Orcas Implications on Current MCTS Web Developer Path

Discussion in 'MCTS' started by John2021, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. John2021

    John2021 Guest

    Hi, I'm starting down the path to obtain my MCPD in Web Development which I
    understand requires the following:

    MCTS - Web Developer (70-536 + 70-528)

    If my end goal is MCPD should I wait until Orcas comes out to begin taking
    tests? I'd hate to study for a test, pass it, and find out a few months later
    that I have to start over because the tests changed. And I really don't want
    to have to obtain my MCTS twice. Are there tests in the current plan that I
    can take now that will still be used in the new path?

    Any insight would be appreciated!
    John2021, Oct 16, 2007
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  2. John2021

    Iain Guest

    Hi John,

    I completed 70-547 (via the same path you're looking at) earlier this year,
    so was wondering the same questions prior to that.

    Trika from MS learning has a post on her blog about "re-fleshing" of
    credentials. This might help answer your questions.


    Most of the new orcas related exams aren't event in beta yet and I haven’t
    seen any mention of a replacement for 70-536.
    So if your already into the study for 70-536 I would go ahead with it.

    70-536 covers so much of the core framework stuff that has remained in place
    throughout framework versions. It's still very valid and I'd assume will
    remain as part of the cert path.

    Hope this helps.

    Iain, Nov 19, 2007
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  3. John2021

    John2021 Guest

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm scheduled to take the test in a couple of
    weeks, but really am unsure where to go from there. From what I've read, the
    70-536 will still be valid in the next wave of certification tests but the
    other tests will probably be replaced by .Net 3.5 exams. So it sounds like I
    should stop at after this test and wait for the new exams to be released.

    By the way, does anyone know how beta exams work? If one comes out next
    month, and I take and pass it, will I actually earn credit for that exam? or
    would I have to retake it once the final exam is released?

    John2021, Nov 19, 2007
  4. John2021

    Iain Guest

    No probs,

    If you pass a beta exam, you do have it count as the same credit towards a
    qualification as the final exam will.
    It’s a nice perk, considering sitting the exam is free.

    The obvious drawback is beta exams can be trickier to study for as there are
    no training kits or focused e-courses released.

    Good luck with 70-536!

    Iain, Nov 19, 2007
  5. John2021

    gravz84 Guest


    Why do you guys think one should wait for the other exams? As written
    on Microsoft's site .NET 2.0 mainstream support will be retired in
    2011. So the MCTS will be valid till then and you have to update the
    certification every 3 years anyway..
    So what would be the point of waiting for .NET 3.5 certification?
    and what does it mean when you say the other tests will be REPLACED
    by .NET 3.5?
    I am taking 536 in a week and thinking of taking 528 one month later.

    gravz84, Nov 20, 2007
  6. John2021

    John2021 Guest

    Yes, you're 100% right that 2.0 will be around for a while and the
    certification obtained will still be valid. I think the reason I'm a little
    confused is because my goal is really to obtain an MCPD which consists of
    MCTS + one exam. Currently the requirements are:
    MCPD Web Devloper: MCTS ASP.Net 2.0 + Exam: 70-547

    And it sounds like the new requirements will look something like:
    MCPD Web Developer : MCTS ASP.NET 3.5 + MCTS ADO.NET 3.5 + EXAM: 70-547

    Is there such thing as MCPD 2.0 and MCPD 3.5 like there is for MCTS? I don't
    think there is but I could be wrong. It's going to take me a few months
    before I will be able to study for the MCPD and I would hate to obtain MCTS
    2.0 and have the requirements change to MCTS 3.5 before I had a chance to
    take the MCPD test.

    Check out the link below, maybe I'm misunderstanding his example.


    Are there any other thoughts out there on the subject?


    John2021, Nov 20, 2007
  7. John2021

    Iain Guest

    I see you concern John, and wish I could give you a straight answer.
    As far as I know there is no MCPD 2.0/3.5 etc
    Once you get the MCPD you just refresh the underlying MCTS exams within 3
    But I’m not 100% sure if the existing path will remain if you're still in
    the process of getting it. My guess is the option will remain open, as 2.0 is
    still very new to many organizations. So to limit the MCPD to only 3.5
    underlying technologies could be counterproductive. It's a very high level
    exam focusing on design /development concepts more than intricacies of the
    underlying technologies.

