Finding the Right Certification for You

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As a young developer in an ever-growing world of software and technology I’m discovering that getting the proper certification is incredibly essential. Getting the appropriate certification not only highlights your bond to the .NET structure but most importantly helps nourish and define who we are as developers.

When I set our on the path to work up the certification “talent-tree” I needed to first have a gander at the initial tests ahead and the desired “end-game”. To start you can get the MTA, which validates fundamental technology concepts. As you’ll see in the tracks posted in the link above, the Microsoft Technology Associate is a great way to get your feet wet in the IT world. While it’s not required by any of the tracks it is recommended by Microsoft as a way to validate your core knowledge in the technology field for infrastructure, database design, or software development.

Next up you need to choose your path (or paths); will it be the Server, Desktop, Application, Database, or Developer route? In this post I will focus on the four currently certified Developer Routes, all representing the MCSD, or the Solutions Developer Certification:

Windows Store Apps
This two-way road will demonstrate your expertise at designing and developing fast and fluid Windows 8 apps. Both Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2013 are newer technologies, with two different paths that allow you to attain the certification with a front-end focus on HTML 5 and JaveScript or C#.

Web Applications
Probably the most prized by versatile and pragmatic developers is the Web applications MCSD. This recognizes your ability to create and deploy modern web applications and services, from client-side structure to back-end solutions.

SharePoint Application
The SharePoint MCSD will demonstrate your ability to design and develop collaborative applications with Microsoft SharePoint, a powerful organization technology we use here at Mercury.

Application Lifecycle Management
This all-app-encompassing certification that focuses on the entire life-cycle of an application from start to finish that’s imperative for any project manager in the software world. 

You don’t have to stick to any one path either, you can specialize in any of these routes not only in order to further your own knowledge but your career. Me? I believe I’m going to grab my MTA as soon as possible and then begin my track towards the Web applications MCSD to elevate my career and skill-base to the ultimate level.

Whether you’re trying to get your career off the ground or just looking to dabble you can see the available classes and exams at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/default.aspx.

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