Category Archives: Certification

Programming-Related Certifications.

Studying For The 70-503 Exam

On to the next one… this time it’s the .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Communication Foundation exam.  The study guide for this one seems pretty dry and repetitive so far.

It might just be that I have less experience with WCF than I did with the other exam subjects, but so far this one is requiring a serious act of willpower to stay focused on reading.

I doubt I’ll be able to continue my one-exam-every-two-weeks pace, but we’ll see…

Passed The 70-561

I took and passed the Microsoft 70-561 exam today and how have the “MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5 ADO.NET Applications” certification.

This exam was incredibly hard, and I didn’t obliterate like I did to the previous two.  A score of 700 was required to pass and I picked up a 768.

The study book for the ADO exam wasn’t really all that good — it was far too sparse and left out too much information.  It was only about 450 pages or so and should have been around 700 to really cover the material.

Studying For The 70-561 Exam

Finished one exam, on to the next now.  The upcoming target is the Microsoft 70-561 exam, “Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 ADO.NET Application Development”.

I’m already a fair way into the book, and it looks like I shouldn’t have too much trouble wrapping my head around the material.  There are a few things I haven’t really worked with, like the Entity Framework and LINQ to XML, but much of the material involves things I’ve been using a lot lately — datasets, LINQ to SQL, etc.

It should be a couple weeks before I’m ready to tackle the exam, but I can’t imagine that it will be all that hard.  It’s the WCF and ASP.NET ones I’m worried about (mainly due to lack of experience with the technologies).

Passed The 70-505 Exam

Over the weekend I took and passed the Microsoft 70-505 certification exam and now have the “MCTS: .NET 3.5 Windows Forms Application Development” certification.  It was far harder than I expected, but I still ended up with a score of 914 (passing score was 700).

Studying For 70-505

Now that I’ve passed the base .NET exam (70-536), I’m working on the Windows Forms development certification exam.  Passing that will get me the “MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Applications” cert.  I’m pretty confident that I’ll pass it on the first try.  Here’s why:

1. I’ve written a lot of WinForms programs (including 3 for the Basternae project — the help editor, ANSI screen editor, and the zone editor).

2. The exam recommends one year of experience with the topic rather than the two that 70-536 wanted.

3. The book is better-written than the 70-536 book, is more accurate, and is about 300 pages shorter.  It’s less klunky as a learning tool.

I’ve finished the reading portion of the book already, so all I need to do now is spend some time practicing the parts I don’t know all that well.  Look for an exam results report in about a week or so.

Passed The 70-536 Exam

I took the Microsoft 70-536 .NET certification exam today.  I can’t say it was easy, but I clobbered it.  It wasn’t for lack of preparation either.  I think I may have read just over 2000 pages worth of material.

Studying For 70-536

In a previous life as a network admin, I took all sorts of certification tests — A+, Network+, I-Net+, CNA, and MCP, which I later upgraded to MCSA and then MCSE.

One thing that these tests always required was extensive knowledge of obscure parts of a technology regardless of their usefulness in working with the technology. You have to know all sorts of useless information to officially be an expert.

Since I’m studying for the Microsoft .NET Framework Foundation (70-536) exam, I’ve been investigating the cobwebbed corners of the framework.  It’s amazing how many things there are that I’ve never used, never thought I’d use, and probably never will use.  Even so, I have picked up a few useful tricks in the process.

What doesn’t help is the extensive amount of errata in the thousand-plus-page study guide.  There’s so much broken that there are FOUR knowledge base articles, presumably due to some sort of size limitation in a KB article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/923018
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935218
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949730
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949734

Needless to say, I’m not relying too heavily on a single reference book.