I’m now a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer!

MCSD_2013(rgb)_1477Ever since my last post about Microsoft Certification, I’ve been slowly beavering away to study and take the two remaining exams that would allow me to be recognised as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer: Web Applications.  I had passed the second exam back in April, and this past Saturday, I took the final exam required to gain the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certificate.  I’m pleased to say that I passed.

The MCSD: Web Applications certification is an interesting one and has allowed me to brush up my study and skills on a number of languages and technologies despite me using most of these day in and day out in my day job!

The first exam (70-480 – Programming in HTML5, JavaScript & CSS3) that I took back in February required some study of HTML5 and CSS3, although I’m using both of these technologies in work.  Additional study certainly helps, though, as I was probably only using a small amount of these technologies as I’m mainly working on legacy code.  Passing this exam, as well as being one of the three exams required for the MCSD certificate, came with it’s own certificate – a Microsoft Specialist certificate.

The second exam (70-486 - Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications) was relatively simple.  This exam was all about building ASP.NET MVC 4 applications and this was an area that I had a good amount of knowledge and experience of.  I’m using ASP.NET MVC frequently within my day job when trying to improve our legacy code base one small piece at a time, and I’m also using ASP.NET MVC in some of my own software that I write for fun in my spare time.

The third and final exam (70-487 - Developing Windows Azure and Web Services) was the really interesting one of the three as this was all about web services (primarily using ASP.NET MVC Web API) but specifically using Windows Azure as the deployment platform.  I had only really started to scratch the surface of ASP.NET MVC Web API and, although I was aware of Windows Azure’s existence, I’d never used it at all.  Around 8 weeks prior to taking this exam, I started to look into studying more of ASP.NET MVC Web API and tried to implement some of it’s functionality in my own spare-time projects.  I was also somewhat fortuitous that Microsoft happened to be running a free trial promotion with Windows Azure whereby you could receive $200 of free credit that would last 1 month during which time you can spend that on any Azure services you like.  This enabled me to not only read about and study Windows Azure from books, articles and blogs but to also get some real-world hands-on experience with the platform.  This was a big boon and I believe it helped me immensely when it came to taking this final exam.

So, having now acquired the MCSD certificate, where to from here?  Well, I’m not sure.  I’m very happy with the certification I’ve been able to obtain thus far, so I’ll enjoy that for the time being and think about my next move later in the year.

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