How I got my MCSD.NET

Discussion in 'MCSD' started by bi-ker, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. bi-ker

    bi-ker Guest

    Hi, I have been around for a long time, some might even
    say I qualify for old farthood. I have always been
    passionate about Microsoft technology and have been an
    MSDN Universal Subscriber since 1996. I had played
    with .Net but mostly my work involved legacy technology.

    Back in early April I decided to go for .NET certification.
    I received my gold card in early June. It seems like years
    ago now and so much has happened since then, but I thought
    that I would pen some of my experiences for the benefit of
    like minded old farts who may be considering certification.

    I have always been strongly motivated by saving money
    where ever possible and by managing my time to the best
    advantage. I set myself the task of passing one exam every
    week for five weeks. I did not want to go on any courses
    simply because for me they would be both a waste of time
    and money, as a consultant I quite often prepare and give
    course though.

    I purchased a few books, but in many was I regret doing
    so. These books typically had a few practice exams in the
    back. I then looked at purchasing practice exams. I
    decided not to purchase Transcender because they were too
    expensive, but a friend lent me a laptop with one
    Transcender exam on it. Mainly I used the MeasureUp
    practice exams recommended on the MS site and purchased
    just 30 days use. I found these exams did not work very
    well in timed mode over the internet, so I did not use
    them this way. In the live exams I found that there was no
    real time pressure as there is in some professional exams
    such as those developed by Actuarial Societies.

    I devised a study technique aimed at gaining the necessary
    knowledge in the shortest amount of time and retaining it
    for the long haul. I not only wanted the gold card, I also
    wanted to be technically stronger than anyone else I
    should ever have to deal with. My technique was to run a
    small batch of exam questions, answer them, and then refer
    to the Microsoft preparation guides. I would then study
    everything in and around the area touched on by a
    question. I did a lot of reading from MSDN. I would not
    move on until I could tick a box saying that I had covered
    that part of the guide and confined it to long term
    memory. Sometimes I would build a few example .NET
    applications as part of this learning process.

    I would then move on to a new batch of questions not
    including any I had taken before. Eventually I would
    complete all questions. At this point I would redo all of
    the questions I got wrong. Invariably I would get them all
    and at this point the practice exam was of no further use.

    Like many people who have reported to this NG I failed 70-
    300 on the first attempt. The MeasureUP practice test was
    still in beta and limited to 50 questions. At home I could
    remember every question and there simply could not been so
    many I got wrong. I figured that in one of the case
    studies I had made the wrong choice of technology and this
    had compromised quite a few questions from that case.

    The following week I sat again but I decided to take
    advantage of a voucher and switched testing agencies. To
    my amazement I found that every single case study was
    different. I am therefore skeptical that it is possible to
    buy the exact questions and answers from a cheats web site
    as suggested by some who frequent this NG.

    A hint on 70-300, expect to see at least one question on
    Object Relational Modeling. I found the Microsoft Self-
    Paced Training Kit to be far too theoretical on ORM but I
    found an article in MSDN that took me through it in a
    practical way. I also practiced using VISIO.

    Since qualifying I did some high level consulting work for
    an organization and set up a Win Forms application that
    runs from a Web Site and uses Web Services to interact
    with a middle tier. This is something that I learned along
    the way. It is possible to create a URL that points to
    a .NET executable; the browser only downloads the software
    when the source is newer than the one in its cache. It is
    also possible to load assemblies from within the
    application from a URL. Thus you get the benefits of Win
    Form applications without having to worry about client

    bi-ker, Sep 2, 2003
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  2. bi-ker

    Kline Sphere Guest

    Thankyou bi-ker my friend for a very interesting post. I particularly like
    the bit about old farthood since I always thought I was the old old fart
    around here, he he he.
    Kline Sphere, Sep 2, 2003
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  3. bi-ker

    Kyle Guest

    Wow, what a great story. I plan to take my 70-300 on this

    Thanks for sharing.
    Kyle, Sep 2, 2003
  4. bi-ker

    Kline Sphere Guest

    I was the old old fart
    That you are, Troll.

    More than likely [still] no Job, no life and no friends (except Mr
    Left & Mr Right hand) - how sad.
    Kline Sphere, Sep 2, 2003
  5. Hi, bi-ker.

    I fear I'll soon be considered an old fart in the IT industry. I'm 35. The
    secret is maintaining your skill set on the leading edge of technology (like
    you are doing).

