Friday, January 7, 2011

Microsoft Certification exams

My employer (AWH - encourages us (the employees) to take MS certifications. Not only this will benefit the company in maintaining our status as a Gold Partner, but also will benefit us as far as knowledge, new technology, etc. Plus the certifications are attached to the individual, so if you change jobs, those certifications certainly belong in your resume and can be leveraging points.

AWH will pay for the tests, including first failure. So if I take a test and fail, and then retake the test and pass, AWH will cover both exams. So I have to pass before the reimbursement can come through.

Anyway, so last November, I saw a promotion on Prometric's website for a 2/3/4/5 exam packets with discounted price and FREE retakes for each exams in the packet. With that good deal in mind, I decided that I will set a goal in this area: getting a MCPD - Microsoft Certified Professional Developer. This certification requires 4 exams:

  • TS 70-515 - ASP.NET 4.0, Web Forms, MVC, IIS
  • TS 70-516 - ADO.NET, LINQ, EF
  • TS 70-513 - WCF
  • TS 70-519 - Web application solution/architect
I took the first test early in December and passed it quite easily. Since ASP.NET is what I use daily, most of the questions in the test are familiar to me and I can answer them correctly.

I scheduled to take the ADO.NET test on Dec 23rd, but when I came to the facility, it was closed. I was not notified of any closing and Prometric also was not aware of the closing of the local facility (New Horizons). Prometric was able to reschedule me for Dec 27th at a different facility. I failed my ADO.NET test - probably by 2 or 3 questions, it was so close. Although I use ADO.NET stuff pretty much daily, but there are some things in there that are pretty new to me and I have not used them in production quality code - like Entity Framework. Those questions stumped me and resulting in a failing grade. Thank God for the free retake!

So I studied more EF, practice making some projects with with etc and retake the test on December 29th. I passed.

So next up is WCF - scheduled for Jan 12th. Hopefully by end of Feb 2011, I will have become an MCPD.

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