Book Review: MCTS exam 70-505 Windows Forms Application Development Training Kit

July 18, 2010 Book Reviews, Certification, Fun 6 comments

Oh! Yet another training kit on Microsoft exam. This time it is Windows Forms Application Development (exam 505).
It was extremely boring to read this book.

Book talks on different Windows Forms related stuff. From the beginning it tries to teach me how to create simple forms app and add controls to it, but hey with my experience developing applications it is too boring. In advanced WinForms controls it talks on ListBox, TreeView, CheckBoxes and so on :) After so complex things it leads me to ADO.NET and how to work with connection Strings and how to even read data from DataReader. In advanced topics on Windows Forms Development it talks on how to create MDI application. OMG, i knew how to do them on my 3rd year in university. In asynchronous operations it talks on how I can use BackgroundWorker and even what is Thread and how to synchronize two of them. Maybe the most interested chapter was Deployment, at least because I never really used it either at work or in university.

But you know what is the most funny about all of this? – Possibility that I will not pass this exam. Why? – Because these entry ms exams are kind of exams for con. It require simple knowing of names of classes and functions. But on other hand I understand, that they couldn’t make it different.

You just need to read this kit to pass this exam, almost no way to do it different.
I understand that if you have no experience working with Windows Forms book could bring lot of value for you. For example, do you know how to create not rectangular button or how to print documents programmatically.

Fact that I read this book means only one – which I’m going to schedule exam for next Friday and spend my evenings trying tests from book, and maybe MeasureUp. Also researching over internet how to prepare myself fot it.

So, wish me good luck on passing this exam.


Exam 70-536: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation – PASSED

April 30, 2010 Certification, Success No comments

Why would I need to pass that exam at all?

There are many arguments to pass the exam. Most of them are simple bureaucracy. First of all, your resume will have additional strength if you will add few certification records on the bottom. Secondly, many companies are interested to have their employees to be certified, or maybe they want to make you promotion road more hard :) so to allow you to be promoted you need to pass some set of certificates and cope with lot of other requirements. At least this is situation which I have in my company.

Why would I need this exam for my blog?

Very easy: when YOU are on my blog first time, you read something and create your thought on topic you just read and then you decide to subscribe or not to subscribe. Question is following: what is guarantor that it worth to subscribe to my blog? And answer is “Nothing”. But what will be your reaction if you will see MVP logo at the top-right of my blog? Are my chances better? Or course they are.

Why else would I need this exam?

Following point is very important but honestly I could not put it above (I will describe why). The point is to enhance you knowledge and learn something new. Of course during preparation to exam you read some books and search over MSDN on topics you are interested and which will be measured. But in real life you could be experienced .NET developer and still have difficulties to pass exam. In other words I have doubts if 10 years experienced developer could pass exam without at least some special preparation to it.

What else did I miss?

Of course – self-confidence. In order to be successful you need to feel yourself confident in things you do. In order to grow you should have something behind you, that could you help stand when you are with people who have certificates. And plus to that it is always very enjoyable to know that you know more then others. But a secret: do not show them that. It is very important. Do not praise yourself, let others do it instead.

How to prepare and how did I prepare?

You could find a lot of very interesting posts over internet on how to prepare.

I like this one:

I even found other blogs that are about certification. 

My recommendation number 1: google on how to prepare… and you will find a lot of interesting stuff.
Also while you are trying some demo tests on MeasureUp or tests from TrainingKit and if you are not confident about answer do not try to remember it – go and figure answer in depth!

Also I wrote some tips on how to read TrainingKit. At least this works for me:

  • Read accurately but quick if theme is familiar to you.Skip “Real
    Word” and pay attention on “Important” and “Exam Tip”, try to remember
  • If there are boring explanation and then code, switch first to code
    and analyze if you understand everything there, and if that is true,
    don’t return back to text.
  • Do not execute Labs unless you do not understand what you had read.
  • If there are difficult chapters try to read them twice – I did this
    with Application Security.

How was it?

Night before exam I felt confident about exam, but was still worrying.. so I was preparing till 3am. In the morning I came to work as usual and did few things… reviewed ones code, checked e-mails… expressed my thoughts on demo we should have today and wrote e-mail to team members that I will be out for about 2 hours. My company is Microsoft’s parner so I do not need to move to other location – just get down 5 floors.
First couple of questions I was nervous, but then I felt that I’m confident with most of questions. I marked only 2 out of 40 for additional review. When I finished I got message saying that I PASSED EXAM with score 907. This means that I answered incorrectly for about 4 questions. I think that this is very good result.

Picture which I get is like following:

My next target is probably 70-505. Passing it is point of honour, because I already failed it twice because of overflow of confidence.

Also as I’m active in preparing developers meeting for developers from my project and I’m thinking to teach our developers in order to get certification – covering some areas from exam.

Express your thoughts on passing this exam.

No comments

Brainbench Master Certification in C#

April 27, 2010 Certification, Success 8 comments

It turns out that I’m eligible to pass exam 70-536 for free – my company will pay for me, but before I’m required to pass Brainbench C# exam with higher than 4.0 score.

