Posts Tagged certification

Studying for the 70-536 exam: the shortage of good books

As usual, the training kit books put out by Microsoft Press sucks. I’ve tried many of them over the last couple of years, and they always suck. And everytime I read reviews on Amazon about those books, I see that other people feel the same way. Well, for the 70-536, that’s still true.
The best books I’ve used in the past were the ones written by Amit Kalani (published by Que). Those were really great, as far as I’m concerned. This time around, however, I can’t use that one because it hasn’t been published yet. It’s been anounced for many months now, but it seems like nobody knows when it’s coming out:
Because of that, we (me and the guys here in the office that are studying for the test) decided to go with the book by Microsoft Press, since that’s the only one available out there:
As usual, the editing of the book is bad, several examples are almost meaningles, the number of errors is just ouchy… check out the errata for it: That’s huge.  😦
Well, I think I’ll just have to live with it and use some other material to complement my studyings. Anyways, I wanted to express my thoughts on it.  🙂

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Studying for VS 2005 / .NET 2.0 certifications

At EPS, we’re just about to get started on a new study group aiming for the .NET 2.0 certifications. We’ve done study groups before (around 4 years ago), and it’s been a great experience. There’s a lot of benefits in doing something like it:
  • The individual improves his knowledge in many areas of .NET he or she is not familiar with;
  • The individual benefits from getting certified, which definitely helps with the resume;
  • The company benefits from each individual raising his knowledge on the platform;
  • The company also benefits from individuals getting certified, since it helps with requirements for Microsoft Partnership programs;
  • It’s MUCH better to learn as a group, then learning alone.

Having the group is great because we set aside time every week just to learn together, and therefore, we always keep the ball rolling. It’s also great to have more brains absorbing the same material, where one person can complement the other one, since nobody can learn everything.

I’m personally very excited about doing this again. I was just going through the requirements for the exams, and even though there’s a lot of content I already know about, there is also a lot more content I DO NOT know about, so I can’t wait to cover all that ground. My main interest is not to try to learn every single little thing, knowing all the details for everything; my real goal is to get a good overview of everything, and know whether something is possible to be accomplished in .NET, and where I can go find some information about it. This approach has helped me countless times through the years.


Man, it’s pretty confusing to understand what route to go with all the exams and different certifications one can pursue. Since I’ve had already gone through this kind of process (first earning the MCAD certification, and then the MCSD.NET one), I needed to know what I have to do to upgrade my certification to the latest technology. I also needed to know the routes for somebody who hasn’t taken any of the exams before (which is the case for some of our co-workers). Below is a summary I came up with so that I could keep my sanity and explain it to somebody else.  🙂

For VS.NET certifications (.NET 1.0), there were the following main exams:

  • XML Web Services
  • Web Apps
  • Windows Apps
  • Solution Architecture
  • SQL Server

Somebody who passes any one of those exams earns the MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) certification. The next step is the MCAD certification (Microsoft Certified Application Developer). In order to achieve the MCAD, one had to pass the XML Web Services exam, plus either the Web Apps or Windows Apps, plus an elective exam, such as SQL Server or BizTalk Server.

The next step after that was the MCSD.NET (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer for .NET). Besides the MCAD requirements, one had to pass also the other UI core exam (if Web Apps was the one used for MCAD, then the Windows Apps had to be taken here, or vice versa), and also the Solution Architecture exam.

Now, for VS 2005 (.NET 2.0) certifications, here’s the picture…

These are the main exams:

  • Application Development Foundation
  • Web-Based Client Dev
  • Windows-Based Client Dev
  • Distributed Application Development (XML Web Services, Remoting, …)
  • Designing and Developing Enterprise Apps (Architecture)
  • SQL 2005 – Implementation and Maintenance

Now, instead of MCAD and MCSD, we have MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) and MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer). Those are broken up into specific technologies, such as SQL Server 2005, Web Apps, Windows Apps…

Here are the main certifications, along with their requirements:

  • MCTS: SQL Server 2005
    • 70-431: .SQL Server 2005 – Implementation and Maintenance


  • MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications
    • 70-536: .NET 2.0 – Application Development Foundation
    • 70-528: .NET 2.0 – Web-Based Client Development


  • MCTS .NET Framework 2.0 Windows Applications
    • 70-536: .NET 2.0 – Application Development Foundation
    • 70-526: .NET 2.0 – Windows-Based Client Development


  • MCPD: Web Developer
    • MCTS requisites
    • 70-547: Designing and Developing Web Apps using .NET


  • MCPD: Windows Developer
    • MCTS requisites
    • 70-547: Designing and Developing Web Apps using .NET


  • MCPD : Distributed Applications (xml, web services, remoting…)
    • 70-536: .NET 2.0 – Application Development Foundation
    • 70-529: .NET 2.0 – Distributed Application Development


  • MCPD: Enterprise Applications Developer
    • MCTS 4 prerequisite exams (foundation, web, windows, distributed)
    • 70-549: Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications (Architecture)

Those are the paths for somebody who hasn’t achieved the certifications before. Below is the upgrade path for those who have had achieved MCAD or MCSD.NET:

  • MCAD to MCTS / MCPD Web Developer : 70-551 (MCAD to MCPD Web Developer)
  • MCAD to MCTS / MCPD Windows Developer: 70-552 (MCAD to MCPD Windows Developer)
  • MCAD to MCTS Distributed Apps and MCPD Enterprise Developer: 70-529 and 70-549
  • MCSD.NET to MCTS (Web, Windows, Distributed) and MCPD Enterprise Developer:
    • 70-554: MCSD to MCPD Enterprise Developer – Part 1
    • 70-553: MCSD to MCPD Enterprise Developer – Part 2

More info:

I’m sorry I haven’t put links to all the exams (didn’t have time to do it)… but you can find all those at:

There you can find all the requirements for the certifications, and for each exam. Good luck!