Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Passed the Microsoft WCF for .Net 4.0 certification

Today I went and certified myself as a Windows Communication Foundation developer in .Net 4.0 (exam 70-513). I passed with 1000/1000, which makes me "strong" in all areas of the exam. It was difficult, too, as there is no official preparation material for the exam. You have the old 3.5 preparation book for the 70-503 exam and then you have to guess about the things that are in 4.0. Basically, you can read the book, then study a little about the router services, service discovery and simplified configuration. I found a nice post on James J. Foster's blog detailing the material that needs study, with links. Also, here is a link on MSDN about what is new in WCF 4.0.

The problem with the exam is that I had found the questions (the real ones) on the web. You can download them and simulate exams until you remember all of them and their answers. These are called brain dumps (.vce format) and apparently it is the norm rather than the exception; Cisco exams are just the same. It was too weird to be true and, frankly, the whole point of taking these exams was to actually learn something in a structured way, so I was both hoping that those were the real questions and also that they were not and I will have the opportunity to test myself on what I have learned. Alas, it was not the case. I knew all the questions already and this has soiled the entire experience and grade.

Actually, when you think about it, it makes sense. Microsoft needs to show how serious they are about the whole test thing and ignore the elephant in the room altogether, pretending the answers are not out there. Meanwhile, the companies that organize the tests need those answers public, otherwise nobody would dare come take them and thus pay for them. I mean, really... 50 questions of increasing obscureness and a minimum passing grade of 800/1000 ? Who would even consider testing themselves against sets of four questions where one of them would throw a compiler error, one of them would be completely off topic and the other two were competing on which one gets the most hard to remember, one google-second away configuration setting that would make your brain explode. The ugliest thing is that people learning this stuff normally have little to no chance of getting every question right, even if in the official preparation books you find stuff like "Exam tip: beware questions in this format, as they will always be incorrect, but we will ask them anyway so we can trap you if you didn't read our material".

So, bottom line. I am proud of myself for actually studying for this. I feel I know a lot more about WCF and the powerful ways in which I can make it work for me. But the fact that any kid can download a file, do a dozen test runs on their home computer and then take the test and achieve the same perfect score soils it a little.

Well, this makes me a MCTS. I have 3 more exams to take and then I will become a MCPD. It's like achievements in games, only they are worth something.

11 comments:

Alin said...

Way to go!

MalakaBlog said...

Well done

Brijesh Kothari said...

thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Could you please provide me the latest dumps for WCF 3.5(Exam 70-503).Please forward it to my email id veeresh.glb29@gmail.com.Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Good information and congrats...!

Anonymous said...

Congrats..m willing to do the same.but m litle bit confused..can u help me..

John said...

hi, first of all congrats,... i would like to take wcf 4.0 certification....can you provide me the materials.....my mail id jkonukudy@gmail.com

Siderite said...

I could provide the materials, but then I would have to look for them on the Internet again. That would make it pointless, since you could do that as well. I did not use any material that cannot be obtained... ahem... freely on the Internet.

Also, as much as I would like to help you, it would set a dangerous precedent and then I would have to help all the people looking for Microsoft certifications, which I am not willing to do.

The bottom line is that if you find the .vce files you will be able to pass regardless of what you know, which is why I am not even remotely interested in the subject anymore.

Anonymous said...

microsoft is jsut out to make easy money with these sham of its 'certifications'... it only certifies your luck and your regurgitating power...

Anonymous said...

How many days u took for preparation?

Siderite said...

Depending on how you want to study for them, you can take a month of a few days :) Either way, by reading the "official" material or taking the online tests over and over again until you remember the answers, you don't remember much.