Well, I passed the 70-549 exam yesterday and am now officially:
So that does it for now. It looks like the upgrade exams for 3.5 are out – but the self-study material isn’t. So when that does release, I will pursue getting my MCTS and MCPD certs upgraded then.
As far as my thoughts… I only have really positive things to say about the certification process. I pursued an MCSE many years ago (NT 3.51 days!) – and things were VERY different then. The exams were poorly worded and the study material with inconsistent with what you were tested on.
Nowadays, the self-study kits were VERY good. I now use them as my reference – as they cover virtually everything there is to know about .NET. I learned a ton in the process. I particularly liked how this process forced me to learn things that were outside of my comfort zone – or things I hadn’t used. For example mobile web forms and Accessibility. In addition, I thought the exams were excellent. There were maybe 2 questions in all of the exams that I thought were poorly worded (and you have the ability to comment on the questions). Aside from that, I can say confidently – that if I got a question wrong, it’s because I didn’t know the answer, vs. getting something wrong because the question was worded poorly or the answers were too vague. The MCTS and MCPD exams questions and answers were great!
Lastly, I think my opinion of Microsoft certifications has changed a bit. I’ve been in the position of going through resumes and giving people technical interviews. When I have a stack of resumes – education, certification and military experience always played a role. But now, I think I weigh the MCTS and MCPD certs more now. First, because it’s no small feat to accomplish – it’s at least 5 difficult exams for MCPD. And secondly, that shows that the person is interested in their professional development – enough to go through the effort to get certified. And thirdly, it does gaurantee that the developer was at least exposed to virtually every topic in .NET – and was fluent enough with it to at least pass an exam on it!
And now – putting that together with what I now know about these exams, I know this is no slam-dunk accomplishment. It takes a lot of studying and committment! Anyhow – those are my thoughts. Now, onto fun 3.5 stuff!!