MCTS SQL Server 2008 beta exam 71-432 taken

I just got off from taking exam 71-432: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance – which will become 70-432 when it goes live and is the successor of 70-431 (for SQL 2005)and here are just a few thoughts [more]

This is sort of "SQL Server 2008" foundation exam and required to move on to MCTS SQL 2008 DBA, Dev, BI Dev and their MCITP counterparts.

And my advise is always, read the prep guide to guide you πŸ™‚

I'm glad the weights/percent of coverage is IMHO close to the prep guide so take this into consideration and work on your weak points. Also, there were no rocket science questions that is not directly related to the objectives lined up so still review but I guess that's good news.

I think knowledge on SQL 2005 and a little review of what's new for SQL 2008 would be fine. A good number are specific to SQL 2008 but somehow I think you can eliminate answers based on foundation/SQL 2005 knowledge. I scanned Apress Accelerated SQL 2008 and most of the topics there were helpful (though again I just scanned so it would have been more helpful if I actually read). That's the only material I got hold of so far but it will definitely be helpful.

Over-all the exam was a good experience and didn't leave me looking at the ceiling like others (e.g. WPF) and although I don't really expect to pass this one, I at least know what I need more review for when I get the chance. (clue: resource management and recovery models πŸ˜› that's in the prep guide anyway)

Career Growth

MCTS ASP.NET 3.5 Applications Passed

Despite seeing my site being down due to “cannot connect to SQL server” error it was getting for some hours (courtesy of GoDaddy – again not recommended for production), I just received the good news today. I passed MCTS .NET Framework 3.5 – ASP.NET Applications [more]

Received an email with subject “Congratulations on Your Microsoft Certification! Access Your Benefits”.

Congratulations on earning your Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Applications certification! We hope you enjoy the benefits of your certification and of membership in the Microsoft Certified Professional community.

It was in plain text and was of inferior quality compared to previous congratulatory MCP emails (not that the look counts – but just to mention it) but the sender seems authentic and it wasn’t April 1. Nevertheless I went over to prometric website, viewed my candidate history and there it was : Passed. Went further to the MCP site and the logo was available. Here it is:

It might not prove anything to some but I knew I passed it by my own time and efforts so I’m proud of it.

I also just noticed that I have a welcome kit pending. One for my previous MCTS Workflow Foundation and this new one. And wait, I just realized that since this were both taken as beta exams, it would be a charter member kit (so as it says in the web page). I am yet to receive my first charter member kit so not sure what difference it makes. And besides it’s not the benefit, I’m just glad that coming in late to the world of software development somehow I’m making my way to the front.

I’ve posted some blogs about some information/pointers previously (most AJAX client side development) but hope to have a few more soon. And seeing this one, I’m also inspired to move forward to ASP.NET MVC so despite the tons of stuff on my todo list, I ought to find time for it. For the meantime, I haven’t reviewed any for the coming SQL Server DBA and BI MCTS beta for the coming two weeks. I hope I can at least have time to take it. Wish me luck and why don’t you take it too? Could take a few mins/hours but the fruit of your efforts are priceless (whether you get a raise or not) πŸ˜€

Ohhh and they had the same beta period and took them the same day, no word from MCTS ADO.NET 3.5 yet. Not confident about that one but maybe πŸ™‚

Career Growth

FREE MCTS SQL Server 2008 DBA 71-432 and BI 71-448 beta exams

SQL Server 2008 Beta Exams Extended, Open Invitation. [more]

All SQL Server developers are invited to take the following beta exam for free.

71-432: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance – this is the successor of 70-431 (for SQL 2005)

use promo code for 71-432 = 943F6

71-448: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance – this is the successor of 70-445 (for SQL 2005)

use promo code for 71-448 = B6543

Beta period runs until July 31, 2008 (for both exams)

Also note that the live versions of these exams will be 70-432 and 70-448. 71 I believe is used to indicate exams in beta stage.

Goodluck. Ohh yes again, it’s for free so I would suggest you register now at prometric ( for a start).


My First .NET 3.5 Cert – MCTS on Windows Workflow Foundation

Just received email results of .NET 3.5 beta exams I took last December 2007

Surprisingly I passed exam 70-504 – Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Workflow Foundation Applications [more]but failed the other two I took at that period:

70-503 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Communication Foundation
70-502 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Presentation Foundation

I had no chance in that WPF exam but I expected a little better for WCF from WebServices and .NET Remoting experience. I did spent some time reviewing for the WF exam but expected less compared to WCF.

