Two Down: Exam 70-536 – .NET 2.0 App Development Foundation

While the blog has been silent over the last couple of months, I’ve been preparing for and taking more certification exams.  That amidst never-ending yard and house work in this unusually dry, hot summer.

A couple of weeks back, I took the 70-536 exam and walked away with a score of 895.  Disappointing (yes, all things are relative) because I got 100% on the sections that should have been the hardest for me and missed questions on “easier” sections.  However, a lot always depends on how they phrase the questions and how much you read into them.  This was no better than any of the past MS exams in that regard.

I’m now certified as an MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed Applications.  Could they make these titles any longer?  My end goal is MCPD, which requires three more exams (argh).

The majority of the 45-question, 2-hr max test was code questions where you have four or five code samples from which to choose.  There were also “choose and order” questions where you have 6-7 actions and you have to pick just the ones you need and put them in the right order.

None of the exam prep books were available when I prepared for this test, and the scope of this exam is so large that I resorted to simply reading the MSDN class library documentation.  I went through each class in the exam prep list, looked it up and read the docs.  Yes, it was every bit as painful as it sounds.  I used the MeasureUp practice test after I had read through everything.

The official MS Press prep book is finally available, with another non-Microsoft book supposedly coming soon.  Here’s the exam prep guide.

Post #1 — The First, or the Last?

Thanks for visiting! My name is Thomas Abraham. I’m a long-time Microsoft technology expert in both development and systems engineering, covering everything from C/C++ to COM to C#/VB.NET to Exchange Server and ISA Server. For about as long as I’ve been in the technology business, I’ve been deeply involved in both sides of the house. I can talk C++ one minute and firewall installation the next.

I suppose some background is in order:

After leaving behind years of BASIC in the Apple II world, I made the jump to PCs in 1990 and picked up the C language in MS-DOS. That led to C++ in MS-DOS and a few years later to Visual C++ for Windows. Over the following years I worked with MFC, ATL, COM, COM+/MTS and more in all kinds of cool, high-performance GUI and service apps. During the same time period, I spent countless hours in systems engineering for my employers’ IT departments, implementing and maintaining everything from Raptor firewalls to Exchange installations.

In January 2002, the development side of my world changed as I switched to .NET 1.0 working with Microsoft Business Solutions. Soon after, in June 2002, I co-wrote the book “VB.NET Solutions Toolkit”, published by Wrox Press. I still often miss C++, but 95% of my development work since 2002 has been in .NET, both C# and VB.NET.

I’ve resisted the blog craze for a long time, but I just need an outlet for all of my “Did you know/remember XYZ?” thoughts. There is SO much to know as a Microsoft developer these days, that no one can keep even 20% of it in memory at once. I think it’s helpful to have a place to go not only for new knowledge, but also for reminders of things that you might have forgotten.

We’ll see where this goes. Thanks for reading.

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