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  • Question

  • I'm afraid I'm a little out of touch on certification issues.  When I went for my MCAD  (305/306/310) the exam prep was neatly packaged in a set of MS Press books, one per exam.  Now I'm looking at the descriptions of the 70-551/552 exams and I'm a little confused, and perhaps overwhelmed. 

    At the risk of sounding lazy, am I to understand that there is no one neatly packaged book or book set for this exam? 

    (I will admit that I am still undecided about pursuing this exam but it does look like the most obvious next step.)
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:50 PM

Answers

  • B. Chernick said:

    I'm afraid I'm a little out of touch on certification issues.  When I went for my MCAD  (305/306/310) the exam prep was neatly packaged in a set of MS Press books, one per exam.  Now I'm looking at the descriptions of the 70-551/552 exams and I'm a little confused, and perhaps overwhelmed. 

    At the risk of sounding lazy, am I to understand that there is no one neatly packaged book or book set for this exam? 

    (I will admit that I am still undecided about pursuing this exam but it does look like the most obvious next step.)



    That is correct.  Beacuse the upgrade exam covers a wider set of competencies (the same set of information which is covered in several exams from the 'normal' path), there is no single book resource which tries to cover this entire span of knowledge.

    As a result, you need to focus on your experience and the resources which will support the particular bits that you may need more assistance with in preparing than others.

    I would certainly encourage you to pursue this particular exam as upgrading to the MCPD on .NET 2.0 will allow you to continue to drive your knowledge forward on the new .NET platforms.  Once you have obtained your .NET MCPD on the 2.0 platform, the next edition of the MCPD will be coming out at the end of this year revolving around the .NET 3.5 framework.

    There is no direct upgrade path from MCAD to the 3.5 credentials so you may want to work on the 2.0 upgrade so your 3.5 credentials down the road are again another easy upgrade path.


    - Wayne S. Anderson MCITP, MCSE, MCT http://blog.avanadeadvisor.com/blogs/waynea
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:59 PM
  • (At the risk of sounding lazy, am I to understand that there is no one neatly packaged book or book set for this exam?)


    There is not one book however the link below is one site with resources using MSDN docs to cover all MCSD.NET exams so you can use it and buy practice test to cover gaps and question style.  These exams will be discontinued in 2009 so why take and upgrade when you can just take either MCTS VS2005 or MCTS VS2008 


    http://www.codeclinic.com/certification.htm


    http://forums.msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/csharpgeneral/thread/0309997e-49f2-4425-9172-a58dc41fff19

    http://vakul.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/visual-studio-2005-certification-series-mcts-and-mcpd/


    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:59 PM

All replies

  • B. Chernick said:

    I'm afraid I'm a little out of touch on certification issues.  When I went for my MCAD  (305/306/310) the exam prep was neatly packaged in a set of MS Press books, one per exam.  Now I'm looking at the descriptions of the 70-551/552 exams and I'm a little confused, and perhaps overwhelmed. 

    At the risk of sounding lazy, am I to understand that there is no one neatly packaged book or book set for this exam? 

    (I will admit that I am still undecided about pursuing this exam but it does look like the most obvious next step.)



    That is correct.  Beacuse the upgrade exam covers a wider set of competencies (the same set of information which is covered in several exams from the 'normal' path), there is no single book resource which tries to cover this entire span of knowledge.

    As a result, you need to focus on your experience and the resources which will support the particular bits that you may need more assistance with in preparing than others.

    I would certainly encourage you to pursue this particular exam as upgrading to the MCPD on .NET 2.0 will allow you to continue to drive your knowledge forward on the new .NET platforms.  Once you have obtained your .NET MCPD on the 2.0 platform, the next edition of the MCPD will be coming out at the end of this year revolving around the .NET 3.5 framework.

    There is no direct upgrade path from MCAD to the 3.5 credentials so you may want to work on the 2.0 upgrade so your 3.5 credentials down the road are again another easy upgrade path.


    - Wayne S. Anderson MCITP, MCSE, MCT http://blog.avanadeadvisor.com/blogs/waynea
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:59 PM
  • (At the risk of sounding lazy, am I to understand that there is no one neatly packaged book or book set for this exam?)


    There is not one book however the link below is one site with resources using MSDN docs to cover all MCSD.NET exams so you can use it and buy practice test to cover gaps and question style.  These exams will be discontinued in 2009 so why take and upgrade when you can just take either MCTS VS2005 or MCTS VS2008 


    http://www.codeclinic.com/certification.htm


    http://forums.msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/csharpgeneral/thread/0309997e-49f2-4425-9172-a58dc41fff19

    http://vakul.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/visual-studio-2005-certification-series-mcts-and-mcpd/


    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:59 PM
  • Pardon my confusion.  Which 'discontinued' ones are you referring to?  I was under the impression that 551/552 are new exams. 
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 6:05 PM
  • Just a philosophical comment here.  I should confess that the only reason I ever got my original MCAD is was because it was neatly packaged and I was unemployed with a need to look busy.   (Perhaps I should not confess that on more than a few occasions new bosses have told me that they just fired a certified <bleep>up and needed a hands-on programmer to fix the mess.)

