none
Upgrade paths require more exams than a fresh start?! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Back in 2007, I passed

     aiming at DBA, i.e. MCITP: Database Administrator on MSSQLServer2005 at that time.

     

    Now, that new MS SQL Server 2008 appeared.
    I'd like to continue by upgrading it to MSSQL2008,

    instead of MS SQL Server 2005 certification,

    i.e. to MCITP: Database Administrator 2008

     

    Fresh start, accepting the fact that I passed 70-431 in vain, is 2 exams:

    • 70-432
    • 70-450

     

    While upgrade path from having 70-431 to MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 is 3 additional exams totalling 4:

    • 70-431
    • 70-441
    • 70-442
    • 70-447

     

    The same is with MCSD:
    upgrade path from MCSD to any of .NET 3.x or VS2008 certifications requires more exams  with less additional certifications on the way than fresh-start path.

     

    IS not it nonsense which should be corrected?

    especially when some exams practically do not differ one from another

    (for ex., exams on  MS SQL Server 2005 from corresponding exams in MS SQL Server 2008, the differences are practically non-existent or trivial)


    Guennadi Vanine -- Gennady Vanin -- Геннадий Ванин
    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:24 AM

Answers

  • There is no official upgrade path from MCTS ver X to MCITP ver Y. This is because you are not starting at the correct place. And there is no upgrade from MCTS 2008 from MCTS 2005 because its only 1 exam.

    With a fresh start in 2008 (with your existing SQL 2005 cert) you would get 3 certs from 3 exams (because you have completed 431)

    Doing the upgrade (again with your existing certs) you would have 4 certs through 4 exams (you will have the MCITP *2 and MCTS *2) -- so its the same really regardless. 3 for 3 or 4 for 4.

    Now to correct your previous assumption MCSD  to MCPD 2008 has more exams for less certifications. I am going to do the one for MCSD to MCPD Enterprise 3.5 as this requires the most exams. 

    MCSD to MCPD 3.5 is not a supported upgrade path. If you go MCSD to MCPD 2005 which is a supported upgrade path and its 2 exams for MCPD Enterprise. And then its 2 exams to MCPD 3.5 from MCPD 2.0 which is a total 4 exams. This gives you 4 certs (VS2005) and 5 certs (VS2008) totalling 9 certs for 4 exams.

    To get the MCPD 3.5 Enterprise requires 6 exams from a fresh start and gives you 5 certs.

    If you decided to do the MCPD Web or Windows versions it would be 2 exams and you would get a total 4 certs going from MCSD to MCPD 3.5

    Now with that out of the way, there are plenty of differences between SQL 2005 and 2008 including changes to the underlying engine, new datatypes, new additions to the T-SQL language etc. So the differences are significant.

     


    Blog: http://www.certsandprogs.com

    70-515 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-536 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-505 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-562 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-433 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:45 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Vanine ,

     

    I will suggest you that please try to avoid criticism and be positive because who make these certification plans they are really highly qualified than us and they know better than us what is better and what is not.

    In addition SQL 2005 and SQL 2008 are totally different than each other so if you got certification on SQL 2005 so I dont think so that you can be able to work on SQL 2008.

     

    Regards.

     

    Shafaquat Ali.


    M.C.I.T.P Exchange 2007 M.C.I.T.P Windows Server 2008 M.C.T.S OCS Server 2007 R2
    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:34 AM

All replies

  • Hi Vanine ,

     

    I will suggest you that please try to avoid criticism and be positive because who make these certification plans they are really highly qualified than us and they know better than us what is better and what is not.

    In addition SQL 2005 and SQL 2008 are totally different than each other so if you got certification on SQL 2005 so I dont think so that you can be able to work on SQL 2008.

     

    Regards.

     

    Shafaquat Ali.


    M.C.I.T.P Exchange 2007 M.C.I.T.P Windows Server 2008 M.C.T.S OCS Server 2007 R2
    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:34 AM
  • There is no official upgrade path from MCTS ver X to MCITP ver Y. This is because you are not starting at the correct place. And there is no upgrade from MCTS 2008 from MCTS 2005 because its only 1 exam.

