Tonight, I officially started down the path of acquiring my MCPD-enterprise certification. I’ve opted to use the self-paced study kits. I intend to tackle them one kit at a time (using OneNote for taking notes) – then when I think I’m ready, take the test then move onto the next kit. For MCPD-enterprise, there are a total of 5 exams. I haven’t quite worked out a schedule of how long this will take. I want to make it through one chapter (with note-taking) and try to sort of guestimate from there. Then further refine once I’ve completed one exam.
I’ve also opted to the route of doing the VS2005/.NET 2.0 exams – instead of VS2008/.NET 3.5. First, there are 9 exams instead of 5 with VS2005 – and secondly, they have whole exams on WCF and WF, where I don’t feel as strong at the moment. So my plan is to take the .NET 2.0 ones (which will still be good for a couple of years) – then take the couple of "upgrade" exams, perhaps next year, to get up to the current level. At least, that’s the plan.
Also, if you’re thinking "isn’t certification expensive?". Not really! Well, not anymore – and depending on how you do it. For me in particular, I felt comfortable getting the self-paced kits, because I feel I have a decent handle on the major stuff – I just need to bone up on the details! So for the self-paced kits – those are just a mere $44 each! And these books are pretty big (3-4 inches thick, and with a CD full of goodies). So in theory, certification taking this route is $44×5 + $100×5 (aren’t tests still $100?). And luckily, work is footing the bill – so all I need to do is the work!
If you have any thoughts, experiences, etc that you’d like to share – or any other information that would help me, please drop me a line! Otherwise, I will post up here every once in a while with any updates or anything interesting I’ve learned. Wish me luck!
P.S. Oh – and the best part about being a "Microsoft Certified Professional Developer" is that I can then legitimately use the phrase that I’ve been known to say: "It’s just that we’re all professional developers here, so maybe we should start acting like it!"