My experience becoming an MCAD

Discussion in 'MCSD' started by David Kavanagh, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. I discovered this newsgroup a week ago and found it contained some helpful
    information on preparing for MCAD/MCSD certification. I'd like to repay the
    favour by posting my experience of passing the first 3 exams, on the way to
    being an MCSD.
    First a bit of background on myself: I've been developing software
    commercially for just over 10 years. Mostly VB, some Java, C++ and C#. Most
    of my work has been for the .Net platform for the past couple of years.
    Increasingly clients were asking if I had any MS certifications so I decided
    I would go ahead and attempt to get some.
    Since Microsoft were doing a Free Second Shot deal, I decided that I might
    as well sit the exams now (before studying) with the expectation that I
    would fail. That would give me a good idea of what I would be tested on, and
    I could then brush up on these areas and retake the exam for free a couple
    of weeks later. Since this offer finished at the end of August, and my
    nearest test center was almost fully booked, I was forced to squeeze the
    three exams into 2 days - something I would definitely not recommend.
    My results were:
    305 VB.Net and Web Apps 867
    306 VB.Net and Windows Apps 1000
    310 VB.Net and XML Apps 946
    Obviously I am very pleased with these results but also somewhat concerned.
    As a typically "real world" developer, I know certain areas of .Net very
    well, but there are other areas, such as Cryptography, that I have never
    even looked at. However, my scores indicate that even in those unknown
    areas, I must have generally got the answers correct. Surely, this should
    not be possible?
    This is the approach I took to all of the exams:
    1. I made a fairly quick pass through every question in the exam, lasting
    around 30 minutes of so. If the question was on a subject I knew, and was
    not too complex, I immediately chose what I believed to be the correct
    answer. If I was not familiar with the topic, or just not confident in my
    answer, then I quickly made a best guess based mostly on instinct, and
    marked the question for review.
    2. I now knew I had answered all of the questions that I definitely knew the
    answers to, and had at least made a guess at all of the others. I could now
    relax. I had plenty of time left so I could now concentrate on those harder
    question that I had marked for review.
    3. I took each marked question in turn and followed the question answering
    method that I've detailed later in this message to make my best guess.
    4. I took one final look at each of the questions. Here I was not attempting
    to work out if my answers were correct or not. Instead I focused on the text
    of the question and the answer. Does the question really say what I think it
    says or have I misread it under the pressure of the exam. Does my selected
    answer say what I think it says? Pay particular attention to syntax and
    variable names - sometimes it hard to notice that a variable such as
    daGeneral has been used instead of the correct dsGeneral, for example.
    5. Click finish and hope for the best!
    My method for answering the more difficult questions was as follows:
    1. Before taking in any of the detail of the question, just get a rough idea
    of what it is asking. I found that some of the long detailed questions were
    just there to confuse you with unnecessary detail. A couple of times I read
    a long description of a particular problem, and the solution to be used,
    which would then be followed by a one line question such as "What is
    authentication?".
    2. Take a detailed look at the question, looking out for clues. For example,
    any mention of firewalls, IE5, SQL Server 6.5 are really great clues as to
    the correct answer. These factors have probably been mentioned for a reason
    and so you should consider how they may effect your choice of answer.
    3. If the correct answer is still not obvious, then consider which of the
    answers are not correct. Often you will be able to immediately dismiss at
    least half of the possible answers as being totally irrelevent, or obviously
    incorrect syntax. If you have to choose between example code, pay particular
    attention to where each answer differs from the others as this can often
    help you spot the error in a particular answer even if you are not
    particularly familiar with the syntax.
    4. Look out for clues in other questions. There was one question for which I
    needed to choose the exact syntax for something I had only used a few times.
    Fortunately, a later question actually contained a similar piece of code.
    5. If you still can't tell which of the remaining answers is correct, then
    go with your gut feeling. You may have seen something similar before, but
    don't remember it. Alternatively, one may look more correct than the other
    because it uses a more ".Net way of doing things".
    I'd just like to finish this off with my opinion on those study guide books
    that you can buy. I've noticed much of the discussion on this group is on
    whether one is better than the other. My personal recommendation is that you
    avoid them. I had a quick look though a couple of these books (both highly
    recommended on this newsgroup) and found that although well-written, they
    didn't cover the material in anything like the detail required for the exam.
    To be fair, if you read these books from cover to cover, you probably would
    pass, but I suspect you wouldn't get a good pass, and you certainly wouldn't
    be particularly effective as a developer. A few people on here advocate
    using MSDN. This is an excellent resource when developing, but for the most
    part I'd say it is too detailed for study. It's main purpose is to explain
    the intricate details of a particular technology or function call. Generally
    the bigger picture is harder to find, and this is where the exams are
    focussed. Most of what I know about VB.Net (but not application design)
    comes from "Progamming Microsoft Visual Basic.Net" by Francesco Baleno. Over
    the past couple of years I've probably read most of this book and I'm
    convinced that any VB.Net certification candidate who reads this from cover
    to cover will not only pass the exams with an excellent score, but also
    become a much better programmer.
    Sorry this message has grown to be so long, but I hope somebody may find it
    helpful.
    Regards,
    David
    David Kavanagh, Aug 31, 2005
    #1
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  2. David Kavanagh

