If there is one thing you should know about Visual Studio 2008 certifications... it is that there are three things you should know.

  1. There are six MCTS certifications to choose from to show off your specific technology skill set. Three of those six can be earned today.
  2. There are three MCPD certifications to choose from to show off your professional-skills in the area of ASP.NET, Windows, or Enterprise Application development (same paths we had for Visual Studio 2005*). None of those can be earned yet.
  3. All of the above require exam 70-536 as a first step. 70-536 is 'version agnostic;' that same exam applies to Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 certifications
  4. If you are working with .NET 2.0--we recommend you should work on a .NET 2.0 certification. Those are not going away just because the .NET 3.5 stuff is coming out, so don't freak out.

Four. Four things you should know.


Now here are some more things.



YOU: Damn, that seems like a lot of certifications!

ME: Yes, it does seem like a lot, and it makes sense that way. One of the main reasons for breaking our certifications up in to smaller, more targeted chunks (via MCTS series certifications) is so certification makes sense to more people. Most Microsoft customers do not need, or intend, to earn every certification. The paths are very short. They are on ONE technology. The name makes it pretty clear to a hiring manager what you know. You can earn a certification in two exams to show that you know what's up with new stuff, like WPF. Or give yourself an achievable goal if you're starting out as a web developer. Or put a few of those together, or go on to earn a professional-series certification (which, because of the shorter paths, are still reasonable--i.e. comparable to or shorter than the classic MCP certs--numbers of exams). The idea is to have choices--and pick something that makes sense for each individual, rather than having us dictate (when not everyone's job or career interest is the same, and new technology is coming out quickly). PS, yes I know the situation is different for MCTs.

ME: Thank you.


  • The betas for 71-561 (ADO.NET) and 71-562 (ASP.NET) are still open through May 4. If you want to participate, see Gerry's blog. Make sure you register for "71" and not "70" because there is no "70" yet.
  • Sounds like people are starting to get results from the 502, 503, 504 betas... there was a delay (in case you hadn't noticed) on getting those out before the live date. But I just saw on an internal thread that someone got their results.
  • There are offers and training content available now, including some free e-learning and a free e-book. Find it here.


*You might notice that in the 2005 certs, we had MCTS: Web and MCPD: Web Developer. In the 2008 certs, we have MCTS: ASP.NET and MCPD: ASP.NET Developer. My understanding from Jeff is that we changed to make it very clear that we are certifying on web development skills with Microsoft, rather than all-around any-platform web development.

**I posted this to my Sky Drive. Can you download it? Does it work? I've never tried that before. It was very easy. Sky Drive told me, "Are you bored waiting for your file to upload? here, play this little game." And it was a ball in a square and you kind of bounced it around and it was actually pretty distracting. Move over Live Writer... I see a Sky Drive tube top in my future.

***If you are interested enough in certification to be reading this blog, you are possibly one of the "some" to whom I'm referring. Exceptions: Mary, Tyler, and Megan.