Microsoft Developer Certifications: What's Your Path?
MCSD for .NET Technologies
The MCSD for .NET Technologies is the newest form of the MCSD certification. As one would expect, the strong push Microsoft is making for their .NET platform and technologies has resulted in a full curriculum and certification exam list to back up this technology. Many of the exams you will encounter in this MCSD track are the same as you encounter with the MCAD track. As mentioned earlier, the MCAD is a direct subset of exams for the MCSD on .NET Technologies. Developers who are looking to analyze, plan, and design enterprise-level solutions with .NET development technologies should migrate toward this path. It is recommended that the candidate have two years of relevant development experience and have a solid grasp on the fundamentals of Visual Basic .NET and/or Visual C# .NET.
To achieve the MCSD for .NET Technologies, you are required to pass four core exams and one elective. As you can see, Microsoft is requiring an extra exam for the core set in this MCSD version. The following list will give you some further insights into the topics covered in the core exam section:
- Web Application Development Exams: You will be required to pass one exam that demonstrates your ability to develop and implement Web applications using the tools in Visual Studio .NET and your choice of language—either Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# .NET.
- Windows Application Development Exams: You will be required to pass one exam that demonstrates your ability to develop and implement Windows applications using the tools in Visual Studio .NET and your choice of language—either Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# .NET.
- XML Web Services and Server Components Development Exams: You will be required to pass one exam that demonstrates your ability to develop and implement XML Web Services and Server Components using Visual Studio .NET tools and your choice of programming language.
- Solutions Architecture Exam: This core exam is a separating exam between the MCAD certification and the full MCSD certification. This is known as the 70-300 "Analyzing Requirements and Defining Microsoft .NET Solution Architectures" exam. The knowledge gained from this exam helps you learn to analyze, plan, and develop solutions based on business requirements. No matter what language track you are using, you will be required to pass this exam to obtain the MCSD credential.
As with all the other certifications we discuss, be sure to check the Microsoft Web site for current news, exams, tracks, and exam numbering. For the MCSD track, be sure to periodically check the MCSD site for current news and policies.
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