MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework 2.0—Application Development Foundation: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0--Application Development Foundation Hardcover – Jun 8 2006
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About the Author
Tony Northrup, MCTS, MCSE, CISP, MVP, is a networking consultant and coauthor of Windows Server 2008 Networking and Network Access Protection (NAP).
Bill Ryan is an MVP for Windows Embedded and a frequent speaker at industry events including Microsoft Code Camps and .NET User’s Groups. GrandMasters is an IT consulting firm specializing in content development, exam development, and customized technical support.
I am a Microsoft C# MVP and the founder of Wildermuth Consulting Services, LLC, a company that is dedicated to delivering software and training solutions in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I am also a speaker on the INEA Speaker's Bureau and have appeared at several national conferences to speak on a variety of subjects. I am the author of the book "Pragmatic ADO.NET", the upcoming "Prescriptive Data Architectures", both for Addison-Wesley as well as co-author of several certification books for Microsoft Press. I have been writing articles for a number of years for a variety of magazines and websites, including MSDN, MSDN Online, DevSource, The ServerSide .NET, ONDotNet.com and Intel's Rich Client Series. I have enjoyed building data-driven software for more than twenty years.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First, about me:
> I studied in earnest for three weeks, using only the book and accompanying practice exams until the last three days
> I used Transcender during the last three days, and never scored above 60% on the full practice exam
> I am relatively new to .NET (four months exp. writing production-level apps), but not new to software development (working with Java for over four years)
> I passed the exam yesterday, on the first attempt, with a score of 859
With that said...
1. To anyone sadistic enough to take a Java cert exam (like my moronic self), the MCTS is a cakewalk. Unlike the ferocious Java exams which try to bait you into picking the wrong answers, 70-536 seems to do the exact opposite. I'll elaborate on this in point 2.
2. Remember taking the SATs and being given the advice to first eliminate clearly wrong answers before analyzing the ones that might be right? Do that on this exam, and you'll immediately cut your answer choices in half on nearly every question. For the vast majority of the questions, Microsoft practically GIVES you the answer - almost like they're trying to sell you on how intuitive their framework is. These questions are multiple choice, with one answer choice being cartoonishly incorrect, another answer being kind-of-correct but clearly too convoluted, then two or more other answers that are extremely similar, except for some minor detail.
3. You do not need to go into the MSDN and know every object mentioned in the book like Adam knew his wife. You should, however, be very familiar with the methods and signatures of Stream objects, Serializer objects (XMLSerializer, especially), AppDomain, and Culture/Region Info. As for the rest, just pay close attention to the methods and objects used in the book's examples.
4. The Transcender exam is WAAAAAAAAAAAY HARDER than the actual 70-536.
5. The MeasureUp exam that comes with the book is slightly easier than the actual 70-536.
6. On my particular exam, there were no questions whose material hadn't been covered by the book. Be careful, though, because from the Transcender exams it seems the book's authors left out at whole lot about interoperability.
Seriously folks, this exam isn't that bad if you're a seasoned software pro and familiar with OOP. Get a solid grasp of the stuff in the book (the labs really help), use Transcender for some details that the book misses, take the exam, and pass that sucker.
Yes there are errors - so make sure to get the errata. Do the practice tests on the CD (several times!). I can't imagine not using this book, given that it's the only one at present. If you look at the exam topics on the MS web-site, you could spend weeks or months on MSDN chasing down the relevant information. This book brings it together in one place, and avoids you spending loads of time on irrelevant topics. I think the book covers just enough to get you through the exam - provided you know the content very well. This is not an easy exam.
As for a general .NET book, the various chapters provide a useful introduction to each topic, but don't go into that much depth - just enough for the exam. Part of the issue is the exam covers a very wide range of topics, so it's difficult to go into much more depth without making the book 2,000 pages long.
At the end of the day, it got me through the exam, which is ultimately what matters.
Anyway, other than the errors, the book is fine.....it just makes it hard to read this book for an exam, because can you really trust the content 100%? I say no. And, to top it all off, this (to my knowledge) is the only book out there for the 70-536 Exam. Good luck.
Much of the material lacks context and is poorly written. I spent more time on the internet looking up material that was in the book in order to get an understanding of it adequate to answer the sample questions than I did in the book itself.
This book, like many I've bought from Microsoft Press, has many editing errors, but I found many of the exercises, labs, and sample questions contained errors, making study for the exam very frustrating.
The practice tests and lesson review application that shipped with the book is also disappointing. You can't choose, for example, which lessons or Chapters you want to practice, instead you have to choose groupings of topics that include topics scattered throughout the book and that aren't necessarily related. The menu and interface layout is difficult to use, I mention this only because I find it ironic that such a poorly thoughout app is shipped with a book essentially about application design...
Anyway, the content tries to cover all that is required and probably prepares you for the test as well as possible (I haven't taken an exam yet). So, i was thinking 3 stars.
But then I arrived at chapter 9 - Installing and Configuring Applications. My guess is that Mr.s Northrup and Wildermuth had around 13 or 14 chapters done and were coming down to the wire when they asked Bill Ryan if he wouldn't mind contributing a chapter or two. Then he turned in what he had and they ran spell checker on it. That must be it, because there are errors on every page! Paragraphs copied from other chapters, review questions that have nothing to do with the section just read, and a lab in section two that has nothing to do with the Installer class discussed in section 2. If you look at a code example on page 489, you'll see what I mean. Not only does the code not work, but it's faulty in it's design. He mentions that the class implements IEnumerable, and then tries to use a counter to move through the list (but fails to increment the counter). That's retarded. Since I'm still in the beginner stages of all of this, these mistakes can set me back a while when I stare and try to figure out what he's doing.
Anyway, one star. The editors should go back to school somewhere. Rosemary Caperton and Sandi Resnick are pointed out specifically as proof-readers, and Jim Fuchs and David Robinson as technical editors. If I was any of them I'd ask for my name to be removed in subsequent editions.
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