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Which path should I choose towards obtaining the MCPD Windows Developer 4 certification? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi. I would like some guidance regarding which path I should choose in order to try to obtain the MCPD Windows Developer 4 certification. Before the Microsoft Certifications for Visual Studio 2010 were published in July 2010, I bought the Microsoft Press books to prepare for exams 70-536 and 70-505 since at that time I was thinking to study towards MCPD Windows Developer 3.5. Meanwhile, I haven’t applied for any of those exams and today, while I was reviewing Microsoft Certifications, I realized that there are a many more certifications related to Visual Studio 2010. Given that, I now prefer to study towards certification MCPD Windows Developer 4 in order to be updated. The question is that now I have 2 possible paths to get that certification and I would like some feedback about which one I should choose. Given that I already study close to 100% of the 2 books mentioned I was thinking to choose the upgrade path but first I would like to get some feedback before a final decision.

     

    Currently I don’t have any Microsoft Certifications but I have been working on N-layer C# Windows Forms applications for around 2 years now. I started with Visual Studio 2008 and now I moved to Visual Studio 2010. These are the 2 possible paths towards obtaining the MCPD Windows Developer 4 certification:

     

    1. Direct path for windows development for Visual Studio 2010:

    -          EXAM 70-518 (PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications using Microsoft .NET Framework 4)

    -          EXAM 70-511 (TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4)

    -          EXAM 70-513 (TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4)

    -          EXAM 70-516 (TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4)

     

    2. Upgrade path from Visual Studio 2008 for windows development for Visual Studio 2010:

    -          EXAMS 70-521 (Upgrade: Transition your MCPD Windows Developer 3.5, or Enterprise Application Developer 3.5 Skills to MCPD Windows Developer 4)

    -          (equivalent to 3 MCTS Certifications for NET Framework 4: Windows Applications, Service Communication Applications and Data Access)

    -          EXAM 70-563 (Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5)

    -          EXAM 70-536 (TS: Microsoft .NET Framework - Application Development Foundation)

    -          EXAM 70-505 (TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development)

     

    Also, I noted that there are no Microsoft Press books for the preparation of the exams 70-513 and 70-518 for the direct path and for the exams 70-521 and 70-563 for the upgrade path from Visual Studio 2008.

     

    I would like to know the following:

    -          What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing one path vs the other? Does one the path requires probably more study in number of hours?

    -          Do most of the developers coming from windows development in Visual Studio 2008 get their MCPD Windows Developer 4 certification by upgrading from Visual Studio 2008 or instead by choosing a direct path?

    -          The EXAMS 70-521 are equivalent to 3 MCTS certifications and it looks to include information equivalent to not 1 but 3 exams. Does EXAMS 70-521 is the equivalent of 3 exams in a single exam?

    -          Any feedback from someone that had done EXAMS 70-521? My final decision to take or not the upgrade path from Visual Studio 2008 will be directly related to the information that I can get about this exam(s).

     

    Any help will be more than welcome. Thank you.

     

    Best regards,

    Miguel T.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 4:58 AM

Answers

  • Hi Miguel,

    In your case I would do the 2008 exams first then upgrade.  It is the same number of exams as you do not need to do ADO.NET and WCF exams, as you show.  However 70-511 is mainly WPF, I would estimate only 10-15% Windows 'Traditional' Forms.  There is not much overlap between 70-536 and 70-505 and has you have worked with them and studied them do the 2008 exams first. Hoever the upgrade exam will be hard as you will be tested on WPF, WCF and ADO.NET, plus new MCPD level questions.  You need to pass each section of an upgrade exam so any weaknesses will be shown up.  It may be easier, finances and time allowing, to take the base exams rather than the upgrade exam, then you will be able to cocentrate on each topic.

