Monday, October 11, 2010

Exam 70-536 Passed

First of all you need is 700 from 1000 to pass. Did I mention i got 953. I am very happy.

Time was 140 minutes. I was done in half an hour and did not review the answers since I either knew the answer or gave it time in the first go because I could see that time was not going to be an issue. Also first thing you do is select your language (I chose c#).

How I prepared? Just read the official book (MCTS self paced training kit for 70-536 second edition) cover to cover. Highlighting everything I didn't know before as well as names of .Net types (classes, properties, methods etc) that I had to memorize by heart. Then went through the book again memorizing the highlights ... twice. Both times looking at them and writing them on a piece of paper. I took my annual leave for this. All in all it took one month.

Of-course officially working on C# almost exclusively (other languages nowadays are python for short scripts and java for maintaining older codebase) helped me focus in putting in so much effort into memorizing the framework.

Was it worth it? Yes. Here's what I feel it will do:

  • Prove I know the .Net framework so you don't need to test me for it. You can but it would be pointless. 
  • Plus it helps in programming if I know all the things I have available even if I never use them. 
  • Prove I know the basics of programming in general. Even if only syntactically. Not that anyone would question that anyways ;) 
  • Prove that I am serious about .Net :) 
Here's what it cannot do (no certification can really):
  • Prove I am a good programmer. You will always need to test the guy you are hiring for that or just review his code :)
Plus it looks good on the CV even if it works only subconsciously on the employer. 

There were questions outside the book. That is were real programming experience helped e.g. knowing the basics of XML API and what an attribute or inner text means can help you narrow down the answer. Also I could guess that this is the interface with this signature function for one of the questions (although I see now that it was mentioned in the skills measured but the signature beyond the method name ToString was not present in the book). Also I just happened to read about the difference of Deflate and GZip thanks to Jeff Atwood once upon a time

But in any case from the book alone 700 is most definitely possible.