    Now that (for the moment anyway) things are hopping careerwise, this only adds to my confusion.  Not only do the choices for certification appear to be exploding/fragmenting, I find the same happening on the job.  Not that I'm complaining,  but I find myself continually switching between Win Apps and Web Apps, except for the days I have to play SQL Server DBA, engage in what I might, in the presence of ladies, politely call 'legacy forensics', or things that defy all description.  

    I suppose I'm going to have to make some serious time for studying just to determine exactly what I should study, and I suppose I have to go with the flow if I'm to maintain my career. 

    (But I suspect that on occasion things will feel as confused as an eye doctor being forced to take a proctology class.  ie: What am I doing here? :-)   
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 6:26 PM
  • B. Chernick said:

    Pardon my confusion.  Which 'discontinued' ones are you referring to?  I was under the impression that 551/552 are new exams. 

    (When I went for my MCAD  (305/306/310) the exam prep was neatly packaged in a set of MS Press books, one per exam.)

    The above is the reason for the discontinue comment because I assumed you want to take the MCAD exams now but exams 70-551/552 are not new because these were released with the VS2005 MCTS and MCPD exams for upgrade from MCAD /MCSD.NET.  Microsoft found the fail rate of both exams very high so a new upgrade part was created for MCTS, it is the MCTS upgrade exams that are new exams 70-558 for Winform and 70-559 for Webform.

    My two cent pickup both developer and SQL Server certifications because you need both to develop business applications on the Microsoft platform.



    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exams/70-551.mspx

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exams/70-552.mspx



    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exams/70-559.mspx

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exams/70-558.mspx



    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 6:42 PM
  • Sorry but I'm still not sure I understand you.   (Actually I'm still not clear about the difference between 551/552 and 558/559.)   Are you saying that 551/552 is unnecessarily difficult?  That 558/559 is intended as a replacement?  (Are you recommending 558/559?)
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 7:10 PM
  •  (Are you saying that 551/552 is unnecessarily difficult)

    There is a high fail rate but I would not say unnecessarily difficult.


    (That 558/559 is intended as a replacement?)

    No both exams 70-558/559 gives you MCTS Web and MCTS Winform but you still need to take exams 70-547/548 to get MCPD web and MCPD Winform.


    (Are you recommending 558/559?)

    I don't know your skill set but it will easier for you to take exams 70-536/528 together than to take exams 70-536/528/547 together from MCAD because most of exam70-536 and 70-547 materials will all be new to you.  I came to .NET from Java and I have passed all three and I know I cannot pass all three in one day because the scope is huge.



    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    • Edited by Caddre Thursday, September 4, 2008 8:36 PM error
    Thursday, September 4, 2008 8:32 PM
  • I'm sorry.  I don't wish to be rude but I don't understand your responses at all and I'm more confused than ever about my certification options.  I'm going to start a new thread.
    Monday, September 8, 2008 3:29 PM
  • I apologise you did not understand me could you point to what part you did not understand so I can clarify and expand on it.


    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Monday, September 8, 2008 3:32 PM
  • Perhaps I am just having a bad day/week/month.   So far I just cannot decipher my certification options.  I cannot, for lack of a better term, find a roadmap I understand.  Let me start over again.

    I got an email that led me to this: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/upgrade/vs2005/default.mspx

    If I understand this correctly, the 'retirement' of my old MCAD exams means that I have a limited time to take an upgrade exam (to presumably spare me more a larger number of exams).  If that is correct, then I think my simplest course is to take an upgrade exam first.  But which one?  (I'm assuming I remain focused on VB). 

    I have the 70-552 and 70-558 exam descriptions open in front of me.  So far I do not see any real difference between them.  What is the difference between them?

    Also, upon reviewing this thread, perhaps I should ask if 'MCPD' is the new MCAD? 
    Monday, September 8, 2008 3:52 PM
  • (I have the 70-552 and 70-558 exam descriptions open in front of me.  So far I do not see any real difference between them.  What is the difference between them ?)


    The short answer exam 70-552 covers exam 70-536/526/548 which give you MCPD Winform while exam 70-558 covers exam 70-536/526 which gives you MCTS Winform. I have MCPD web so I think it is more practical to take exam 70-558 because you can study and expect to pass that because it covers two exams instead of three.


    70-552 =  70-536, 70-526 and 70-548

    70-558 = 70-536 and 70-526




     (If that is correct, then I think my simplest course is to take an upgrade exam first.  But which one?)

