28. February 2010 05:45
I took this exam right after 70-536. It was a big mistake. I would not recommend for anyone to attempt this.
First of all, the exam covers a broad range of topics from ASP.Net, ADO.Net, WCF, WPF, database design and deployment to administration of websites or databases. If you never used any of the above technologies on a real project, you’ll very quickly find yourself swimming in deep Microsoft waters.
So why did I attempted it before any other MCPD exams? Well, I thought I knew it all :-) I worked with most of the above technologies with an exception of WCF so I thought why not?
It was not the easiest exam, but it was not very hard. Somewhere in between I guess.
So how did I prepare for this exam?
Microsoft was nice enough to list the topics covered on this exam.
I used this list as my guide. I started by reviewing deployment of ASP.NET and WCF applications. MCTS prep kit books were good for that as each of them had a chapter on exactly that. You know things like how to deploy a website, set up database connections strings and such. I focused on things like logging, monitoring and debugging. All of these should be just a review for someone who has done any development in those areas.
How was the actual exam? Well, half of the exam was on things like design of various software layers, i.e. database, business, presentation. Questions were on things like chose the best option in a particular customer scenario. You were given a client-server or n-tier scenario and were asked to pick the best class/object/interface design from a list of four or five choices. I found these easy, but you have to read the questions carefully as the answers look almost identical for the uninitiated. In my version of the exam there were 50 questions and two hours to complete it. Way too much time as some questions were trivial, some others, well, not so much.
The other half was on debugging, testing and monitoring. So you have to know things like how to debug ASP.NET app, how to collect and inspect WCF application messaging, but again you don’t need to know it in too much detail just enough to pick the right answer out of four or five answers.
I think if you are an experienced designer, you’ll get half of the exam without any problems. The other half checks if you actually developed in ASP.Net, WCF, or WPF.
Overall, I think the exam was not that hard, but you have to prepare for it. Even if you eat and breathe .Net 24/7, you need to review and study the exam topics before attempting this exam.
If you have any questions about this exam, please do not hesitate to contact me.