1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Which cert to do first?

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by Breaker, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Breaker

    Breaker Bit Poster

    22
    0
    7
    I want to eventually become a database developer. So I’ve currently narrowed down the certifications I want to take: SQL Server 2008-Database Development or Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Presentation Foundation Application Development. I have some experience with VB .NET 2005 but none in SQL server. Any idea on which I should go for first?
     
    WIP: A+
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    10,831
    357
    341
    Hi, why not introduce yourself here and be a part of the community.

    I would say go for what you have experience with first of all.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    3,782
    302
    184
    Since you have neither WPF or SQL Server experience you might as well learn whatever interests you most. I reccomend picking up a book on WPF or SQL Server and creating an app or database first. Then you can start to think about maybe getting a cert.

    You mentioned you know VB .Net so you could also attempt 70-536.

    Best of luck ! :D
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  4. Pheonicks56

    Pheonicks56 Kilobyte Poster

    364
    6
    49
    Do you have any previous work experience in IT at all, do you have any certifications, without this sort of info we can't really base an opinion or give solid advice. I read your intro thread and it seems you are a recent grad and are working on breaking into the IT field is this correct?

    If so I would start off with the basics that everyone should start with, A+ and Network+. These will help you at least get your foot in the door and maybe get an interview. Good luck with what you decide mate.
     
    Certifications: BSIT, AAIT, A+
    WIP: Network+
  5. LordMoolyBap

    LordMoolyBap Nibble Poster

    95
    0
    28
    What interests you about database development? The courses you mention are fairly different in both what they do and what they stand for. As a developer you need to be pretty handy in SQL but if you are going down the database development route it wouldn't matter how the information is eventually presented to the user (WPF).

    If you are interested in doing SQL stuff then go for the MCTS courses that relate to that and leave the other stuff. If you are interested in making cool looking windows applications ect then look at the WPF course. For the MCTS in WPF development you also need to do the .NET framework exam as well so you'll need to ensure your VB.NET on the 3.5 framework is up to scratch as well.

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcts/vstudio/2008/default.mspx

    Hope this helps
    Dom
     
    Certifications: HND (Comp) MBCS
    WIP: Msc Intelligent Systems
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    I am also curious about how much IT experience you have... one typically doesn't just jump right into database development...
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  7. Breaker

    Breaker Bit Poster

    22
    0
    7
    Thanks for the replies. To make everything a bit clearer (prepare yourself for an essay) I’m an IT graduate of a 3 year course (graduated a year ago), as Pheonicks56 alluded to in.

    The reason databases interest me so much,is because we focused on that subject in detail at University. I have a decent understanding of the logical processes of relational database (i.e. cardinality, concurrency control, normalisation etc). I also have written out a few SQL scripts creating tables, updating them etc so it’s pretty basic SQL experience at the moment. To sum up, the database experience is university based i.e. no one’s going to really take any notice of that. BosonMichael, I know you don’t just jump into database work, I was trying to think more long term, I guess most people start in a support type role first?

    My programming experience is VB .NET 2003(once again its university experience). Though I did write one small front end interface (using .NET) for a single user database in a small company.

    At the moment I’m doing a website for a university department (the same university I studied at) it’s nothing out this world, some HTML and CSS based stuff. I’ve been working on it for about one week now, and it’s probably going to take another two. I’m also doing the graphics and logo for them (I’m pretty handy at Adobe illustrator and Photoshop). The web and graphics stuff is basically self taught, save for a brief course in HTML when I was at uni.

    As for a support type role, we did about 1 year worth of system support (i.e. learning what a processor is, how motherboards function the basics really). That was easy for me though, because I had already been building my own systems for a few years previously (self taught once again).

    I think you can see the pattern here, basically, university education, and self taught in some areas, or in other words nothing really tangible for employers to get their teeth into. I like to think of myself as cup-a -soup: cheap, reliable, and handy to have around the place but your sure as heck not going to impress anybody when you serve it to them. So don’t bother telling me how important experience is or to try getting some freelance or internship work, I already have a firm understanding of these concepts, and I am trying to get these very jobs/positions.

    Hopefully this will give you all the pertinent information ,if not I’m happy to give more detail. Thanks again
     
    WIP: A+
  8. Pheonicks56

    Pheonicks56 Kilobyte Poster

    364
    6
    49
    Unfortunately my advice is going to be to get an entry level position or do some volunteer work, because 1) It is very difficult to break into this career field anywhere but the bottom, 2) The economy sucks and jobs are hard to come by, sorry these are just the facts. With that in mind I still suggest getting your A+, Network+, MCDST. Trust me I'm in somewhat the same boat, I just finished my AAIT starting my MSIT in a nother two weeks and I have tons of experience tinkering with different aspects of IT. I'm trying to break into networking and system administration, but it ain't going to happen without first getting that 1st line support job or help desk. Gotta start somewhere and get that all important experience, once you start, work towards your goals by asking questions and working with the guys working on the databases. This is how you'll get noticed and pick up the experience. Once again good luck mate.
     
