Hi guys,

I hope you can help.

I want to start work as a trainee developer and to do this I plan to train myself up in C# and .NET.

In order to prove to employers that I have done this work, I plan to take the Microsoft exam 70-536: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework, Application Development Foundation.

However, the only self study material available at the moment is the Microsoft self paced kit. I've read mixed revues about this book unfortunately. Some people say it's good but a lot say it's not and apparently it contains many errors which could easily confuse beginners. I see that a second edition of the book is coming out in October though, so what I thought I'd do is wait until the second edition comes out and, in the mean time, begin studying C#.

Is this a good idea, heading towards this exam?

I was wondering if anyone knew of a good book to start studying C#? I was thinking of the Microsoft book 'Visual C# 2008 Step by Step' by John Sharp. I've looked at this and a couple of other books; they all come with CD's but none of them say if the CD includes any sort of version of C# to practice on. Could anyone tell me if the books would include a copy of C# to practice on or would I have to go out and purchase it?

I'm not at all sure how these things work so forgive me if I sound naive.

Thanks very much,


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Hi Dan,

You are right. There are many errors in the Microsoft Course Book for 70:536 and all other MCTS and MCPD books as there have been in the books for previous versions of .Net. Additionally these books are not for Beginners in .Net. They have been designed for Developers who already have experience working with .Net 1.1 and want to upgrade. The best books for Beginners are the ones from Wrox Press. None of the CDs that come with the books contain the IDE / Development Environment for practise. The CDs contain EBooks and some other material. However, i think there is a free developer version (not the full version) available on the microsoft site.

I know how you feel. I was a beginner too--once--long ago. But now i am certified for 11 Microsoft Exams. And Certification has helped me a lot. Certification is certainly a huge plus when you are looking for a job with the best IT companies. But heading towards the Exams without proper guidance and preparation -- will surely lead to Failure.

If you need any more information/clarification, please dont hesitate to post it here.

Hi Sierra,

Thanks very much for that. I think that that is probably the most helpful reply I've ever had to a question I've posted on a forum. Thanks very much indeed : )

Would you be able to tell me, do you think if I go off and study a Wrox book on C# and .NET and learn it very thoroughly, that I might then be in a position to study Microsoft's second edition of their study material when it comes out with some chance of success at the exam?

Thanks once again,


Hi Dan,

Thank you for the compliments. I have been a trainer for Microsoft Certifications for 8 years now and i always like to guide and steer serious students to the right path - because i did not get any guidance.

Even if you study 25% of the Wrox Press Books for .Net -2005/2008, you will be able to understand the Microsoft books better and be able to handle the errors and problems. But i still consider MSDN and Google my best friends if i get stuck with some problem or i need more information than what is available in the books.

The Wrox books by Bill Evjen (Author), Scott Hanselman (Author), Devin Rader (Author)
are the best.

For more information regarding Books, Certification, etc,you can visit www.sierrainfotechindia.com

Passing the Exams is another issue altogether. Even a developer with 5-10 years experience will fail without proper guidance and preparation.

hi sierrainfo,
You seems to be very helpful to the beginners i need your help.
I want to start certified my self with microsoft certification. I have some experience with .Net programming and have all the basic knowledge. Can you tell me that which exams i need to take.
Thanks in advance

I was a beginner once-long ago- and i know the pain, indecision, and lack of guidance.

What version of .Net do you have experience with?

The current Exams are for .Net 2.0. If yu want to get certified for Windows Applications-you should opt for MCTS-Windows based Client Development and if you want to opt for Web based development - MCTS-Web-based client development is best for you.

There are 2 Exams yo have pass for MCTS certification. For more details you can visit my site - www.sierrainfotechindia.com as the details are just too much to post here.

Thanks again Sierra. I really appreciate the help : )

Thanks Sierra what books or material do to recomend to prepair these exams.
If is there any web site to download the required material books in PDF format.

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