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Examination/certification on Programming languages

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Davidus, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Davidus

    Davidus Nibble Poster

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    Hi

    Just a modest question, I hope :).

    I have been thinking of self-studying some programming languages and wish to know if there is any singular exams etc that I could take that would individually recognise the fact that I was competant in them. And I'm thinking mainly C# to start off with. I have also been thinkin of web programming languages too (ie- javascript, flash etc - more strings to bow) but mainly would like to know how about getting some validation to show future potential employers, or is the only way to acheive this is to take them as part of a HNC/HND, degree, Microsoft course????

    Many thanks in advance.

    Davidus
     
    Certifications: EDCL (don't laugh)
    WIP: 70-536, Comptia A+
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    In general most employers (well - the ones I've met) pay no attention to certs for programming.

    They ask for experience, and often show you some code ask ask you to comment/explain it. They can also ask you to produce small snippets of code to carry out a particular task.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. nellyp123

    nellyp123 Byte Poster

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    Hi,

    Okay...first of all, what is it you want to do? Do you want to be web developer or just a hardcore programmer (if there is such a thing???)

    What i mean is...do you want to design applications for the web or write software for other things that are not web related. I don't know much about C#, c++ or java, but these are the most sort after programming skills today, especially C#. Well...theres more job vacancies out there put it that way. So your best bet is to look at Microsoft Certifications like MCTS or MCAD.
    That was what i was going to do but i decided learning Actionscript (Flash) instead. And the only certification you get with flash (or one that's worth doing anyway), is ACE (Adobe Certified Expert).

    What ever path you take, be it Actionscript or C#.......be prepared to work your socks off because there's a lot to learn and things can get a bit....well....stressful! If you decide to learn Actionscript, there is a great book that i have just read. It's called "Foundation Actionscript 3 in CS3 and flex" published by Friends of Ed. But if you want to go the other route then there's plenty of Microsoft Training Kits on www.amazon.com

    Wish you luck...!
     
    Certifications: CIW Professional
  4. Davidus

    Davidus Nibble Poster

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    Hi

    Although I have considered web development, I'm concentrating on the hardcore programming (and no, not games either, lol).

    Originally considered going down the Microsoft Certificate option, but after posting a thread or two (and reading various others), those wiser and smarter then I have impressed upon me the fact that these are really for validating the individual's own experience and skills.

    Alas, I have neither as yet, and so I thought about maybe seeing if there were any 'lower-level' qualifications (maybe like a City & Guild) but alas have not found anything to date, hence this thread.

    Those you mentioned are definitely an option if I decide to change tack and move into the web development area, so thanks for the info. I'm gonna make a note of those, just in case :).

    Oh, and Harry (hbroomhall) - thats useful to know so thanks. It eases my mind a little to know that, so all I gotta do now is study a language (or several), thrash out some useful (and dare I say it, stunningly well written code) with examples to back this up, and hey presto, maybe after a couple of hundred interviews, I might get lucky :wink:

    Once again, thanks for the info.

    Davidus
     
    Certifications: EDCL (don't laugh)
    WIP: 70-536, Comptia A+
  5. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    I've interviewed with a number of employers that recognize (and prefer) certified individuals for programming positions. Experience is more important, though, and certification can't replace that.

    I don't know of any reputable "singular" certification exams that will give you a certification. As you may know, Microsoft offers a 2-exam certification for C# development.
     
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Josh is right.

    This is the non web dev 'entry' level C# cert (its not strictly entry level, its just their lowest C# dev cert) :-

    MCTS C# Windows Developer


    Notice you should really already be able to program in C# before you attempt it. Maybe read one book on just C# and cut some code, then pick up the Microsoft training kit for 70-536.

    MCTS 70-536 MS Cert Kit
    or
    MCTS/MCPD Windows Developer training kit set


    MCPD is one extra exam, just take them one exam at a time for now. Upto you whether you buy the books individually or as a set.

    Books are not as bad as the reviews say, they do have quite a few errors but you will have to use MSDN and have other experience anyway so should not be as big a drawback as it sounds. Check the books errata and mark up your copy if you're worried.

    You would probably find MCAD easier in the short term but its going to be phased out soon and its on out of date material so I'd stick with the MCTS.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  7. Davidus

    Davidus Nibble Poster

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    Thanks DMarsh26.

    I was secretly hoping you might read my question, as I thought you would have the answer (but didn't want to presume that I could PM you), but thanks goes to BosonJosh too. I think thats exactly the answer I was looking for, and I wasn't aware that Microsoft this lowest C# exam.

    I've now received my self-study C# book and am going through this, surprisingly, a lot of this makes sense straight away so I think I made the right choice. But am gonna make sure I know my stuff before taking the exams mentioned above.

    Once again (as I should have guessed) this forum has pulled it off again with just the right answer again.

    Thanks for everyone who replied, I made notes of everything.

    Davidus
     
    Certifications: EDCL (don't laugh)
    WIP: 70-536, Comptia A+
  8. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    :ohmy :cry:

    I don't know about programming certifications and question their validity, tbh. But even if you do decide to take the certification route still gain more skill from 'teaching yourself' - it's a great way to learn. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: BSc(Hons) Comp Sci, BCS Award of Merit
    WIP: Not doing certs. Computer geek.
  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    As much as I like to disagree with Math, he is also correct.

    The certs are tough because they test a lot of areas in detail. However very few of the certs I've taken come anywhere near testing advanced concepts or 'hardcore programming'. Also the market value of the certs varies from place to place. My opinion is that in the right context they don't hurt, if you are going to study the area anyway why not take an exam at the end to prove you studied it?