    Hope this helps and Good Luck,

    Ozzy Geoff

    MCPD Windows 4.0, Web 4.0 and Enterprise 3.5

     

    • Proposed as answer by Geoff Clark MCM Saturday, March 12, 2011 10:54 AM
    • Marked as answer by Miguel T. _ Saturday, March 12, 2011 9:07 PM
    Saturday, March 12, 2011 10:54 AM
  • Hi Miguel,

    I took mostly Beta exams for .Net 4.0 so did the individual exams rather than the upgrade, the upgrade exams often come out later so those keen to qualify early tend to have to do the individual exams.

    If I was taking 70-521 I would use (and did use for the individual exams apart from 70-516 which was not available):

    MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-511): Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 which covers WPF and Windows, no need to study 70-502 guide.

     MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-516): Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Good.

    Also you need to study WCF (70-513) there is no guide for this, so study 70-503 guide and look at the differences between WCF 3.5 and WCF 4.0, not many differences so not too hard.

    For the MCPD exam it is a little harder but I have used the Enterprise 2.0 MCPD Guide  70-549 and the Application Architecture for .Net: Designing Application Services (this is from Microsoft patterns and practices and is a free download).

    All your book choices are excellent, you might also care to look at the latest CLR via C# (Microsoft Press).

    The guides do not include practice questions with the ebooks so you need to get hard copies of these, but if you are happy to read ebooks I suggest the O'Reilly site (http://oreilly.com/) for other books they do both O'Reilly and Microsoft books.  Join first then you get a discount if you buy two or more books at once.

    One futher bit of advice, book the exams and start taking the exams, it is easy to spend too long preparing, you can get exam vouchers from Prometric with free second chance offer (if you fail you get a free retake).  Sound like you are ready for 70-536 and 70-505, take the exams.

    Good Luck,

    Ozzy Geoff

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:14 PM
  • Hi Miguel,

    Sorry forgot about Exam 70-563, use MCPD Self-Paced Training Kit (70-548): Designing & Developing Windows-Based Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, there is not much difference between 3.5 and 2.0 for Windows Development.  You could get this book instead of 70-549 it will serve the same purpose (80% overlap).

    I would say 70-536 is one of the harder exams, you could take 70-505 first instead, this will give you real exam experience on an easier exam, and give you an idea of whether your schedule is too short or too long.

    Your reading lists is great, it will prepare you to be a better programmer but will not help that much in passing these certificates.  The certificates show you know the facilities available in the Microsoft products.  Your reading list show you how to use them properly. With the excsption of "Application Architecture for .NET: Designing Applications and Services" I think this is key to passing the MCPD's plus 70-548 will show you the design diagrams that Microsoft expect you to know.

    I used the study guide for 70-536, then took the practicexams that came with it.  If I did not know the answer I read the explanation and the links to the MSDN.  The Explanation say which topic and which subtopic the question relates to.  In my favourites I create a list of links to the MSDN broken down by Topic and Subtopic.  All questions are based on the MSDN so this rounds out your knowledge well.  If I had not used an area before I would write code to learn and understand.

    Hope this helps and Good Luck.

    Kind Regards,

    Ozzy Geoff

    • Proposed as answer by Geoff Clark MCM Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:21 AM
    • Marked as answer by Miguel T. _ Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:32 PM
    Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:21 AM
  • Hi Miguel,

    Time is hard to judge.  It depends on a lot of things including other commitments and what you want to get from the process.  If you are comfortable with the times and will achieve your goals then great.  Your times do sound realistic.  Take the practice tests that come with the Guides and maybe buy an extra  Measureup test for areas you are weaker in, say ADO.Net.  If you pass these (not from remembering the questions) then maybe take the tests earlier.

    I agree “Microsoft .NET: Architecting Applications for the Enterprise” by Dino Esposito and Andrea Saltarello is useful for Pro Exams.

    Good luck again

    Ozyy Geoff

    • Proposed as answer by Geoff Clark MCM Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:10 PM
    • Marked as answer by Miguel T. _ Monday, March 14, 2011 12:33 AM
    Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:10 PM
  • Hi Miguel,

    My main reason for suggesting the 2008 route was the effort you had already put in and knowledge/work experience you had in 70-536 and 70-505.

