An email appeared in my inbox the other day congratulating me on passing Pro: Designing and Developing ASP.NET Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. The detailed results came in the mail today, indicating I’d scored 747 (700 was the pass mark).
This means I’ve now completed the requirements for Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD): ASP.NET Developer 3.5 certification, effectively upgrading the MCPD I got for .NET 2.0 last year.
What does this mean?
Well not a real lot really. We’ve had a few interesting discussions at work on the value of certifications. To be honest, while it is nice to add them to the resume, I don’t think they would make much difference as to whether I got a job or not – certainly I think experience is much more important in that respect.
So why bother then? A few reasons come to mind..
- They’re free (well they are if you manage to get vouchers or take beta exams as I’ve managed to do for every exam so far)
- You do get a nice feeling when you find out you’ve passed.
- You get nice certificates in the post that impress family and friends.
- It can be a useful gauge of how well you know a particular topic, and highlight weaker areas. Sometimes you might even learn useful new things along the way, or clarify something you weren’t sure about.
Finally, I do seem to get the occasional email asking how I passed my exams (and whether I could tell the person what the questions were).
Apart from a couple of exams where I have studied a bit, for the most part I just rely on my actual real-world experience, and when that fails, try to look at the answers logically and pick the one that looks the most likely. That seems to have worked pretty well for me so far.
And no I won’t tell you what the questions are, so don’t bother asking!