I've been interested in pushing myself to get some professional qualifications for a while so took the bate and ran through the Jump Start modules on the Virtual Academy web site which made me think passing this exam is achievable.
I took the exam today and passed it with a sense of relief - this is the first exam I've taken in a long long time. I found most of the exam reasonably comfortable - there were a few areas that raised holes in my knowledge but on the whole it was a straightforward process.
I thought I'd write some notes on how I studied for it.
Unfortunately at the time of writing there is no official study guide book, however based on the content of the "Skills Being Measured" section on the exam details page the subjects can be broken down. I went through every bullet point and played around with the feature in code.
The Jump Start modules give you a taster of the subjects that are to be tested - I found this really useful - I could download the modules to my phone and watch them over the course of a couple of weeks on my daily commute.
If you're short on ideas on where to get started then try some of these suggestions
- Build a Twitter Bootstrap site and add some interactivity like form submit or a grid of data. Try and highlight menu items when the mouse hovers over them or selects them. Try and put it on top of some server code and pass data too and from it.
- Use jQuery to dynamically add a few controls to a form. Then try it without jQuery ;-)
Basically noodling - it is a great way to learn, especially writing code that doesn't work and then figuring out why it doesn't work.
Do you need to be on a Microsoft Operating system to study for this? Nope, I did most of my noodling on my Mac at home.
One final tip, understand this.
So what now? Passing this exam means I'm now a Microsoft Specialist but I also have a few paths open to me. This exam is the first of three exams for a couple of Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) standards:
I think I'm going to opt for the Web Applications path to MCSD certification - next which is:
Exam 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications
Working with ASP.NET MVC 4 at work is a big help here but I still have a lot of studying to do - I'm aiming for mid Summer 2013 for this one...