Books were not available locally so most of the review were using the prep guide and MSDN except for WCF where I got a WCF Wrox book (the red books) by Scott Klein which I'd have to say covers a lot of questions that came up in the exam (which is why I expect a little more compared to WPF and WF) so I will not regret having that book and I'll definitely use it again for review. The scope of WCF is actually not that broad but the problem for me was selecting the right bindings and options to use for a particular scenario. For WF there are Wrox, APress and Microsoft books available already and would be good compliment to MSDN and hands on experience.

I'm glad I took the WF exam before the WPF (took both the same day), otherwise I would have lost interesting if WPF would have come earlier.

So there, for the coming days I will be finding time to improve on WCF (along with a ton of other stuff to learn) and thru my blog I hope you'll learn a thing with me. I was more inclined to this than WF but I guess this is a sign that I should explore workflows more. I think I did a little well on that exam but in a way I'm glad that exam standards are somehow getting higher and I just hope no braindumps and cheaters come out anymore.

No interest in WPF at this time and just want to share my logo for my longest certification name so far and hope it comes handy someday:

Career Growth

Link: WCF, WPF, WF exams live today

Just a quick announcement that the following MCTS exams went live today.

70-502: Windows Presentation Foundation

70-503: Windows Communication Foundation

70-504: Windows Workflow Foundation[more]

Those who took the related beta exams should expect results this week (according to Gerry). Don’t have mine yet, I haven’t worked enough on those so I don’t expect any good results, but who knows. πŸ™‚

click here for more info

Career Growth

Ateneo Professional Schools Prometric Testing Center Experience

UPDATE: Got a number of queries regarding prometric exam locations in Philippines (e.g. Makati) and schedule times etc.

To get those information please visit

For my latest ASP.NET and ADO.NET 3.5 beta exams I took them at Ateneo Professional Schools[more]. Prior exams I have taken where in DBWizards, MISNET and once at EduPro.

I am very impressed with the said testing center. Clean, quiet (with ear muffs if the silence isn’t enough for you), decent computers and very nice staff. There are two exam rooms with a good number of cubicles (guessing around 20/room maybe) and although the next room was almost full, there’s not many in the room i was in. It could have been a factor to the experience I had but I still think that even if it’s jam packed, it would still be orderly considering the place is spacious.

They don’t accept payments at the venue though. You have to pay thru Prometric’s Site (, register if necessary (for free), schedule an appointment, select exam etc. Not sure which order they come but you get the point. Their currently only accepting payment thru credit card though. Not having to worry about payments and the likes and instead concentrate on administering the exam could have contributed to this positive comment too.

Also, annoying as it would appear to others, they check you ID strictly despite recognizing your face anymore (i took two exams in succession so had a short break). It might be simple or even ridiculous for some since I’m quite sure they recognized me but for me it shows some integrity and consistency in applying rules and procedures. Despite of this, did I mention they were very respectful? I guess I did.

One last thing is that obviously they allow scheduling of appointment online. There are a few centers listed in the prometric site but if you try to schedule an exam it will just show “no schedules available for this center”. The advantage for this includes: convenience, you are assure of your seat (unlike others where they actually just place the appointment days or even hours before and some unexpected issues now and then and being able to reschedule (at least a day before I think or a certain time a day before on a certain time zone) without having to pick up, wait for someone to pickup the phone, etc etc.

So, if the payment method is not a limitation for you. I would highly recommend this center and ill take exams there myself.Β  See address below:

Phone: 4265982
Site Code:Β PH000

Goodluck to upcoming exam takers and I’m working on some review notes but just bought a new hard disk (system) for this. (ohh yes, I’m a certified hard disk destroyer, 3 hard disks so far this year 2008. don’t get me wrong, I don’t bring them around nor throw my PC, probably because I type and click too much, not to mention I blog too much) Expect a lot more notes on ADO.NET and ASP.NET (not the actual questions of course but close and varied enough to help learn and not just answer trivias) when I have my Visual Studio and SQL ready already within a few hours or days. I invite everyone to do the same too and share our notes with everyone not just in preparations for exams but to share the experience and joys of .NET. Watch out for them…

