Ideal Certification Path for beginner

Discussion in 'MCTS' started by James McConnell, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. (This was initially posted in the MCSD newsgroup as I didn't see this
    newsgroup at first glance. Not cross-posting to get this noticed more, just
    want this question in the most relevant place.)

    I should first clarify that I'm only a beginner to the world of Windows
    programming. I've been a self-taught web programmer for many years (focusing
    on PHP/MySQL setups), and I've recently been hired as a webmaster for an up
    and coming internet advertising company. I have decided to gain my
    development certifications for the Windows platform because I feel that it is
    the best plan of action for me at this point to further my career, as well
    as increase my value as an employee as my company is heavily Windows based.
    I do use ASP.NET 2.0 for some of my job functions, but only what I've been
    told to do and figured some things out on my own. I have literally very
    little experience with VS, ASP.NET or any Windows based programming.

    I have decided on the MCTS: Web Development certification, and I have a
    couple questions. Is this the best certification to start with? Is there
    another I should focus on first? Also, what is the best way to study? The
    E-Learning programs on the MS site will run me about $1300.00 total for the
    certification (that's not including the cost of books/exams/etc...) process.
    However, I noticed that most tests required for certification status have
    "Self Paced Starter Kit" type books, which would be much less expensive for

    I guess I'm just looking for information/advice on the best way to enter the
    world of Microsoft certification with a focus on web development. Thanks to
    all who reply.
    James McConnell, Feb 12, 2007
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  2. One other question. On the page for the MCTS site for the 536 exam, it lists
    both a C# and a VB language book. I've read some posts that mention choosing
    a language for the exam, so I'm wondering if I need both books or if I can
    just choose the one for the language I want (C#, BTW) and will that be
    enough. Thanks.
    James McConnell, Feb 12, 2007
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  3. James McConnell

    Abba Biya Guest

    For MCTS Web Development Cert, the way to go is taking 70-536 and then 70-528
    which is available in MS Press Books. The self paced training kits are
    available in both languages on the same book. You can choose either VB or C#
    based on your preference. If you have been doing C, C++ or Java coding
    before, C# will be of better preference to you as it is terse and shares many
    of the features. I advise you from my experience to make a choice and read
    only in the language of your choice all the way to avoice any confusion. You
    can always come back and refer to learn the other language after your exams.

    Your other valuable resource will be MSDN for some concepts the books
    couldn't elaborate well. I suggest to you also getting a plain book on the
    language only as a reference. is a great resource.

    Good luck with your preparation.

    Abba Biya
    Abba Biya, Feb 12, 2007
  4. Thanks for the info! I ordered the Training Kit and C# Language books from
    B&N last night for the 536 test, so I'll focus on that first and then work on
    my 528 exam. I also have a book from MS Press titled "Programming In The Key
    Of C#", which is essentially a primer on the language, and the few glances
    I've taken of it are very familiar (I have experience with C++/Java), so I
    should be good to go. Thanks again for the info, much appreciated!

    James McConnell, Feb 13, 2007
  5. James,

    "C# Precisely", from MIT Press is a great book about C# 2.0 (IMHO), specialy
    if you already have C++/Java background. It's a small, no-fluff , right to
    the point book.


    Fabio Lindner
, Mar 28, 2007
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