    Incidently I am not sure the retest of Azure every 2 years has been confirmed.  I got an email stating this then recalling it.  However even with .Net the retest is effectively every 2 or 3 years.

    In my opinion and experience the most recent qualifications are the most important.  Also in my opinion the .Net 4 exams are easier than the 3.5 exams.

    So if this is your preferred path go for it.  Also taking the individual exams will be easier than the upgrade, as you will not need to do all subjects in one hit.

    It might still be worth taking 70-536 and 70-505 so you can show your 'traditional' Windows Knowledge and benefit more from your study.

    If you are not worried by the cost of the exams I would be tempted just to book the 2 3.5 exams (70-536 and &0-505) and see how you do with a couple of days study.

    Best of luck.

    Kind Regards.

    Ozzy Geoff

    Note: I do not think your Exam count comparison is correct

     

    • Proposed as answer by Geoff Clark MCM Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:35 PM
    • Marked as answer by Miguel T. _ Wednesday, March 16, 2011 12:28 AM
    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:35 PM

All replies

  • Hi Miguel,

    In your case I would do the 2008 exams first then upgrade.  It is the same number of exams as you do not need to do ADO.NET and WCF exams, as you show.  However 70-511 is mainly WPF, I would estimate only 10-15% Windows 'Traditional' Forms.  There is not much overlap between 70-536 and 70-505 and has you have worked with them and studied them do the 2008 exams first. Hoever the upgrade exam will be hard as you will be tested on WPF, WCF and ADO.NET, plus new MCPD level questions.  You need to pass each section of an upgrade exam so any weaknesses will be shown up.  It may be easier, finances and time allowing, to take the base exams rather than the upgrade exam, then you will be able to cocentrate on each topic.

    Hope this helps and Good Luck,

    Ozzy Geoff

    MCPD Windows 4.0, Web 4.0 and Enterprise 3.5

     

    • Proposed as answer by Geoff Clark MCM Saturday, March 12, 2011 10:54 AM
    • Marked as answer by Miguel T. _ Saturday, March 12, 2011 9:07 PM
    Saturday, March 12, 2011 10:54 AM
  • Hi Ozzy,

    I will recap just to be sure that I understood everything that you said. Basically, you’re saying that I should choose the upgrade path since I have and I already study the books to prepare for exams 70-536 and 70-505. However, you are also saying that the upgrade path will probably require more study since the exam 70-521 covers many new subjects that are not covered in any of the exams to obtain the MCPD Windows Developer 3.5 certification. Are my conclusions correct?

    I think that I will follow your suggestion and I will choose the upgrade path. In fact, I was thinking to choose that path before posting this message. However, I know that the upgrade exam will require some hard study.

    In addition for the Microsoft Press books for the preparation of exam 70-536 (.NET Framework) and exam 70-505 (Windows Forms) and several other books about object oriented design, architecture and design patterns, I also have the following books directly related to C# which I have already study in detail with the exception of the book “Pro WPF in C# 2008”:

    -          “Pro C# 2008 and the .NET 3.5 Platform” (fourth edition) by Andrew Troelsen;

    -          “Pro .NET 2.0 Windows Forms and Custom Controls in C#” by Matthew MacDonald;

    -          “Pro WPF in C# 2008” (second edition) by Matthew MacDonald;

    -          “Pro LINQ Language Integrated Query in C# 2008” by Joseph C. Rattz, Jr;

    -          “Pro LINQ Object Relational Mapping with C# 2008” by Vijay P. Mehta

    Just some additional questions:

    -          Which book(s) do you recommend regarding .NET 4.0 framework for C# 2010 version? Even if Andrew Troelsen book is great I was thinking to get a book from a different author in order to avoid getting repeated information. I was thinking to get “C# 4.0 in a Nutshell: The Definitive Reference” by Joseph Albahari and Ben Albahari.

    -          Have you done the upgrade paths to get yours MCPD certifications? If yes, do you have any study recommendations for a developer that is going to take the exam 70-521?