    Geoff Guest

    Thanks for that explanation it was very helpful...just began studying
    myself :eek:)

    --
    No virus found in this outgoing message.
    Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
    Version: 7.0.344 / Virus Database: 267.10.17/85 - Release Date:
    8/30/2005
    Geoff, Sep 1, 2005
    #2
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  3. HI,

    I am actually peparing to my 2 lasat exam for beeing MCAD and the one I am
    studying now is the Web application part. I already got my Windows
    application cert quite easily because I am working all days on that type of
    application for customer so it helps me a lot.

    For the exam that I preparing now, the Web application with ASP.net, its a
    bit hard for me o start because I have never been involved yet in such real
    ASP project.

    So I was wondering if you could give me a tip in order to start studying
    easily and in a correct way. I give myself one month delay to succeed for
    this exam

    How should I approach this study ? should I build a real ASP application of
    my choice as a sample project ?

    THnaks for your experience recommandation
    regards
    serge

    "David Kavanagh" wrote:

    > I discovered this newsgroup a week ago and found it contained some helpful
    > information on preparing for MCAD/MCSD certification. I'd like to repay the
    > favour by posting my experience of passing the first 3 exams, on the way to
    > being an MCSD.
    > First a bit of background on myself: I've been developing software
    > commercially for just over 10 years. Mostly VB, some Java, C++ and C#. Most
    > of my work has been for the .Net platform for the past couple of years.
    > Increasingly clients were asking if I had any MS certifications so I decided
    > I would go ahead and attempt to get some.
    > Since Microsoft were doing a Free Second Shot deal, I decided that I might
    > as well sit the exams now (before studying) with the expectation that I
    > would fail. That would give me a good idea of what I would be tested on, and
    > I could then brush up on these areas and retake the exam for free a couple
    > of weeks later. Since this offer finished at the end of August, and my
    > nearest test center was almost fully booked, I was forced to squeeze the
    > three exams into 2 days - something I would definitely not recommend.
    > My results were:
    > 305 VB.Net and Web Apps 867
    > 306 VB.Net and Windows Apps 1000
    > 310 VB.Net and XML Apps 946
    > Obviously I am very pleased with these results but also somewhat concerned.
    > As a typically "real world" developer, I know certain areas of .Net very
    > well, but there are other areas, such as Cryptography, that I have never
    > even looked at. However, my scores indicate that even in those unknown
    > areas, I must have generally got the answers correct. Surely, this should
    > not be possible?
    > This is the approach I took to all of the exams:
    > 1. I made a fairly quick pass through every question in the exam, lasting
    > around 30 minutes of so. If the question was on a subject I knew, and was
    > not too complex, I immediately chose what I believed to be the correct
    > answer. If I was not familiar with the topic, or just not confident in my
    > answer, then I quickly made a best guess based mostly on instinct, and
    > marked the question for review.
    > 2. I now knew I had answered all of the questions that I definitely knew the
    > answers to, and had at least made a guess at all of the others. I could now
    > relax. I had plenty of time left so I could now concentrate on those harder
    > question that I had marked for review.
    > 3. I took each marked question in turn and followed the question answering
    > method that I've detailed later in this message to make my best guess.
    > 4. I took one final look at each of the questions. Here I was not attempting
    > to work out if my answers were correct or not. Instead I focused on the text
    > of the question and the answer. Does the question really say what I think it
    > says or have I misread it under the pressure of the exam. Does my selected
