November 28, 2006

Tips For Exam 70-536

I'm happy to report that I recently passed Exam 70-536: .NET Framework 2.0 - Application Development Foundation. This test is one of the requirements necessary to obtain Microsoft's new MCTS certification. And since the MCTS certification is a pillar in the new accreditation structure, its relevance to the professional developer cannot be ignored.

Here are a few suggestions I'll toss out to anyone interested in preparing for this exam:

  1. Purchase a good certification study guide. I used the one by Microsoft Press (click here for details) mainly because it was the only one available at the time I needed it. The book wasn't terribly noteworthy (and it even contained some minor errors) but at the end of the day it served its purpose as a prompt to direct my personal study times. By next year new study guides with even better authors (such as Amit Kalani) should be hitting the shelves.

  2. Take notes on topics as you learn. I found it valuable to jot down notes as I studied the API's in the framework. These notes were also a helpful review during the last few days leading up to the exam.

  3. Become good friends with MSDN. Though a study guide is good, it will only get you so far. The scope of this exam is very large and MSDN provides many helpful supplements to fill in the gaps.

November 08, 2006

.NET Framework 3.0 Released!

The .NET Framework version 3.0 was released this week. This iteration sees no change to the existing class library or the underlying CLR. Instead, it simply adds some significant new APIs on top of the existing 2.0 framework.

The new APIs are as follows: Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows CardSpace. Click here to download the redistributable.