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Attend a course or MS e-learning

Discussion in 'MCAD / MCSD / MCPD' started by Littlened, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Littlened

    Littlened New Member

    Hi All,

    I'd like to study for the MCPD, and have two options. Attend various training courses, or use the MS e-learning and books?

    What are peoples opinions on both routes? The training courses would cost me somewhere in the region of £2500, but the e-learning courses would cost around £600 + any books. Is the additional cost worth it to attend the training?
  2. karan1337

    karan1337 Byte Poster

    IT depends on u how u grasp concepts. People learn differently, some prefer audio-visual aids, while others may stick to the pdf version of the material.

    Most importantly, in all courses, hands on experience beats everything. Experimenting on your own is the best way to learn. Although the class room training maybe worthwhile, u need some time for yourself to tweak and play around with the concerned software or programming language.

    If you prefer audio-visual training and following strict routine of classes with a fixed time limit, then go for classroom training, otherwise u can opt for self study, get the required software, MS press books or Sybex study guides, some video tutorials like CBT Nuggets, TrainSignal, practice tests like Transcender, MeasureUp (comes with MS press books), Boson etc and start your own journey! :)

    Best wishes.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
    Certifications: MCP, MCDST, MCTS, Brainbench: XP and Vista [Master]
    WIP: Bachelors:Computer Science
  3. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Programming is a difficult subject to pick up either way, because so much of it requires practice and experience. The MS e-learning stuff will give you some insight into the concepts and technologies, but to be honest it's a little bit light weight.

    A course along any of the objectives for MCPD exams is likely to be aimed at professionals with some real world experience, not people completely new to programming and you'd be out of your depth on day 1.

    I'd suggest that you look at studying a language such as Jave or C++ from scratch, to give yourself an introduction to programming concepts.

    How you do it is up to you. I'd get a starter book like 'learn Java in easy steps' or something, just to start you off and give you a feel for the suject - you may hate it. Then, if you want to do a course, go ahead. The Open University do a couple of good Java courses for £x00, not £x,000.

    EDIT - sorry, I've just looked at your profile and seen that you've got some development experience. I'll leave my post as it stands for the 'benefit' of others, but in your case I'd try self study for starters.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  4. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

    Do you have any previous programming experience? If so, then picking up the MS Press books may be enough. However, I wouldn't recommend the instructor-led training targeted towards the certification exam if you're new to programming. You'll likely be in over your head very quickly. If you wanted an instructor-led course and you're new to programming, you'd be better off seeing if your local university offers an intro to programming concepts course. At the beginning, focusing on a specific language isn't as important as learning the fundamental concepts of programming.

    I've never used Microsoft's eLearning courses, so I can't comment on whether those would be good for you.

    EDIT: As Jonny has done above, I'll leave my comments here for other people looking for advice, but since you have some experience, I would definitely recommend a self-study program first.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Used one MS e-learning course and found it frustrating and useless, no good at all. Lightweight information presented in a annoying hard to view and hard to skip manner.

    The books are a far better bet but as mentioned MCPD is for people with a decent amount of experience with Visual Studio, Windows Programming and .NET.

    Some of the 100% video based CBT's from other vendors can be good but again you will need a lot of practice and reading as well.

    C++ is a very complicated language with many wrinkles, I would not reccomend it to a beginner, instead consider C or Java.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010

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