Why get Certified

Discussion in 'MCSD' started by Saad, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Saad

    Saad Guest

    Hello:
    Could you please help me with my research on the benefits
    of being an MCSD. I have been a MS developer for few
    years now, and I am interested in taking the training.
    I do have few questions and if you would to participate
    please provide your answers to the following questions:
    1) What do you think is the future outlook of one who is
    certified as an MCSD?

    2) In your opinion, what are the benefits
    (advancement,pay,etc...)of being
    an MCSD certified?

    3)What do you think are the rquired qualifiaction,
    experience, training, and education?

    If you can provide briefy your contact info that would be
    very much appreciated(Please note that your information
    will not be abused)
    Thank you so much for your time.

    Sincerely,
    Saad Benateigha
     
    Saad, Apr 6, 2004
    #1
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  2. Saad

    Eric Guest

    It's quickly becoming a minimum qualification requirement for many
    companies. This is especially true for advanced developer positions.

    MCAD is good for entry level programmers, and MCSD is good for medium
    to advanced programmers.

    I don't think you'll get a lot more pay if you have it, but you might
    not get a job if you don't have it.

    What do you need to pass the tests? Practical "hands-on" experience is
    very helpful, but you should also study some books and web sites. There
    isn't a certain number of years needed, but there is a certain amount
    of material you need to know. We each learn at a different rate. It
    took me a couple months of study (maybe an hour a day) to pass the
    70-315. It took about the same for the 70-320.

    The Training Guides by Amit Kalani are very good:
    http://www.techcontent.com

    Eric
     
    Eric, Apr 6, 2004
    #2
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  3. Saad

    DalePres Guest

    The biggest benefit is that you'll be a better developer. You will have a
    more fully rounded understanding of the languages, the .Net framework, and
    the Visual Studio environment. You'll learn new things that you had no idea
    you could do.

    Then, if the certification doesn't get you a raise, the improvement in your
    ability will...either with your current employer or your next.

    Dale
     
    DalePres, Apr 10, 2004
    #3
  4. Saad

    UAError Guest

    No it won't. It is simply a technology certification.

    If you prepare properly for it, i.e. not relying solely on
    testbanks or worse braindumps, it will certainly broaden
    your expertise of the .NET technology and the context in
    which it can be utilitzed. Broad is the operative word here,
    as you may still be lacking in knowledge of many of the
    "best practices" of the particular area you where
    successfully tested.

    For example, you can pass 70-315 and be blissfully unaware
    of many of the beneficial practices outlined in
    "Real World ASP.NET Best Practices"
    http://www.apress.com/book/bookDisplay.html?bID=172
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1590591003

    You can pass 70-320 and still only know a minimum about
    XML, .NET Webservice and associated technologies and have no
    clue when the use of Enterprise Service Components is
    appropriate.

    It does precious little to enhance your capability or
    competence when you exercise the craft of software
    development in general - how you interact with the user,
    client, team. 70-300 tests a very narrow
    spectrum of processes and methodologies presented to
    date to aid in the successful conduct of a software
    development project.
     
    UAError, Apr 10, 2004
    #4
  5. It does precious little to enhance your capability or
    This is an excellent point as these 'missing topics' account for the
    vast majority of the software development process.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
     
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Apr 10, 2004
    #5
  6. It's quickly becoming a minimum qualification requirement for many
    Not from what I see.

    Many companies have no idea about ms certs, let alone require them as
    part of a selection criteria.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
     
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Apr 10, 2004
    #6
  7. Saad

    DalePres Guest

    Your experience with the certification process is clearly different from
    mine. I have held Microsoft certifications for over 7 years now and each
    time I study for an exam I learn things I didn't know at before. A lot of
    things... Even in topics that I consider myself to be very knowledgeable.

    I didn't say that the process would make you know it all.

    Perhaps you're not studying the right materials. I assume you do not yet
    know it all, or you'd have all your certifications and not be reading these
    newsgroups.

    Dale
     
    DalePres, Apr 11, 2004
    #7
  8. Saad

    UAError Guest

    I do not dispute that one learns a lot in preparation for
    the certification and that the successful completion of the
    certification can be a lot of work.

    The original question was:

    - "Why get certified"

    whereupon your reply was:

    - "The biggest benefit is that you'll be a better
    developer."

    You're certainly entitled to your opinion but IMO the
    relationship is actually the other way around.

    - The value of the certification ultimately depends on the
    level of (pre-existing) competence on the part of the
    certification holder.

    i.e. the certification is most valuable if you already are a
    good software developer, provided you acquired the
    certification the "proper" way because now you are able to
    employ your pre-existing skills effectively in a .NET
    environment and you will require less time to come up to
    speed with the technical in-depth issues of the project at
    hand. (Guru-dom is still in the far distance).

    A "bad" developer can successfully complete certification -
    and most likely will still be a "bad" developer who is now
    capable of inflicting his deeds on the .NET world.

    None of the tests focus on an in-depth examination of your
    knowledge of your chosen implementation language, its
    features, their proper use, and more importantly its
    idiomatic use (language-specific small scale patterns).