    Plus with the speed the .Net framework is progressing many could be left
    feeling in a "snakes and ladders" scenario if the exam pathway keeps
    changing under their feet.

    Howards post is a bit old so it may be slightly superseded?
    If this helps with anything, the preparation guide for MCTS:WCF exam is now

    You will see that this doesn't require 70-536.
    If you pass 70-503 you get the MCTS:WCF straight off.

    Also maybe try contacting Trikah () at MS learning,
    she’s very helpful and may be able to put your concerns to rest.
    Iain, Nov 20, 2007
  8. John2021

    gravz84 Guest

    Damn this is confusing! Well that's that then, my 536 is totally
    wasted huh..
    but I am still hoping that the pathway for MCPD from 536->528->547
    will be kept alive since it's been only a year since they even
    released the MCTS 2 series.
    gravz84, Nov 21, 2007
  9. John2021

    John2021 Guest

    Thanks for the great follow-up. I sent Trikah at Microsoft an email and will
    post any response I get from her in this thread.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!
    John2021, Nov 21, 2007
  10. John2021

    Iain Guest

    I wouldn't stress gravz, I'd say until you hear otherwise that 536 is stable
    and still very relevent and may still be a requirement for MCTS :ASP .Net 3.5

    No worries John,
    yeah, let us know what the reply is.

    Iain, Nov 21, 2007
  11. Hello everyone.

    Two things first;

    1) My name is Gerry O'Brien and I am the new Product Planner for developer
    and SQL certifications at Microsoft. With Howard now being the
    Editor-in-Chief of MSDN magazine, I have a big set of shoes to fill. If it
    doesn't work, I can always make sure he does some serious face plants on the
    ski hill this season. He is snow boarder in case you didn't know that.

    2) I do apologize for not being here to help with your questions and also
    for the confusion caused by the 3.5 certifications.

    Now, to help answer some questions.

    I inherited the plan for the 5 TS level certifications and as it stands, I
    am not making any major changes to that story. To acquire an MCTS: ASP.NET
    developer, you will require exam 70-536 + 70-562. Note that the 536 will
    carry forward in its current state and will be rebranded to remove the 2.0
    version designation in the name. I hope you are all saying YAY!.

    Here's where I will muddy the waters a bit. This is not set in stone as I
    still need buy off from my management but.......

    The Visual Studio product group have clearly stated that Windows Forms
    development has not gone away and is not being completely replaced by WPF. A
    bit of good news for Windows devs I think. The issue now exists where we
    have a potential hole in the 3.5 TS story. We don't currently have an exam
    on Windows Forms development. This is where my management is going to want
    to take me in a dark room and have some serious discussions with me. I want
    to create that exam.

    The problem is that we are now moving from a 3-exam story for MCTS, to a 5
    or 6 exam story. Let me explain.

    We currently have 3 pillars in 2.0, Web, Windows and Distributed. Those do
    not necessarily fit well with the newer 3.5 technologies such as WPF and WF,
    and to some extent WCF. This is why you currently see the 5 TS exams for 3.5
    that Howard mentioned in his blog of which was referenced earlier in this

    Sooooo, Jeff Koch, our new developer and SQL Product Manager, and I have
    been sitting down in discussions quite a bit since I returned from TechEd
    Developer week in Barcelona, and trying to sort all this out and come to a
    conclusion. Here is the current story thus far. Note that this may change
    but it is the latest plan that we have created. We have attemtped to reduce
    the confusion as much as possible but sometimes doing so, creates more
    confusion so I hope that hasn't happened here.

    Exam 70-536 will continue to be the foundation requirement for any MCTS in
    2.0 or 3.5. We will rebrand it to remove the version specific value in the
    title. I am also completing the scrub to ensure that all questions are still
    valid for both platforms. This means that if you have taken or are planning
    to take 70-536, continue to do so, it is still relevant and valid for 3.5.

