testing potential employees anyway.
Therefore, I think that certifications should be more difficult to achieve
so that companies can feel satisfied that they don't have to rigorously
test the candidates that hold the certs. But I'm sure it would take a
long time and a lot of proven candidates before your convinced that certs
have any merit.

I'm still surprised you have found so many people that acquired
certifications and couldn't "walk the walk", which I assumed to be quite
difficult for novice programmers to achieve. When I passed the MCAD tests
I asked the woman at the testing facility how my scores compared to the
general scores she's witnessed in the past and she said that mine were
higher than usual (not saying this just to stroke my ego; I have enough
experience where I'd just have given up if I got anything less :), and
that most people get about 10% higher than the minimum passing grade. So
it seems that us validated certificate holders might benefit if they just
raised the minimum passing grade, assuming of course that the majority of
candidates that couldn't "walk the walk" just passed within that ~10%.

But I still believe that certifications should hold at least some merit in
job hunting. Maybe that's just wishful thinking since I'm certified and
plan to acquire more certifications in the future, but I won't be looking
for jobs anytime soon, just clients - and clients don't necessarily know
what tech HR people know - maybe that will work to my advantage. But at
least in my case, I hope, my certifications aren't misleading to clients
or even HR people for that matter. Unfortunately, it seems that others
have made it so by leaning only on the certificates they have acquired,
and that's a shame. I have only the elective remaining to achieve MCSD,
and I'm planning on getting MCPD, as time permits. I hope the MCPD tests
are much harder than those for MCAD, but I will say that I didn't find the
MSF test to be so easy and I believe that many of the programmers I know
wouldn't pass that test even after studying for a month (and I mean that
with all due respect :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:e$****************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
>Hi Dave,
>>And I assume that these HR people you speak of hold resumes in a higher
regard than certifications and degrees. I really don't understand that
line of thought.

Degrees carry weight, certs do not (for me and many others - not
everybody). Resumes can, and certainly are padded often, but a good
interveriewer can generally weed out the fluff and get to the related
work experience that is relevant. And, work experience (if verifiable
through references) is worth more than any degree or cert to an
interviewer.
>>So, what criteria do you base your decision on inviting someone from a
large pool of candidates, none of which you have met or even spoken to,
into your office (or online) for a skill assessment?

Verifiable work experience (not, I was the Cheif Software Architect, but
the company is out of business and I don't have any references), length
of time in the field and degrees attained. Once I get them in the door
for an interview, I'll ask technical questions and see if they can "talk
the talk". If I like the candidate, I'll either ask them to take a
written skills assesment or give them an assignment to complete that can
demonstrate to me that they can "walk the walk".

For me, the cert means nothing. It doesn't factor in at all. This is
based on my previous experiences (many) with cert holders and I'm
certainly aware that, for others (like yourself), the cert carries some
weight. But, as I said in my first reply, I don't believe that a cert
truly shows a prospective employer much.

-Scott



Oct 27 '06 #27

P: n/a
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the conversation. GL to you as well.

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:e2****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
Well, let me close out my thoughts on this topic with comments contrary to
my own thus far (just to make sure I don't get in trouble with the fine
certified folks around here)....

As much as I have had several bad experiences with MS certified people in
the past, I have also worked with some very talented and knowledable
MCSD/E's over the years. But, in the end, the people I know who are real
guru's didn't need the cert to prove that to me.

Good luck Dave!

-Scott
"Dave Sexton" <dave@jwa[remove.this]online.comwrote in message
news:uw****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>Hi Scott,

Well I do appreciate your insight into one POV, however typical or
unconventional it might be. It has prompted me to really analyze whether I
think certification should hold any merit, and to be perfectly honest, from
this conversation alone I have lowered the regard in which I hold
certifications, somewhat. I'll be searching for employees at some point
(if I'm lucky enough to acquire another client :) and I'll take your advice
then.

I must say that it's a bit disconcerting to me that even neutral
certification providers aren't establishing tests that really set apart
those that know the material from those that don't, in your experiences.
After all, if companies are going to test certified people on their own,
then I completely understand why certification might not be very important
to them. And I've always recommended testing potential employees anyway.
Therefore, I think that certifications should be more difficult to achieve
so that companies can feel satisfied that they don't have to rigorously
test the candidates that hold the certs. But I'm sure it would take a long
time and a lot of proven candidates before your convinced that certs have
any merit.

I'm still surprised you have found so many people that acquired
certifications and couldn't "walk the walk", which I assumed to be quite
difficult for novice programmers to achieve. When I passed the MCAD tests
I asked the woman at the testing facility how my scores compared to the
general scores she's witnessed in the past and she said that mine were
higher than usual (not saying this just to stroke my ego; I have enough
experience where I'd just have given up if I got anything less :), and that
most people get about 10% higher than the minimum passing grade. So it
seems that us validated certificate holders might benefit if they just
raised the minimum passing grade, assuming of course that the majority of
candidates that couldn't "walk the walk" just passed within that ~10%.

But I still believe that certifications should hold at least some merit in
job hunting. Maybe that's just wishful thinking since I'm certified and
plan to acquire more certifications in the future, but I won't be looking
for jobs anytime soon, just clients - and clients don't necessarily know
what tech HR people know - maybe that will work to my advantage. But at
least in my case, I hope, my certifications aren't misleading to clients or
even HR people for that matter. Unfortunately, it seems that others have
made it so by leaning only on the certificates they have acquired, and
that's a shame. I have only the elective remaining to achieve MCSD, and
I'm planning on getting MCPD, as time permits. I hope the MCPD tests are
much harder than those for MCAD, but I will say that I didn't find the MSF
test to be so easy and I believe that many of the programmers I know
wouldn't pass that test even after studying for a month (and I mean that
with all due respect :)

--
Dave Sexton

"Scott M." <s-***@nospam.nospamwrote in message
news:e$****************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
>>Hi Dave,

And I assume that these HR people you speak of hold resumes in a higher
regard than certifications and degrees. I really don't understand that
line of thought.

Degrees carry weight, certs do not (for me and many others - not
everybody). Resumes can, and certainly are padded often, but a good
interveriewer can generally weed out the fluff and get to the related work
experience that is relevant. And, work experience (if verifiable through
references) is worth more than any degree or cert to an interviewer.

So, what criteria do you base your decision on inviting someone from a
large pool of candidates, none of which you have met or even spoken to,
into your office (or online) for a skill assessment?

Verifiable work experience (not, I was the Cheif Software Architect, but
the company is out of business and I don't have any references), length of
time in the field and degrees attained. Once I get them in the door for
an interview, I'll ask technical questions and see if they can "talk the
talk". If I like the candidate, I'll either ask them to take a written
skills assesment or give them an assignment to complete that can
demonstrate to me that they can "walk the walk".

For me, the cert means nothing. It doesn't factor in at all. This is
based on my previous experiences (many) with cert holders and I'm
certainly aware that, for others (like yourself), the cert carries some
weight. But, as I said in my first reply, I don't believe that a cert
truly shows a prospective employer much.

-Scott




Oct 27 '06 #28

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.