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I got a request from a blog reader on the details of my certification journey:

1) Top 5 reasons you decided to get certified?
2) What books/resources/courses/web sites/etc.. did you use for your studying?
3) In what order did you take the exams?
4) How much preperation time did you need for the exams?
5) If you had to do it again, what would you do differently, if anything?
6) What level of experience did you have before starting your studying?

So, to answer these questions:

1) Top 5 reasons you decided to get certified?

I think it is important, especially being a contractor to have some backup that I know what I'm doing.  My resume speaks for itself but the certification can only add to it. Also, since I was going to spend the time to get certified, I figured I would pay the extra $375 and take 3 extra tests to get certified in both C# and VB.NET, not just one or the other. Also, unlike other guys in this field, I didnt goto college and get a BS or any degree in CS.  I was already working in the field, so I decided to focus my education on the things I wanted to learn, not the things they wanted my to learn for a degree.

2) What books/resources/courses/web sites/etc.. did you use for your studying?
3) In what order did you take the exams?
4) How much preperation time did you need for the exams?

I went through quite the path to get upto speed on everything .NET.  I came from a VB background, when .NET was in Beta 2 I started reading books about C#, Inside C# I think was the first, the Dan Appleman's Moving to VB.NET, was a good book.  So I started using VB.NET and C#.NET professionally but decided in 2003 to goto night school and fill in the gaps.  I bought a knowIT card from Centriq University in KC in March 2003, the card lets you take unlimited classes for a year, you just have to pay for the courseware. To be honest, and not to bag on Centriq, I was a little disappointed. I set a goal to get my cert by Jan 2004, and wanted to take appropriate classes. Because I worked fulltime I could only attemd classes at night. For the first few months March-June I took 3 or 4 - 2 week classes. After that I could never get the classes I wanted, and centriq didn't have enough people that wanted to take the classes to even schedule them. I did feel like I got my money worth on the classes I took, but in order to meet my goal on Jan, I was going to have to finish this thing on my own.

So, I went and picked up the MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Microsoft .NET Core Requirements, Exams 70-305, 70-315, 70-306, 70-316, 70-310, 70-320, and 70-300 which is all the books in one kit needed to study for the exams.

I also purchased the Transcender MCSD.NET Pack, which has sample tests for each of the needed tests.  I like the transcenders because after taking the sample tests, they dont only tell you the right answer, but explain why its the right answer, and why the other choices were not correct. This is the kind of logic you need to learn for the MS tests, Some questions on the tests and for the “best choice“, so not only do you need to know the right answer, but need to know the best answer too.

I took the 70-300 test first, as I had a free voucher to take it by the end of September from my original MCSD certification from back in 2000.

I then, worked on the rest of the tests in sequence taking the C# test, and the VB.NET test for the same subject, back to back

After passing all the core tests, I received the MCAD.NET certification, then I needed one more elective for the MCSD.NET. I picked up the SQL 2000 Test Guide Book, as well as the Transcender sample test for the 70-229. I passed that test on 9/1/2004 to complete my certification. Here is a list of the certifications, tests and dates I took them:

Microsoft Certification Status

Certification Version Date Achieved
Microsoft Certified Application Developer May 07, 2004
For Microsoft .NET May 07, 2004
Microsoft Certified Solution Developer Jun 11, 2001
For Microsoft .NET Sep 01, 2004
Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 Jun 11, 2001
Microsoft Certified Professional Apr 10, 2000