    -          Which additional books and/or Microsoft Press books do you recommend to study for the upgrade exam 70-521? Should I get and study the following Microsoft Press books that are needed to prepare for the exams when choosing the direct path and related to WPF?

    o         MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-511): Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    o         MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-516): Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    o         MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-502): Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5—Windows Presentation Foundation

    Thanks for your feedback. You have been really helpful.

    Best regards,

    Miguel T.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 9:06 PM
  • Hi Miguel,

    I took mostly Beta exams for .Net 4.0 so did the individual exams rather than the upgrade, the upgrade exams often come out later so those keen to qualify early tend to have to do the individual exams.

    If I was taking 70-521 I would use (and did use for the individual exams apart from 70-516 which was not available):

    MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-511): Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 which covers WPF and Windows, no need to study 70-502 guide.

     MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-516): Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Good.

    Also you need to study WCF (70-513) there is no guide for this, so study 70-503 guide and look at the differences between WCF 3.5 and WCF 4.0, not many differences so not too hard.

    For the MCPD exam it is a little harder but I have used the Enterprise 2.0 MCPD Guide  70-549 and the Application Architecture for .Net: Designing Application Services (this is from Microsoft patterns and practices and is a free download).

    All your book choices are excellent, you might also care to look at the latest CLR via C# (Microsoft Press).

    The guides do not include practice questions with the ebooks so you need to get hard copies of these, but if you are happy to read ebooks I suggest the O'Reilly site (http://oreilly.com/) for other books they do both O'Reilly and Microsoft books.  Join first then you get a discount if you buy two or more books at once.

    One futher bit of advice, book the exams and start taking the exams, it is easy to spend too long preparing, you can get exam vouchers from Prometric with free second chance offer (if you fail you get a free retake).  Sound like you are ready for 70-536 and 70-505, take the exams.

    Good Luck,

    Ozzy Geoff

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:14 PM
  • Hi Ozzy,

    I will start right away studying for the exams for the upgrade path and as you suggested I will buy the books for preparation for exams 70-503, 70-511 and 70-516 even if I am choosing the upgrade path.

    Since I just started my start-up company related to software development and I will very busy with management related issues, I am thinking to schedule my exams in the following way for the upgrade path:

    -          April 13, 2011 (1 month from now): Exam 70-536

    -          May 13, 2011 ( 2 months from now): Exam 70-505

    -          Jun 13, 2011 (3 months from now): Exam 70-563

    -          Aug 13, 2011 (5 months from now): Exam 70-521

    Basically, I am allowing 1 month between exams with the exception for the last exam in which I am allowing 2 months since it covers many subjects. What do you think about my schedule for these exams? I am allowing up to 2 months for finishing exams 70-536 and 70-505 since I read those 2 preparation books a few months ago and I feel that I need to review them in detail. Also, I was thinking to get some CD with exam samples to study for the exam.

    My final questions are related to where I could get some material for studying for exam 70-563 towards MCPD Windows Developer 3.5 certification. This is a summary of what Microsoft certification’s website mention regarding this exam and there are no preparation materials to study for this exam:

    -          Validating an application design against specifications (12 percent)

    -          Planning data management (17 percent)

    -          Planning user interaction and presentation strategy (17 percent)

    -          Designing security implementation (15 percent)

    -          Planning application deployment and maintenance (11 percent)

    -          Designing the application architecture (17 percent)

    -          Designing for optimized performance (11 percent)

     I have and already read a few months ago the e-book “Application Architecture for .NET: Designing Applications and Services”. Also, I go on a regular basis to the Microsoft Patterns and Practices website. Interesting that you mentioned “CLR via C#” (3<sup>rd</sup> edition) by Jeffrey Ritcher since that book was my next buying priority.  In addition to the books that I mentioned in the previous post, I have also these additional books which I already read and study and that could possibly be helpful for exams 70-563 and 70-521:

    -          “Microsoft .NET: Architecting Applications for the Enterprise” by Dino Esposito and Andrea Saltarello. Great book!

