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  1. Member mvastarelli's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Any interest in 70-502 (WPF) or any 3.5 test?

    I was browsing MS's certification site the other week and noticed that they now have 3.5 editions of their MCTS 2.0 tests in addition to new tests in ADO.net,WPF,WCF, WWF. So I decided rather than upgrade my 2.0 MCTS in Win forms to 3.5 I would knock out the WPF test instead.

    Has anyone had any experience with this? My only concern with it is XAML that seems largely unmentioned in the test requirements. I can design a windows UI with my eyes shut in WinForms but I struggle with markup languages (I'm very graphically challenged).

    So who here has taken it (or any 3.5 test)? Any experiences you want to share?
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  3. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #2
    I've no experience for the exams, but I do know that Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a very different environment from WinForms. Not too much of one applies to the other.
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  4. Member mvastarelli's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by JDMurray
    I've no experience for the exams, but I do know that Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a very different environment from WinForms. Not too much of one applies to the other.
    That was my exact motivation for interest in it. The WinForms 3.5 test looks very similar to the 2.0 version with the addition of a few new components. I might still take the WinForms 3.5 test, but it's not a priority. I wanted to learn something completely new this time around.
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  5. Senior Member MCPWannabe's Avatar
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    #4
    Perhaps soon, I'm waiting on the 70-568 and 70-569 upgrade exams to come out. Microsoft is supposed to have them out by the end of the year, but I'm starting to doubt that. Until then, I just have to wait.

    When they do come out, I'll probably do my famous, lock my self in a library 12 hours a day, 3 days a week routing to knock it out in a month. I'm planning on using the e-learning courses to prepare for the tests.

    It really sucks having to wait. It's costing me a lot of money. Right now, .NET 3.5 is paying $1000 a day to train because hardly anyone is certified in it. That won't last long from what I understand (it never does). Could you imagine pulling that for a 90 day period.. I just hope that Microsoft hurries up and releases the upgrade tests, so I can make some sweet money.

    I would study for it now, but I don't want to bust my butt and have Microsoft release it in Febuary or something.
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  6. Member mvastarelli's Avatar
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    #5
    Bumped since I didn't want to create another thread for essentially the same topic.

    I just finished my first pass reading the MS book on 70-502. Reflecting on a 10 chapter blitz in 10 days it doesn't seem that bad but there's a lot of new stuff for us WinForms developers.

    To answer my own question from the first post, XAML is everywhere, get used to it. Once I got the handle on it and the nomenclature down it became quite intuitive -- more so I'd say than even WinForms. Web developers will be right at home with it, and even us lowly code monkeys can catch on relatively quick.

    A lot of the hoopla about WPF is about graphics capabilities and rich interfaces, but at the end of the day it comes down very largely to databinding. I was expecting a lot this anyways, but it's *EVERYWHERE*; far far more pervasive than I had imagined. Luckily it's pretty easy to use and carries with it a TON of capabilities.

    All in all it doesn't look like this test will be too much of a stretch for a competent WinForms programmer (I can't speak for the asp.net crowd since my skills in that dept are sorely lacking). Once I have a little more practice/experience under my belt I'll sit the exam and report back on it.

    Oh and the MS book was good. It did a good job at easing you into things. It does assume though that you're competent in .net and have some winforms under your belt.

    -- End of late night brain dump
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  7. Member mvastarelli's Avatar
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    #6
    Bumped again for updates

    I've signed up for the 70-502 test on 1/17 @ noon EST. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

    I'm using the second shot for this one since my test schedule is *very* aggressive (I only started with WPF the last week of December) and the requirements seem a bit simplistic. I haven't failed a single test yet and don't intend to start on Saturday, but nothing wrong with a little insurance.
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  8. Member mvastarelli's Avatar
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    #7
    Wow, that was the weirdest test experience I've ever had. I arrived at the test center about 15 minutes early as I normally do whenever I go for testing only to find that it was completely closed. The parking lot was empty, the lights were off, and the doors were locked.

    So I called the test site -- no answer. Then I got Prometric on the line and explained to them that I'm sitting in the parking lot of the supposed test site yet no one was there. After a few minutes on hold the CS rep (who was really nice and apologetic) came back and confirmed that I had an appointment and that they couldn't get a hold of the test center and thus had no idea what happened. They were apologetic though and said that once they knew what happened they would let me re-schedule to take the test.

    Still, I'm kinda pissed. I'm not mad at Prometric since it technically wasn't their fault, but this test center was almost 45 minutes away, and I specifically selected it because it was the only one anywhere near that (supposedly) offered testing on Saturdays.
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  9. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #8
    I can empathize. You get mentally prepared to take an exam on a specific date and a situation occurs that postpones it. Very upsetting. I'm glad Prometric is being good about the situation.
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  10. Member mvastarelli's Avatar
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    #9
    Final bump

    I took (and passed) the test today. 715. A bit of a squeaker I admit, but then again I haven't been working with WPF for very long either.

    The overwhelming majority of the test involved troubleshooting/suggesting corrections to XAML code. There were very questions that quizzed you on a block of actual C#/VB.net code. Fortunately the test was very susceptible to elimination techniques. For most questions I was usually able to concisely eliminate one or two of the options leaving me with at worst a 50/50 chance in a guess.

    The material pretty much mirrored the MSTK book, but there were a few areas where it deviated.

    All in all a bit tricky due to nuance differences in XAML code, but clearly passable.
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  11. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #10
    Thanks for the detailed review. I might be headed down the WPF path soon myself, and that information is good to know.
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  12. Member mvastarelli's Avatar
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    #11
    I've been doing some thinking and I realized I'm in something of a predicament so I figured I'd post here.

    What next? It's been nearly a year since my last certification test (70-526). I'm torn as to whether I should try to swing for another TS (such as WCF or ADO.net) or go for a MCPD. A third idea is to break ranks completely and do more studying on the linux/java side of things. I'm more of a developer/engineer than an IT person so I'm not very interested in going for anymore IT certifications.

    Any ideas?
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  13. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #12
    Consider what would look best on your resume if you were to loose your job today. I'm in the market for a .NET programming job now, and I see an enormous amount of job reqs asking for ASP.NET 3.5 with WCF and WPF experience. Having an MCPD or two in those technologies would make me much more valuable to the current job market.

    It also looks like anyone interested in a high-paying specialization should seriously consider being a Silverlight programmer. These job are few at the present, but they are all in the $100-120K range. I see the demand for Silverlight only increasing.
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