MCSD for .NET … was it hard?

A couple of people asked me if it was difficult.  Well, yes and no.

First, the ‘No’:  I’ve been working with .NET full-time for a year and a half.  I worked on several .NET projects while I was in Microsoft Consulting Services.  Fortunately the projects spanned WinForms, ASP.NET, Web Services and .NET Remoting.  So I ended up with a lot of hands on experience, which was invaluable to passing the test.  As a result I didn’t study for any of the 3 MCAD exams I took.  (But believe me, I did my share of studying, puzzling through things, etc. while I was working on those projects!  I just didn’t use any of the study guides or review any of the ‘topics to be tested’ for the exams.  (From that standpoint, I appreciated the exams: they tested things I had used in real life (or could figure out based on the wording of the question and answers 🙂 )))  (I need parenthesis nesting highlighting in my blog editor.  I don’t know how Rory keeps his parenthesis matched up so well…  (But that’s a topic for another blog entry.))

Second, the ‘Yes’:  The exams can’t be taken lightly.  There’s a lot to .NET, and a lot of things that can be tested on.  Since I just took the 70-300 exam for the second time, I’ll talk about it for a moment…  It exam seemed to have a number of loaded (some people may say ‘trick’) questions.  That was the only exam I had to retake.  The first time I didn’t study and I thought I had done quite well on it.  Bzzzzt!  Wrong!  This time I glanced at one of the Exam Cram books for about 15 minutes, just to check on a couple of topics I thought I might have missed the first time around.  This time through (today) seemed much easier than the first.  There didn’t seem to be as many trick — uh — loaded questions.  There were still some that required rereading about 10 times, though.

Should you do it?  Yes!  Go for it.  .NET is fun.  Get a book, or get some hands on experience, or take a class, lurk in the newsgroups, and take an MCP exam for MCAD.  You’ll be glad you did.

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