Back in July, I blogged about studying for an MCPD in ASP.NET Developer 3.5 on Visual Studio 2008. I wanted (and still want) to improve my skill-set and raise my game as a developer.
Since I began studying for the 70-536 exam, (one of the three exams you have to pass) I've learnt lots of new areas of the .NET stack that I hadn’t had any exposure to before, in particular GDI+ and the dark arts (aka regular expressions).
My tardy pace of studying has been dictated by family and work commitments (that’s my excuse!) but as VS2010 is out early(?) next year, I'm starting to wonder whether I've left it too late to get any benefit from the topics I'm studying.
Basically it boils down to this: The current exam path dictates that you sit 70-536 which, although challenging covers the the foundation topics of the framework, prior specialising in either web or the windows platform. But it would appear that the certification path for VS2010 is changing quite dramatically:
- 1 exam for MCTS Web Developer
- 1 extra exam for MCPD Web Developer
- Greater emphasis on Silverlight in both exams
I seem to get the impression that the .Net 4.0 core is so vastly different, the learning requirements covered in 70-536 are completely superseded. The Silverlight angle seems to dovetail in with Ray Ozzie's keynote at PDC 2009 when he said that Silverlight's going to run our washing machines or something.... Personally, I think dynamically typed languages like python will be more widely utilised than Silverlight but it’s my blog and it’s my opinion!
I think studying for an exam that’s going to be superseded in four months time is a waste of my time. I have learnt some new things however, that have been useful so I'm going to keep grokking but without the pressure of an exam or number of exams over my head.
I’ll certainly look at the learning objectives for the MCPD 2010 syllabus when it’s rolled out but I think ASP.Net development covers too many different facets to warrant one or two examinations deciding if you're knowledge is good/bad/indifferent. I'll be better off spending quality time grokking on specific areas of need or concern. Having planted myself firmly in the ASP.Net MVC camp, I don't really want to touch web forms ever, ever again so studying for an exam that covers web forms may also be a waste, but I acknowledge it would be foolish to completely discount them. Web forms will (sadly) be around for a long time to come.
I'm going to emphasize on the MVC2 aspects of the 4.0 stack as well as the core issues. I'm not so sure about Silverlight. I may have to invest in a tech day in a similar way to Rob, to get a good overview.