UPDATE: I got a lot of comments on this article and figured it might be helpful to do a quick how-to video (well it didn’t turn out to be quick but wanted to explain a bit more). See below

I hope it helps

Career Growth

Link: MCAD, MCSD, SQL 2000 Exams Scheduled for Retirement

Taken from Exams To Retire Page from Microsoft: [more]

The Microsoft policy for exam retirement is modeled on the Microsoft
Support Lifecycle Policy for technology releases. In accordance with
this policy, Microsoft Learning will retire 12 exams on March 31, 2009.
These exams focus on technologies that are no longer included in
Microsoft mainstream support. The exams are currently required to
achieve Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD), Microsoft
Certified Solution Developer (MCSD), and Microsoft Certified Database
Administrator (MCDBA) certifications.


Developer exams that retire on March 31, 2009


Microsoft SQL Server exams that retire on March 31, 2009


Career Growth

ASP.NET and ADO.NET Beta Exams Extended

Beta Exam Promo Codes (go share them)

70-561 – beta code = 561B1

70-562 – beta code = 562B1

ASP.NET 3.5 and ADO.NET 3.5 has just been extended until May 4th. [more]

To quote “So, if you are well versed in ADO.NET and ASP.NET, even if you don’t
want the certification, consider taking one of these exams and giving
us your feedback.Β  They are free!

I would recommend taking the exam for a tons of reasons, including a little push on yourself to learn something new or maybe for the sake for taking an test (when was the last time you took an exam?). A lot of people hate exams but from a cognitive stand point, I think there are likely still things you can only learn from taking exams.

I think the fewer people taking the exams would make the possibility of those few who took it passing higher which might also mean more certified but less qualified people. There is a chance that because of this certifications will no longer be valued OR the bad side is someone getting hired because they have a certification (and you don’t) but only to find out he/she passed because there were only 5 of them who took the exam.

Somehow it feels like despite the certification team’s efforts, there’s not that much interest. Probably because it’s just getting harder to keep up with new technology. Just hope MS certifications don’t devalued that much that fast. If inevitably the industry won’t value them in the future anymore, it won’t be a problem for those who actually knew their stuff rather than just braindumps. But somehow, those lost times, effort, money…Β  I hope it doesn’t go there Laughing

Career Growth

ASP.NET 3.5 and ADO.NET 3.5 beta exam update

Notes on recently taken .NET 3.5 exams [more]

Beta exam period for MCTS ASP.NET and ADO.NET 3.5 is nearing its end and just got back from the two straight beta exam marathon today. I’m hoping I will still make those two despite lack of preparation but I did learn a lot and it was worth sleeping only for a 2-3 hrs just to make it there. Came in late also and a good thing the folks at Ateneo Professional Schools Prometric Testing Center (Dela Costa St) was kind enough to still let me take my exams.

As we all know, takers are bound by the non disclosure agreement for the exam so I can’t provide you the answers that I do remember.

But I would like to share though that the prep guide was more than helpful in preparing for the exam

ASP.NET 3.5 MCTS Prep Guide, ADO.NET 3.5 MCTS Prep Guide

Unlike previous exams which were vague and had entries that were not covered by the exam (a very low signal to noise ratio so to speak), I’m quite impressed with this one. Most if not all of the items (at least those I got) in the exam is directly or at least very closely related to those mentioned in the prep guides. The weights of each objective are helpful to (higher percentaged objectives had more items on the exam indeed).

It’s worth noting too that if you base on the exam the trend for ASP.NET is towards AJAX and communication wtih services (ASMX, WCF) while for ADO.NET it is moving towards conceptual models, linq, entity and for some reason synchronization.

Hope this helps anyone who’ll take the exam within a few hours remaining or just for the sake of getting a head start on these two upgraded technologies.

Career Growth

Feedback on Second Shot exam offer

Reposting a post from GerryO about Feedback on Second Shot

I don’t have to reiterate the advantage of these exams and consequently offers like these so if you have time I think completing surverys for these do improve our certification experiences. Complete this short survey (just 12 questions)

Some people might not like the idea of certifications but starting out empty on .NET 2-3yrs ago (took up Electronics in College instead), certifications has been a good compliment to my software development experience and real-world skills to prove myself.