Developer Certifications: Joining the Mainstream

Von Schlag, Patrick
October 2004
Certification Magazine;Oct2004, Vol. 6 Issue 10, p22
This article provides basic guidelines for computer software developers seeking certification. Get the tool, use it and get comfortable with it. The most important preparation step in any certification path is to install, configure and use the tool. Many vendors offer free or inexpensive downloads of the toolkits that allow one to gain extensive practice with building applications. Learning the technologies is critical, but for large development studios like WebSphere, half the battle is learning how to use all the toolkits, wizards and other automating tools to streamline the process. Study the exam's objectives. These toolkits are huge. With their many advanced features, it can take years to master them. Fortunately, most of the certification programs have intermediate steps as one learns new skills and gain experience. Carefully note which technologies are covered in a certain exam, and save some of the more advanced skills for later. Take the practice tests. Getting familiar with specific types and styles of questions is an important part of getting ready to take any exam. Practice tests also serve as a reality check and help one pinpoint opportunities to improve skills. Get trained. There is no substitute for a good subject-matter expert. The documentation available for developer tools is terrific, and many developers-in-training spend the lion's share of their preparation time reading. Microsoft developers have a choice of two different credentials to highlight their Microsoft. NET expertise: Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD) and Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD).


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