    I plan to rebrand the web developer certification for 3.5 to MCTS: ASP.NET
    Developer. The reasons behind this are many but primarily when I discuss
    this with developers and ask what comes to mind for skills when I say Web
    Developer, I get answers about technologies that we do not test on such as
    PHP and other non-Microsoft technologies. In my opinion, this presents a
    false picture of skills certified on. By changing it to ASP.NET, we better
    focus the hiring manager or other's vision of the skills that have been
    tested on.

    We are in the process of trying to make final decision on whether to have
    seperate MCTS for WPF and the new WinForms exam, if we create it, or to
    combine the two into an "uber" Windows Developer MCTS. I'm not certain I
    want to force someone to certify on WPF just to get a Windows cert, if they
    will not be creating WPF applications. My preference is to have MCTS: WPF
    and MCTS: Windows as seperate certifications. If someone passes 70-536 + the
    WPF AND the Windows exam, we could grant them an MCTS: Desktop or MCTS: Rich
    Client or whatever name makes the most sense. Thoughts on that one???

    The MCTS: ADO.NET and MCTS: WCF will both be required to obtain MCTS: 3.5
    Distributed Applications Developer.

    For the pro story, we are having discussions around the validity of version
    agnostic pro exams. This means that your pro exam remains valid across
    various versions of the framework, requiring you only to upgrade your TS

    This is extremely difficult to implement due to the changing face of the
    technologies and the questions will need to re-evaluated each time to ensure
    they allow taking into consideration the new technology changes. Personally,
    I am against this idea of version agnostic but internal members of the team
    may sway my opinion.

    One reason why I want to move away from that train of thought is that I
    firmly believe you cannot be a "pro level" candidate on a brand new
    technology. Only early adopters will have had the opportunity to use the
    product in their project and will have gained an understanding of the
    implications of the usage.

    My recommendation is to delay the creation and release of the Pro level
    exams until 6 months to 1 year after the product has been in the market.
    This serves two main purposes;

    1) It allows you, the end user, to become comfortable and skilled with the
    new technologies
    2) It allows us to create a much more relevant and valuable certification
    because we can subject matter experts in the design and item writing sessions
    that truly have some experience with the technology.

    The addition of the new technologies in 3.5 coupled with the positioning of
    those by Microsoft, has made this a difficult task to complete. Especially
    when you are new in the role and have inherited a plan set forth by someone

    Almost forgot, we will work on upgrade exams as well for anyone currently
    certified as an MCPD 2.0 or who wishes to complete their MCPD 2.0 if they are
    already in that path. There will not be an upgrade path from MCAD/MCSD to
    3.5 due to the technology changes and difficulty in assembling exams that
    would allow that upgrade.

    Also, the MCTS to MCTS upgrade path is not required because if you already
    have 70-536, you only need one exam anyway for 3.5, with the exception of
    Distributed developer, which we could potentially create an upgrade exam for
    if demand warrants it.

    I think Howard did a great job while he was here and I thank him for the
    work he has done thus far. It makes my transition much easier for certain.

    What I have posted here is the current story as Jeff and I would like to see
    it. There is still some room for adjustment if needed but we think we have
    created a story that builds on what Howard started, and aims to meet many

    Alignment with the Visual Studio team's vision for the product
    A certification path that clearly shows, at the MCTS level, the technologies
    you are certified on
    A story that makes sense to you, the people who matter most in these decision
    A path that you will stand behind and want to pursue.

    I do apologize for the length of this post but I hope I have given you a
    clearer picture of where the 3.5 certifications are currently heading.

    I won't offer my opinion on whether you should complete the 2.0 path first
    or wait for 3.5 as that is not my place to do so. I present the story here
    to you so you can make that decision yourself.

    On a side note, I never did upgrade my MCSD to MCTS or MCPD but I intend to
    complete the 2.0 path, (non upgrade), and then do the 3.5 path. Partly for
    my own reasons but also so that I can get a better understanding of what you
    have to go through when you are obtaining certification. Hopefully it will
    help me understand any pains your feel, and use that information create
    better certification stories for you.

    Stay tuned for .NET 4.0 :)

    Gerry O'Brien, Nov 22, 2007
  12. John2021

    John2021 Guest

    John2021, Nov 22, 2007
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