    With a fresh start in 2008 (with your existing SQL 2005 cert) you would get 3 certs from 3 exams (because you have completed 431)

    Doing the upgrade (again with your existing certs) you would have 4 certs through 4 exams (you will have the MCITP *2 and MCTS *2) -- so its the same really regardless. 3 for 3 or 4 for 4.

    Now to correct your previous assumption MCSD  to MCPD 2008 has more exams for less certifications. I am going to do the one for MCSD to MCPD Enterprise 3.5 as this requires the most exams. 

    MCSD to MCPD 3.5 is not a supported upgrade path. If you go MCSD to MCPD 2005 which is a supported upgrade path and its 2 exams for MCPD Enterprise. And then its 2 exams to MCPD 3.5 from MCPD 2.0 which is a total 4 exams. This gives you 4 certs (VS2005) and 5 certs (VS2008) totalling 9 certs for 4 exams.

    To get the MCPD 3.5 Enterprise requires 6 exams from a fresh start and gives you 5 certs.

    If you decided to do the MCPD Web or Windows versions it would be 2 exams and you would get a total 4 certs going from MCSD to MCPD 3.5

    Now with that out of the way, there are plenty of differences between SQL 2005 and 2008 including changes to the underlying engine, new datatypes, new additions to the T-SQL language etc. So the differences are significant.

     


    Blog: http://www.certsandprogs.com

    70-515 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-536 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-505 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-562 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-433 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:45 AM
    Moderator
  • I've just passed 70-448 (TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance)
    I  prepared to it by materials for 70-445 (TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence - Development and Maintenance,
     only! essentially no difference!

    1)
    There is upgrade from MCSD to MCPD (VS2005, .NET 2.0) with minimum of 2 exams 70-553 and 70-554.

    • (*) -common comment to all paths/exams:
      There are other, more specifically targeted, upgrade paths that lead to even more number of exams! Why? This repels from taking any of them!.

     Then, from MCPD on VS2005 to MCPD on VS2008 with a minimum of 2 exams 70-568 and 70-569

    • (*) -common comment to all paths/exams:
      There are other, more specifically targeted, upgrade paths that lead to even more number of exams! Why? This repels from taking any of them!.

     (BTW, Note that only 2 eaxams in pair give any additional certifications). 

     2)
    This 1) path (upgrade from MCSD to any of .NET 3.5/VS2008 certifications) is overkill for me - I need and am capable to pursue 
    in the nearest future (or probably at all)
    only the certification to WCF,
    that is MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Communication Foundation Applications
    which requires just 2 exams 70-503 and 70-536.

    The problems:
    A)
    Taking the path 2)  enevitably leads me to  6 or even more exams instead of 4, by 1), if I shall continue pursuing MCPD(VS2008) in the future.
    B)
    Taking the route 2), or similar more specifically targeted path - why should I inevitably take 70-536?
    Had not it been essentially covered already by MCSD's 5 exams?

    Even more, looking at this self-expanding exponentially amount of exams, I am now in doubt:
    Does any of the certifications path to certification in VS2008/.NET3.5 make any sense or it is shorter and  cheaper to fresh start the certifications in VS2010/.NET4.0?

    Why are the paths and choices are isolated (not aggreagatable) and increase the amount of exams for the same final certification?
    i.e. why the exams are  countable in isolation from each another but not mutually countable (accumulated)?

    Why is such rigidity - the more certifications one has,
    the less is flexibility in taking exams?
    once you started one path, you cannot adjust it or, in other words,  any adjustments leads to increasing number of needed for the same certification exams! 

    BTW, I already had taken exams in vain because the lacking for final certification exams were retired!
    I am lacking just one 70-229 for MCDBA but 70-229 was retired!
    And, btw, there was no considerable or incompatible upgrade in database design!

    The retirement should have been conditioned to possibility to complete already started path! as well as retired exam should have been permitted to be counted by another more advanced/actualized replacement!


