March 8, 2021
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Microsoft Developer Certifications: What's Your Path?

  • By Steve Rowe
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The MCAD is a relatively new certification for developers. Much like the MCSA, this certification is seen as a mid-level certification between the MCP level and the more premier MCSD certification. (To see more on the MCP, see the first article, located here.) This certification will best fit individuals who develop, build, implement, and manage applications on more of a department level. The types of applications you will develop and support are likely to be Windows and Web applications. If you are new to the development world, it is recommended that you have at least a year's worth of experience developing Windows and/or Web applications. Be sure you have a solid grasp on fundamental Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# .NET before moving into an MCAD track. Having the fundamentals under control will greatly help you study and pass the exams.

To get the MCAD credential, you will be required to pass three exams. This is composed of two core exams and one elective. The primary programming languages that one can center on with the MCAD is Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET. XML is also tested on for the creation of Web Services and server components within the .NET Framework. Let's look at the exam categories in more depth:

  • Core Exams: You will need to pass one exam on either Web application development or Windows application development. Next, you need to pass one exam Web Services and Server Components exam. You will complete these exams by using a language of your choice from either Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# .NET. If you want to test in the language you did not do your core testing in, see the Electives bullet next.
  • Elective Exams: After passing the two required core exams, you will need to pass one elective exam. Topics you can choose include designing and implementing solutions based on SQL ServerTM 2000 Enterprise Edition, BizTalk Server© 2000 Enterprise Edition, or Commerce Server 2000. If you wish to not test on one of the Microsoft Enterprise Servers, you can take a Web or Windows Application development exam in the language opposite of the language you used to pass your core exams. For example, if you used VB .NET to pass the core, you can take either the Web application or Windows application exam using Visual C# .NET.

As with all Microsoft exams, be sure to visit Microsoft's certification site for the most up-to-date information on all the exams available. To find the most current information for the MCAD, try this site.

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This article was originally published on March 31, 2003

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