    > answer say what I think it says? Pay particular attention to syntax and
    > variable names - sometimes it hard to notice that a variable such as
    > daGeneral has been used instead of the correct dsGeneral, for example.
    > 5. Click finish and hope for the best!
    > My method for answering the more difficult questions was as follows:
    > 1. Before taking in any of the detail of the question, just get a rough idea
    > of what it is asking. I found that some of the long detailed questions were
    > just there to confuse you with unnecessary detail. A couple of times I read
    > a long description of a particular problem, and the solution to be used,
    > which would then be followed by a one line question such as "What is
    > authentication?".
    > 2. Take a detailed look at the question, looking out for clues. For example,
    > any mention of firewalls, IE5, SQL Server 6.5 are really great clues as to
    > the correct answer. These factors have probably been mentioned for a reason
    > and so you should consider how they may effect your choice of answer.
    > 3. If the correct answer is still not obvious, then consider which of the
    > answers are not correct. Often you will be able to immediately dismiss at
    > least half of the possible answers as being totally irrelevent, or obviously
    > incorrect syntax. If you have to choose between example code, pay particular
    > attention to where each answer differs from the others as this can often
    > help you spot the error in a particular answer even if you are not
    > particularly familiar with the syntax.
    > 4. Look out for clues in other questions. There was one question for which I
    > needed to choose the exact syntax for something I had only used a few times.
    > Fortunately, a later question actually contained a similar piece of code.
    > 5. If you still can't tell which of the remaining answers is correct, then
    > go with your gut feeling. You may have seen something similar before, but
    > don't remember it. Alternatively, one may look more correct than the other
    > because it uses a more ".Net way of doing things".
    > I'd just like to finish this off with my opinion on those study guide books
    > that you can buy. I've noticed much of the discussion on this group is on
    > whether one is better than the other. My personal recommendation is that you
    > avoid them. I had a quick look though a couple of these books (both highly
    > recommended on this newsgroup) and found that although well-written, they
    > didn't cover the material in anything like the detail required for the exam.
    > To be fair, if you read these books from cover to cover, you probably would
    > pass, but I suspect you wouldn't get a good pass, and you certainly wouldn't
    > be particularly effective as a developer. A few people on here advocate
    > using MSDN. This is an excellent resource when developing, but for the most
    > part I'd say it is too detailed for study. It's main purpose is to explain
    > the intricate details of a particular technology or function call. Generally
    > the bigger picture is harder to find, and this is where the exams are
    > focussed. Most of what I know about VB.Net (but not application design)
    > comes from "Progamming Microsoft Visual Basic.Net" by Francesco Baleno. Over
    > the past couple of years I've probably read most of this book and I'm
    > convinced that any VB.Net certification candidate who reads this from cover
    > to cover will not only pass the exams with an excellent score, but also
    > become a much better programmer.
    > Sorry this message has grown to be so long, but I hope somebody may find it
    > helpful.
    > Regards,
    > David
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?c2VyZ2UgY2FsZGVyYXJh?=, Sep 1, 2005
    #3
  4. Hi Serge,

    I found the Web Applications exam to be the most difficult. I think this was
    probably because I come from a similar background to you. I mostly do
    Windows apps, together with a few backend services such as Windows Services
    and Remoting. Although I have done Web front-ends from time to time, I
    always have a book open next to me while I'm doing them.