    Guennadi Vanine -- Gennady Vanin -- Геннадий Ванин

     

    Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:37 PM
  • Ok

    I am going to go through this as thoroughly as I can. Your post content will be in italics

    I've just passed 70-448 (TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance)
    I  prepared to it by materials for 70-445 (TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence - Development and Maintenance ,
     only! essentially no difference!

    This is a specific exam in BI development as compared to your earlier SQL 2008 statement. People who are familiar on one version of the platform usually find upgrading to the newer version less traumatic and are also able to predict answers based on experience. This is to be expected and most people are happy on this fact.

    1)
    There is upgrade from MCSD to MCPD (VS2005, .NET 2.0)  with minimum of 2 exams 70-553 and 70-554 .

    • (*) -common comment to all paths/exams:
      There are other, more specifically targeted, upgrade paths that lead to even more number of exams! Why? This repels from taking any of them!.

    In this case this is the MCSD.NET to MCPD Enterprise 2.0 and you can achieve this by taking 2 exams for the upgrade or 5 for a fresh start. Either way you end up with 3 * MCTS and 1 MCPD. Now in contrast to the MCSD and MCAD, MS removed the need to mix and match exams for certifications and instead gave defined paths and requirements. So in that way the MCAD and MCSD was split into 3 different MCPD certifications. This has removed the certain flexibility that you had but made the certifications more defined as is normal in this type of technical certification. 

    In the case of an MCSD wanting to get all 3 MCPDs there was a way with 3 exams by doing 70-551, 70-552 and 70-554 because the MCTS supplied by 70-553 were contained in the 70-551 and 70-552. In this way by doing 3 exams you achieved 6 certifications (3*MCTS and 3*MCPD) which if you did a fresh start you with 2.0 you would need 7 exams to complete the same. Also 70-551,70-552 and 70-553 count as fulfilling the requirements for 70-536.

     2)
    This 1) path (upgrade from MCSD to any of .NET 3.5/VS2008 certifications) is overkill for me - I need and am capable to pursue 
    in the nearest future (or probably at all)
    only the certification to WCF,
    that is MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Communication Foundation Applications
    which requires just 2 exams 70-503 and 70-536.

    You did not specify that you were looking only the MCTS WCF from your previous post. I inferred that you were looking to upgrade to MCPD as there is no direct upgrade from MCSD to MCTS specifically. To give you the same number of exams and get this MCTS take either 70-551 or 70-552 and then do 70-503. This will give your MCTS & MCPD on 2.0 and also leave you with your MCTS in 2 exams, which is the same as a fresh start but giving you more certifications.

    Even more, looking at this self-expanding exponentially amount of exams, I am now in doubt:
    Does any of the certifications path to certification in VS2008/.NET3.5 make any sense or it is shorter and  cheaper to fresh start the certifications in VS2010/.NET4.0?

    There will be no upgrade from MCTS 3.5 to MCTS 4.0 as its only 1 exam so in this case its a fresh start. However there will be upgrades from MCPD Web/Windows 3.5 to MCPD Web/Windows 4.0

    Why are the paths and choices are isolated (not aggreagatable) and increase the amount of exams for the same final certification?
    i.e. why the exams are  countable in isolation from each another but not mutually countable (accumulated)?

    Certain exams can be mixed and matched as was possible in the older version of MS Certifications (pre MCTS/MCPD/MCITP). However MS changed how their exam structure works and made them specific to each certification track as to make it easier for hiring managers to be able to say that everyone who has a specific MCTS did so in much the same way. The variations for example in MCAD for example meant that you could have completed in a large number of ways.

    Why is such rigidity - the more certifications one has,
    the less is flexibility in taking exams?
    once you started one path, you cannot adjust it or, in other words,  any adjustments leads to increasing number of needed for the same certification exams!

    Again this is how the current certification paths work. Its easier for most people just to follow the perscribed path rather than trying to work out if they have the requirements or not. MS simplified its maintainence of the certification system as well.

