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Basic Question - MCPD Format

Discussion in 'MCAD / MCSD / MCPD' started by Nulty, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Nulty

    Nulty New Member

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    Hi,

    I've asked this on two software development forums and was ignored before I realised there was a forum like this dedicated just to certifications.

    Anyway, basically - I'm looking to do the MCPD. I was going to originally ask whether this was necessary even though I have a degree in Software Engineering but I've come to the conclusion that it is.

    However, I just don't understand the format of the MCPD. Originally - I thought it was a certification of which attendance to training days was required. This morning I've just had a call from firebrand training quoting me 6800 to study there for 11 days!? Yesterday I've seen quotes for £80 exams and £80 kits on amazon!?

    Basically - how does the MCPD work? I understand I must pass at 3 core exams and one optional, but is the way in which I pass this upto me? Could I pay a self-study kit from amazon and some mock tests and simply book the exams at some point in the future?

    Any help or guidance towards getting me this certification are SERIOUSLY appreciated.

    For your info - I won't be funded by my employer so preferably want to keep costs to a minimum.

    Thanks a lot,

    Dan
     
  2. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    Welcome :)

    Check out http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcpd.aspx#tab2 and select the relevant edition for a breakdown in exams.

    You certainly can self study, how you obtain the knowledge to pass the exams is entirely down to you - I beleive firebrand is a very very intensive course for studying, i think one of the guys on here posted about doing it a little while back, and he got on well - he was however a very very experienced chap in IT - these courses tend to be aimed at the people with high amounts of experience.

    Of course you can buy the books, and videos and book the exams yourself, it's a hell of alot cheaper, you just need to be confident and disciplined enough to study it all yourself and be able to understand it.

    Get yourself some study material, off of amazon like you mentioned, but have a look around elsewhere aswell - study and practice and book the exams yourself, You can get cheap vouchers for around £50 on ebay for prometric testing centres rather than paying the full whack with them directly.

    good luck :thumbleft

    I'd definately do the self study route any time.
     
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  3. Nulty

    Nulty New Member

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    Apexes - thanks a LOT for your reply! More or less explained everything there. I've repped you with some measley reps. It's what I wanted to hear too - I know I have the discipline to study in my spare time and get the results so I can just buy the materials as I go along.

    I'm sure I'll post in this thread or a new one in the future with exactly what materials to buy ha but for now I'll have a little shop around. I'll get on ebay now too to have a look for them vouchers.

    Now all that's left to do is decide whether it's to be Windows or Web development I study haha (assuming you can't mix the two).

    Under that link you gave me it has 4 exams listed under the relevant MCPD link (3 MCTS exams and one MCPD), are all compulsory in order to be certified?
     
  4. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    i think you'd have a cert for example "MCPD: Windows Developer 4" - if you take all 4 exams under the catergory - but don't quote me on that :mrgreen:
     
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
  5. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    There are usually 3 exams to be MCPD.
    For example, if you are on Visual Studio 2005 and into Web Development, you'd need to do 536, 528 and 547.

    In terms of what training material to use, I find the first stop is to search for the exam reference numbers on Amazon and then check out some of the customer reviews. Just be aware that material for some exams may be more common/readily available than for others.

    You then need to consider practice exams. Some books will come with them, but they are usually not much cop. You'll need to look at something like Boson or Transcender.

    But as has been said before, the only actual requirement to becoming an MCPD is to pass the exams. How you do that is up to you. Even if you think you already know the subject matter pretty well, you'll still need to study. The curriculum is pretty broad. It is possible to attend a training course, but these are usually pretty expensive. They may be a 'quick' option - a couple of weeks as opposed to a couple of months - but they rarely represent value for money.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  6. Nulty

    Nulty New Member

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    Thanks Jonny!! Appreciate all this feedback. Rep'd for what it's worth.
    I think you're right apexes, especially as Jonny said 3 need completing for vs 2005 for web dev and when I checked just now there was only 3 exams listed under that header where there is 4 under the 2010 windows one. I just found it a bit confusing as to why they're listed as MCTS exams that's all but I'll do some research now to clarify.
    I'll do exactly what you've said there anyway Jonny, doesn't seem to be anything on amazon for 70-518 but there's a few bits turning up on a google search that look decent so I'll check out some reviews.
     
