March 18, 2008

Microsoft Certification

Filed under: .Net,Certification — Freek Leemhuis @ 9:40 pm

We’ve been chomping at the bit at the company to get our consultants certified as Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD). I’ve been involved as a mentor, which turned out to be a an excellent way to get more involved with our young and upcoming generation of consultants. It also forced me to upgrade my own certification, and in the proces I’ve picked up some bits and pieces of the 2.0 framework that I missed out on initially.

Recently Microsoft published some information on how they plan to tackle the 3.5 certification tracks. The good news is, if you’ve done the 70-536 exam, this will be maintained as is for the 3.5 track.

It’s still unclear what the upgrade path for MCPD will look like,  at this moment only the following MCTS exams have gotten a writeup:

70-502 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Presentation Foundation
Launching on 25 March 2008

70-503 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Communication Foundation
Launching on 27 March 2008

70-504 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Workflow Foundation
Launching on 28 March 2008

70-562  TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – ASP.NET Applications
Launching on 21 May 2008 

70-561  TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – ADO.NET Applications
Launching on 12 May 2008

70-505  TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Forms Applications
Launchdate yet to be decided

For this last one no further information has yet been specified. Keep an eye on Gerry’s blog for anouncements.

So all information at this moment pertains to the technology exams. Part of the MCPD certification was about Design and Development. It was the first time things like UML, Design Patterns and Unit Testing got serious (if somewhat minimal) attention in the training materials. I thought the exam did not really reflect this: almost all questions were  tool-oriented, and as a result the 70-528 and 70-547 exams were pretty much interchangable. I’m curious as to how this will pan out in the new 3.5 training materials, and I’m hoping design and architecture will get a better treatment this time around. 

You have to wonder why it’s taking so long for the WCF, WF and WPF materials to come out. We’ve had our hands on these technologies for quite some time now, and Microsoft is admitting that the uptake of particularly WPF is moving really slow. Would it help if ‘proper’ training materials are available?

You can find out here how many Microsoft Certified Professionals there are worldwide. I have been certified since 1999, and looking at these figures I guess it does not make one feel very ‘special’ any more  ;-)

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