    BTW, I already had taken exams in vain because the lacking for final certification exams were retired!
    I am lacking just one 70-229 for MCDBA but 70-229 was retired!
    And, btw, there was no considerable or incompatible upgrade in database design!

    The retirement should have been conditioned to possibility to complete already started path! as well as retired exam should have been permitted to be counted by another more advanced/actualized replacement!

    This is not the case. Exam retirement notifications happen about 12 months before the exam is actually retired. IIRC 70-229 was publicized as going into retirement early 2008 with the actuall exam being retired end of March 2009. While you may think that you should be able to continue with this path, you should think about the numbe rof people who did this exam as part of their MCAD/MCSD/MCSA/MCSE certification and had no need/want to use it for an MCDBA certification. If this were the case exams would never be retired and we would still be testing on NT 3.51. SQL Server 2000 is a 10 year old tech at this stage.I am afraid you missed the memo on this issue. A year notification of retirement is plenty of time to get the exam completed.

    Counting a previous exam such as 228/229 towards for example MCTS SQL 2005 is pointless. There were a lot of changes in SQL 2005 vs 2000 and even MCDBAs had to take the exam 70-431 to ensure that they knew what the new changes were as part of their upgrade exams. Would you expect that the base 70-290 should be used in Windows Server 2008 exams. Again it makes no sense. While some of the concepts may be the same, the implementation will have changed.

    I hope this answers your questions

     



    Blog: http://www.certsandprogs.com

    70-515 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-536 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-505 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-562 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-433 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    Sunday, June 27, 2010 8:54 PM
    Moderator
    • Niall Merrigan wrote:
      "This is a specific exam in BI development as compared to your earlier SQL 2008 statement. People who are familiar on one version of the platform usually find upgrading to the newer version less traumatic and are also able to predict answers based on experience. This is to be expected and most people are happy on this fact"

    This is not specific. Should I write here thesis on dozens of such exams?

    How do you know that "most people are happy"?
    This is speculative overexaggerarion.
    Why had you written it at all???? 


    The fact is that:
    -  there is simply no possibility of any feedback.

    - nobody asked or accepted any opinions on that. I was never asked!
    I am sure that most people cannot be happy by the fact of many multiple incomaptible exams checking essentially the same but not joinable or mutually interaccountable.

     

    • Niall Merrigan wrote:
      "You did not specify that you were looking only the MCTS WCF from your previous post"

     This is just obvious.
    Exams are taken one by one and not by 5 exams packs. It is not feasible.

    I do not understand why you are advising on the paths to .NET 2.0/VS2005 I am not interested in
    and which eventually lead to overexcessive number of exams through a divergent mutually exclusive paths.
     

    • Niall Merrigan wrote:
      "Exam retirement notifications happen about 12 months before the exam is actually retired"

    What do you mean under notifications?
    I had not received any.

    • Niall Merrigan wrote:
      "Counting a previous exam such as 228/229 towards for example MCTS SQL 2005 is pointless"

    Why are you commenting (and repeatedly) on something  I actually had never written?

    I did not write about counting MSSQL2000 exam for MSSQL2005 cerifications!
    I wrote that it would have been fair to count corresponding new MSSQL2005/2008 exams for MSSQL200 one
    (or possibly leave the candidate the possibility to complete already started path).

    BTW, what are the radical differences in designing relational databases in MSSQL2005 in comparison with MSSQL2000?

    • Niall Merrigan wrote:
      "Its easier for most people just to follow the perscribed path rather than trying to work out if they have the requirements or not. MS simplified its maintainence of the certification system as well."

    Again, how do you know and why are you deciding declaratively (without asking anybody) against the obvious logic and calling complications and the increase in the amount of exams duplicating one another by "easier"?


    Guennadi Vanine -- Gennady Vanin -- Геннадий Ванин
    Monday, June 28, 2010 8:33 AM
  • And the main point is not even about upgrade paths but about parallel incompatble paths with multiple non-interaccountable mutually  exams which are partly or completely duplicate each other (on parallel incompatible paths).
    If I need now to pursue one path, to a more specific certification,
    then  more specific paths/exams, testing the same, are not countable to more general  certification (and vice versa).