    -          “Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture” by Martin Fowler

    -          “Agile Principles, Patterns and Practices in C#” by Robert C. Martin and Micah Martin

    -          “Design Patterns” by the GoF

    -          “Head First Design Patterns” by Eric Freeman & Elizabeth Freeman

    -          “Refactoring to Patterns” by Joshua Kerievsky

    -          “Refactoring” by Martin Fowler

    -           “Framework Design Guidelines” by Brad Abrams and Krzysztof Cwalina

    -          “Programming Entity Framework” by Julia Lerman

    -          “Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Application” (third edition) by Booch, Jacobson and Rumbaugh

    -          “Applying UML and Patterns – Introduction to OOA/D & Iterative Development” by Craig Larman

    -          “Agile & Iterative Development” by Craig Larman

    -          “The art of Unit Testing With Examples in .NET” by Roy Osherove

    -          “Agile Estimating and Planning” by Mike Cohn

    -          “User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development” by Mike Cohn

    Should I get any additional book(s) in order to prepare for exam 70-536?

    Thanks for your help. Your feedback was really important. I wish you a great weekend.

    Best regards,

    Miguel T.

    • Edited by Miguel T. _ Sunday, March 13, 2011 8:21 PM Fixing text format
    Sunday, March 13, 2011 2:29 AM
  • Hi Miguel,

    Sorry forgot about Exam 70-563, use MCPD Self-Paced Training Kit (70-548): Designing & Developing Windows-Based Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, there is not much difference between 3.5 and 2.0 for Windows Development.  You could get this book instead of 70-549 it will serve the same purpose (80% overlap).

    I would say 70-536 is one of the harder exams, you could take 70-505 first instead, this will give you real exam experience on an easier exam, and give you an idea of whether your schedule is too short or too long.

    Your reading lists is great, it will prepare you to be a better programmer but will not help that much in passing these certificates.  The certificates show you know the facilities available in the Microsoft products.  Your reading list show you how to use them properly. With the excsption of "Application Architecture for .NET: Designing Applications and Services" I think this is key to passing the MCPD's plus 70-548 will show you the design diagrams that Microsoft expect you to know.

    I used the study guide for 70-536, then took the practicexams that came with it.  If I did not know the answer I read the explanation and the links to the MSDN.  The Explanation say which topic and which subtopic the question relates to.  In my favourites I create a list of links to the MSDN broken down by Topic and Subtopic.  All questions are based on the MSDN so this rounds out your knowledge well.  If I had not used an area before I would write code to learn and understand.

    Hope this helps and Good Luck.

    Kind Regards,

    Ozzy Geoff

    • Proposed as answer by Geoff Clark MCM Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:21 AM
    • Marked as answer by Miguel T. _ Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:32 PM
    Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:21 AM
  • Hi Ozzy,

     

    I will definitely get the MCPD Self-Paced Training Kit (70-548): Designing & Developing Windows-Based Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 to prepare for exam 70-563. Also, I will schedule exam 70-505 first and exam 70-536 after. Good to know that 70-536 is one of the hardest exams since I didn’t have that information. However, for exam 70-505 I will need to spend some time studying and reviewing ADO.NET since in all my C# applications I’m using LINQ to SQL and/or LINQ to Objects to access data.

     

    Also, since you didn’t mention anything in your message regarding the timing between my exams I assume that 1 month to prepare for the exams 70-505, 70-536 and 70-563 and 2 months for exam 70-521 will be enough.

     

    I know that even if I have some good programming books they will not be very helpful to obtain my certifications. The exception will be probably the first book “Microsoft .NET: Architecting Applications for the Enterprise” by Dino Esposito and Andrea Saltarello.

     

    Once again thanks for all the useful tips.

     

    Best regards,

    Miguel T.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 7:32 PM
  • Hi Miguel,

    Time is hard to judge.  It depends on a lot of things including other commitments and what you want to get from the process.  If you are comfortable with the times and will achieve your goals then great.  Your times do sound realistic.  Take the practice tests that come with the Guides and maybe buy an extra  Measureup test for areas you are weaker in, say ADO.Net.  If you pass these (not from remembering the questions) then maybe take the tests earlier.