And I just did it – my score is 4.03.

You could see my results using following link: http://www.brainbench.com/transcript.jsp?pid=9108054

So now I could use this logo on my blog (see somewhere on the right):

Also in e-mail which I got is following information:

You are eligible for a certificate! Would you like to receive it?
Printed paper certificate suitable for framing $14.95 Get
Electronic Certificate $4.95 Get

How do you think should I pay for that? Please let me know.

Also following information says that I have weak areas in implementing Services and Data Consumers. Need to check-out in more details about that.

Test: C#
Date: 27-Apr-2010
Score: 4.03
Weights: 100% C#
Elapsed time: 46 min
23 sec

Score: 4.03
Percentile: Scored higher than 90% of previous examinees
Demonstrates a clear understanding of many advanced
concepts within this topic. Appears capable of mentoring others on most
projects in this area.
Strong Areas
  • Grammar
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Value and Reference Types
  • Delegates
  • Properties, Indexers, and Fields
Weak Areas
  • Developing Data Consumers and Services
  • Methods

Guys, it is quite easy to pass this. And don’t loose chance, this exam is free till 30 April.


MCTS 70-536 Application Development Foundation book review

April 26, 2010 Book Reviews, Certification 2 comments

What can I say about this book? It is specialized for passing specific Microsoft Exam. If you are going to pass 536 exam you 100% need it. If you just want to learn some core things about developing applications with .net, book is not best choice. It will lead you through big portion of class names, different methods and enumerations, which could be easily seen in MSDN documentation up to date. I would even say that books like authors took everything possible from MSDN that is related to exam. Also book have mistakes, which I think should not be in such books. Plus to that book is dry to read, but you can read it fast if you know how.

How to read book:

  • Read accurately but quick if theme is familiar to you.Skip “Real Word” and pay attention on “Important” and “Exam Tip”, try to remember it!
  • If there are boring explanation and then code, switch first to code and analyze if you understand everything there, and if that is true, don’t return back to text.
  • Do not execute Labs unless you do not understand what you had read.
  • If there are difficult chapters try to read them twice – I did this with Application Security.

I would recommend this book if you are going to pass exam, if not just check-out maybe there are some interesting things that you should know, but do not read book whole end-to-end.


It is time to get Microsoft Certification

April 26, 2010 Certification, Success 4 comments

When is it time to be Microsoft Certified?
My company is developing new certification model, named abc (I’m not sure if I can use original name), which includes few levels such as abc Certified Junior, abc Certified Intermediate, abc Certified Senior… and so on… To become Senior developer after you are Intermediate you first need to get abc Intermediate certification.

Each of the levels has some requirements like industry experience, some number company-wide presentations, passed performance appraisal with strength area marks, passed knowledge evaluation, but what is important here is that each next level also requires some external certifications. For example, to be abc certified intermediate level in .NET desktop you need to have 2 certificates: 70-505 and 70-536.

Hey, but I’m already promoted to be intermediate, but do not have certificates… At least it is one of the reasons why I cannot become Senior (another one is that I need about half a year more experience and improve my knowledge). And this makes me bit sad.
Actually I tried to get 70-505 exam immediately after I get promoted (summer 2009). First time it was free attempt, and I failed it. Shit, but that was so easy, I got 670 out of 1000 with required 700.

Why did I fail it? There are few reasons:

* Exam 70-505 includes features from the 3.0 framework, which I did not ever use. For example it includes easy question regarding the Linq. I did not know Linq at that moment. It included question regarding installing and deploying strategies. Which I did not ever try. Stop. Am I so bad? I knew design patterns; I had experience in developing desktop applications. But I was interacted only with actual developing of easy things; I was not familiar with whole lifecycle of our product. To be honest we have so complicated lifecycle that nobody knows it well.
* I was too much self-confident about the exam.
* I did not spend a lot of time on preparing, maybe half a day.

I know that there are other ways to successfully pass exam, I think you know what I mean, but I did not see in internet actual tests for my exam, and besides that is not good way to pass it. I saw some people that passed with 1000 score other exams. Why? They found exact test in internet.

Let’s suppose that I was not ready and I did not know how to pass such exams.

Ok. Do you know Roosevelt? His words: “Never, never, never, never…give up!” And I did not give up. I tried again with the same exam month later. And you know – I field it with score less than 500. I was pure sure that questions will be similar, and they were. I was too much confident that I will pass it, but I did not. So I blew 50$. Holly shit.

Was it needed to pass Microsoft exam? Tips are following:

•    Get resource to learn from it. Best choice is Microsoft Training Kits.
•    Be aware what does your exam include, if there are some unknown technologies for you, ask yourself if this is correct exam for you.
•    Ensure that you interacted with each technology meant there in real world, if you have not interact, just write simple applications when preparing to exam.
•    Do not schedule exam, if you are not self-confident in your knowledge.
•    Do not be too much self-confident in your knowledge. Most of exams are dry tests, which include some monkey questions that could be easily forgotten.
•    Train, train, train… and never give up.

Getting MCTS for me is very important step in my career. (See picture below).
I’m going to achieve this with passing 536 and 505 in short terms.