    I would begin by ensuring you are very familiar with all the web controls -
    the methods, properties and events of each one, and exactly how they are
    included in an ASP.Net page. There were lots of questions on this, and I
    often struggled on the details of these. There were also a lot of question
    on accessing remote Web Services, so make sure you know exactly how to do
    this. Lastly, there was a few giveaway questions on Deployment. These are
    great because the topic is pretty simple and once you know it, you can
    answer the questions easily. Of course there were also plenty of ADO.Net
    questions, mostly related to retrieving a dataset from a web service,
    updating it and then sending back the changes.

    One thing I did notice on this exam was that many of the questions were
    extremely long, much longer than any of the other exams. I found it
    difficult not to be intimidated by the amount of detail given in a question
    but the truth is that often this was just 'scene setting' and did not
    actually impact the answer.

    A good approach would probably be to build a simple web service that returns
    a dataset in response to a database query. Then write a shared assembly
    which you should strongly name and install in the GAC. This shared assembly
    should include all the logic to access the web service and retrieve the
    dataset. Then write a web front end with lots of data bound controls to
    display the contents of the dataset (preferably hand-coding all of the html
    rather than dragging the controls onto the page). Add some validation to
    individual controls and a facility to send back the database changes. Build
    a deployment project for the web front-end and the shared assembly.

    Regards,
    David.
    David Kavanagh, Sep 1, 2005
    #4
  5. One last suggestion: Make sure you know when to use to use ViewState and
    when not to - I think I saw 2 questions on this. Also know the differences
    between the various caching techniques and when to use application caching
    and when to use session caching - this often arises during lengthy "case
    study" type questions.
    David Kavanagh, Sep 1, 2005
    #5
  6. Thnaks a lot for your time and aswers David, I appreciate.

    In a similar as when I pass the VB.net exam they was lot of question
    relative to ADO.NET, but I guest ADO.NET under WInAPP and Web app is extactly
    the same.

    BAsed on control and event use, yes sounds a good start
    The your project sounds really interresting casue then is could cover most
    of the part.

    I will foolow you recommandation. By the way do you think tht one month from
    now is suitable ?

    Noet that the time I have to work on that is most of the time after my daily
    work and around 2 hours per night, not much.. due to familly
    And hopefully in case a rainny day..

    Thnaks again
    regards

    "David Kavanagh" wrote:

    > One last suggestion: Make sure you know when to use to use ViewState and
    > when not to - I think I saw 2 questions on this. Also know the differences
    > between the various caching techniques and when to use application caching
    > and when to use session caching - this often arises during lengthy "case
    > study" type questions.
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?c2VyZ2UgY2FsZGVyYXJh?=, Sep 1, 2005
    #6
  7. sorry its me again,

    I have post one topic here about a small report analysis project on which I
    do not really know how to approach it fro my final user.
    Would it be possible for you to check my post and may be give me an idea of
    solution ?

    The post is named : Help me too choose
    The 3rd topic below yours

    Thnaks agin

    "David Kavanagh" wrote:

    > One last suggestion: Make sure you know when to use to use ViewState and
    > when not to - I think I saw 2 questions on this. Also know the differences
    > between the various caching techniques and when to use application caching
    > and when to use session caching - this often arises during lengthy "case
    > study" type questions.
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?c2VyZ2UgY2FsZGVyYXJh?=, Sep 1, 2005
    #7
  8. There is a lot of overlap with the Windows Apps exam, particularly with
    regard to ADO.Net and security, so once you have successfully passed that
    one, I think it is fairly easy to pass the Web Apps exam. One month of study
    of a couple of hours per day should be plenty to pass but, depending upon
    your experience, may not be enough to get a good score. I don't know whether
    exployers look at the score or not, so I don't know how important that is.
    I'd suggest you plan for one month's study and if you do not feel confident
    by the time the month is up, just postpone the exam for a couple of weeks.