    I agree “Microsoft .NET: Architecting Applications for the Enterprise” by Dino Esposito and Andrea Saltarello is useful for Pro Exams.

    Good luck again

    Ozyy Geoff

    • Proposed as answer by Geoff Clark MCM Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:10 PM
    • Marked as answer by Miguel T. _ Monday, March 14, 2011 12:33 AM
    Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:10 PM
  • Thanks for all the tips. I will do that.

    Best regards,

    Miguel T.

    Monday, March 14, 2011 12:34 AM
  • Hi Ozzy,

     

    I sincerely hope that you are still going to see this post.

     

    Completely change of strategy. Just when I was about to book for my first exam, exam 70-505, accordingly to the plan, I realized that this was probably the best path in the short term as we discussed but certainly not the best option for the long-term. I will explain why. Basically, if my only purpose would be to become an MCPD Windows Developer 4, then the original plan is correct. However, looking into the future, I will probably want to get the MCPD Web Developer 4 certification and/or MCPD Windows Azure Developer certification. I am almost 100% sure that I will want to take a certification related to software development within cloud computing. However, I do know that MCPD Windows Azure Developer certification requires a recertification every 2 years.

     

    Given this additional information, then the upgrade path is probably not the best option and instead I should pursue the direct path which means taking the following exams:

     

    §         EXAM 70-516 (TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4)

    §         EXAM 70-511 (TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4)

    §         EXAM 70-513 (TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4)

    §         EXAM 70-518 (PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications using Microsoft .NET Framework 4)

     

    Also, this would be the order for taking the exams that I think that in my situation will be the most logical. However, I’m not sure about this and your feedback could be particularly helpful in helping me deciding this.

     

    Let’s compare the number of exams of the direct path versus the upgrade path that I will have to take to get the 3 certifications in the following order, MCPD Windows Developer 4, MCPD Web Developer 4 and then MCPD Windows Azure Developer:

     

    §         Direct path: MCPD Windows Developer 4 (4 exams: 70-511, 70-513, 70-516 and 70-518), MCPD Web Developer 4 (2 exams: 70-515, and 70-519) and MCPD Windows Azure Developer (1 exam: 70-583) for a total of 7 exams for 3 MCPD certifications;

     

    §         Upgrade path: MCPD Windows Developer 4 (4 exams: 70-536, 70-505, 70-563 and 70-521), MCPD Web Developer 4 (3 exams: 70-562, 70-564 and 70-523) and MCPD Windows Azure Developer (3 exam: 70-513, 70-516 and 70-583) for a total of 10 exams for 3 MCPD certifications;

     

    In order to obtain the same 3 MCPD certifications the upgrade path requires 10 exams while the direct path requires only 7 exams. That’s a major difference in studying time and costs related to preparation materials and exams. This table compares the number of exams between direct path and upgrade paths for difference scenarios:

     

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4: Direct path (4 exams) vs Upgrade path (4 exams)

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4 and MCPD Web Developer 4: Direct path (6 exams) vs Upgrade path (7 exams)

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4 and MCPD Windows Azure Developer: Direct path (5 exams) vs Upgrade path (7 exams)

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4, MCPD Web Developer 4 and MCPD Windows Azure Developer: Direct path (7 exams) vs Upgrade path (10 exams). This is the scenario analyzed in the detail above.

     

    Based on these conclusions I think now you understand why I changed my strategy. I would be great to have your opinion on this.

     

    Also, based on my complete change of strategy I should probably change this post from a question to a discussion instead. I will only do that if this does not affect you in any way like making you loosing some of the points related to your answers to my questions.

     

    Thank you.

     

    Best regards,

    Miguel Teixeira.