Microsoft Certification Exams Completed Successfully

Exam ID Description Date Completed
229 Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2000 Enterprise Edition Sep 01, 2004
305 Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Microsoft® Visual Basic® .NET and Microsoft® Visual Studio® .NET May 07, 2004
315 Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Microsoft® Visual C#™ .NET and Microsoft® Visual Studio® .NET May 07, 2004
316 Developing and Implementing Windows®-based Applications with Microsoft® Visual C#™ .NET and Microsoft® Visual Studio® .NET Nov 14, 2003
306 Developing and Implementing Windows®-based Applications with Microsoft® Visual Basic® .NET and Microsoft® Visual Studio® .NET Nov 13, 2003
310 Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Microsoft® Visual Basic® .NET and the Microsoft® .NET Framework Oct 24, 2003
320 Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and the Microsoft .NET Framework Oct 17, 2003
300 Analyzing Requirements and Defining Microsoft .NET Solution Architectures Sep 26, 2003
029 Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft® SQL Server 7.0 Jun 11, 2001
175 Designing and Implementing Distributed Applications with Microsoft® Visual Basic 6.0 Oct 06, 2000
176 Designing and Implementing Desktop Applications with Microsoft® Visual Basic 6.0 Aug 25, 2000
100 Analyzing Requirements and Defining Solution Architectures Apr 10, 2000


5) If you had to do it again, what would you do differently, if anything?

Not really, I think the path I took was good.


6) What level of experience did you have before starting your studying?

I have a VB background from all the way back to VB3.  So I had quite a bit of experience before I started pursuing the certifications.  I'm sure my experience helped, but I'm not sure how much of it was relevant to get the certs for the .NET group of technologies.

I hope this helps anyone who may be pursuing certification, I think it was well worth the work.  Not only am I certified, but I learned so much along the way.  I can't think of too many things I couldn't do if I needed to.  I think that is one of the most important parts of being a good developer.  You don't need to have a ton of experience with every subject, it is always better to approach a new situation with the full knowledge of what you are capable of doing, and how different aspects of the technology fit different tasks.  You can always figure out the syntax, and technical way to do things later.

Gavin

Posted on Thursday, September 2, 2004 6:21 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: MCSD.Net Certification Trail

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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sir/madam,
i want to take vb.net certification exam,but there are many exams.i'm not understanding which is the best suited exam for the industry requirements these days.plz send me ur advice to my e mail id. thotarahul@rediffmail.com.
if u provide any faq's thro' your sites plz tell me.
regards
Left by rahul kumar thota on Jan 17, 2005 1:52 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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sir/madam,
i want to take vb.net certification exam,but there are many exams.i'm not understanding which is the best suited exam for the industry requirements these days.plz send me ur advice to my e mail id. thotarahul@rediffmail.com.
if u provide any faq's thro' your sites plz tell me.
regards
Left by Abhishek Tandon on Mar 16, 2005 8:15 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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Respected Sir/Madam
i want to take VB.net certification exam, which is the best suited exam for the industry requirements these days.plz send me ur advice to anilk@vscribes.net
Left by K.Anil kumar on Jun 06, 2005 12:39 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
I want to give first exam of .net series. But i don't know how can i prepare,what are the good books,where can i get good mock test questions.So please send me ur advice to nihar.maharana@gmail.com .
Thanks
Left by Nihar Ranjan Maharana on Dec 08, 2005 1:58 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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Sir i wan take exam of VB 6.0 and Vb.net but i don't how to prepare for eaxm and portaion of eaxm so sir plz tell me p[lz send me detail on lovenehap@yahoo.com
Left by Neah on Dec 23, 2005 3:57 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Hello Sir,

I am interested in obtaining the MCSD and eventually, the MOUS certifications. I currently have a BS degree in IT/Systems Analysis. The problem is that I have not been in the IT profession for 3 yrs and am interested in getting back into IT. I have knowledge of many areas of IT but am master of none. How would you suggest I go about preparing for both of these certifications. Please email me at: treecedr@swbell.net
Left by Patrice Reeves on Jan 11, 2006 7:57 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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Hi i am abhishek. I wann to know the details of
books required for MCSD.net
Left by Abhishek Mukhopadhyay on Jan 19, 2006 5:23 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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Hi all,
plz tell me if anyone knoe about 70-235 biztalk server Dump
Left by Gaurav on Aug 15, 2007 11:57 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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Dear

Please send me the official books name for the prepration for MCSD.net exam.
Left by R on Aug 30, 2007 3:55 AM

