Tags: .NET 3.5, .NET 4.0, 70-502, 70-503, 70-505, 70-561, 70-562, 70-563, 70-564, 70-565, 71-511, 71-513, 71-515, 71-516, 71-518, 71-519, ASP.NET MVC 2, Beta Exams, Entity Framework, jQuery, JSON, LINQ, Visual Studio 2010
April was a tumultuous month, thanks to Microsoft’s release of .NET 4.0 Beta Exams. That’s right, Microsoft rolled out all six .NET 4.0/Visual Studio 2010 exams in one month. What that meant to me, your intrepid content developer, was two exams per week and reams of notes, whitepapers, and documentation.
Without violating the NDA, here are my first impressions of the new exams:
- 71-511 (TS: Windows Applications Development with .NET Framework 4): Sorry, Windows Forms developers, but there’s not a whole lot for you here. You had better bone up on WPF and focus on binding syntax. This exam is a lot more like the .NET 4.0 version of the 70-502 (TS: 3.5, Windows Presentation Foundation Application Development), rather than the 70-505 (TS: 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development).
- 71-513 (TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4): If you have taken the 70-503 (TS: 3.5, Windows Communication Foundation), then you have seen most of this exam before. The main additions are coverage of jQuery and JSON serialization support topics.
- 71-515 (TS: Web Applications Development with .NET Framework 4): A warning for old-school Web developers — this is not your father’s ASP anymore, so forget what you learned from the 70-562 (TS: 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development). The 4.0 exam focuses heavily on ASP.NET MVC 2, JSON, LINQ, and jQuery. You might find some comfort in configuration settings and debugging options, but many of these aspects have changed in the .NET 4.0 as well, so you’ll need to review the changes thoroughly.
- 71-516 (TS: Accessing Data with .NET Framework 4): Whereas Synchronization Services was found in the 70-561 (TS: 3.5, ADO.NET Application Development), this beta exam gives thorough coverage to the Entity Framework. Also, expect lots of LINQ.
- 71-518 (Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using .NET Framework 4): We don’t have an enterprise application exam anymore, so what to do? Why not create a mashup of the 70-563 (Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using the .NET Framework 3.5) and 70-565 (Pro: Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications Using the .NET Framework 3.5) and call it a new exam? There weren’t any surprises with this one.
- 71-519 (Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using .NET Framework 4): The return of the case study? Really? I don’t know if this is an experiment that will make it past the beta version, but just in case, be prepared to see some new question types when this exam goes live. The content, however, is really just an updated version of the 70-564 (Pro: Designing and Developing ASP.NET Applications Using the .NET Framework 3.5).
So with the 4.0 track there are fewer exams, but more questions and content. Overall, I find myself missing the basic mechanics tested in the good old 70-536 (TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation), but Microsoft is definitely highlighting the new features of .NET 4.0 in these exams.
Phew … now onto practice test development!
(For earlier coverage of the .NET 4.0 exams see my post at The Times: They Are A’Changing for .NET Certification — keeping in mind that some of the info has changed in the interim.)