    Certifications: BSIT, AAIT, A+
    WIP: Network+
  9. Breaker

    Breaker Bit Poster

    22
    0
    7
    Thanks for the timely response Pheonicks56. I completely agree with the points you made. I just wanted to make it clear in my previous post that I understand about starting at the bottom (I am more than willing to do that). As for the A+ and network+ it seems to get mixed responses, some people like to see it, others seem to think there just rubber stamp type certs with little value. Most people seem more fond of Security+ for network based jobs. It’s a pity support roles tend to be so boring though, I remember troubleshooting friends computers, classic times with Windows XP.
     
    WIP: A+
  10. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    The S+ isn't a starting certification. Having certs beyond your on the job experience level (not experience at home or college) can have a negative effect on you when applying for jobs.

    Take me for example I do quite a lot of networking stuff in my job but I know for a fact that I don't have the experience required or knowledge from what I do to do the MCSA or S+ anyhow I still have my 70-272 exam to do at some point.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  11. Pheonicks56

    Pheonicks56 Kilobyte Poster

    364
    6
    49
    I think the idea that A+ and Net+ are just rubber stamp certs is absolute rubbish. Maybe employers might think this, but they think this when applying for higher level jobs. The guys/gals hiring and recruiting for the entry level positions are going to be looking for these certs at the minimum, if you don't have them plus you don't have any experience on paper why should they hire you over anyone else?
     
    Certifications: BSIT, AAIT, A+
    WIP: Network+
  12. LordMoolyBap

    LordMoolyBap Nibble Poster

    95
    0
    28
    I think perhaps sharpen up on your developer experience and perhaps you can get a job as a junior programmer. There are still some out there although you will might need something to show them of what you have done. I also had to do a test during the interview so don't blag what you can't do. From there you can move into database stuff.

    As the developers we do all the system analysis and database design, there are others who worry about administration once it has been done often (although sometimes it comes back to bite you).

    Was you degree in CS or something else? Either way I would say keep practicing as you are, get on the MSDN website and further your VB knowledge, there is some wicked improvements in 2008. If you haven't done already download Visual Basic express 2008 and Visual Web Developer 2008 http://www.microsoft.com/Express/

    Also a really good source for web development, is here http://www.asp.net/ check out the tutorial vids very good.

    If you are looking to get into development I would go straight into trying to go for a junior developer role. We don't have anyone working here who has worked there way up from being a desktop support person as the roles are too different, most people have started straight from graduating.

    Hope it helps.
    Dom
     
    Certifications: HND (Comp) MBCS
    WIP: Msc Intelligent Systems
  13. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    The A+ and Network+ are *great* certifications to start out with!

    ...only if you're securing networks... and that's not something that entry-level techs typically do. Thus, Security+ isn't designed for entry-level folks.

    On the contrary... support roles can be anything BUT boring! There are plenty of support roles where you're not doing the same thing, day after day... there's always a different puzzle to solve!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  14. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    1,219
    58
    116
    Its a shame this attitutude seems to be prevalant with a lot of people, not only is desktop support a great place to cut your teeth, but it sorts the men from the boys in so many ways.
    Also its a great place to find mentors.

    If you find support boring you really should be doing more to expand your role, or look for a different role completely as there is always something new cropping up in IT as the challenges are always there.

    Even if you study on the sly at least try to make the most of slow times.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  15. Breaker

    Breaker Bit Poster

    22
    0
    7
    My degree was a 3 year course in Business Information technology, main topics were: Information systems (database design + SQL full 3 years), Business analysis (2 years), project management (1 year), VB.Net (1 year), website design (6 months) and stats (1 year).

    As for the debate about A+, NET + certs the information I relay to you here is mainly what I have learnt, through my admittedly short dealings, with various different companies and people from forums. It’s quite possible that the information that I received from them is not objective nor completely accurate. In fact ,one thing I have tried to do is determine which certs seem to get the best responses and are acknowledged in the industry; unfortunately I have yet to see any surveys (qualified) or other hard evidence that gives opinions on certifications from a wide range of sources to give a more balanced view on the matter. I mean you can Google top certs and people will talk about how Microsoft is the dominant platform and A+ is good for your fundamentals etc. Others write how the whole certification industry is doomed as it’s too vendor focused and there’s a lack of standards. As for the security+ cert I was just musing on the future but I guess I’m getting ahead of myself there, I get that being over qualified can be as much a problem as being under qualified ,but we all know, I am certainly in no danger of being the former.

