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Steve Clements .Net and then some....

OK so I’m not quite there yet! I have passed Web Apps and Windows apps and have one exam left to do (XML services and .net remoting which I must say is the hardest of all three – perhaps some of you out there who are already MCAD/MCSD agree?!?)
These will soon be out of date as the new .net 2.0 exams are released and the certifications have changed slightly but I haven’t really looked in these a great deal.

I actually started life as a software developer late on and put myself through further education while carrying on with my full time job – I did 3 years part time at college to get a HND in Software Engineering and passed with a Distinction grade and was awarded a certificate of commendation for my excellent grades throughout. I may continue on to a BSc in Computer Science at some stage but I doubt it! While doing this I have studied for the MCAD through books and a distance learning course, the course is pretty pricey but handy when you need some help, in hind sight I would not have spent the money on it but it certainly gives you an aim/target whereas doing it on your own clearly doesn’t. The MCP’s certainly get more attention on your CV than a HND but I would rate the HND higher, the background knowledge you learn it the what’s and why’s of software and database architecture/development is priceless – where I work we have a couple of “learnt it all myself” dev’s and I think they lack the general computer knowledge to write quality software – I guess it depends on the person and their willingness to learn but nothing is better than some good old class room education (in my opinion!)

I started programming in VB6 and Visual C++ and soon thankfully found .net, it was a no-brainer for me in choosing the language, I was always going to pick C#. 1, C# was written for .net not adapted for 2, I far prefer the C like syntax 3, I was always better at C than VB, this is still true today – I can happily (well maybe not happily!!) write but it’s like speaking a foreign language….thinking C# speaking VB!!

I have always had a knack with computers and there isn’t much I can’t figure out in the end but in the last few years I have developed an extreme, almost obsessive interest in software development, I read loads of blogs and articles from, …etc. I think this is really important to keep learning/trying new stuff – dot net is so huge and has so much to offer I couldn’t imaging not trying out new stuff. At the moment its .net remoting – something so powerful but I’ve never really used, I use web services all over the place in AJAX etc but never really looked into the possibilities of .net remoting. I guess it’s quite difficult to know what to try when there is so much out there, especially when new to .net, I tend to go with what interests me most (which is, AJAX and general web dev stuff) but then you tend to miss so much other stuff, I work developing, SQL systems so at home I tend to do win forms, WPF etc development. I also think that I vital part of being a developer, especially a web developer is being very comfortable with databases, the code and the theory, I spend a fair amount of time reading about SQL, 4guysfromrolla always has a lot of articles about working with databases in - having good T-SQL knowledge makes such a difference to the maintenance and performance of your app....learn about Pivot tables, CTE's and other advanced SQL features, they make a world of difference.

I’d be interested to hear from other developers and how they go about learning new, honing the old etc…

This turned into a bit of a ramble in the end - hopefully a few tips and perhaps some inspiration in there too!!!

Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2006 8:08 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Becoming an MCAD

# re: Becoming an MCAD
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I got my MCAD about a year ago and the MCSD a couple of months ago. I agree that the web services / remoting exam was the worst of the first three. I've found the practice exams on to be very helpful.
Left by Kelly Jones on Dec 07, 2006 12:15 AM

# re: Becoming an MCAD
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Hi Steve, thanks for sharing your experience.
I am a software developer with 7 years experience in Visual C++ and with other Microosft technologies. I am at the beginning to get those MCTS exams, so far I bought that book from Microsoft Press, .NET Framework Dev Foundation 70-536 and after 1 week of studying I went to give the exam but I failed. I've got 600 points only.
After that I bought also some practice exams from Transcender that I hope they will help me for the next time when I will take the exam. Have you bought other materials in order to be more prepared for this exam?

Left by Alin on Dec 13, 2006 2:07 PM

# re: Becoming an MCAD
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I got my MCSD during the 1.1 days and I got to say the webservice/remoting exam is one of the harder exams in the MSFT certification series (70-291 is harder though, by far the hardest I've came across). In the end I can only retain probably 60%-70% of the content in that paper.

Studying just the Microsoft Press books will not be enough. I suggest reading up on other reference materials, read up the MSDN materials on the relevant parts and practise, practise and practise.
Left by Nestor on Dec 15, 2006 2:43 AM

# re: Becoming an MCAD
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Alin - I have too used the transender, lots of practice will certainly help.

Thanks Nestor - I am always looking around at other articles from MSDN, code project and the like but only recently have i been printing some off and keeping for future ref.
I am working through the MS e-learning courses at the mo which come with the course - pretty dull i must say; they need some life injected which i can see they have done in the newer courses. Like you said 1.1 is olden days now but the 1.1 exams seems more difficult/specific than the 2.0 and heh...I've paid for them its just taking me too long!

Left by Steve on Dec 15, 2006 8:14 AM

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