.NET Programmer Thoughts

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Certifications

I lost my job in late March and since then I've been working on my Microsoft certifications (as well as learning C#). I went to IT-Centers in April for a 7 day boot camp to get my MCAD (Microsoft Certified Application Developer). When I say boot camp, I mean BOOT CAMP! I was averaging about 4 hours a sleep a night. There was lots of studying and labs! But it was definitely worth it. I got a great education in .NET and what it can do.

After returning from boot camp I continued my studies and have since passed my 70-300 exam. I am now one test away from my MCSD(Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer). My final exam will be an elective. I've chosen to take 70-229 (Designing and Implementing Databases with Microsoft SQL Serverâ„¢ 2000 Enterprise Edition). I've purchased MS SQL Server 2000 Database Design and Implemention. It's a self-paced book to study for the exam.

All this SQL Server stuff is new to me since I've been using FoxPro exclusively for the last 15 years. So I'm thinking I need more than the book to help me study. The boot camp was extremely helpful in getting all the concepts in my head in such a quick period of time. I would like to take another boot camp but since I'm still unemployed I feel I shouldn't spend that kind of money again. So I've been looking at CBT programs. I figure that I will get a CBT decicated to the MCDBA since I will only need two more tests to get my MCDBA after I receive my MCSD. I've narrowed it down to two CBT's that I can afford.

The first is:

TurboCert - $189 (until June 19th) (reg $378)

The second is:

Pro Tech Diagnostics - $299 (on sale) (reg $799)

The better deal is definitely Pro Tech, but do I really need to spend that much money when I'm not making any? It has 190 hours of CBT training and TurboCert has 38 hours of training. Seems like a no brainer doesn't it. But when you have no income, I really have to think about that extra $100 that I'm spending.

I also want to mention that both of these courses are MCDBA 2003. Meaning that the Windows Network core exam will be on Windows 2003.

I shouldn't take any shortcuts on getting these certifications. I will go with ProTech. I will get a job soon enough.