Jan 5, 2011

Change of exam plans

So I didn't take the test like I previously mentioned doing. None of the usual suspects like laziness or money were to blame. I wasn't abducted by aliens and no dogs consumed homework. I just decided not to do it.

I stand by what I previously said about the certifications (though perhaps I downplayed the personal financial hit too much). My reasoning for delaying taking any exams for now came after making that post, though I suppose the seeds had already been planted. I've had a lot of time lately to get more and more practice with Visual Studio 2010, .NET 4, and WPF, which I previously had little to none. As such, I started to feel that spending a hundred bucks (a little more, actually, even with the coupon) on a test that's now obsolete wasn't such a good idea.

I studied for it, though, and was very prepared to pass it. I still learned a lot, as a result, and I'm for the better I think, despite not having the credit for it.

The test was only the first in a series of tests to earn an MCTS, which could then be continued into an MCPD. Since I'm so late to the game, though, my book and practice material was for the original VS2005 version. According to Microsoft, though, the updated VS2008 one didn't necessitate knowing the new 3.0 material but even so there was a 2nd Ed released of the study book. Now that VS2010 has been out for eight months, the new 2010 exams are available. This time they didn't even bother updating 70-536 — they just dropped it altogether.

There are a lot of other changes to the exams for 2010, such as no longer having a combined Windows/Web über-MCPD (Enterprise Application Developer). With the dropping of the old 70-536 test, the paths of Windows or Web now really need you to pick one or the other.

Frankly, I don't know what to pick. So far, in my four years doing .NET, I've done both more or less equally. At any rate, that's my new dilemma. I think I prefer to take the updated exams for VS2010 now that I'm using it primarily, but I'm really not sure which path will be more valuable at this point.

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