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MS Applications programming route advice

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by PeteD, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. PeteD

    PeteD New Member

    Hi, I'm looking at doing the MS Applications programming route. Been talking to Advent and NITLC and they're probably great, but expensive... I'm a fairly experienced programmer already, just not in anything that modern so following advice here I'm looking at self-studying.

    Has anyone done this route? How much does it actually cost in course materials and exams to say intermediate level? And whats it like in getting a job just with exams but no experience (in .net)? (I see some companies do provide experience).

    As an asside, does anyone know anything about a company called "IT Futures Online", their costs where fairly reasonable but their website has dissappeared for at least a few weeks now...
  2. LordMoolyBap

    LordMoolyBap Nibble Poster

    For the programming, experience is the important thing. The MS certifications are good but teach programming in a bad way. The languages themselves are generally easy to learn. The more important things are the patterns you use (ie how you use the language).

    For example the MCTS in .NET Windows Programming promotes Drag and Drop for SQL connectors and Data Adapters which I have never seen used in a professional environment.

    I would start by getting the Visual Studio Express (vb or c# whichever you prefer) and then just start learning. Wrox Press do some good books (they are red with the authors faces on). Follow the tutorial vids from the MSDN website and then look at some of the Microsoft Press books if you want to get certified. Just remember that experience and examples of your work (if you have little experience) are more important.

    Certifications: HND (Comp) MBCS
    WIP: Msc Intelligent Systems
  3. PeteD

    PeteD New Member

    Thanks. Well, I've had Visual C# 2005/2008 for a while now, read a few books and used it loads (mainly recently thanks to XNA Studio - fun, good for writing loads of C#, but otherwise probably not too great career-wise...). I suppose I'll look at the MS website for exactly what I'll need to buy...
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    I have completed the Sun development and Microsoft development certification tracks entirely by self study.

    In fact before I enbarked on certification I had already followed a similar process of learning for many languages and technologies without certifying.

    Exams typically cost £80-£200 and books typically cost £25-45. Testing simulators £25-£50.
    Most of the development applications (Compilers/IDE's/Databases/Frameworks/Libraries/Application Servers/Tools,etc) are available for free, evaluation or at low cost.

    I wouldn't worry about the cost, it is negligible if you self study. I tend to buy programming books anyway so really its just the exams and the prep aids.

    For the MS exams you are probably talking about it probably breaks down like this :-

    Book :- £35, Test Prep :- £40, Exam :- £90 = £165 Per exam.

    Plan one exam at a time, don't plan too far ahead, one exam might take 6 months or more to accomplish. Ignore the TP hype of 8 exams in 12 months.

    I wouldn't even look at the exams in your position for now, it sounds like you need to learn a lot of stuff before you even look at certification.

    Object Orientated Analysis and Design, Design Patterns, Graphical User Interfaces, Windows Programming, Network Programming, Databases, Security, The .NET Framework, The C# language, The CLR, IIS, ASP .NET, ORM/ADO .Net, XML, Webservices/SOA, etc.

    Getting a job without experience will be extremely tough in the current climate, certs alone aren't likely to cut it.

    I'd be surprised if hardly any training companies provided any experience worth having, just use your existing skills to make a few sideways steps.

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