    Regards,
    David.
    David Kavanagh, Sep 1, 2005
    #8
  9. David Kavanagh

    Wor Tony Guest

    "David Kavanagh" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > your experience, may not be enough to get a good score. I don't know
    > whether
    > exployers look at the score or not, so I don't know how important that is.
    > I'd suggest you plan for one month's study and if you do not feel
    > confident
    > by the time the month is up, just postpone the exam for a couple of weeks.
    >

    David
    I think there is only a concept of passing/failing. A higher score for one
    candidate
    does not indicate a "better" pass. I've read this on the MS web site
    somewhere
    but I can't find it at the moment. Also, your on-line transcript shows only
    the exams
    you have passed and not scores.

    AP
    Wor Tony, Sep 1, 2005
    #9
  10. I think that is true but some employers now believe that the MS Certs are
    too easy to pass and so are looking at your score. I know when I did mine at
    a Pearson Vue test center, I was given a printed transcript which included
    my actual score (broken down into different categories). This transcript
    also included an authentication code that an employer can type in to the
    Pearson Vue website to confirm that it is genuine. The Microsoft transcripts
    though only include a pass/failure, presumably because Microsoft think that
    a pass should be sufficient.

    In an earlier discussion on this newsgroup, a number of people were debating
    whether certification was good for your career. I noticed that a couple of
    people mentioned that, as recruiters, they would regard it as a negative
    point if someone just scraped a pass and they would have been better off not
    mentioning it at all.

    Regards,
    David.
    David Kavanagh, Sep 1, 2005
    #10
  11. I don't agree at all, because a Certification exam at first glance validates
    the basic skills and habilities of a determined subject.
    If a job candidate is a real developer (either windows or web) the employer
    may require demos. In my case, two prospective employers required demos from
    me, and the best way to show them, is give the URLS of the websites I have
    developed in other companies, and also, a demo of my coding style.
    If a job candidate can give those demos, it would be more than sufficient to
    demonstrate and validate what the resume, interview and the papers say.

    I took recently the 70-315 exam, and I didn't pass it with shining scores,
    however, I have a live website running under ASP.NET for one of my
    customers, and at the same time, I'm migrating (aka rewriting) the ASP
    project into ASP.NET, and I can defend my point, that if a developer can
    demonstrate what he claims to know with live websites, or software projects
    developed, who the hell would care about your score?

    "David Kavanagh" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I think that is true but some employers now believe that the MS Certs are
    > too easy to pass and so are looking at your score. I know when I did mine
    > at
    > a Pearson Vue test center, I was given a printed transcript which included
    > my actual score (broken down into different categories). This transcript
    > also included an authentication code that an employer can type in to the
    > Pearson Vue website to confirm that it is genuine. The Microsoft
    > transcripts
    > though only include a pass/failure, presumably because Microsoft think
    > that
    > a pass should be sufficient.
    >
    > In an earlier discussion on this newsgroup, a number of people were
    > debating
    > whether certification was good for your career. I noticed that a couple of
    > people mentioned that, as recruiters, they would regard it as a negative
    > point if someone just scraped a pass and they would have been better off
    > not
    > mentioning it at all.
    >
    > Regards,
    > David.
    Victor Guillen, Sep 1, 2005
    #11
  12. Good point. No matter how good your score is, it is never going to be a
    replacement for a proven track record. It may however, help you to get the
    interview in the first place. At that point the certs become pretty
    irrelevent as the interviewer will access your technical (and non-technical)
    skills for themselves - often by looking at your past work.

