Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Passed 4, failed 3

It seems my 'perfect record' of passing Microsoft exams has finally come to an end.

During August and September a large number of new exams were made available for 'beta' testing before their public release. Somehow I managed to take 7 exams over this time – most relating to developing Windows 8 applications.

The final results are now published I've passed:

  • 70-483: Programming in C#
  • 70-485: Advanced Windows Store App Development using C#
  • 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications
  • 70-487: Developing Windows Azure and Web Services
  • But unfortunately I didn't do so well for the remainder:

  • 70-481: Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps using HTML5 and JavaScript
  • 70-482: Advanced Windows Store App Development using HTML5 and JavaScript
  • 70-484: Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps using C#
  • Failing the HTML5 exams wasn't much of a surprise. I really didn't know the technology very well at all, so it was reasonable that I didn't pass. I figured that it would still be a good learning experience to do the exams, and hopefully I'd pick up a few concepts along the way.

    70-484 was a bit more disappointing, but I'm pleased that by the time I took 70-485 I'd had a chance to spend a bit more time playing around with developing for Windows 8 – and that obviously paid off. I think I would like to do that one again in a few months, most likely after I've published some apps to the Windows 8 Store – that should then qualify me for the MCSD Windows Store Apps.

    Another exam that I wasn't offered in beta was 70-480 – "Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3". That may be another one to do in the future, as then I'd also add MCSD Web Applications.

    One side-benefit of passing 70-483 means that I achieved the following certification: Programming in C# Specialist

    Tuesday, 16 October 2012

    Happy ending

    One day during the school holidays, I organised to ride with my two oldest kids down part of the veloway and finishing up at Christies Beach. They both rode very well, and we met up with the rest of the family and Narelle's parents for fish and chips overlooking the sea.

    WP_000141

    I wouldn't put myself in the same category as Jen but I think it's still a nice photo.

    Sunday, 14 October 2012

    TechEd 2012–Day 3

    Caramel slice!On the Friday I went to 3 sessions:

    • DEV331 - A Modern Architecture Review: Using the New Code Review Tools
    • DEV333 - LightSwitch 2012 - Even Faster
    • WPH234 - Windows Phone Marketplace - Satisfy More Customers and Make Money

    I also ran my Instructor-led Lab - DEV ILL100 - Designing Windows 8 HTML apps in Blend. A nice lab which is probably more about getting familiar with Blend than with Windows 8 apps.

    Locknote arena

    After the closing keynote, I didn't need to rush off as Narelle and I were staying another night, flying home Saturday afternoon.

    I also had a chance to briefly visit the beach. After quite a few visits to the Gold Coast, I had never until now managed to get down to the foreshore. A bit cool to think about going for a swim by that time, but nice to finally see it.

    Gold Coast beach

    Saturday, 13 October 2012

    TechEd 2012–Day 2

    Ben car racingThursday was a busy day. I got to these sessions:

    • DEV221 – Design and Layout for Windows 8 and Windows Phone Style Apps
    • WPH323 – Build smart: Developing for Windows Phone and Windows 8
    • DBI225 – Big Data for Relational practitioners
    • DEV326 – Agile planning tools in TFS 2012

    Band BashI also helped in the hands-on labs and assisted with "ILL102 - Creating an Windows 8 Line of Business Application - HTML & JavaScript from Start to Finish".

    In the evening was the party night – lots of food and entertainment options! I watched Ben show off his prowess on the racing simulator, then after a good feed we headed to the main arena to catch some comedy, quiz show and an 'open mike' band bash. Turns out there's some pretty talented musicians masquerading as IT/Dev-types!

    Friday, 12 October 2012

    TechEd 2012–Day 1

    DJ with touch screenWednesday I caught the following sessions throughout the day:

    • DEV211 – What's New in VS2012 with Adam Cogan
    • DEV212 – Windows 8 Development with Nick Hodge
    • DEV214 – Windows 8 Development Part 2 with David Burela
    • DEV215 – .NET 4.5: Just the good stuff with William Tulloch

    I ran my first 'ExamCram' session – on Exam 70-599 - Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Phone 7 Applications.

    With Windows Phone 8 just around the corner, I wasn't sure if I'd have many takers. As it turns out, I had exactly one person. A high student-teacher ratio!

    I was also on the late-shift for helping in hands on labs today, from 5pm – 8pm.

    Thursday, 11 October 2012

    TechEd 2012–Day 0

    Island Beach Resort, view from streetA few weeks late, but I've finally got around to writing about this year's Microsoft TechEd conference held in September. Tuesday morning, Narelle and I flew up to Brisbane then caught the train down to the Gold Coast.

    This year I'd booked accommodation at Island Beach Resort, quite close to the convention centre. It might have 'Resort' in the name, but it's really just some nice apartments.

    After checking in, I headed down to the convention centre for registration and then the Technical Learning Guide orientation meeting. Unfortunately this was at the same time as the the first "kick off" session. The meeting was useful as there was a different company organising the hands-on labs this year.

    The keynote welcome included some interesting Kinect-inspired performance art, and then a talk (and videos) from Jason Silva. Jason was a very intense presenter – much the same as in his videos. I did like his positive attitude towards the future. His talk was very fast-paced and full-on, such that I think I'm still chewing over the things he said (even a week later).

    I happened to see him again as one of the guests on ABC-TV's QandA program about a week after TechEd. To my surprise he said almost exactly the same things, word for word. Not quite as impressed after that.