Hello. Yesterday we had two Live Meetings to talk about Visual Studio 2008 certifications and developer certification. You can watch the recording from the afternoon session here.

Without any of the good detail, here is a quick summary of what Jeff (Product Manager) and Gerry (Product Planner) covered. Check Gerry's blog b/c I bet he'll post something, too.

  • Visual Studio 2008 certifications are part of the 'new generation' of certifications, i.e. Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)--the same format in which VS2005 certifications were released
  • basically there will be six MCTS certs to give you cert options on the key .NET Framework 3.5 technologies from Microsoft (if you recall there were three for VS2005)
    • Windows Forms Applications
    • ASP.NET Applications
    • Windows Communication Foundation Applications
    • ADO.NET Applications
    • Windows Workflow Foundation Applications
    • Windows Presentation Foundation Applications
  • Exam numbers and cert names are in the recording, if you care to check it out... but one point of interest: Exam 70-536 (if you've earned any of the VS2005 certifications you'll be familiar with this) continues to be core to the 2008 certifications - so if you've already earned that, you're a step ahead for when the VS2008 exams come out (you do not have to take it again)
  • There will not be an upgrade path from MCAD or MCSD to Visual Studio 2008, but you can go from MCAD/MCSD to Visual Studio 2005, then follow a (to-be-determined) transition path to Visual Studio 2008
  • If you are new to certification (or just haven't started a VS2005 or VS2008 track), take 70-536 because it is the first step for both 2005 and 2008 MCTS certs and is available now
  • First few exams scheduled to release in English in March, more in May; localized versions likely to release a few months after English
  • Betas for WPF, WCF, WF may be extended (check out Gerry's blog) and the next round of betas should start happening in March
  • We did not talk about the MCPD Visual Studio 2008 certifications, or about transition plans to them, other than to say that we're working really hard to make simple transition paths for you, and we hope to share details in the next few months
  • Gerry went through each of the upcoming MCTS exams and talked about courseware, e-learning, and Microsoft Press training kits available to help study--plus talked about how that exam maps to exams on previous releases 
  • If you are partially through an MCAD or MCSD track, you can finish them. MCAD/MCSD won't expire. However, at some point this year we'll be announcing retirement of those exams (usually we give a year's notice) so keep that in mind, keep an eye out for a formal announcement, and get a move on. For that reason, too, we do not recommend starting a MCAD or MCSD track from teh beginning now - instead consider exams in the MCTS/MCPD family. 
  • If you work with Visual Studio 2005, start (or finish) a Visual Studio 2005 certification track. As long as you are working with VS2005 those certs will have value, one of the exams is part of your 2008 track and there will be a 2005 to 2008 option, for when/if you want to transition your certification to 2008.
  • If you want to start a VS2008 track from scratch (or if you are MCAD/MCSD and want to wait for 2008), you can start now on 70-536.
  • If you already have 70-536 under your belt, or if you already hold a VS2005 cert and just want to wait---- you can review the published MCTS prep guides to get a feel for where you'll need to focus your studies and spend as much time with Visual Studio 2008 as you can so you are ready for the MCPD exam(s) whenever they are available. Did I just say "under your belt?"

Visual Studio 2008 training resources (some limited-time, free) microsoft.com/learning/vstudio/2008/default.mspx

Thanks to all of you who attended the meeting. It is really fun to talk to you guys.

See you.