Self-taught MCSD

Discussion in 'MCSD' started by Chris Pettingill, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. I've been a Delphi developer since it came out. I want to move our product
    to the .NET platform, and while I understand many of the basics, I don't
    have much practical experience with Visual Studio, XML etc. I figured
    getting an MCSD would be a decent way to get introduced to this stuff, plus
    get the benefits that an MCSD cert would provide. However, I can't see
    paying a tech college $12000 + to learn this stuff - I don't have the
    greatest opinion of these tech colleges. Has anyone here done the MCSD
    training on their own from the MS books? Are they sufficient? I'm an MSDN
    Universal subscriber so I have all the software I need. I'm generally
    self-taught on most of the stuff I use now though I do have a 4 year honors
    degree in Comp Sci from university. I have a number of years of design,
    analysis, development, implementation and support experience. Is the
    self-taught route a good way for me to go? Or, will I really miss something
    trying to do this only from books and MS newsgroups? Are there better books
    than the MS published ones?

    Chris Pettingill, Oct 23, 2003
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  2. Chris Pettingill

    Kline Sphere Guest

    I'm an MSDN
    That's all you need.
    Kline Sphere, Oct 23, 2003
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  3. Chris Pettingill

    Jaime Guest

    yep, as long as you have the software to use you can learn all that you
    Jaime, Oct 23, 2003
  4. I am currently getting my MCSD.NET certification without courses, using
    only books. That's exactly how I got my MCSD certification.

    No, the MSPress books are not enough. They are buggy and leave out
    important information that's on the exam. If you're doing your exams in
    C#, buy the Que books by Amit Kalani for 70-315, 70-316 and 70-320.

    A word of warning: the MSPress book for 70-300 is COMPLETELY USELESS.
    Buy Que's ExamCram2 book instead. It's cheaper to boot.

    Sorry Microsoft, I know it's your newsgroup, but your Training Kits suck.
    General Protection Fault, Oct 23, 2003
  5. Chris Pettingill

    Kline Sphere Guest

    Sorry Microsoft, I know it's your newsgroup, but your Training Kits suck.

    Yet the vast majority of their other books are excellent - seems a bit
    strange to me.
    Kline Sphere, Oct 23, 2003
  6. Is the self-taught route a good way for me to go?<<


    I am a self-taught MCSD (for VS6), and I've passed my
    first two exams for the MCSD for .NET. I believe that
    what you want to do can be done, but I'm not going to tell
    you that it will be easy. For what it's worth, here's
    what I've done (and am doing):

    When I decide which exam I'm going to take I'll get a
    short "basics" book for the exam, such as the "exam-cram"
    series from Coriolus or one from MS Press. This is
    usually a good start and a decent overview of the

    I will then (this is the most important part) spend some
    time actually working with the technology -- I'll either
    do some volunteer work for a local organization or I will
    set myself a task and a timeline and *do it*.

    Finally, I will get a set of practice tests from one of
    the reputable vendors such as Transcender, and I will take
    all of those repeatedly until I can pass them all. At that
    point, I am usually ready to take the exam and pass it.

    I cannot stress enough that actually working with the
    products is the most important training you're goint to

    I think you'll find that if you are an experienced Delphi
    developer a lot of your skills should transfer fairly
    easily: designing good apps is hard in any language, and
    the rest is just syntax. }:)

    Joseph H. Ackerman, MCSD
    ACKnowledge Software
    Joseph H. Ackerman, Oct 23, 2003
  7. Thanks for the info. I was just about to ask how long people were finding
    the prep took. It sounds like you're spending a lot more time than the 5 or
    so days that Microsoft and some of the tech colleges talk about for each

    I do have a lot of experience with stuff other than straight Delphi (i.e.
    DAO/ADO/ADOX, Office Automation, VBA, Access, SQL Server 7/2000, HTML, ASP,
    Windows Installer etc.) so I'm hoping I can pick up most of the stuff pretty
    quick. My understanding is that one of the big brains behind Delphi was
    also one of the main people behind C# so I'm thinking of taking the C#
    route. I think I've read that C# builds on a lot of Delphi ideas (with a
    lot of C mixed in of course). I've never really liked VB much compared to
    Delphi, and I figure if I can get C# I'll be able to figure out the VB.NET
    later if I need to.
    Chris Pettingill, Oct 23, 2003
  8. Thanks, I am thinking I'll go C# so I'll definitely check out the Que books.
    How much time have you found you had to devote to preparing for each exam?
    Chris Pettingill, Oct 23, 2003
  9. Many people are self taught. Plenty of books that guide you are available.
    The only caveat is that self taught requires the discipline and the time and
    it usually takes much longer if you've got a regular job.

    Wray Smallwood, Oct 24, 2003
  10. It looks like I'll be able to take at least some paid time off to devote to
    this. I'm trying to figure out how much time I'm looking at though. The
    colleges and the MS site seem to talk about 3-5 days to prepare for each
    exam. Is that reasonble for self study if I devote full time days to it?

    I will be using almost everything in the MCSD courses for building the new
    platform for our software product. But, I'd like to finish the course first
    rather than use our new project as on-the-job training for the MCSD. I'm
    thinking taking the MCSD first will help me make good design decisions
    before I spend a lot of time going down the right path. I will be putting
    pretty much everything I learn from the MCSD cert to use right away once
    I've completed it.
    Chris Pettingill, Oct 24, 2003
  11. For 70-300 I studied an average of 2.5 hours a day for 4 weeks.
    For 70-320 I studied an average of 2 hours a day for 6 weeks.
    But that's because I was learning a lot of stuff that overlaps with
    70-315 and 70-316, so I anticipate writing both in the same day in about
    3-4 weeks.
    General Protection Fault, Oct 24, 2003
  12. Chris Pettingill

    Jaime Guest

    If that isn't the truth, all I do when I get home at night and on weekends
    is study; it's very hard when you work 50 and 60 hour weeks.

    Sleep, what's that again?
    Jaime, Oct 24, 2003
  13. Chris Pettingill

    Kline Sphere Guest

    If that isn't the truth, all I do when I get home at night and on weekends
    Is there any point in living!
    Kline Sphere, Oct 24, 2003
  14. Chris Pettingill

    Jaime Guest

    Doesn't feel that way a lot of the time, lol
    Jaime, Oct 25, 2003
  15. Chris Pettingill

    Kline Sphere Guest

    it usually takes much longer if you've got a regular job.

    I don't think so! If that's the case, those people should not be
    employed. I mean, if you use the tools each day, the exams should be
    Kline Sphere, Oct 25, 2003
  16. Chris Pettingill

    Jaime Guest

    Just because you are employed it doesn't mean you are coding in
    Jaime, Oct 25, 2003
  17. Chris Pettingill

    Vijja Guest

    I am a preparing for the exam 70-175, Distributed
    Applications with MS Visual Basic 6.0. I am using the
    MSPress book and some MS Certification CD's for this exam
    I am planning to do some Measureup Exams afterwards.

    Do you think that these have enough material for this
    exam? Do i need to look @ any other bokks etc.

    Self-study is my only option and I would appreciate any
    help from you


    Vijja, Oct 29, 2003
  18. Chris Pettingill

    Kline Sphere Guest

    Do you think that these have enough material for this
    Kline Sphere, Oct 29, 2003
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