Microsoft Certification...SIGH

I Loathe Tests! All my life I have had serious test anxiety. No matter how hard I would prepare and know the subject matter inside out, when it came to the test - poof - I would forget everything!

It's quite frustrating - I mean it impacts everything in this world, tests are the metric of how good we are at something. I don't necessarily agree with that, I mean some people are excellent on tests but their performance in the real world is horrible, and other's like me are horrible on tests but we can do quite well in the real world.

But, now testing is everywhere in job interviews - instead of checking references they want to see how you perform on a test.
Microsoft, Oracle, Sun all these corporations are making boatloads of money selling CERTIFICATIONS which mean no more than the paper they are written on.
But, it's the pony we have to dance to, so now I must do so - since DIMHRS is ending.

I did make a seriously flawed tactical mistake on deciding to live in Virginia. Yes, there are a lot of positions in my industry - I didnt realize how many required TS/SCI (secret agent code speak for CLEARANCE). The catch 22 of this situation is they want you to have one "TS/SCI REQUIRED' not like they are willing to sponsor for the process - DUH!!

That's why people covet these items as tickets to job security. No company wants to let go of an employee with a TS or SCI.

But, I diverge.

This is a posting on Microsoft Certifications - something I have put off for YEARS!
Microsoft has offered this to me so many times, even free when I was at some of their Windows Conferences. But, I was so secure, I didn't have a crystal ball to see the need for it (just like I ignored Sun Microsystems when they came to our corporate offices to talk about some new language called Java!).

Now - I think I better have that certification in my back pocket. I am not really sure it helps - but who can say!
So I looked over the Microsoft Learning Website, because I knew I wanted MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer).

MCSD no longer exists. It has been replaced by MCPD - or Microsoft Certified Professional Developer.
Ok, no problem. There is a core test that I have to take no matter what track I was following, EXAM 70-536. This is quite a comprehensive exam, and while I know a lot on it - I think I will need to review for some of it.

I mean the software I developed for DIMHRS was .NET 1.1 and 2.0, and this exam does include VS2008 (.NET 3.5).

Here is a sample of what the test covers:

  • Developing applications that use system types and collections
  • Implementing service processes, threading, and application domains in a .NET Framework application
  • Embedding configuration, diagnostic, management, and installation features into a .NET Framework application
  • Implementing serialization and input/output functionality in a .NET Framework application
  • Improving the security of .NET Framework applications by using the .NET Framework security features
  • Implementing interoperability, reflection, and mailing functionality in a .NET Framework application
  • Implementing globalization, drawing, and text manipulation functionality in a .NET Framework application

At least Microsoft does post material to help prepare for the test. While classroom is offerred (that is their money maker, along with books) I prefer online training - and it is available:

  1. 5161AE: Advanced development with the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Foundation (16 Hours)
  2. 5160AE: Core development with the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Foundation (14 Hours)

Microsoft also makes the following available to help ensure success:

Practice Tests
Microsoft Online Resources
  • Learning Plan: Get started with a step-by-step study guide that is based on recommended resources for this exam.
  • Product information: Visit the Microsoft Visual Studio site for detailed product information.
  • Microsoft Learning Community: Join newsgroups and visit community forums to connect with peers for suggestions on training resources and advice on your certification path and studies.
  • TechNet: Designed for IT professionals, this site includes how-to instructions, best practices, downloads, technical resources, newsgroups, and chats.
  • MSDN: Designed for developers, the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) features code samples, technical articles, downloads, newsgroups, and chats

Apple Develpment Tools

Well, I know this blog is for Microsoft .NET technologies - but since I purchased a NEW Apple for the SOLE PURPOSE to try and supplement income by writing iPhone/iTouch applications - I will have to expand this blog's scope. It has been several years since I had touched Objective C. It has not changed too much, but there are some great resources online, and I bought a book written by Stephen Kochan called Programming in Objective C 2.0. The same book is available from Apple in PDF format - Objective C Programming Language. This is an excellent book, and with my C background its a breeze to pickup the language. So, this posting is about the plethora of development tools on the Apple Platform for n00bs (a MMORPG term).

  2. How Do I Install Apple Developer Tools on My MACDave Taylor has a nice posting about how to install the development tools that come on the Apple Discs. This is for the truly n00bish! I mean, the disc is labeled, and any developer knows what they need - but I put it here for those that may need it (10 years from now when my mind is further gone I will come back to this posting, if I recall the URL!!)

    Cant get the tools needed until you join this. I have had an ADC Membership for years, the free one - but now I have to upgrade to one of the packages that costs. At least it doesnt cost as much as the Microsoft MSDN Premiere subscription!!!

  5. XCode Development Tools
  6. To do programming on the MAC platform, all you really need is XCode.

  7. iPhone Development

  8. BLOGS

  9. Books
  10. Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK by Jeff LaMarche