    There are plenty of  exams which repeat one another but are not interchangeably countable.

    This necessity to pass multiple/different exams to test the same knowledge you call "easier"?!
    Easier for whom?


    Guennadi Vanine -- Gennady Vanin -- Геннадий Ванин
    Monday, June 28, 2010 9:44 AM
  • Ok

    Notification of exam retirement was sent by MCP Flash and also posted on http://blogs.msdn.com/b/trika/archive/2008/04/01/exam-retirements-2008-and-2009.aspx (Trika was MSL Marketing at the time). As you can see from the date of notification it was 01-04-2008 for an exam retiring 31-03-2009. There was a couple of email reminders in late 2008 and early 2009 via MCP flash as well.

    You can get more information on which exams are retiring and when from here http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-dev.aspx#tab4

    As to your point about that the MCTS WCF should have been obvious, "Upgrade exams" are normally when someone wants to go from one certification to another at approximately the same level by doing transition exams such as MCSD to MCPD. Since there is no upgrade from MCSD to MCTS, I would not have seen that as obvious.

    I am advising on based on trying to give you the most bang for your buck, ie most certifications least exams. If you would prefer me to give you the advice based on starting clean, give me what you want to achieve.

    The retirement should have been conditioned to possibility to complete already started path! as well as retired exam should have been permitted to be counted by another more advanced/actualized replacement!

    On this point, I do conceede that I didnt understand your true meaning and inferred something different. I would ask you to be more specific. I took it that a retired exam should be counted towards a non retired certification leading me to believe that you would like a retired exam such as 70-228 to be used towards a similar certification within the same domain leading me to the MCTS/MCITP on SQL 2005/2008. 

    How do I know about exam paths. This is speculative but based on my experience with certifications and advising within my company, I have found it to be much easier. I will use a slight example on the MCSA 2003 and how numerous different people achieved the same certification but have different exams to achieve the same result. This is based on real world data.

    Requirements for MCSA are

    • Two exams on networking systems

    • One exam on client operating systems

    • One elective exam

    Person 1: 70-290,70-291,70-270,70-431 (Core, Windows XP, SQL 2005)

    Person 2: 70-290,70-291,70-270,70-620 (Core, Windows XP, Windows Vista)

    Person 3: 70-290, 70-291,70-680,70-638 (Core, Windows 7, OCS 2007)

    Can you tell me that all 3 MCSAs are the same? These 3 people achieved the same certification but are not the same. Now lets look at the MCITP SA on Windows 2008. You can get it from an upgrade or you can do 3 exams. Thats it.No choice, no difference. Same certification same exams taken. From the above example, I have 3 people who did the core and know Windows 2003 but have varying certifications in addition to this.

    The reason it was changed in the newer version of certifications was to give some sort of clarification as to what each certification comprised of. Rather than the mix and match elements, it was locked down to specific exams mean that there was uniformity in the certification. And that is the main reason.

     

    My take on your second post it is that, you cannot mix and match exams even though the content may be the same in multiple exams? If so which exams duplicate each other on the same exam track?

    The certifications used to be generalised but are now specialised as per my point above for uniformity within the specific certification (and this more applies to MCITP/MCPD levels rather than MCTS). 

     

     

     

     

     

     






    Blog: http://www.certsandprogs.com

    70-515 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-536 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-505 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-562 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-433 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    Monday, June 28, 2010 10:28 AM
    Moderator
  • I totally agree with  Guennadiy Vanineand he makes the same points I have been making for a long time now, even to Gerry on his blog.

    The various .NET version developer tracks have got far too many separate exams that overlap and test on very similar technology, the system is too ridgid in not allowing similar exams to be counted, only 70-536 was a shared exam and even that is now dropped for .NET 4 tracks. Testing per product version to me does not make a workable developer certification for most people, that to me is the main problem here.

