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Newcomer - MCTS thoughts

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Hangleton, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. Hangleton

    Hangleton Bit Poster

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    Hi there,

    I have been in IT (software) for around 20 years, but am in serious need of a skills update. I am thinking that gaining some Microsoft Certification will help me out in updating my skills, giving me something to aim for and also offering some assurance to employers of my abilities, despite having limited working experience in the newer technologies.

    I hope that if I spell out my thinking, some or all of which may be seriously flawed, then somebody out there may be able to offer some opinions as to whether I am on the right track! Please feel free to violently disagree with me – all I have to go on with my choices is a few weeks of web searching. My apologies in advance for the rambling post...

    Obviously having been in software development for so long, I have a reasonable skill level , but only a little knowledge of OOD – though I have been studying Java recently. I have also worked with Visual Studio in the past, using C++ (though I’m not sure I used any ++, I think it was really just C) and also some Visual Basic. But none of this was .NET, and I’m thinking that learning more about .NET and gaining certification is the way to go.

    Because I have a good IT background, I should be able to pick up the new concepts without too much difficulty, so I’m going to go for the self study option.

    I was going to go for MCSD certification, until I discovered that the new MCTS exams were on the way. I don’t really want to spend months studying MCSD if it’s about to be superseded by newer exams.. But I see that it is very much in it’s infancy which does concern me a little – does anybody have any opinions on this subject? At the moment I’m certainly leaning towards MCTS.

    Assuming I go for MCTS, the first course would be 70-536 – Though I’d plan to do all of the exams over time. The Microsoft book is out, but the reviews I have seen have not been good. I have seen mention of a forthcoming book by Amit Kalani, who seems to get a good press. Is it worth waiting for his book on the subject? Having never seen any of his books, I am a little dubious about training using an ‘unofficial’ guide. I guess I’m probably worrying over nothing here, but does anybody have any experience of his books in comparison to the official Microsoft ones?

    Having not been able to see any of the study guides for MCTS as yet, I don’t know what software I would need to acquire. I assume Visual Studio 2005 – Would I need the Professional version (seriously expensive, so I hope not), or would standard version do? And does anybody know what the requirements are for the Academic version? I am thinking of attending evening classes for a non-academic subject, I guess that wouldn’t qualify? And my son is in full time education, but he’s only 5, so I guess that probably doesn’t qualify either.. Perhaps I’m a little too desperate to save money on this one! If somebody could point me at Microsoft’s statement on requirements for the academic licence, I’d be grateful.

    Well, that’s where I’m at in a nutshell. I hope that some of you might have some opinions regarding my thinking, and I look forward to hearing them, and maybe in the future being able to offer some newcomers the benefit of my experiences!


    Regards,

    Andy
     
    Certifications: MCPD EA, MCDST, MCTS SQL
    WIP: MCPD .NET 3.5, MCITP Vista
  2. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    im pretty clueless in this field so my info is basically what im finding right now on the net....

    There are 3 application development paths for MCTS which seem to be
    .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed Applications
    .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications
    .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Applications

    Im not sure which one you leaning towards just posting them just in case you not aware of them.

    Looking at 70-536 (Click here for the objectives) they recommend

    MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536) - which has your visual studio 2005 evaluation edition (all the software you need for this exam - so forget about the other expensive licencing! :biggrin )
    Programming Microsoft® Visual C#® 2005: The Language
    Programming Microsoft® Visual Basic® 2005: The Language

    hope some of this is useful or new and like i said not my field just trying to help! sorry! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  3. Hangleton

    Hangleton Bit Poster

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    Thanks very much for the information. All the information I can get my hands on right now is beneficial, so I really appreciate you taking time out to reply.

    I have it in mind to go for all three MCTS certificates, and then maybe follow up with MCPD, but that depends on my staying power.

    I'm not too sure how long to expect to take studying for and passing each exam. I'll be studying mainly in my own time, but I may get some time from my employer over the next few months, maybe a day a week.

    Anybody have any thoughts on that one?

    Thanks again,

    Regards

    Andy
     
    Certifications: MCPD EA, MCDST, MCTS SQL
    WIP: MCPD .NET 3.5, MCITP Vista
  4. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    it depends on your boss!

    is it really worth doing all 3 and no concentrating one and working upto the higher certs with that one?
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  5. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    read this for more on higher level and the new certs... http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/newgen/

    and here's the link for MCPD http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcpd/

    read all these threads i have posted and it will tell you all about the new microsoft certs and what books they have. Most of the books are either out or coming out. I also saw an ealier comment on bad ratings for books - i have done 4 MS exams on my 5 and i use Microsoft Press books because i too think MS exams should be studied with MS Press books. Yes sometimes the book has bad ratings but NO and ill say it again NO book on the market prepares you for ANY Microsoft exam - just keep that in mind when choosing you books.
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  6. Hangleton

    Hangleton Bit Poster

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    Thanks very much again for the replies.

    I take on board your comments about the books, and I'm going to get the Microsoft book for 70-536 as a starting point. I want to get started sooner rather than later.

    My plan was for MCPD: Enterprise Applications Developer - which requires all three MCTS certifications as a starting point anyway, that's why I was planning on all three MCTS courses.. though one of the good things about the structure of these courses is that I can change my plans as things progress. I see your point, I could go for MCPD: Web Developer first.

    Regards,

    Andy
     
    Certifications: MCPD EA, MCDST, MCTS SQL
    WIP: MCPD .NET 3.5, MCITP Vista
  7. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    well get the book... you will get software with it and away you go! Best of Luck!:thumbleft

    PS if you ever need a reference book get one because the way MS does it you will end up using that reference book alot more than the study guide!
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics

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