    I guess the point that I was making is that if there is a trend for at least
    some employers to look at your score, you should attempt to make life easier
    for yourself by aiming for the highest possible score rather than just a
    pass in the shortest time possible. Personally I believe that once you have
    a track record, the certification should not matter too much, except perhaps
    to show that you have a good allround technical understanding, and that you
    have kept your skills current.

    Regards,
    David.
    David Kavanagh, Sep 1, 2005
    #12
  13. Yes, your point is valid also, but in the end (for the people who passes
    with braindumps) if they don't have experience to show once they're on the
    computer, the employer will realize about that this candidate is not a true
    developer

    "David Kavanagh" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:...
    > Good point. No matter how good your score is, it is never going to be a
    > replacement for a proven track record. It may however, help you to get the
    > interview in the first place. At that point the certs become pretty
    > irrelevent as the interviewer will access your technical (and
    > non-technical)
    > skills for themselves - often by looking at your past work.
    >
    > I guess the point that I was making is that if there is a trend for at
    > least
    > some employers to look at your score, you should attempt to make life
    > easier
    > for yourself by aiming for the highest possible score rather than just a
    > pass in the shortest time possible. Personally I believe that once you
    > have
    > a track record, the certification should not matter too much, except
    > perhaps
    > to show that you have a good allround technical understanding, and that
    > you
    > have kept your skills current.
    >
    > Regards,
    > David.
    Victor Guillen, Sep 1, 2005
    #13
  14. Well I certainly would never advocate using a braindump. This would be like
    lying in your interview. It may get you the job but when it becomes clear
    that you do not have the skills, you'll get fired.

    On the subject of braindumps, I never even knew they existed, or at least
    wouldn't have believed they contained genuine questions, if it wasn't for
    the number of people complaining about them on this newsgroup. Every time
    they are mentioned, this becomes a great advert for them!

    David.
    David Kavanagh, Sep 1, 2005
    #14
  15. Yes, that's true. But as I said before, if someone is not a true developer
    or true IT Professional, the people around him/her will realize it

    "David Kavanagh" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Well I certainly would never advocate using a braindump. This would be
    > like
    > lying in your interview. It may get you the job but when it becomes clear
    > that you do not have the skills, you'll get fired.
    >
    > On the subject of braindumps, I never even knew they existed, or at least
    > wouldn't have believed they contained genuine questions, if it wasn't for
    > the number of people complaining about them on this newsgroup. Every time
    > they are mentioned, this becomes a great advert for them!
    >
    > David.
    Victor Guillen, Sep 1, 2005
    #15
  16. I got extreemly lucky with my web apps exam. 3 questions were pure ADO.Net
    and most of the others were questions that most .Net windows developers could
    have answered without knowing much ASP. The real winner for me was an obsure
    XML question which just happend to something I ran into by mistake the night
    before the test while looking for something else not even related to my
    studies for the exam. Obsure questions I understand they give more points for.

    So as it turns out I only studied for Web apps for about a week (full time)
    and passed the first time which has not been the case for any of the other
    exams given I dont have any real life experience. The windows exam I studied
    a TON (6 full times weeks I think) so much of what I learned there spilled
    over to the web apps test. Pure luck on the questions I had.


    "David Kavanagh" wrote:

    > One last suggestion: Make sure you know when to use to use ViewState and
    > when not to - I think I saw 2 questions on this. Also know the differences
    > between the various caching techniques and when to use application caching
    > and when to use session caching - this often arises during lengthy "case
    > study" type questions.
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?U2Vhbg==?=, Sep 2, 2005
    #16
  17. By braindumps I assume you mean litterally actual questions from the real
    test bank. I have found legal mock questions extreemly helpful in pointing
    out a deeper understanding of material.

    Someone green (like me) can understand what something IS, but its also
    helpful to understand what something IS NOT. Surprisingly that is not as
    intutive as one might think.

