My current primary client has an annoying habit of closing for random days and half-days, including last Thursday afternoon. I decided to try to make the most of this time off, by taking Microsoft exam 70-553, which has the snappy title “UPGRADE: MCSD Microsoft .NET Skills to MCPD Enterprise Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework: Part 1”. I’ve already passed the second part of the upgrade process (70-554), so passing this exam would give me no fewer than four new certifications, including the prestigious MCPD Enterprise Application Developer.
I was not as prepared as I should have been before facing such an exam, but it is currently available at a 40% discount, and having the afternoon to spare I thought it was worth a shot.
Well, unfortunately I failed by a narrow margin. The exam is in three sections, covering the material from three other exams which is new to .NET 2.0. I passed both the Application Development Foundation and Web-Based Client Development, but fell short of passing the Windows-Based Client Development section by the equivalent of one question! That’s probably a fair result, as I’ve spent much less time working with Winforms than Webforms.
So, back to the books I go, and await another suitable opportunity to retake the exam that doesn’t involve losing out on half a day’s revenue. Areas on which I plan to bone up include the TableLayoutPanel, ContextMenuStrip, PropertyGrid, ErrorProvider, BackgroundWorker, and ClickOnce deployment technologies.
On the positive side, failing the exam has at least helped me to discover where there are gaps in my .NET knowledge, and enhanced my respect for the MS certifications in general – you can’t just pitch up on a whim and expect to pass these things, you really do have to know the syllabus material.