    None of the tests drive home language-independent best
    practices; the evils of duplication (including, but not
    limited to, the DRY principle (Do not repeat yourself)); the
    paramount importance of clarity of code, foregoing slick
    implementation tricks and pre-mature optimizations; the
    importance of not using literals in-line but centralizing
    their location to the smallest possible number of files;...
    etc, etc.

    And these are just some issues dealing with implementation
    facet of software development. There are more sides to being
    a good developer than "just" knowing a programming language
    or an implementation technology ... it certainly is a highly
    desirable skill but it is not sufficient.
     
    UAError, Apr 11, 2004
    #8
  9. Saad

    DalePres Guest

    Like you said... you can be a bad developer with or without certification.
    I didn't say certification will make you a good developer. The only way to
    become a good developer is study, practice, and learning from the
    accumulated experience and knowledge of others. All those things are the
    things that you do when you're studying for certification.

    You certainly can't be a good developer if you don't know your tools. So if
    you haven't done the study required for certification, are you really a good
    developer? If you do know your tools, then you have done the study required
    for certification, whether or not the book you studied from said anything
    about certification on the cover.

    Dale
     
    DalePres, Apr 12, 2004
    #9
  10. The only way to
    Correct. Add to that ' in a real world environment'.
    You're missing the point UAError made!

    As UAError as already said, the exams do NOT cover the real issues
    which account for 80-90% of what is involved in the real world
    development process. The vb & c# exams don't even require you to have
    good grasp of the language as both the exams concentrate of the dot
    framework and related microsoft technologies, and result in the exams
    being almost the same for each corresponding exam.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
     
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Apr 12, 2004
    #10
  11. Saad

    Eric Guest

    Tech-oriented headhunters are often aware of the certifications and
    they normally ask people what certs they have.

    I think certs are much more important now than they were several years
    ago.

    Some of this has to do with the economy. Companies can't hire as many
    people as they might like, so they have to be very choosy about who
    they hire. At least the good companies are choosy!

    It also helps to weed down the number of applicants. Nobody wants to
    interview 50 people for one job opening.

    Eric
     
    Eric, Apr 12, 2004
    #11
  12. I think certs are much more important now than they were several years
    I would disagree, clearly you see things differently. But it's
    certainly not what I see, and I see things from both sides of the
    Atlantic...
    Very true.

    From my company's prospective business knowledge is far more important
    than being able to slurt out the latest buzz words. That's not too say
    they would employ non-technically experienced people, far from it.
    Quite right too!
    That's easily done; just target you're advertising in the right area,
    i.e. trade press related to your business.

    Kline Sphere (Chalk) MCNGP #3
     
    The Poster Formerly Known as Kline Sphere, Apr 12, 2004
    #12
  13. Saad

    UAError Guest

    I was simply trying to temper the statement:

    "The biggest benefit is that you'll be a better developer."

    I've been watching this newsgroup for several months now and
    it seems that a significant portion of the traffic (aside
    from the MCNGP's) is generated by people looking for an
    entry level position in I.T., right after school. They tend
    to grab a statement like the above and run with it. Given
    the opportunity cost of pursuing certification these
    individuals would be much better advised to do something
    else to become "better developers", something that allows
    them to reap rewards much quicker and acquire skill of more
    immediate relevance; even a 4 year bachelor curriculum just
    gets things started. The crux is that there is no
    certification to prove that you are a good developer.
    Ultimately a candidate has to successfully manipulate the
    situation so that she/he gets an interview with the person
    who is familiar with the requirements of the position to be
    filled, to get an opportunity to show off relevant skills.
    Granted that is not easy … but I don't think (MSCD.NET)
    certification is the answer.

    Even for an experienced developer pursuit of certification
    represents an opportunity cost as he/she spends time on
    acquiring "perishable" knowledge - time which could be spent
    on extending one's skills in a more long term fashion. But
    all sorts of reasons can justify the choice.

    IMO, if you look at MSF's team roles, the MCSD.NET
    certification fits best with the development management
    (architect) role. Looking at the remaining development roles
    even an MCAD could be considered overkill because it
    provides too much breadth while not guaranteeing sufficient
    depth for a specific role. Ideally the development manager
    (with the MCSD.NET) would monitor and assess the
    contributions of the remaining development team so that
    "re-inventing of the wheel" would be curtailed and more
    appropriate mechanisms available in the framework would be
    pointed out to less experienced developers. However this can
    only work if the development manager is 100% committed to a
    single project - something that is very rare for individuals
    acting in the "architect" position.

    Ironically if an architect operates in a medium to large
    organization even the knowledge acquired through the
    (MCSD.NET) certification process isn't sufficient, as the
    corporation will most likely have a heterogeneous I.T.
    infrastructure not solely based on MS technologies. Granted,
    in large projects a development manager would be assigned to
    each feature team, where some teams would only use MS
    technology - but some basic knowledge of the non-MS systems
    you are interacting with would still be desirable.

    Ultimately requiring a MCAD/MCSD.NET for an entry level
    position is just silly. Not that it ever stopped employers
    and recruiters in the past from requiring a laundry-list of
    disparate skills, containing all the latest buzz-words they
    could muster. By the time that new hire is in a position to
    fully utilize the assets of the certification, the
    certification itself will have been replaced once if not
    twice, completely eroding the investment in the initial
    certification.
     
    UAError, Apr 12, 2004
    #13
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