Robs post regarding certification couldn’t have sparked more debate at a better time for me as I had just decided to start studying for my MCPD certification as an ASP.NET Developer 3.5 on Visual Studio 2008. Reading the comments to Robs post, it’s apparent that there are certainly mixed feelings in the .NET community regarding the MCPD qualification to the extent that some software houses instantly bin the CV’s of applicants that hold an MCPD – a pretty narrow minded attitude IMO.
I wanted to undergo a self-managed personal and career development process (as HR types would describe it) and had considered going back to college on a part-time basis to further my academic qualifications in business IT. However, I think that studying for an MCPD qualification would be a better fit for my own development needs at the moment.
I’d actually considered studying for an MCPD for a year or two now but didn’t follow through with it for a number of reasons:
- Why bother getting certified in ASP.Net 3.5 when it’ll be superseded in two years time?
- I’ve got this far without being certified. How will this help me?
- It’s just too much to learn for an exam when I’m only going to use a small portion of what I learn for my day to day job.
Despite all these arguments which we’ve all heard and read a thousand times before, I’m still going for it, for one simple reason:
I think obtaining an MCPD is the best way to start bettering myself as a developer.
I say “start” as I certainly don’t think for one minute that being an MCPD will elevate me to excellence – and I’m sure those of you that know me would agree! I do however, think that the things I’ll learn on the way towards becoming certified will help me use the .NET Framework to develop solutions using the right tool for the job and give me a wider, though not necessarily deeper understanding of the MS stack.
So for anyone else just starting to study for 70-536 in particular, here’s where I am at the moment.
- I’ve built a list of links on Delicious that you might find useful and I’ll add to as I go along
- I’ve got my head in these books MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework—Application Development Foundation & Programming Microsoft® Visual C#® 2008: The Language (PRO-Developer)
- I’ve started working through the MCTS book and reading the relevant chapters in the second book to augment it while writing a couple of sample apps to support the topics I’d been studying.
If I stumble on any WTF moments or any moments of clarity, I’ll blog it to help anyone else out in the same position. Any advice or further ideas regarding the exam would certainly be welcomed.
I’m not sticking to a rigid study schedule for this exam (having a twenty month old son kind of knocks any pre-planning on the head!!). Being goal oriented, I’d normally set a date that I want to take the exam by and pressurise myself into cramming near and nearer to the exam date, but the goal for me is to learn and expand my knowledge base so I’ll take the exam when I’m good and ready.