    Based on my experience I would take exam 70-558 because it is more practical in scope.  


    (Also, upon reviewing this thread, perhaps I should ask if 'MCPD' is the new MCAD?)

    I could be wrong but I think MCTS is the new MCAD because the platforms are separated so you start with MCTS before MCPD for either Web/Asp.NET or Winform.  Then the Enterprise MCPD require more exams because it covers more platforms instead of one.

    If you still need more help post again.




     


    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    • Edited by Caddre Monday, September 8, 2008 5:51 PM Correction
    Monday, September 8, 2008 5:07 PM
  • Ok, so 70-536 is a basic Dot Net tech exam, not specific to language or platform (and there is apparently a single book for that.) 

    And 70-528 (or rather 70-526) is platform specific and does not have one specific book.  Or rather it does but recommends a couple others as well.  (I am leaning towards WinApps but it's really a toss of the coin, given my job.)

    I suppose that makes things clear enough for the moment.  Thanks.

    (Would you happen to know if the 70-557/558 exams are out yet?  I'm looking at exam sites and I haven't found them yet, except for Transcender which is referring to 70-557 as a configuration exam. ??? )
    Monday, September 8, 2008 5:42 PM
  • I apologise about the exam number confusion I have edited my reply to reflect Winform exams and good to know you now understand the scope issue.  This is a very long post so read very carefully.
     
    I would call 70-536 a comprehensive .NET framework class library general exam because there is nothing basic about it.  Check the thread below for how to pass it in VB.NET.


    http://forums.community.microsoft.com/en-US/CertGeneral/thread/4cb3b703-fb1b-45af-9ede-f54ce5ac6596/



    You are correct about the scope of exam 70-526, study materials start with the Microsoft press prep guide and add one or two very good Winform books you now use or are recommended by Winform developers.



    (Would you happen to know if the 70-557/558 exams are out yet?)

    Both exams 70-558/559 are out a while back because here is the listing which is updated recently. You could just buy the study material for exams 70-536 and 70-526 for exam 70-558 which is the Winform exam.


    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exams/70-559.mspx

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exams/70-558.mspx


    Here is how many times others have failed exam 70-551/552.

    http://dbs253.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!2B6F9CCA78BF715D!191.entry


    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    • Edited by Caddre Monday, September 8, 2008 7:50 PM error
    Monday, September 8, 2008 7:19 PM
  • Just for your information, you can get all three books in one go and at a significant discount (three books cost less than each one by itself)



    Tuesday, September 9, 2008 10:30 AM
  • (Apologies for my little misprint.  I meant 558/559, not 557/558.)

    Thanks for the feedback.  Just out of curiosity, if you were in my position would you go for the WinForms or WebForms exam?  Just looking for some casual feedback.  (In the sense of which has a greater future?  At this time I really can't tell.)   Anyone out there feel like reading the tea leaves today?  :-)

    As I mentioned earlier, on my current job I move between the 2 environments almost constantly and I'm not sure I care which one I do.  (I suppose I could try doing both but I want to be sure I get at least one done before the deadline.)

    And if anyone has any opinions on who has the best practice test software, feel free to share. (I should admit here that in the past I have spent time in a group that used Transcender and it seemed pretty good.) 
    • Edited by B. Chernick Tuesday, September 9, 2008 1:25 PM Added question
    Tuesday, September 9, 2008 1:19 PM
  • If you are using both then do MCTS in both and MCPD in Web because I think WPF will replace Winform in the future.  Just my humble opinion.



    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Tuesday, September 9, 2008 4:34 PM
  • Another nitpicking question if you don't mind:  The reference to the 70-558 requirements (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exams/70-558.mspx) makes reference to the book: 'CLR via C#, Second Edition.'  There is no VB equivalent mentioned.

    Now for better or for worse, all of my Net employment has been focused on VB.  It's not that I object to C# or that I am totally unfamiliar with C#, I just haven't had any monetary incentive to focus on it. 

    So my question is this: Are they recommending that even the VB programmers get this book?  (And has anyone read it yet?   How useful is it?)
    Wednesday, September 10, 2008 2:08 PM
  •  (makes reference to the book: 'CLR via C#, Second Edition.'  There is no VB equivalent mentioned)


    No there is actually a VB equivalent which is the book by Francesco Balena his is one of the best known VB expert.  And I have given you a thread with VB books and resources used by other users of this site.


    http://social.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/CertGeneral/thread/4cb3b703-fb1b-45af-9ede-f54ce5ac6596/



     (Are they recommending that even the VB programmers get this book)

    No Jeffrey Richter is a C languages expert who writes books for both C# and VC++ his latest book is actually VC++.


    Asp.net MVP, MCPD Web C#, MCITP BI & MCTS SQL Server 2005
    Thursday, September 11, 2008 12:06 PM