Hello all,\n\nI'm tossing around the idea of getting some MS certifications, and\nreally like the looks of the MCAD and MCSD certs. The only problem\nis, I do not really have a solid programming background and would more\nor less be starting fresh.\n\nLet me clarify a bit more, since I don't want you guys to assume I'm a\ntotal noob :-) I've been working in the industry for nearly 8yrs, but\nfor the past 7yrs the main focus of my job has been on Linux web\nservers. I have also overseen development of a number of Perl & PHP\nweb applications, although I have never taken on the coding of these\napplications myself.\n\nThe main focus of my work on these Perl/PHP/MySQL-based projects was\ncoming up with the initial concept, interface design (using HTML,\nXTHML, CSS, etc..), install & implementation, and testing and\nadministration. I can certainly work my way around code, but it has\nnever been in my best interest to take on the coding simply because of\nthe learning curve involved, and financial and time factors involved.\n\nFrom the looks of the side-by-side comparison of MCAD vs. MCSD, it\nappears MCAD would be a bit more friendly to the novice programmer.\nWhere MCSD appers to be a quite in-depth certification.\n\nSo I have a few questions that I'm hoping I can get some advice on:\n\n1. With my level of programming experience (which is basically zero in\nthe MS world), can anyone suggest a series of books to start out with?\n\nI've looked on Amazon, and you can find "Beginner's guide to VB.NET"\nand "Beginner's guide to C# .NET" until your eyes bleed from looking\nat all the search results. But I have no idea which route to take in\nstarting out.\n\n2. Would you guys feel I'm reaching a bit too high in thinking of\nacquiring one of these certifications?\n\nI realize I do not have a Comp Sci degree, nor do I have a solid\nprogramming background. However, I am finishing up my IT degree right\nnow, and have a real desire to learn application development.\n\nI guess everyone has to start somewhere when they decide to acquire\nthese certifications -\- and not everyone has had the advantage of\nbeing taught on the job. So I'm really looking for advice on which\npath to start out with to gain the pre-requesite knowledge.\n\n3. I know that bricks and morter instruction courses can cost big\nbucks. But I have always absorbed information much better when\nlearning it in a classroom environment.\n\nSo I'm looking for some advice on people's take on the instruction\ncourse route vs. self-teaching from books?\n\nI'll end my long-winded plea for help here :-) Any advice you guys\ncan give on any of this would be greatly appreciated!\n\nSincerely,\nKevin G.