    Note: The exam count contained in this message is incorrect. Please, see my next message for a correction!
    • Edited by Miguel T. _ Sunday, April 3, 2011 4:12 PM Incorrect exam count in this message
    Monday, March 14, 2011 12:54 PM
  • Hi Miguel,

    My main reason for suggesting the 2008 route was the effort you had already put in and knowledge/work experience you had in 70-536 and 70-505.

    Incidently I am not sure the retest of Azure every 2 years has been confirmed.  I got an email stating this then recalling it.  However even with .Net the retest is effectively every 2 or 3 years.

    In my opinion and experience the most recent qualifications are the most important.  Also in my opinion the .Net 4 exams are easier than the 3.5 exams.

    So if this is your preferred path go for it.  Also taking the individual exams will be easier than the upgrade, as you will not need to do all subjects in one hit.

    It might still be worth taking 70-536 and 70-505 so you can show your 'traditional' Windows Knowledge and benefit more from your study.

    If you are not worried by the cost of the exams I would be tempted just to book the 2 3.5 exams (70-536 and &0-505) and see how you do with a couple of days study.

    Best of luck.

    Kind Regards.

    Ozzy Geoff

    Note: I do not think your Exam count comparison is correct

     

    • Proposed as answer by Geoff Clark MCM Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:35 PM
    • Marked as answer by Miguel T. _ Wednesday, March 16, 2011 12:28 AM
    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:35 PM
  • Hi,

     

    I’m going back to my original strategy which is choosing the upgrade path. I changed my original strategy based on an incorrect interpretation of the “rules” to obtain some certifications. I didn’t understand that if I pass the upgrade exam 70-521 I get the MCTS certifications for exams 70-511, 70-513 and 70-516 that are some of the MCTS prerequisites for both MCPD Web Developer and MCPD Windows Azure Developer.

     

    This means that my last post was incorrect when I compared the number of exams of the direct path versus the upgrade path. In that post I use the scenario for obtaining the 3 certifications in the following order, MCPD Windows Developer 4, MCPD Web Developer 4 and then MCPD Windows Azure Developer:

     

    §         Direct path: MCPD Windows Developer 4 (4 exams: 70-511, 70-513, 70-516 and 70-518), MCPD Web Developer 4 (2 exams: 70-515, and 70-519) and MCPD Windows Azure Developer (1 exam: 70-583) for a total of 7 exams for 3 MCPD certifications. This information is correct.

     

    This was the information that I included for this scenario if following the upgrade path:

     

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4 (4 exams: 70-536, 70-505, 70-563 and 70-521), MCPD Web Developer 4 (3 exams: 70-562, 70-564 and 70-523) and MCPD Windows Azure Developer (3 exam: 70-513, 70-516 and 70-583) for a total of 10 exams for 3 MCPD certifications.

     

    However, this information is incorrect for obtaining the MCDP Windows Azure Developer certification and is not the best alternative for obtaining the MCPD Web Developer 4 certification. This is the correct version of the upgrade path:

     

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4 (4 exams: 70-536, 70-505, 70-563 and 70-521), MCPD Web Developer 4 (2 exams: 70-515 and 70-519) and MCPD Windows Azure Developer (1 exam: 70-583) for a total of 7 exams (and not 10 exams) for 3 MCPD certifications.

     

    Making the same type of corrections this is the comparison between the number of exams between direct path and upgrade paths for difference scenarios:

     

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4: Direct path (4 exams) vs Upgrade path (4 exams).

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4 and MCPD Web Developer 4: Direct path (6 exams) vs Upgrade path (6 exams and not 7 exams like indicated in the previous post)

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4 and MCPD Windows Azure Developer: Direct path (5 exams) vs Upgrade path (5 exams and not 7 exams like indicated in the previous post)

    §         MCPD Windows Developer 4, MCPD Web Developer 4 and MCPD Windows Azure Developer: Direct path (7 exams) vs Upgrade path (7 exams and not 10 exams like indicated in the previous post). This is the scenario analyzed in the detail above.

     

    Based on these corrected values we can conclude that in any scenario both the upgrade and direct paths have the same number of exams. In fact, this sounds logical. Basically the decision to choose one path versus the other needs to be based on different arguments. In my situation, I since I have and studied the preparations books for exams 70-505 and 70-536, it’s logical to choose the upgrade path as it was my original decision.

