Hi guys,

I wonder if you can help?

I'm keen to get started as a .NET programmer. I'm half way through a book called 'Head First C#' which deals with Windows Forms programming.

However, I think I need to go on a different tack in order to pass the first MS exam for .NET, 70-536.

I understand that the new MS study guide book for this exam is quite good but that it's for people who already have quite a lot of experience with .NET. Also, the version of Visual Studio it comes with only last 90 days, and I think I might need more time than this.

I wondered if anyone:..

a) Knew of any good introductions to .NET I could go through before taking up the MS materials?

b) If anyone has read 'Head First C#' and knows if this already acts as an adequate introduction?

c) Knew whether a student edition of Visual Studio could be picked up even if you are not a member of college but are just self studying? (I know you can get the Express edition for free but I've heard that you need a fuller version for the 70-536 exam).

In order to take any doubt out of getting the right materials, I'm considering taking up a formal course for the 70-536 exam. However, this costs £1200 ($1700), where as I can get the MS book for £32 ($46).

I know this is a bit of a long post so thanks very much if you got this far, any help is very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Dan : )

The only thing that will help you is your own motivation. There are many free tutorials, and cheap ones out there that aree good but all depends on what suits your learning style..

Hi,
Thanks Ramy. Unfortunately the information I'm after isn't on the Microsoft learning site but thank you very much indeed for taking the time to reply : )
Regards,
Dan : )

Thanks Liz. I'm just interested in getting the correct materials really.

I did research and found out that C# was the language of the moment and the one to train in. Unfortunately, at that time the MS book out then wasn't much good so I went on Amazon and found 'Head First C#' which the reviews said was an excellent introduction. So I've been studying that, unfortunately it doesn't look like it was the exact right stuff. So now I just want to focus down and find out exactly what I need to learn so I don't spend a lot of effort and time studying the wrong stuff.

Unfortunately, at that time the MS book out then wasn't much good so I went on Amazon and found 'Head First C#' which the reviews said was an excellent introduction. So I've been studying that, unfortunately it doesn't look like it was the exact right stuff.

What do you mean by the "right stuff"? What was wrong with Head First C#'s introduction to the language?

> I'm just interested in getting the correct materials really
> ...find out exactly what I need to learn so I don't spend a lot of effort and time studying the wrong stuff

Why do I get the feeling that you're focussing WAY too much on acquiring the exact minimum amount of knowledge in the minimum amount of time and effort, in order to pass some exam?

As opposed to a more rounded education and some solid practical experience which would actually make you useful in the real world.

The certificate might get you to an interview, but the first question which isn't on some syllabus will leave you flopping around like a fish out of water.

After your replies I realized that you don't have enough experience in C# and it's not a lack at all, but you need to study well. Microsoft certifications doesn't mean you're expert in the technology you took the certification on. Rather you need to study OOP, OOP design and analysis and how to apply that by .NET technology, develop a lot of different projects and so on... then you won't have any any any barrier to wake up sleeping go to any Microsoft Center to take any exam without looking back to "Test King" or similar....
Best of luck :)

Cor, blimey.. where to start..

First of all, thanks to everyone who's replied.

Ok, it's not that I'm trying to do the minimum amount of work to get a paper qualification. I used to be in support and know well the frustration of meeting people who were qualified on paper only (through the use of Transender etc.) and who had very little real world knowledge, and yet, to people in HR departments, appeared to be better qualified than guys who really knew what they were doing.

Before my job got credit crunched, I was working as an analyst building databases and sharepoint sites with the built in tools of Access and Frontpage. I found it much to my liking and now want to go on to be able to program rather just use built in tools. Hence the interest in C#.

My plan is to study C# and .NET so that I can take up programming properly. I'm interested in getting the MS exam for the simple reason that this acts as some proof that I have done this work. Otherwise, potential employers only have my word for it and I probably won't get an interview at all.

I've found the book 'Head First C#' to be very good but the criteria of this book is not the same as that for the 70-536 exam. I've put a lot of work into going through the book but I have nothing other than my word to prove that I have done this work and so will probably not never get an interview where I might be able to show what I know.

I am keen to thoroughly learn the criteria and pass the exam for the reason that then I will be better positioned to get a job. It's a simple as that really (shrugs..)

Thanks,

Dan.

Microsoft has books specifically for preparing those exams. You can search for them and read through those. However, I find the content there quite tough for a beginner. So I suggest you finish "Head First into C#" and get the basic done. Do some practice by taking small projects and then go for the book before applying for the exam.

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