Those who didn't read my last tip may not be aware that Microsoft has launched a brand new set of certification programs. They include such credentials as Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) for both database professionals and developers. The follow-on for database pros is Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP); and for developers, the follow on cert is Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD). In fact, the new program is now in swing: One exam has already had its beta period, while two others will be in beta until Dec. 5.
Table 1 is the roster of new exams, including links to exam objectives where available (through a link on its exam number) along the planned beta test period, where applicable (where dates are mentioned, the reported beta period is provided; NA means not yet available). Both Pearson VUE and Thomson Prometric will offer beta exams.
Table 1: New exams, certs, objectives and beta status
|70-235||MCTS||NA||Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions Using BizTalk Server 2006 1|
|70-431||MCTS||11/22-12/5/05||SQL Server 2005 Implementation & Maintenance|
|70-441||MCITP||11/22-12/5/05||Designing Database Solutions Using SQL Server 2005|
|70-442||MCITP||NA||Designing and Optimizing Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2006 1|
|70-443||MCITP||NA||Designing a Database Server Infrastructure by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005|
|70-444||MCITP||NA||Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administration Solution by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005|
|70-445||MCITP||NA||Designing Business Intelligence Solutions by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services|
|70-446||MCITP||NA||Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005|
|70-447||MCITP||NA||Upgrade: MCDBA Skills to MCITP Database Administrator by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 1|
|70-526||MCTS||NA||Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Windows-based Client Development 1|
|70-528||MCTS||11/7-18/05||Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Web -based Client Development|
|70-529||MCTS||NA||Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed Application Development|
|70-536||MCTS||NA||Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Application Development Foundation 1|
|70-547||MCPD||NA||Designing and Developing Web Applications by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2|
|70-548||MCPD||NA||Designing and Developing Windows Applications by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2|
|70-549||MCPD||NA||Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2|
|70-551||MCPD||NA||Upgrade: MCAD skills to MCPD: Web Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2|
|70-552||MCPD||NA||Upgrade: MCAD skills to MCPD: Windows Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 2|
|70-553||MCPD||NA||Upgrade: MCSD Microsoft .NET skills to MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework Part 1 3|
|70-554||MCPD||NA||Upgrade: MCSD Microsoft .NET skills to MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework Part 2 3|
1. Microsoft Web page says "available early 2006."
2. Microsoft Web page says "available mid-2006."
3. Microsoft Web page says "available summer 2006."
Prospective candidates must be invited by Microsoft to participate and have an exam code included in that invitation in order to register for a beta. Thus, if you're not invited, there's not much point in trying to get in on a beta. This is really just an indication of program status and the speed of Microsoft's ramp up for new offerings, for those not invited . (You must be an MCP and register for the MCP e-newsletter to make the initial cut for an invitation. And it helps to already be certified on similar topics and platforms, so that MCDBAs are most likely to be invited to database betas, and MCADs/MCSDs will most likely get the nod for developer betas).
Given what's in Table 1, you can expect another wave of betas in December or January, with more to come in late spring (April or May). It looks like the first wave of new cert-holders will probably hit the streets sometime in the summer of 2006 -- for those folks lucky enough to participate in some or all of the relevant beta invitations.
Ed Tittel is a full-time freelance writer, trainer and consultant who specializes in certification and training, information security, markup languages and networking topics. He writes for TechTarget Web sites, is technology editor for Certification Magazine, and writes an e-mail newsletter for CramSession called Must Know News. He has written or contributed to many computer books; his latest is The PC Magazine Guide to Fighting Spyware, Viruses, and Malware (Wiley Publishing). E-mail Tittel at firstname.lastname@example.org.