# mcsd c# certification
Requesting Gravatar...
i too want to take up c# certification. can any one help me actually what is scenario with this. im a masters student, did my .net course work this sem. so interested to take up certification in .net in c#. help me out?
Left by deepthi on Dec 14, 2007 3:01 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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please send me the sample question paper of vb.net certification course
Left by parna bose on Jan 22, 2008 6:51 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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Respected Sir/Madam,
I want to give first exam of .net series. But i don't know how can i apply for the exam and what are the good books,where can i get good mock test questions.So please send me ur advice to
g.divya.r@gmail.com
Thanks
Left by Divyareddy on Feb 11, 2008 12:09 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Respected Sir/Madam
i want to take VB.net(MCSD) certification exam, which is the best suited exam for the industry requirements these days.plz send me ur advice to and i need previous year question paper.
Left by Naushad Hassan on Apr 05, 2008 12:17 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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i want to do .net certification in hyderabad . if you know please give me details of this and how to appear for this examination and if any institute giving the training about this please give information to me.
Left by ahamed ks on Apr 29, 2008 10:47 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Respected Sir/Madam,

i want to do .net first certification in hyderabad . if you know please give me details of this and how to appear for this examination and if any institute giving the training about this. Are there any faqs or model questions like how they appear etc...

please give information to me

thanks & regards
K.Raghu

Left by Raghu on May 13, 2008 5:42 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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Respected Sir,
I want to do .net Certification exam in Web Application. How can i prepare for this exam. please give me ur suggestions. and if they want any Qualification for this Exam. Because i have completed only Diploma. Now only i do final year graduate. If any site provide free dump for this exam? Give me ur replay to my mail id :

kmurugan_vdm@rediffmail.com

Thank You sir.
Left by Murugan on May 30, 2008 11:23 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Respected Sir/Madam,
I want to give first exam of .net series. But i don't know how can i apply for the exam and what are the good books,where can i get good mock test questions.So please send me ur advice to
sudhakarreddy_ravuri@yahoo.co.in
Thanks
Left by sudhakar on Jun 03, 2008 8:37 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
if you still not clear,

read this excellent article.

even blogger is very good even answer ur question.

Rocks
Left by Kaveri on Jun 08, 2008 11:00 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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you can read this excellent article

http://rajmittal.blogspot.com/2008/04/microsoft-dot-net-certification-details.html
Left by Sonu on Jun 08, 2008 11:02 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Respected sir/mam,

now i am working vb.net 2005 ,if i want to write certification exam which is the best suited exam for the industry requirements these days.plz send info to me. srmravindran@gmail.com
Left by ravindran m on Jun 17, 2008 5:05 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
ZSDcsvdb
Left by dsfdsfxcvcx on Jun 24, 2008 2:44 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Respected Sir/Madam,
I want to give first exam of .net series. But i don't know how can i apply for the exam and what are the good books,where can i get good mock test questions.So please send me ur advice to my mailid.I have 1 year experience in vb.net.

Thanks & regards

krishna chaitanya
Left by krishna chaitanya on Jun 24, 2008 3:52 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Respected Sir/Madam,
I want to be microsoft .net certfied and want to give all .net exam series. But i don't know how can i apply for the exam and what are the good books,where can i get good mock test questions.So please send me ur advice to my mailid.
Thanks & regards

Shweta Bansal
Left by Shweta bansal on Jun 25, 2008 4:49 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Dear sir,
I want to do first exam of .net series. But i don't know how can i apply for the exam and what are the good books,where can i get good mock test questions.So please send me ur advice to my mailid.If have have any questions dumb pls send me that for reference
Left by kaleeshwari on Jul 28, 2008 3:33 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Dear Sir/Madam,
I want to do a certification in Vb.Net and C#.Net. But I do not know which I should do first and how to actually begin the preparations. Could you also brief me about the registration for the Certification? Please reply me at rashmi.p.pandit@gmail.com
I would be grateful if you could send me some question papers or study material.