     

    Anyway, your tips were very helpful in helping deciding this issue. I will follow your suggestions and I will book exam 70-505 first and 70-536 after. I will also expect that exam 70-521 will require some hard study since it covers so many subjects.

     

    I will also get the preparations books and materials that you recommended.

     

    Thank you.

     

    Best regards,

    Miguel T.

    • Edited by Miguel T. _ Wednesday, March 16, 2011 12:30 AM typo
    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 12:26 AM
  • In regards to MCPD 3.5/4.0, this is a hard decision. Unfortunately, Microsoft makes it hard to certify to the MCPD level on the latest version of the framework, simply because Microsoft Press has such a delay on making valuable study material avaliable before the next version of the framework is released.

    Thus, 3.5 have valualbe study material, 4.0 is the newest but is harder to study for. I have a MCPD Enterprise in 3.5 and have recently upgraded both my App/Web to 4.0. Still, recommending which route for you to take is difficult. But here is what I can say on the subject:

    If you mostly work in Application Development:

    ·     Differences between the 3.5 and 4.0 are great. 4.0 is mainly focused on WPF instead of windows forms.

    ·     If you are taking certifications to learn and enhance your skills, I would say go 3.5, then upgrade.

    ·     If you are taking certifications for Microsoft Gold Partnership, the 4.0 route has less tests and studying.

    If you mostly work in ASP.NET:

    ·     Go with the 4.0 route. It covers most everything in 3.5 plus some of the new features.

     

    Other Notes:

    Because there are only 2 books avaliable from Microsoft Press, going up the 4.0 track may prove difficult. You can utilize the MSPress books for WCF and ADO.NET to some degree, but you will still have to do some online research to make up for some of the new features.

    Honestly, the best advice I can give anyone thinking about obtaining the MCPD 3.5 or 4.0 would be to attend a boot camp. I have tried for years to make the appropriate amount of time avaliable in my schedule to dedicate to the task of obtaining my MCPD's. No matter how hard I tried, the thing we call "life" simply got in the way. It wasn't until I attended a boot camp at CED Solutions in Atlanta GA was I able to dedicate the interruption-free time required to study for and pass the required exams. At the camp, I was among 5 others who were there for the same reason. Having completed my MCPD Enterprise 3.5 at CED Solutions, I and another of my classmates were able to upgrade to the 4.0 for both App and Web on our own. Staying current takes a time committment in itself, but the training I received at my boot camp gave me the time and materials I needed to get to the MCPD level. Upon my return (and a Gold Partnership program eligibility requirements change from Microsoft) left a few of my co-workers in the need to get to the MCPD level. So far, I have seen every one of them struggle to find the required time to do this, despite having many years of experience.

    Regardless of which route you take, I would suggest the boot camp experience. If you have a wife and kids, I would strongly suggest you take a week or two out of your life to dedicate for the purpose. I would also suggest you go to a place were there are no destractions, you have the support of others with the same goal, and you have all the materials and guidance you need to get the certifiication you want.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 3:41 PM
  • Hi FriendlyHelper,

    I have already decided to pursue the upgrade path. In fact, next week I will have my first exam, exam 70-505. Then a few weeks after I will have exam 70-536 and so on.

    One of the reasons that I'm taking these certifications is to enhance my skills and for that reason I decided to do the upgrade path instead. Also, as I mentioned I have studied for the materials for the 2 exams that I mentioned. However, I know that upgrade exam 70-521 will require a lot of study since it includes data related to 3 different exams.

    Thank you for your tips. I know that my plan will require some hard study and dedication.

    Best regards,

    Miguel T.


    • Edited by Miguel T. _ Tuesday, April 5, 2011 7:03 AM Typo error
    • Proposed as answer by keivan-n Saturday, April 30, 2011 10:41 PM
    Sunday, April 3, 2011 4:17 PM