    I agree MCAD was a nasty mishmash, allowing people to get through on easy routes and not cover core objectives. MS has long solved this issue by having core requirements for certifications. A beleive MCPD should be a non version specific certification with core requirements. The MCTS exams can be left as version specific in some cases and version agnostic in others. These exams could be combined to obtain the MCPD title.

    In response to your MCSA example, I would say does anybody really care ? I mean really ? A Windows MCSA 2003 indicates that you can administer Windows servers based on Windows Server 2003, it does that whether you took windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 client exams. Now yes these client OS's have different feature sets, but by and large if you troubleshoot one you can grok the rest. The new system is too ____ or ridgid, and I also liked the elective stuff, so what if you it with exchange or SQL. So an employer can't look at your transcript to check, or they can't look for exchange on your CV ? It still fullfilled the core requirement, you can administer windows servers.

    An MCPD should mean you can design and develop .NET based solutions. All this we need an exact exam for this is getting out of hand, theres no exams for F#, PowerShell or IronRuby, nor need there be, WPF and Windows Forms was combined into a single exam for these sorts of reasons.

    We need to get to a sytem with a reasonable number of exams on topics that don't change every 5 minutes but that do portray some level of proficiency. Currenty there is too much change and churn in the system, I'm sure the cert program people are glad to be busy, but frankly, they are too busy, theres too much innovation in the certifcations, something like an MCSD should be good for 5 years, MCPD's are barely good for one it seems. The trainers, course providers, book writers, publishers, need to be able to keep up, certification should be on the core proven stuff, not the experimental frameworks that get dropped a year later.

    Only a handful of people can keep up with such a system as its essentially a fulltime job ontop of your regular job, ok so this is great for trainers and MS insiders but no good for most other devs.

    The exams don't get training materials until 6 months to year after release, some exams never get any training materials.

    The .NET framework release cycle has moved faster than the certification development cycle.

    The upgrade exams seem like a solution, but the separate exams with training kits can be hard enough to pass, cramming 3-4 exams worth of stuff into one exam without a training kit means they are likely to be almost impossible to pass ?

    Lastly the new exams seem to like to test on stuff thats pretty obscure and not really in the objectives, I had some rather dodgy service specific questions on my WCF exams that I required pure guesswork for, and you generally can't afford guesswork in these exams.

    Friday, July 9, 2010 11:30 AM
  • I partly agree with your sentiments here.

    Should the pro versions be version agnostic, I kinda agree. Tho it would have to be renewable because the MCPD should be able to adapt to new technologies and design patterns and discard those that are no longer needed. To suit this, it would need a development overhaul. 

    Exam development takes about 9 months to a year. The call for SMEs for the .NET 4 exams happened around September last year with the actual meetings happening in the middle of October. The betas came out in April and the live ones came out there at the start of this month. The reason for training materials being developed seperately is due to accredation, the same people developing the exams cannot be the same people developing the training.

    I empathise with the training materials scenario. Personally I use just the MSDN and technical blogs and working with the product rather than relying on a specific book. I know a lot of people who will not go for an exam without having memorizing the contents of the training book and then complain that the book didnt match the exam.

    MCPDs are still good for a long while yet. There is plenty of support still for .NET 2.0 and 3.5, and the uptake of .NET 4 will take a while (mainly due to the CLR change).

    I have been through 5 MCPD upgrade exams and found them to be ok. The most difficult was the MCAD to MCPD Windows 2.0 partly due to my limited knowledge in the area at the time. I did the 3.5 exams and found them much more manageable.

    Now on the exam cycle vs product cycle. You have to draw a line in the sand somewhere unfortunately. Everytime a major version of a product ships, people start asking about certification.So do you say you only exams for every other version?

    I have found the obscurity as well, but I have found them in every exam at least somewhere.

     


    Blog: http://www.certsandprogs.com

    70-515 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-536 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-505 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-562 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    70-433 Objectives List with MSDN Links
    Monday, July 12, 2010 8:18 PM
    Moderator