    Where I think certs do hurt is in the general dumbing down of education, many people seem to think they are some sort of short cut or better than academic qualifications etc.

    I have to respect Maths stance on studying the advanced topics that interest him and not certs.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  10. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

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    SCJP - Sun Certified Java Programmer - 'Java' programming Language from Sun Microsystems

    - - - - -

    Not really programming but 'database admin / development':

    MCDBA / MCITP - Microsoft DBA (SQL Server 2000/2005)

    OCA - Oracle DBA (Oracle 9i, 10g) ... Few others out there for MySQL etc

    - - - - -

    When it comes to programming it boils down to experience (years spent hard coding) and with web development its your portfolio of previous work (websites) -> This is what I have found n e way, others on this forum may disagree.

    The certification path is more for 'Support' style jobs but is still definately viable for the programming / devlopment sector but not just as important.
     
    Certifications: Comp Sci BSc, NVQ 2 & 3 IT Professional
    WIP: Comptia A+, Network+
  11. Davidus

    Davidus Nibble Poster

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    Ok

    So do I get this right then. If I remained true to my programming ethics then ultimately, nothing is going to be better that plain experience, which could well take a good few years to develop.

    Alternatively, if I go down the web development avenue (and design competant websites), then I could get into an IT career earlier???

    Does this seems a practical/realistic assessment??

    I suppose, at present, I want to get into IT as soon as (humanely possible), but not as to compromise any standard of work/experience that I intend to build up.

    Gee, just when I'd thought I'd gotten something to aim for (at least to show that I would be able to 'prove' that I had relevant knowledge ie - an exam/cert) then someone comes along and says, weeeell, thats all well and good, but it might not be as relevant as first thought - lol, I'm confussed, lol.

    I'm gonna first of all, continue with studying the C# programming language, no probs there then (I hope, lol) and then validate that with the Microsoft exam 70-536, as previously advised.

    After that, well.....not too sure yet, might take on board a couple of web programming languages (to possibly broaden my career prospects) say the usual, javascript, HMTL/XHMTL etc etc and so forth. Investigate other areas such as SQL.

    End of day I suppose, I have the above (very) short term plan, and then further research is required before continuing, and all along, trying to get a job in the IT sector. Oh, mine's a three shredded wheat ta very much :-)
     
    Certifications: EDCL (don't laugh)
    WIP: 70-536, Comptia A+
  12. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    No sweat Davidus, your plan is sound an MCTS or MCPD will look good on your CV and the study should help you impress in interviews. Just bear in mind that not all employers will be impressed, some will prefer degrees etc.

    Its a big complex world out there, there are no simple answers.

    Theres varius industries around, you need to determine what interests you the most.

    For example two obvious big industries at the moment are 'The internet' and 'Mobile Phones'.

    If you want to benefit off the growth of the internet and surf that career wave you will need different skills than say you want to write mobile phone OS's and firmware.

    Fortunately for you C# is quite a good general purpose language so should provide some room for manoeuvre.

    Later if you decide you want to you can learn ASP .Net and still make use of your C# skills.

    You can't really get away without having at least basic HTML, XML and SQL skills these days, fourtunately learning them to a basic level is not hard and only takes a few weeks.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  13. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

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    I’m in a similar boat to this chap. The exams that are mentioned in this thread, are they for Visual Studio/VB/C# 2005? Looking at Microsoft’s website, there are MCTS certifications for Visual studio 2008. Or should I stop worrying and get on with learning the programming in the first place :dry.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, Sec+
    WIP: CCENT, CCNA
  14. Indo77

    Indo77 Nibble Poster

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    Just a word of warning on the asp.net MCTS exams. Apparantely the official reference/study materials are dreadful and contain numerious programming errors and misinformation. To date, no decent book has been published despite 2.0 being around since 2005. This is what has put me off.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons) HNC
  15. volatile

    volatile Nibble Poster

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    If you are starting off with no programming knowledge or experience then I would recommend you pursue the certifications for programming. It will force you to learn the nuiances of a language and will establish a goal to attain. Once you learn a language fairly well you should start developing some small, useful applications or games to start building a portfolio. I'd also recommend that you learn about design patterns and concepts as well as UML (Unified Modeling Language). The reason why I recommend this is that it will separate you and offer you job security. If all you know is how to program and don't know how to engineer a well designed and efficient application you become merely a code monkey. Code monkies can have their work outsourced. A book I recommend for design patterns is: Head First Design Patterns; it's easy to read and has solid examples of the application of the design patterns. If you want to know more just pm me or make a post.
     
    Certifications: Computer Science Degree, A+
  16. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

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    I’m about to start an Open University course in Java, which won’t make me a programmer (nor do I expect it to) but will give me basic knowledge and a foundation for further study, plus such a course provides a structure, timetable, assignments for feedback, a tutor.

    I always thought it was the other way around, learn a programming language in depth then prepare for certifications.

    But I take your point that aiming for a certification creates a goal.

    Code monkeys. Interesting turn of phrase:biggrin. Outsourcing of programming jobs was something that concerned me.

    The Open University course that I’m about to start does mention ‘UML’, but only right at the end of the course. Although there is another Open University course which includes learning ‘UML’, I’m planning to study that in the future; though it was originally more for the purpose of a degree. So it’s looks like that Head First book.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, Sec+
    WIP: CCENT, CCNA

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