  7. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Generally speaking, TS (technology specialist) is a stepping stone towards PD (professional developer). So you show that you know your way round visual studio to become a TS, then you add a discipline to show that you have more general skills.

    In the old days, you became an MCP (certified professional) after passing a single exam, and would then combine three or four of these to become MCAD (application developer) and then another one or two to become MCSD (solution developer).

    In my opinion, the old way was simpler - but I can see what they've done with the new one. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  8. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Generaly there are 1-2 exams required for MCTS on the developer tracks and a final design/theory exam to get MCPD.

    Microsoft press do training kits which are basically a book and a CD, get them from amazon. They are around 35 pounds. They also include a cut down MeasureUp exam simulator. You can buy an online subscription to the full MeasureUp test which I would also recommend.

    The books are normally 800-1000 pages and they do not cover everything in the exam, you will be expected to read around the subject.

    Then you register with Prometric a testing centre and schedule your exam when ready. Each exam is around 90 pounds.

    11 days is wildly optimistic to study and pass the MCPD exams for most people.

    I listed the track posters here.

    Microsoft learning has all the details. Gerry O'Brien also has a good blog.

    Assuming you wanted to do the Windows Developer VS2010 track you'd need something like this :-

    70-511 - MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
    70-516 - MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Data Access
    70-513 - MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Windows Communication Foundation Development, ISBN: 9780735627413
    70-518 - Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using .NET Framework 4

    The books for the new track are a little late so may have to just use MSDN.

    With self study the MCPD need not cost you more than around 400 pounds. I would leave at least one month for each exam, it may take you much longer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  9. Nulty

    Nulty New Member

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    Dmarsh - thanks a lot mate, I've rep'd for what it's worth.

    Answered all the rest of the questions I had there. I'm more or less ready to go now.

    Just to be a bit nosey dmarsh - and I know this is rather personal to your career, but assuming you are at a senior level now - I can see you have MCPD x 2 (why x2 btw? web & windows?), can you say that the MCPD has honestly helped in addition to your degree? Is it something employers have valued? Through studying for the exams would you say you learnt a lot of skills that have proved useful in industry?

    Thanks a lot.
     
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I have around 15 years experience, mostly in Visual C++ and Java. I learnt some .NET for some small pieces of work here and there and decided to cert. I first got MCPD Windows then later went for MCPD EA on .NET 2, I therefore took two design exams so therefore have MCPDx2 and a few MCTS titles. Generally you only need to take one track and one design exam and get one MCPD.

    Seriously its made no difference to my career at all, I still contract mostly in the Java space, in the future I may move more into .NET, but even then its unlikely to matter to many...

    Employers more than anything are looking for a safe pair of hands or an expert, certification has proven fairly ineffectual in general. Employers generally favour good experience.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. Dr_H

    Dr_H New Member

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    This thread is very similar to what I am looking at but I don't have any technical background. I am a fast learner and looking to head in to web development. dmarsh as I once used to be a recruiter in IT i totally agree with you about the experience side of things. However for a guy like myself looking to get started experience is something I do not have. Someone has to give you an opportunity to get that experience right?? any advice on that side of things.

    If anyone would be interested in teaching me from scratch in the spare time for some extra cash, that would be great.
     
    Certifications: none
    WIP: MCPD
  12. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    I have made initial plan to book 3 courses with Firebrand in UK during this summer.

    The courses are: Micrsoft MCPD .NET 4 Web Developer + Scrum certified + PMP PMI.

    My company will pay only 50% of the first course. I will have to pay for the rest.

    I know this is really expensive, but I found out that I need to do something to progress with my career even if I have to pay from my pocket.

    I tried to study PMP for example on my own to prepare for the exam, but no luck ... total failur ... Famil + Work ... you know the rest.

    I have B.Sc in Software Engineering and more than 16 years of experience working on diverse platforms.

    Any advice on what to do and my current plan to progress with my career towards Managerial or Consultant Role in IT will be grately Appreciated.

    Tarek
     
  13. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    I appreciate it if you could let us know if you used Firebrand, and how did you prepare for the exam.

    Tarek.
     

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