Yesterday I passed the exam MCTS Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 which completes my seventh MCTS – although the first in Windows client development.
I did an MCTS exam a while ago, and I was a bit shocked how easy it was – I “overprepared” myself.. I thought that you can pass this one with a deep understanding of the .NET Framework and a little WPF knowledge – but this way, you’d need to use your common sense.
There were some questions on WPF and Windows Forms integration, but you could figure them out with a little thinking. Also there were some on UI aligning, UAC, ClickOnce abd parallelism. The questions were that MCTS type, so they focused on how to do something instead of why, but that was expected.
My next goal is the .NET 4 Windows MCPD exam – which is filled with cool architectural decisions, as I looked briefly on the skills measured section.
Finally I slayed the beast and passed 70-451 PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Pretty long name for a long exam. In fact, I passed this one back in November, but I can rarely find time to post (even this happy news).
The point is that now I’m an MCITP (for a long time, I pronounced it as MCTIP). The exam process was hard and sweating (I have failed my first attempt with 690 points) but in the end it worth it. I learned a lot of general database design, as a lot of SQL Server specific things, too. I can only suggest this exam to anyone, because you have to learn so many concepts that it helps a lot later.
About the exam itself: a bunch of multiple choice questions, mostly on theory, and underline that word twice, because that was what it’s all about. If you want to pass for the first time (not as I did) then check concurrency a lot, know the lock types, and have an eye for database normalization. The only thing I hated was the questions on row based logic. I never did any, nor will I intend to.
Anyway it’s nice to earn another title, and after I finished my semester (five days from now), I will surely find another exam to pass and post about.
I couldn’t take the pressure of not being certified in .NET 4.0, and with the upgrade exams delayed until December, I felt an urgent need to take the 70-515 ASP.NET 4.0 exam, which I passed successfully today.
The exam changed a bit (it was much more fun) since the previous version, and it was a real pleasure. I didn’t really use any learning sources, because I work with everything covered in the objectives on a daily basis.
Anyway, if you have passed the 70-562, then study a little MVC, and you are ready to go.
Today I passed the MCTS 70-433 Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database Development exam, which completes my first (and probably last) SQL Server MCTS. The exam itself was a little bit hard, and I passed only with 775 points, although it took less than an hour.
If I’d restart preparing for this exam now, I’d look more closely on the topics of Gathering Performance Information, and Working with Additional SQL Server Components, I haven’t performed well in both of them.
The next target is WPF 4.0, but I ‘m considering the MCTIP in Database Development, too.
Today, I’ve passed the exam 70-561, ADO.NET Application Development, which completes my second MCTS certification. I must confess that this one was the most difficult so far, and took the most time to fulfill. I expected simple questions, but found monstrous ones, and found myself trying to figure out a single question for minutes.
However, I’ve only studied for a week (and have two years of experience building data-driven apps), so I might have been lucky to pass. As you could read it in the syllabus, the exam focused mostly on data modifying and querying, with a large percentage of synchronization-related questions. The Training Kit was useful for preparing, but you definitely need to dig through some MSDN articles, because there are serious white spots in the book.
All in all, the exam was though, and you should prepare for it more than a week, it won’t hurt your performance on it!
The next goal is the WCF exam, 70-503. I’ll start publishing posts as I review the topics, but first I’ll need to complete my university exams (you know, sociology), so there will be a slight delay, but I’ll take that one before the second shot offer expires (30th June).
And finally, some bad news: there won’t be any posts published about the Entity Framework. It’s a very useful feature, but I’m tired of trying to understand it wholly, sorry.
Today I rescheduled my exam (the Prometric staff was by all means flexible and helpful), so thirty minutes after my phone call in the morning I could begin it. As I knew what to expect (and the revision done in the previous two days) it wasn’t a big challenge to pass. This one also completes my MCPD in ASP.NET 3.5, which feels very good.
But there are many exams ahead for me, the next one will be ADO.NET, since I found out that I did a crappy job in the working with data sections of both ASP.NET exams. Now I dig myself deeper into the topic. There will be a brief pause in my posts, because the end of the semester is coming, and I’ll need to study some sociology too, which will be painful and irritating after all these .NET studies.
So next exam to clear out is the 70-561: ADO.NET Application Development. The Training Kit is just about to arrive (I was always optimistic). Oh, and if you’re interested in the exam itself, consider reading my fail post.
Today I took my test and failed it with 560 points. The passing limit, as usual, was 700 points, so I wasn’t even close to it. However, now I know what to learn for, and my future posts will reflect this new found knowledge.
As I wrote yesterday (and I can confirm that based on today’s experiences) this exam isn’t the kind of “can you find the syntactic/logical error in the following four code samples”. It was about decisions in certain circumstances, so you should be able to select the best fitting solution for a given problem, from four (or more) possible answers.
I aced the Designing and Implementing Controls section, without any error, so I won’t focus on that. Instead, you’ll get more info on the topics of security, project types and navigation. Thanks to the second shot offer, I’m able to schedule this exam again for free, I guess I’ll do it in a week.