Visual Studio 2008 Cert Story Almost Complete

Visual Studio 2008 Cert Story Almost Complete

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I know a lot of you are waiting for this and I do apologize for the delay.  The issue with this current certification path is in the changes reflected in the product, coupled with the Technology Specialist certifications that are about to release.

Early next year, right around the official product launches of Visual Studio, SQL Server and Server 2008, you will see 5 new TS level certifications.   Well 3 for sure and possibly 5.

These certifications are focused on specific aspects of .NET 3.5.  Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow, ADO.NET and ASP.NET.  The two latter certs being the later released of the five.

As a result, these 5 TS certifications have a tendancy to muddy the waters for not just the Professional level space, but also blurring the lines between, or potentially eliminating, the 3 previous silos of Windows Developer, Web Developer and Enterprise Developer.

Although the 5 TS certs do have some mapping to each of these silos, there isn't a clear picture of where they belong.  This is why I asked the question in an earlier post about the term Web Developer and what comes to mind.

We have comitted internally to a time frame for this final story, and once that is communicated inside MSL, we will formulate the necessary communication out to you.

Comments are welcome on your opinions and how you use these technologies in the real world.



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  • I know a lot of you are waiting for this and I do apologize for the delay. The issue with this current

  • Is it worthwhile starting certification for .Net 2.0 exams right or it is better to waiting for someone who has not yet started?

  • Great news! Will AJAX be added to the ASP.NET cert?

  • I've just taken 503 beta today.  My feeling is that the new TS is much more easier than the old 536 and 52x.  The reason is that the WCF exam has a very narrow scope.  When I was preparing for the the 52x and 536 exams almost 2 years ago, I need about 2 weeks to prepare each exam.  Now I prepare 503, I just need to read the SDK and play with the beta VM for 2 days.  I think Microsoft should not remove the contents of 52x exams from the requirements of MCPDs.  Microsoft may combine 52x and 54x contents into new exams for beginners (unlike the 55x exams which only test the updated contents).

  • For the first question about starting on 2.0 now or waiting for 3.5, the decision is entirely your own.  Exam 70-536 will be rebranded to remove version 2.0 from the title.  It will carry on as pre-req for TS Web, Windows and Dist. for 2.0 and will also be pre-requisite for the 5 new TS 3.5 exams.  

    So, in short, start with 70-536 for now if you haven't done so already.  Then, concentrate on the specific 3.5 TS exam you want.

    The Pro level exams will likely carry forward at this time but will require some changes to ensure they relate to both 2.0 and 3.5 correctly.  I am also considering a title change for the pro exams as well, but more on that later.

    Yes, there is an entire section on the ASP.NET exam around ASP.NET AJAX and client-side scripting.

    There will also be some changes coming in regards to the upgrade exams for 2.0, (551, 552 etc).  There were issues with these exams from the pass/fail percentage causing grief for you.  We are adding two new upgrade exams, 70-558 and 70-559 at this time.  These will cover the Web and Windows upgrades for MCAD to MCTS.  

    Note, these are not going to MCPD but to the TS level.  I am considering leaving 70-551 and 70-552 in market but requiring them to be MCSD to MCPD only.  In other words, MCADs cannot directly upgrade to pro level certification.

    These decisions will be made this week after internal discussions so look for the formal announcements once we reach consensus.


  • A few bits of interest, if you care about Visual Studio 2008 : There is a "what's new" classroom training

  • A few bits of interest, if you care about Visual Studio 2008 : There is a "what's new"

  • I just passed the 70-536 exam so I am glad to read that it will still count.  However, I just ordered and received the books for 70-526 and 70-528.  My ultimate plan was to get the MCPD for Enterprise Applications Developer.  

    My question is should I return the books for 70-526 and 70-528, since it sounds like they will not count for the certification I was going for and concentrate on the 3.5 info for those exams?

    Thank you,

  • I would remind everyone that you can still get your MCPD on .NET 2.0 which will be good for 3 years, offering you plenty of opportunity to upgrade as your project work et cetera allow.

    You can finish your .NET 2.0 credential now as the 3.5 track is probably not likely to be availible for a while.

  • Wayne is correct in stating that you can still get our 2.0 certification now on MCPD.  The MCAD and MCSD to MCTS and MCPD story will be changing slightly, more on that later, but the MCTS and MCPD 2.0 are still valid certifications.

    The 3.5 track does have the TS certifications outlined for specific technologies but the pro story is not in place yet and won't be until we are certain it makes sense from a product standpoint while still allowing you to upgrade from 2.0 certifications.

    Remember that 70-536 will carry over as a foundation pre-requisite for the 3.5 TS exams so you can certainly start there.

    If you have started on the 2.0 path to Pro, by all means continue to do so.  The upgrade path will be designed for moving from 2.0 to 3.5.


  • Any news on this, Im an MCAD and have been planning on taking my 70-551 exam to .net 2.0 but I've moved jobs a few times to its a little overdue! But after reading this post, Im not sure if I should hold off and wait until the 70-558 is made available.

    What would be your recommendation? Im quite happy to do the 551 if you think its relevant as be good to learn the new features of 2.0 more thoroughly rather than still coding 1.1 style

  • Hi Anthony.

    Although we will be recommending that MCADs take 558, which will upgrade you to MCTS 2.0, you can still attempt 551.  Just ensure you are prepared for the Pro level topics.  Look at the prep guide for 547 adn 548 and ensure you are up to speed on those areas.

    The reason I recommend this is because there will be no upgrade path for MCAD or MCSD to 3.5.  There will be an upgrade for MCPD 2.0 to MCPD 3.5 however.

    Does that help?


  • Kinda of, but you say MCTS will take me to 2.0 not 3.5?

    Will I then need to upgrade to 3.5 as well?

  • Hi Anthony.

    That is correct.  Taking the exams mentioned above will only take you to .NET 2.0 because the Pro level exams for 3.5 are not available yet.

    Once you become an MCPD on 2.0, there will be one upgrade exam to get you to MCPD 3.5.  That is the only path to MCPD 3.5 from MCAD.  There will be no direct upgrade path for MCAD or MCSD to 3.5.


  • Is it possible to know how many people in the US have MCPD/MCSD/..  ?

    It would be great to see this kind of info broken down by state.


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