    Your comment about getting all new test cases for your retest of 70-300 had
    nothing to do with the test center. The MS Cert team created a large pool of
    case studies and you get a random set of them when you take the exam. Sadly,
    the case studies you can purchase from cheat/dump web sites often cover a
    large percentage of the case studies. These sites would not exist if stupid
    people did not buy them, and there is no shortage of stupid people. I hate
    cheaters and those who support them.

    Your study plan sounds comprehensive and targeted. I bet it took a lot of
    free time to follow it.
    Thank you for your ideas and your insight.

    Davin Mickelson
    Davin Mickelson, Sep 2, 2003
  6. bi-ker

    DFoderick Guest

    Thanks a great story. Just one correction.

    There are two ORM's: Object ROLE Modeling and Object
    Relational Mapping.

    You said Object Relational modeling when you meant Object
    ROLE Modeling.

    Those are two very different concepts. Object role
    modeling is pertinent to the 70-300 exam.

    -Dave Foderick
    DFoderick, Sep 2, 2003
  7. bi-ker

    bi-ker Guest

    Yes thanks Dave. All of you who are about to do 70-300,
    the MSDN article I used to swat up on this was:

    Object Role Modeling: An Overview

    Terry Halpin
    Visual Studio Team
    Microsoft Corporation

    November 2001

    Hope you do well.
    bi-ker, Sep 3, 2003
  8. bi-ker

    bi-ker Guest

    Good to see you haven't lost your sense of humor Kline!
    BTW I am not the Troll. Good luck with your struggles and
    remember: "be yourself no matter what they say" - Sting.
    bi-ker, Sep 3, 2003
  9. bi-ker

    bi-ker Guest

    Your comment about getting all new test cases for your
    retest of 70-300 had nothing to do with the test center.
    The MS Cert team created a large pool of case studies and
    you get a random set of them when you take the exam.
    Good comment Davin, but I just ran some numbers. Suppose
    there are 15 cases in total and I have already seen three
    of them. I now draw out three at random, what is the
    probability that I will not draw one that I have already

    Surprisingly this is less than 50%. When I draw the first
    one I have 80% chance of drawing a fresh one, 78.5% for
    the second, and 77% for the third. Multiply these three
    numbers and you get 48%. Thus in the absence of further
    information we would have to conclude that the pool is
    about 15 cases. Even if someone buys all 15 from a cheat
    site, remembering all of these without compacting the
    knowledge through understanding is not as easy as it
    it took a lot of free time to follow it.

    About that time I finished up a two year contract so in
    fact I did have a little more time on my hands, but I
    certainly did not work full time on it. I have three sons
    and there is so much I need to teach them. These days I am
    putting a lot of time into marketing my Company, as well
    as delivering projects and troubleshooting. I am finding a
    lot of Companies that were planning new J2EE projects are
    switching to .NET. They like things like Content
    Management Server that LINUX - J2EE etc. do not provide.


    Peter Burke, M.SC.(Math), MBA, Associate Securities
    Institute, Madarin (bi-ker is my legal Chinese name),
    bi-ker, Sep 3, 2003
  10. bi-ker

    Kline Sphere Guest

    The post was to the 'thing' that is pretending to be me by using my
    alias and not to you. Unless, that is, you are the Troll who is
    pretending to be me, in which case you spend too much time talking to

    Kline Sphere, Sep 3, 2003
  11. bi-ker

    Kyle Guest


    Kyle, Sep 4, 2003
  12. bi-ker

    Grok Guest

    Complain to his news server admin:

    Server used for this query: [ ] is [ ]
    OrgName: BCnet
    OrgID: BC
    Address: 515 West Hastings Street
    City: Vancouver
    StateProv: British Columbia
    PostalCode: V6B 5K3
    Country: CA
    NetRange: -
    NetName: BCNET3
    NetHandle: NET-142-231-0-0-1
    Parent: NET-142-0-0-0-0
    NetType: Direct Assignment
    NameServer: JADE.BC.NET
    NameServer: HUB.UBC.CA
    NameServer: CHEDDAR.UCS.UBC.CA
    RegDate: 1993-02-09
    Updated: 1996-04-03
    TechHandle: MH239-ARIN
    TechName: Hrybyk Mike
    TechPhone: 1-604-822-1348

    Grok, Sep 4, 2003
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