Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Microsoft .NET Certification Confusion

What's it all mean?

MCAD
MCSD
MCTS .NET 2.0
MCPD 2.0
MCPD 2.0 Enterprise
MCTS 3.5
MCPD 3.5

Just about the same thing - you know enough about Microsoft technologies to pass some exams. Sure the topics being measured are different on each certification, but I have to ask, is there anyone else out there confused by the direction of the Microsoft certification program, specifically along the .NET development tracks?

For example, if you're a MCSD you have to pass two exams to get to an MCPD status. But guess what, MCPD is only .NET 2.0 and meanwhile .NET 3.5 is out now and even new certification programs are coming out for that. MCPD is not that old of a certification program and already it's being bypassed. What if you want to upgrade from MCSD to .NET 3.5? Or, since MCPD is still relatively new I sure would feel ripped off if I had just achieved MCPD and already it was outdated! Also, if you're an MCSD, why bother with the upgrade to MCPD 2.0 when 3.5 is coming out now?

I know technically they all build on each other (.NET 3.0/3.5 are extensions of 2.0), but it seems like there is a significant gap in timing / synchronization of the .NET certifications and the .NET framework releases. It all leads to confusion about what path to take and something should be done to simplify the direction.

On another related but separate topic, why is it that you can only achieve MCTS is the fastest selling and arguably most successful Microsoft product ever (MOSS)? It seems like they should add one additional exam on both the admin and dev side and allow people to achieve either an MCITP (admin) or MCPD (dev) in Sharepoint.

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