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Tag Archives: MCTS

MCTS 70-511 Passed and Advice

A few weeks ago i was pleased to have passed the 70-511 exam! I took the test at Devrill PLC in Poole which a great test centre except perhaps the creaky mice.

The reason i write this blog post is not to just brag about passing but to give some advice to all those who are revising for the test.

The book

If you havent brought the training kit book for this exam, then you really should! The book is really usefull for introducing you to the basic concepts your need to know. I deffently recommend that you do the suggested practises as these get you working with WPF and its the kind of practical experience that the exam is looking for.

The book also includes on the disc a mock test application that allows you to take mock exams to see how your progressing. BE AWARE the questions in the practise tests are rather basic so dont solely rely on the tests as a way of checking your progress.

MSDN

Although the training kit is useful, its not perfect. i found a few areas that the exam might cover that were not even mentioned in the book. This is where MSDN comes in! When you finsh a mock test, you are given the awnsers and with those answers are links to the MSDN site. CLICK THESE! they go into the level of depth that your need for the exam. The way i managed these links was to create a live folder in firefox. then i would put al the links in the folder and slowly work my way through reading them, once i read one i would remove it.

Link: MSDN Website

Measure Up tests

Although you get some mock test software with the training kit, the questions are rather basic and do miss a few areas that may be covered by the exam. I purchased the Measure Up tests software and im rather glad i did. These tests are a lot more detailed with a lot more detailed explinations and better quality links to more information.

Link: Measure Up 70-511 test software

The test

I shall confess, i failed my first attempt of the test. I believe this happened because i didnt proceed to check through the questions a secoud time. When i retook the exam i proceeded to run through all the questions agian. While doing this i noticed how some questions i had answerd were incorrect so i proceeded to change them. My secound point is TAKE YOUR TIME. you really get plenty of time so there is no need to rush.

 

Well i wish all those fellow test takers all the luck!

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Why I Stopped Playing Xbox and Became More Productive

After moving into the world of  full time work over a year ago i quickly discovered the value of my time when 40 hours a week were spent at work (many more commuting). After finishing work i found myself sitting down in front of the box and playing the Xbox. Don’t get me wrong i think the Xbox is great but in retrospect i spent a lot of time playing for the sake of it and even more time getting frustrated with it which resulted in many broken controllers, an expensive activity at £25 a piece.

So what kept me playing this marvelous machine even though it led to a bad experience a majority of the time? Achievements! That’s right, that little box that pops up on the screen saying you’ve achieved something.

Achievements

This was a very cleaver idea of Microsoft! Make people feel they have gained something by playing  games and they will keep on playing. It worked with me for sure, i would keep playing a game even though the enjoyment factor had been long lost just so i could get that last achievement.

If achievements were so addictive, why did i stop playing?  I achieved too much!  This meant every new achievement had less reward value to it. I got to the stage where i would have no emotion when getting a new achievement and i started to feel that actually i wasn’t achieving anything. just adding to a number on the screen.

It was at this point when  i decided to pack away the Xbox and try and achieve more meaningful achievements. At first i was lost, what could i do with all this time i had gained? But slowly i found things to do such as learning something new on the guitar/piano or do some programming for fun (yes, for fun!). I also started working towards a MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) Certification which has greatly helped my understanding of .NET and properly made me a better developer. I also read a lot more now which is never a bad thing.

What i learn`t  from the whole experience is that Microsoft are rather good at hooking in consumers, and perhaps i need to set my own real world achievements to keep myself hooked in. I can even reward myself when gaining a achievement by buying myself something Ive wanted for a while.

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