    "David Kavanagh" wrote:

    > Well I certainly would never advocate using a braindump. This would be like
    > lying in your interview. It may get you the job but when it becomes clear
    > that you do not have the skills, you'll get fired.
    >
    > On the subject of braindumps, I never even knew they existed, or at least
    > wouldn't have believed they contained genuine questions, if it wasn't for
    > the number of people complaining about them on this newsgroup. Every time
    > they are mentioned, this becomes a great advert for them!
    >
    > David.
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?U2Vhbg==?=, Sep 2, 2005
    #17
  18. That last comment about recuiters doesnt really make much sense to me.
    Sure a higher test score is better if they ask for it but taking and passing
    the exams are clearly better then not doing it at all given same experience
    level in question.

    Furthermore, firms use their employees as their "resume" for clients and the
    more certified people you have on your staff the better. So if I am looking
    to fill a position that requires X years of experience I would perfer
    canidates at that level to be certified rather then not regardless of the
    score.

    I am a HUGE advocate of cerifications but in no way do I think they replace
    experience. They just give candidates of same given experience an advantage
    (or at least should).

    The question I have for naysayers of certs is this "give the same level of
    experience what should a canidate of that level do that shows a competive
    edge against others of the same level"?

    Perhaps why there are so many naysayers of certs is becuase they are being
    given positions higher up then what reflects their job experience and if that
    is what has been going on I can understand the resentment. I do certs just to
    compete among people in my same level of experience.

    "David Kavanagh" wrote:

    > I think that is true but some employers now believe that the MS Certs are
    > too easy to pass and so are looking at your score. I know when I did mine at
    > a Pearson Vue test center, I was given a printed transcript which included
    > my actual score (broken down into different categories). This transcript
    > also included an authentication code that an employer can type in to the
    > Pearson Vue website to confirm that it is genuine. The Microsoft transcripts
    > though only include a pass/failure, presumably because Microsoft think that
    > a pass should be sufficient.
    >
    > In an earlier discussion on this newsgroup, a number of people were debating
    > whether certification was good for your career. I noticed that a couple of
    > people mentioned that, as recruiters, they would regard it as a negative
    > point if someone just scraped a pass and they would have been better off not
    > mentioning it at all.
    >
    > Regards,
    > David.
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?U2Vhbg==?=, Sep 2, 2005
    #18
  19. My comments regarding the potential negative effects of just scraping a pass
    are not based on any personal experience - I was simply repeating what had
    been written in this group by others who claim to have been in a recruiting
    position (use Google to look at the archive). Personally I think that anyone
    who has taken the time to get certified should get full credit for taking
    their career seriously and educating themselves. In the past, I have
    recruited a number of programmers, although none have ever been certified.
    If I had seen two candidates which had identical experience, but one had at
    least one cert (no matter what the score), then they would have had the
    advantage. You also make a good point regarding companies wanting as many
    certified employees as possible.

    Unfortunately, certifications are not viewed very highly in some
    organizations. I suspect this might be because those doing the recruiting
    often do not have them and so either do not know how difficult they are, or
    feel insecure. I've noticed similar behaviour with those with college
    degrees - if they have one, they insist that everyone has one, if they
    don't, they think they are worthless.

    David.
    David Kavanagh, Sep 2, 2005
    #19
  20. Practice questions are a good idea. Not only are they a great way to learn
    the subject, but they are a great way to get used to how the questions are
    phrased. In our everyday work we are rarely given a quick overview of a
    problem and asked to pick the best choice from four options, within a couple
    of minutes. This is a skill that should be practiced before the exam. I'm
    just started looking at the 70-300 exam, and I think this one is best
    approached by doing as many practice questions as possible.

    Although I've never seen them, I believe that when people refer to
    braindumps, they are not referring to practice questions, but to the actual
    questions that have somehow been smuggled out of the exam and published,
    together with supposedly correct answers. Whether they are real or not I
    wouldn't know, but if they are then this is cheating.

    David
    David Kavanagh, Sep 2, 2005
    #20
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