Thanks and Regards,
Rashmi Pandit.
Left by Rashmi Pandit on Aug 11, 2008 12:44 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Dear sir,
I want to do first exam of .net series. But i don't have xml damb paper-320 can u help me for the dumb thanks
Left by savita jain on Sep 09, 2008 1:39 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
I am trying to get a certification for c#/.net (MCTS and MCPD hopefully). I only have a year experience with .net (vb.net/ and 3 months of c#) and I know there is a lot to review. However, I am confused as to which version is the better path to go. Which is better to take a certification, is it the the c# 2005 or c#2008. I planned on pursuing c# instead of vb.net because my current job is Java but still wanted to pursue c#.

At home, I only have the visual studio 2005 trial version and no 2008. Can you shed me some light as to which version should I pursue?

Thanks a lot for your time and hope to hear from you soon.

Jay
Left by Jay on Sep 25, 2008 7:51 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
i am a recent grad with a mis degree. i can't decide if i want to get my ms certs or go to night school for an mba. can you shed some light onto what kind of "raise" power certs carry and which certs would be the best to obtain for a career in web development in C# or VB.NET.

i apreciate your article.

thanks.
Left by JacksonsDad on Oct 29, 2008 1:06 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Sir/Madam,
i am an recent post-graduate. i am interested to do MCSD, but i don't know anything about this will u plz guide which is better either C# or ASP.net and will plz send me some matetrial on this to complete my certification.
Left by vasavi on Apr 15, 2009 1:48 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Hi sir/madam,

I am recent graduate.Am working for a company on .net.I want to do .net certification.Please help me in sending some material on complete .Net so that i an prepare for that my self

Thank You,

Deepthi Bolla.

Left by deepthi on Jun 29, 2009 12:24 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
I don't know why people keep asking me for info on the certifications.. All this info is publicly available from Microsoft.

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-overview.aspx
Left by Gavin Stevens on Jun 29, 2009 11:55 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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GUYS, for detailed information browse

<h3>http://rajmittal.blogspot.com/2008/04/microsoft-dot-net-certification-details.html </h3>
Left by dot net certification on Jun 30, 2009 11:48 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
dear sir/madam
i am interested in .net certification mcsd but i dont know what i do first ,what the proper book that can help me

Thanks and Regards

mohammad
Left by mohammad on Sep 03, 2009 3:52 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Sir/Madam,
i am an recent graduate. i am interested to do MCSD, but i don't know anything about this will u plz guide and send useful Links to repare from basic for ASP.net. and will plz send me some matetrial on this to complete my certification.
thanks
Bharath
Left by Bharath on Sep 17, 2009 12:59 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
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Hi to all i am from Hyderabad, India i want to basic certification in .net , please help me .
Thanks is advance
Left by raghu on Oct 09, 2009 1:22 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Dear Sir/Madam,
This is raja Lakshmi Reddy and mobile No : 9989070133.
I want to write any of microsoft certification exam with my own way. So please let me help about this certification and etc. where i can get all the details/fee and exam timings etc.
Left by Raja Lakshmi Reddy on Feb 10, 2010 11:04 PM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Please give me detail information about the .net certification and tell me which certificate is most important from the point of view of industry, syllabus, how to registrar for it, exam paper samples, standard recommended books for it Please help me in this regard.
Left by Nisha Jadhav on May 21, 2010 2:29 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Hi to all i am from Hyderabad, India I completet MCA
I want to be microsoft .net certfied and want to give all .net exam series. But i don't know how can i apply for the exam and what are the good books,where can i get good mock test questions.So please send me ur advice to my mailid.


Thanks is advance
Left by Shakeel on Nov 24, 2010 7:08 AM

# MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Respected Sir/Madam,

i want to do .net first certification in hyderabad . if you know please give me details of this and how to appear for this examination and if any institute giving the training about this. Are there any faqs or model questions like how they appear etc,as well as Mock papers also....
If u know abt this, plz send to vijay7new@gmail.com


please give information to me

thanks & regards
Vijay
Left by Vijay on Dec 11, 2010 8:26 AM

# re: MCSD.Net Certification Trail
Requesting Gravatar...
Plz can u provide the MCSD Net certification Trail Exam
Left by ShiakMasood on Jun 22, 2011 11:36 AM

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