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Rumour Mill: Microsoft removing the Framework exam from .NET 4.0 certifications

Apr 14

Written by:
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 9:16 PM  RssIcon

Microsoft Certification is rumoured to be removing the Framework exam (MCTS 70-536) from the exam stack.  WTF?  Read on why I'm cheesed off at this announement.

Microsoft Framework CertificationMCTS 70-536 - Microsoft .NET Framework - Application Development Foundation to get tossed for .NET 4.0 certifications.

 I read with great disappointment from Gerry O’Brien’s blog today about Microsoft Certification pulling the plug on the Framework exam requirement for the .NET 4.0 certification stacks. WTF? Thanks to DM for the heads up about the blog entry.

There are some REAL gems of informatoin in Framework!.  Pulling the Framework common denominator from the certification stack will greatly diminish the value of the cert IMHO! Who’s infinite wisdom thought THAT was a good idea? Can I overuse and abuse any other clichés to hammer this little tidbit home? For .NET 2.0 and 3.5, Framework was and is a staple for achieving any MCTS certification.

Microsoft .NET 3.5 Certification Stack

That bottom square, all by it's lonesome is the Framework exam!  What's it doing all by itself?  Well, it has some basic .NET classes developers SHOULD know and have some experience with.  Like what you ask?  GREAT question!  By doing Framework, you gain valuable exposure to things like:

  • value vs reference types
  • exception handling
  • boxing and unboxing objects
  • converting custom types
  • using Files and Directories
  • Streams, reading and writing
  • Isolated storage (heard of this one?  no?  you WILL with Silverlight/WPF!)
  • RegEx
  • Encoding/Decoding
  • collections, vital in any serious C#/VB.NET shop
  • generics, again CRUCIAL in any serious development shop
  • serialization/deserialization, heard of Web Services?  this is key!  Especially custom serialization
  • graphics, maybe not vital for LOB apps, but the concepts are vital to understand what's happening in WPF
  • threading, ok, this only scratches the surface, but without this, how are noobs going to get introduced to threading the right way?
  • AppDomains, loading (and protecing yourself....uh.....your apps)
  • creating app installers
  • instrumentation, every heard of the EventLog before?  Ya, ya Log4Net is impressive, but understanding the EventLog is important too
  • CAS, ya that nasty thing everyone gives Vista a hard time for, don't blame MS on THIS one, blame the application programers!
  • COM interops, as good as .NET is, sometimes you just have to get  down'n'dirty with the OS
  • Reflection, when you have no class (DOH!)
  • mail, everyone wants to reach out and touch someone
  • globalization, internationalization, localization, translation, and all that jazz

I have ONE question for Gerry O'Brien, are you going to copy/duplicate ALL this material across every exam and force people to study this stuff over and over and over again?  What a waste if you ask me!  At first, I thought having the Framework was a waste of time, but after going through it once, I now see the vital importance of that information/knowledge and how it carries through every exam afterwards!  Yes, you need all those things to pass the other WinForms/WPF/Web/WCF/.....exams, but those exams focus on the tested material, not generics, streams or serizlization!

There, now I've vented, time to go grab a coffee and get coding! :>


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