UK certification...costs...route..etc

Discussion in 'Microsoft Certification' started by PHILinUK, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. PHILinUK

    PHILinUK Guest

    Hi all,

    My 1st visit to this NG.

    Unlike perhaps most of you guys ( I know I'm making assumptions here! :), I
    have no background in software development...i.e. no university or other
    quals and no commercial background.

    [Brief background...sorry!!!]
    I've been interested in programming since school (now 40!) but for whatever
    reason never progressed into training/employment. I was tinkering with VB5/6
    some 6yrs ago (I think) and wrote an app. for my then employer which
    interfaced a PC with a HP digital multimeter via RS232 to act as a data
    logger. I did various VBA admin. apps for the same company.

    In the last perhaps 3yrs I've been learning/writing code in VB.Net and a
    small amount in ASP.Net. I've worked through a dozen books. With my current
    employer I wrote an app. that used .net remoting, a windows service and sql,
    as well as including the crystal reports components to provide output. This
    was used by maybe 8 engineers across the UK via our WLAN.

    Additional I enjoy working with databases and using SQL Server 2005 although
    I've got a long way to go. Also note the above experiences are whilst
    employed in non-IT/software roles....all work done at home.

    So, here I am in the UK as miserable as sin in my present job and wanting to
    find a way into software writing! I have a mortgage, family etc etc so
    cannot throw myself into full-time education or take a graduate salary
    (unfortunately!). I've looked into getting some MS cert's such as MCSD
    and/or MCDBA but unfortunately they cost thousands of pounds going through a
    distance learning provider......I don't like the idea of that learning
    method as such and I also wonder if this is the right/best choice!

    I'd really appreciate some helpful experiences, especially anyone in the UK.
    Any comments about MS certs helping to find a job.....any experiences with
    distance learning, is it a waste of time? it better to go it alone and
    book into the test centre?.......You know what I'm looking for...don't you!
    :) :)

    All responses will be read with interest and many thanks in advance.

    Kind regards,

    PHILinUK, Nov 4, 2006
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  2. PHILinUK

    Terence Rabe Guest

    Hi Phil,

    If cost is a major drawback, an option is self study. Check online for books
    (tutorials and study guides) specifically geared to preparing you for the
    MCAD and MCSD certifications. Google and eBay are your friends.

    Terence Rabe
    Terence Rabe, Nov 11, 2006
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  3. PHILinUK

    PHILinUK Guest

    Thanks Terence,

    Cost is unfortunately an issue but perhaps an investment dependant upon
    others experiences and recommendations. I'm just not convinced whether you
    'get what you pay for' with the distance learning route!

    Cheers, Phil

    PHILinUK, Nov 11, 2006
  4. PHILinUK

    Guest Guest

    Get the Microsoft self study bookset (290,291,293, and 294) to pass the OS
    aspect of the MCDBA. They've helped me immensely. As far as the 228 and 229
    I've been less impressed by the Microsoft titles, but I'm currenty done with
    the MCSA and more than halfway through the MCSE, and exactly halfway through
    the MCDBA requirements. Have some faith, and stick to your guns - you can
    do it.

    Keith Lindsey

    Guest, Nov 20, 2006
  5. PHILinUK

    PHILinUK Guest

    Thanks Keith, good pep talk...I like it!! :) :)

    The bookset referred to, dumb question but can this be bought as a study
    guide 'set of 4' and can you recommend a supplier? Also, did you go it
    completely alone and book in for the tests yourself?

    Cheers, Phil

    PHILinUK, Nov 22, 2006
  6. PHILinUK

    Guest Guest

    yeah,yeah and yeah - I found the set on for about 70 pounds if you
    want to email me () with your address I can even give
    some other practice tests that I found helpful also. I've taken 4 tests
    already and am pretty happy with my results. I have a BS in Computer Science
    and probably more experience than many (but experience without any
    certifications aren't anywhere near as valuable)and that has helped - but
    truly the only real preparation is to study the books and take the practice
    tests until you feel you know the material well. The Microsoft Press books
    aren't the only ones out there either and Amazon is a gret resource.


