70-486 - Passed

Quick note that I've now passed the 070-486 exam. One step closer to the MCSD.

Below is a quick summary of the sources I used for study.

Sites used

Certainly one of the best study guides. Chris's guides have now help me with two exams. Would definitely recommend. http://www.bloggedbychris.com/2012/11/06/microsoft-exam-70-486-study-guide/

Other links:

Comments on the exam

I can't comment greatly on the exam due to the NDA; however, when using the above guides keep the exam objectives to hand. You will find that some of the links are not quite in keeping with the exam (either the subject or version). You will certainly need to think about some of the older links and if they would still be applicable in the "current" versions.

One item on the exam objectives that concerned me (prior to the test) was the mention of ViewState. As ViewState does not exist in MVC it seemed an odd item to have. I raised this in the Microsoft Learning LinkedIn group http://lnkd.in/Zfr4D9 - which caused an interesting (if not particularly enlightening) conversation.

I can't comment on if ViewState appeared in the exam, but as a rounded developer it makes sense to review it you have the time (regardless of the exam). If you are working in MVC - at some point in your career you will likely have to maintain legacy ASP.Net web forms site. Also is helpful if you are trying to explain why MVC is better architecture than ASP.Net web forms.

I also cannot recommend enough actually using the code. Even if you are only going to make some test sites, you really need to be using the code (Visual Studio 2012 Express is free). I probably spent too much time reading - not enough time doing.

Finally a comment on studying for the three exams. If you look at the exam objectives for the 3 exams that make up the MCSD you will see repetition of subjects between them. For example, the exam objectives talk about UI (html, javascript, CSS) in both 480 & 486.
For me, I felt I left too long a gap between the two exams - and as such lost some of the study benefit between 480 & 486 (about 6 months difference). With so much crossover between the exams, I would be tempted (if I had my time again) to study all three at once until I have good grounding (say for maybe 3 months) - schedule the exams a month apart then deep dive each for the month prior to the exam.

Hope this helps.

About the author:

Mark Taylor is an experience IT Consultant passionate about helping his clients get better ROI from their Software Development.

He has over 20 years Software Development experience - over 15 of those leading teams. He has experience in a wide variety of technologies and holds certification in Microsoft Development and Scrum.

He operates through Red Folder Consultancy Ltd.