Since Aug. 14, Microsoft has released two of its .NET-generation developer exams for public consumption. In Microsoft terms, the following exams have "gone live:"
- Exam 70-310: Developing XML Web services and server components with Visual Basic.NET and the Microsoft .NET framework. (For objectives and other exam details, visit www.microsoft.com/traincert/exams/70-310.asp.)
- Exam 70-320: Developing XML Web services and server components with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and the Microsoft .NET framework. (For objectives, visit: www.microsoft.com/traincert/exams/70-320.asp.)
In addition, here's a list of other .NET-generation exams that apply to both MCAD and MCSD certifications along with status or availability information.
- Exam 70-300: Analyzing requirements and defining .NET solution architectures. No release information nor objectives are currently available for this exam.
- Exam 70-305: Developing and implementing Web applications with Microsoft Visual Basic.NET and Microsoft Visual Studio.NET. This is currently through beta and is expected to go live this month. (For details, see www.microsoft.com/traincert/exams/70-305.asp.)
- Exam 70-306: Developing and implementing Windows-based applications with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. This has been available since May 31, 2002. (See www.microsoft.com/traincert/exams/70-306.asp for details.)
- Exam 70-315: Developing and implementing Web applications with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. Currently through beta, this exam goes live this month. (For details, visit www.microsoft.com/traincert/exams/70-315.asp.)
- Exam 70-316: Developing and implementing Windows-based applications with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio.NET. This has been out since June. (For more information, visit www.microsoft.com/traincert/exams/70-316.asp.)
What does this mean to prospective .NET developers? First of all, sufficient exams are already available (or for those invited, sufficient beta exams) for some individuals to qualify for MCAD. (This credential applies only to .NET.) This is an interesting situation because Microsoft has neither completely finished nor released a complete set of requirements for .NET certification. Still, according to MCP Magazine, as of Aug. 15, more than 100 individuals had met MCAD requirements, even though Exams 70-310 and 70-320 hadn't been in circulation very long at the time (www.mcpmag.com/news/article.asp?EditorialsID=512).
Secondly, because the 70-300 exam is a required core element for the MCSD for .NET, nobody can qualify for that credential until the remaining exams go live except those people who take and pass beta versions. Because Microsoft isn't talking about dates for 70-300 yet, my guess is that individuals won't be eligible for .NET MCSD credentials until late this year or early next year.
The good news is that since the MCAD is a nice stepping stone to the MCSD, you can get started on that program if you're itching for some progress in the near term. At present, the .NET developer programs are nearing completion and starting to fall into a recognizable shape.
Ed Tittel runs a content development company in Austin, Texas, and is the creator of the Exam Cram series. He's worked on many books on Microsoft, CompTIA, CIW, Sun/Java and security certifications. His team is currently at work on TICSA and Security+ study guides for Que Certification Press.