    Guest, Nov 22, 2006
  7. PHILinUK

    Guest Guest

    after looking further it's more like 90 pounds but it is there.


    Guest, Nov 22, 2006
  8. VB 6.0 is the undisputed GOD of programming software. Do yourself a
    favour and give anything that ends in ".NET" a wide berth, every
    version of this garbage continues to get worse.

    If you feel you need to move away from VB 6.0 (not a nice thought I
    know), then you could consider Delphi - a more stable product than any
    MS offerings.

    Hope this helps
    The Grand Master
    Master Programmer, Nov 23, 2006
  9. PHILinUK

    Thor Guest

    Are you for real?

    In what way excactly is Delphi (any version) better than C# 2005?
    Before you answer I should tell you that my experience with Delphi spans
    from Turbo Pascal 4 (and TASM...), through Borland Pascal for Windows,
    Delphi 1-Delphi 2005. .NET from VS7 beta 1.

    Please don't say VB 6 is better than VB.NET 2005, it is just silly.
    BTW: If you are comparing apples with apples you should compare .NET with
    VCL and Delphi with VB.

    53/Regular programmer (and irregular manager)

    Thor, Nov 23, 2006
  10. PHILinUK

    PHILinUK Guest

    Come on fellas.......just when I thought I had it in the bag!! :)

    To be honest, all you guys have a lot more programming history (at least it
    sounds like it) than me! I remember many a public slagging of vb (all
    versions) by C programmers/tech authors but, it 'seems' that with .net and
    the CLR & MSIL the capabilities are almost identical.

    I like (my limited view) what I've seen with 2003. I like the more
    simpler access to windows services as well as web services and incorporating
    remoting. I've a lot to learn but I also believe that .net (at least for vb)
    has made it more fun!!!! I know, I'm sad.

    Carry on the debate though....I'm sure you'll get much more colourful
    comments :)


    PHILinUK, Nov 23, 2006
  11. PHILinUK

    Thor Guest

    Yes. I've done quite a bit of VB6 profesionally, including many things that
    desperatly needed a better environment than vbrun.

    VB 2005 is of a totally different species.
    - It creates managed code only just beaten by C++ performance-vice
    (optimizer better for C but who cares)
    - It has hyper modern constructs like generics
    - It has the "My"-namespace, cool.
    - It has, out of the box, code snippets for a lot
    - It is the natural language to use in many integration scenarios
    - starter kits
    .... these are just taken off the top of my head, there is much more.

    it's just great!

    take my advice and download the express edition, forget .NET 1.1, upgrading
    will be without pain.
    Also google "reflector".
    The certification to start with is in my view 70-529.

    the world is your oyster

    Thor, Nov 23, 2006
  12. PHILinUK

    Guest Guest

    I would suggest not to buy too many books in one go. In the end the main
    expense is not the money but the time you invest in studying. Carefully check
    out the reviews of each book on Amazon - it is unlikely that all the best
    books come from one publisher.
    Your first cert may take a while because you will probably need to settle
    into some sort of studying routine - fortunately that tends to get easier
    after a while. By the time you get to book 2, many more of the errata will
    have been discovered and incorporated in the newer copies. Also, after
    completing your first cert you will know if you want to continue or maybe
    change direction a bit to (for example) database certs.

    Re. VB6, I expect that most of the work for that will be maintaining
    existing apps - perhaps not the most furure-proof career choice.

    Best of luck
    Guest, Nov 25, 2006
  13. PHILinUK

    PHILinUK Guest

    Thanks for the thoughtful response. Appears sound advice and advice I will
    take however,............I've already spent quite a few pennies on
    books so I'll try to make the most of some of those! I have a Mike Gunderloy
    MCAD/MCSD 'creating web apps. and services'....that might be a good place to
    Also, completely agree about VB6.....don't think I ever said that was a
    route for me.......NET is the way forward I believe!
    Thanks again, Phil
    PHILinUK, Nov 27, 2006
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