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new to .net - need direction

Discussion in 'MCAD / MCSD / MCPD' started by omar999, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. omar999

    omar999 New Member

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    hi guys, new to the forum so be gentle :D

    I've been reading several threads gathering information but I feel like I still have a few questions. im 27, married and work full time as a web designer for just over 2 years with some programming skills. my core strong skills are html, css, dreamweaver, photoshop with a moderate level of illustrator, flash, fireworks and javascript.

    I've always been very keen on programming and I've always seen it as the next step for my career so I had good fortune to having some exposure towards sql server and classic asp. For the last 12 -18 months or so I've been self teaching myself sql & asp and as much as I enjoy this, asp is an obsolete language so I'd rather move over to .net as its a current technology.

    I know I want to do a MCPD, the self study route, and I am aware of the 3 exams so hence I want to get cracking on the 70-536 by buying the MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft .NET Framework-Application Development Foundation book. However im confused because everyone says that this book is not for beginners... why is this the case?

    judging from my current set of skills would buying this book and self studying be the best course of action for me? bearing in mind i am brand new to .net although I have used visual studio briefly to edit web pages etc but I cant say I've mastered the software.

    If not please explain why and or suggest any alternative methods...

    I'm not interested in any short cuts but rather instead of doing things the right way. As I've had little exposure towards asp & sql there are gaps in my knowledge and I really dont want this to be the case with .net.

    any advice highly appreciated

    Omar.
    YNWA.
     
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, generally the MS certifications are not designed as a curriculum to be 'learned from scratch'. They cover the skills you need to pass the exams and assume that you are already familiar with the core principles.

    More so the MS press books - if you buy a book on 70-536, it will be very focussed on exam objectives rather than learning the underlying subject. I started out with some generic 'learn ASP.NET' type books before getting into the actual exam stuff. I think I used SAMS and Preplogic, but there are plenty of books out there that introduce you to .NET and object oriented programming before you start thinking about certifying.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Jonny is spot on, in general the .NET exams assume 2-3 years fulltime programming in .NET using Visual Studio on windows. Thats a hell of a lot of experience and learning to assume before even starting to study towards the exam.

    So if you have little or no experience then basically you are around 5500 hours short of whats required to even start. They are simply not designed for people without experience.

    The first thing you need to learn is either VB .NET or C#, this is going to involve 1-3 fairly large books and 6-12 months part time study. I tend to prefer C# having a background in C style languages, however I think the market is also turning in C#'s favour so in the long run thats probably where you want to be.

    After this you may stand a chance at 70-511 but since you are still down on experience the odds are still against you.

    After that you can look into things like ASP .NET, WinForms, ADO, WPF, WCF, WWF or the .NET framework in more detail.

    Each of these subjects could again take anything from 1-3 books and months to master.

    There would also be many other areas you would be expected to cover along the way as a developer, XML, HTML, JavaScript, JQuery, AJAX, Distributed Systems, Concurrency, Transactions, Databases, Design, Design Patterns, Development Processes, Testing, Analysis, Deployment, Environment/Infrastructure etc.

    Once you have a resonable amount of exposure to these topics then you can think about attempting other MCTS exams and eventually MCPD.

    Some of the requirements for the VS2010 / .NET exams seem less strict so it may be worth looking at studying towards that track, you will also more likely have a recent certification on a current product by the time you are finished.

    I'd look at the 70-511 and 70-515 exams only after you've learnt C#, Visual Studio and a fair amount of the .NET framework.

    Read the Audience Profile sections to see what me and Jonny are getting at.

    Since the requirements for 70-511 are less it might make sense to attempt that first event though you seem interested in web development.

    Then the MS Official Training Kits and MeasureUp test aids tend to be quite useful prep for the exam. Currently no VS2010 resources exist in this area but this will change soon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  4. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    I would think with the current skill set the original poster has adding C# and .net would be a good move. Download Visual studio express C# and start coding. Get a book and start doing tutorials online. I've been studying for 2 months and I've just started playing around with WPF and visual web developer just a little bit and it's pretty neat stuff and very powerful. Don't worry about the lack of tutorials and books for VS 2010 you shouldn't have any issues going through the 2008 books and tutorials with Visual studio express 2010.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCDST, CCENT, MCTS: Win 7 Configuring, CCNA
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    C# 4.0 does have some new additions but yes you can use older books to learn the core stuff.

    There are also VS2010 books out on the core language and framework already.

    My point was more in regard to the VS2010 exams, since their tracks and objectives are different the training kits for the old tracks are not that useful.

    Yes download VS2010 Express or look into dreamspark, websitespark or bizspark.

    You can also probably get an evaluation version of VS pro from somewhere I expect.

    Also checkout Channel9 and MSDN.

    Here's some details on the books I was mentioning. View attachment VS10 Cert Track.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  6. omar999

    omar999 New Member

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    guys thank you for all the replies. what a helpful bunch you are :thumbleft

    i agree as im a beginner I should study the .net subject before I underatake the .net specific exam books. so im going to look for a beginners book for .net - johnnymx already mentioned the sams .net in 24 hours so I will read some reviews on that. can anyone else recommend any other beginner .net books in the meantime?

    EDIT: I've been looking on the net and Beginning ASP.NET 4: In C# and Vb (Wrox Programmer to Programmer) seems to be a good buy. I've read most of the reviews and I think its suitable.. any opinions?

    dmarsh thanks for your input also - I assume c# is a form of C++ object oriented programming or is C# just short for saying C ++ ?? :oops: and is it really the better option to learn compared to vb .net? I will try googling this as well..

    by the sounds of it I have a long way to go so its best to opt for the VS2010 route to obtain a recent certification so I agree with you there too.

    Omar.
    .net developer wannabe
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  7. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCDST, CCENT, MCTS: Win 7 Configuring, CCNA
  8. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I didn't mention any specific books, just a google search to show loads available on VS 2010. The pdf with the training kits, firstly none of them published yet, secondly as I mentioned, they are test preparation aid's, they are not designed for learning in general.

    Mircrosoft have the Step by Step series or theres Head First C# for complete newbies, I think realistically people starting out are gonna need multiple books, finish a basic introductory text, then start reading the more advanced ones. Most introductory books will cover the basics ok. Its largely down to personal choice, for the advanced stuff and exact syntax etc some programming books are far better than others, in fact some have some glaring errors, but I wouldn't worry too much as a newbie, just get coding.

    C# copies its syntax and symantics largely from Java, and Java largely copied from C++, and C++ extended from C. The OO aspects of C#/Java/C++ probably go back to Smalltalk and Simula. Language designers generally have many influences. I suspect LINQ borrows from something like Scheme or Haskell. C# AOP features probably inspired by AspectJ. You'd need to find stuff from Anders Hejlsberg or Erik Meijer for more detail.

    Colleges like to pick the Dietel books, never read one, they seen ok but nothing special, from whenever I flicked through one on C++/Java/C# in a bookshop. Generally I like the Microsoft .NET Development Series from Addison-Wesley Professional, I also like a lot of the Apress books, for the training kits and the MS employed expert title's I like the Microsoft Press stuff.

    Look at the reviews on amazon and have flick through a few in a bookshop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH

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