    Looking at the current situation, I see no reason why anyone would want to employ me, and invest time, and effort into helping me up the career ladder when you have plenty of guys with real world experience available. Naturally having real world experience is the best solution but, facking spiders, they certainly make it difficult to get now-a-days.

    Thanks for the links LordMoolyBap, I have all ready got Visual express 2008 and I have books a plenty on coding and web dev.

    Anyway, thanks for the time and effort invested so far. Cheers
     
    WIP: A+
  16. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    there are jobs called trainee and entry level that do not require experience as you get trained up.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  17. Breaker

    Breaker Bit Poster

    22
    0
    7
    Well if you are talking about the "concept" of there being trainee jobs, then yes, I agree with you. However the concept does not always translate to real world as we might like. I think that perceptions about job availability can largely be geographically centric and based on personal experience. For instance in my geographical area there are a lot of support roles that require 1 year experience in help desk support in a corporate environment. Your experience will obviously vary from mine; you for instance might find a variety of trainee jobs in your vicinity whilst I may not. In my position, I am trying to get a volunteer role first, where I might meet professionals who I could learn from, and then, hopefully progress to a paid trainee role. It would be interesting to see a worldwide survey comparing different countries and the availability of entry level positions. I think though, that this might not be the place to discuss these quite complicated issues as there are so many different facets involved with it.

    Back to the issue of certifications. In my opinion A+ and Network+ are useful certs for sure. I read the Comptia Network+ study guide whilst I was at university and it gave some solid info in networking. A+ is geared towards the entry level tech so I was hoping that my degree might give me the same level of education in an employer’s eyes. A+ and Network+ are internationally recognised so I am tempted to make sure my knowledge is up to scratch and take the A+ cert first.

    Originally I always thought that an IT career evolved like so: graduate from university-->get and entry level support job-->branch into a more specific role like database development, probably a bit naive but there you go. Getting back to the whole support tech debacle

    When I said support was boring I meant it more as a throwaway comment. I will say though that my view on support was probably jaded by popular media and my own narrow based experience in dealing with some minor single user desktop based problems like corrupt Windows installations etc. I’ve mended my ways though, and decided I’m still a boy, but hopefully a few hours of character building rummaging inside a tower will turn me into the man that I need to be.

    Apart from all that, this is the most writing I’ve done for a long time, if you don’t count the great job application rush of 2008. Cheers and keep the responses flowing.
     
    WIP: A+
  18. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    I say keep applying at trainee roles even if they do say 1 years experience put in a covering letter saying you have seen that it says one year but your a quick learner and that you have the ability to pick the role up quickly blah blah and you would appreciate the chance to prove your ability etc etc and whilst you are waiting for that interview whenever it comes practice practice practice and study study study so that if you get the interview you can stand up to the competition.

    IT is notoriously hard to get into. I passed my HND in 99 from Leeds uni and whilst I have always had jobs where I have used computers it wasn't until recently that the job I have been in for 8 years has eveloved so much that it needs someone with a bit of IT skill to do.

    University doesn't always mean you'll get the job you want anymore so it can be a struggle.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  19. Breaker

    Breaker Bit Poster

    22
    0
    7
    Yeah, were pretty much in tune here. I apply for junior roles even if I’m under qualified in terms of experience. The practice point is a good one, as it’s easy to let your skills get rusty. At the moment I’m reading some books on VB programming and SQL server plus doing a bit of practical practice (nice alliteration) with both.
     
    WIP: A+
  20. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    1,219
    58
    116
    Hehe didnt mean to sound harsh to anyone there.

    From what ive seen over the past few years IT is quite easy to progress in, as 99.9% of the people seem to lack motivation, will complain about their roles and show no initiative whatsoever.
    Another thing is selling yourself which is definitely a skill IT in general needs to develop.

    What im trying to say is that while repetition and basic support can be boring, the people who will go on are the ones that go the extra mile, work their socks off to get Certs, learn as much as they can, do the tasks they are presented with efficiently and document their work in a good manner and generally be helpful, friendly and willing to keep users productive in the best way possible.

    These people are the ones that get noticed, and get out of the "boring support" trap, to me it sounds like you either do or will fit the bill, but try to enjoy yourself along the way, IT is a tough career and it has a lot of pressure at all levels for different reasons, if being a net admin or IT manager/CIO then all you will learn at the levels below that job will be valuable.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal

Share This Page

Loading...