Joining the ranks of the Microsoft Certified Professionals

Yesterday I took my first ever Microsoft Certified Professional test and yes, I passed. I took test 70-315 otherwise known as “Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Visual C# and Visual Studio.NET”, a mouthful for sure. Lino asked me to take it in light of the fact that the rest of the Falafel team is certified. I think I spent a little over four hours studying with this book which I found quite helpful. I focused on Internationalization and deployment since I’d pretty much touched on everything else. I found the included practice exam was right on the mark and good preparation for the test.

When I arrived at the testing center and the attendant was on the phone so she setup a computer and let me sit down. I was given no directions to speak of and after clicking through the first few screens for NDA’s etc. the test started. When I finished what I thought was the first set of questions I was given a chance to review my answers and continue. At that point, the test ended rather unceremoniously after 45 or so questions and gave me a “Congratulations you passed!”. I informed the attendant and she came over and printed a piece of paper with the details, said “congrats” and I left.

It’s funny I was struggling to recall the last exam I took and I guess it would probably have been my driver’s test back in 1999 when I moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft. Anyway, I’m over the test taking anxiety even though Lino assured me it would be easy. He was right.

2 thoughts on “Joining the ranks of the Microsoft Certified Professionals

  1. I’m of a split mind about MCP and "certifications" in general. On one hand I understand that clients and employeers lack good benchmarks to quickly judge the skill level of a developer yet on the other I’ve interviewed and talked to MCPs that obviously were better test takers than they were developers. They are more marketing than they are true indicators of skill yet often the choice between two items comes down to who has the better marketing and packaging. For a consulting firm I can imagine it’s important to have as many items to add to a checklist as possible, regardless of their actual technical merit.
    Either way, congrats on getting your cert, while I believe your actual experience and history speak volumes more than any piece of paper it sure doesn’t hurt to have.

  2. Hi Shawn,
    Thanks! And, I’d have to agree with you. I’m not a fan of certifications as there is a huge difference between real world experience and test taking. I pass this test because of the prior and simply spent a few hours study on areas I hadn’t used though that doesn’t come through in my test score.
    I do think there is value in the consulting world and feel certs can serve as an "ice breaker" and get a conversation between a potential customer and the firm/consultant going. Once a conversation is started then the skills of the individual can quickly shine through.

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