MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework - Application Development: Microsoft.NET Framework - Application Development Foundation (Self-Paced Training Kits) Hardcover – 22 Nov 2008
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Exam Prep Guide Ace your preparation for the skills measured by MCTS Exam 70-536 and on the job. Work at your own pace through a series of lessons and reviews that fully cover each exam objective. Then, reinforce what you ve learned by applying your knowledge to real-world case scenarios and labs. This official Microsoft study guide is designed to help you make the most of your study time. Maximize your performance on the exam by learning to: Use system types, collections, and generics to help manage data Validate input, reformat text, and extract data with regular expressions Develop services, application domains, and multithreaded applications Enhance your application by adding graphics and images Implement code access security, role-based security, and data encryption Work with serialization and reflection techniques Instrument your applications with logging and tracing Interact with legacy code using COM Interop and PInvoke Practice Tests Assess your skills with practice tests on CD. You can work through hundreds of questions using multiple testing modes to meet your specific learning needs.You get detailed explanations for right and wrong answers including a customized learning path that describes how and where to focus your studies.Your kit includes: 15% exam discount from Microsoft. Offer expires 12/31/10. Details inside. Official self-paced study guide. Practice tests with multiple, customizable testing options and a learning plan based on your results. 450 practice and review questions. Case scenarios and lab exercises. Code samples on CD. 90-day evaluation version of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition. Fully searchable eBook.
About the Author
Tony Northrup, MVP, MCSE, MCTS, and CISSP, is a consultant and author living in New London, CT. Tony started programming before Windows® 1.0 was released, but has focused on Windows administration and development for the last 15 years. He has written about 25 books covering Windows development, networking, and security. Among other titles, Tony is coauthor of the Windows 7 Resource Kit and Windows Server 2008 Networking and NAP. You can view his animal photos, bird photos, and travel photos, read his Windows Help blog.
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Each of the 16 chapters has 2-3 lessons and it states at the beginning how long a lesson should take. Most are listed as taking 30-45 minutes, however I am finding more realistically they take 2-3 hours per lesson - I am trying out all the code examples and am going through all the end of lesson labs, review questions and case studys.
At the end of each chapter, there is a Suggested Practices section where you create applications without assistance based upon the concepts in all the lessons for that chapter. I would imagine these Suggested Practices are essential if you want to pass the exam, but they would take hours or days - I intend to complete these towards the end of my study and am allowing plenty of time for this.
As a whole, the lessons are mostly well explained but I find an accompanying text (e.g. APress Pro C# 2008 and the .Net 3.5 platform) is essential for cross reading as is going online and searching the internet. Occasionally the examples do not work but this might be because I am using Windows 7 and Windows 7 was not out when this book was written (I've encountered issues in the security chapters mainly). I've not encountered many other mistakes to note, so this edition must've eliminated most of all the terrible mistakes in the previous edition.
So to summarise, the book is great for a starting point, but allow at least half to a day per chapter (16 chapters) without doing the Suggested Practices and then allow many weeks following the completion of the book to do the Suggested Practices and as many test questions as possible. It's a lot of work and this book is a good guide as to what is required. I am learning a lot (that I haven't needed in my career thus far) and learning is the point - oh and also to get the certification.
This is a great study guide to the exam. It is not the be all and end all, but if you are sitting the exam I would highly recommed this. its well laid out and the sample test in the book are great. Also a great feature is the 'Case Scenarios' at the end of each chapter where a real world problem is outlined and you are asked to solve it using what you have just learned, great way to get you thinking about what you have just read. I would recomed plenty of practice coding when reading this book... try out all the examples!
A must read for anyone taking the exam.
Really, what is the point otherwise?
Several examples of answers to questions which it provides are plainly wrong.
For example, there is one case where the book gives the correct answers to 4 questions in a particular lesson.Trouble is, this particular lesson has only 3 questions and only two of the answers it provides relate to the questions asked.
Proof-read by an idiot?
Another (and by no means the last) is with the accompanying question study app (which, interestingly has been written by a juvenile primate) that displays multi-choice questions and when you've selected your answers, highlights the correct questions and provides explanations has to why options are wrong or correct.....
Sometimes it flags an option as being correct, but the explanation given as to why it is correct immediately means that that option could never in a zillion years be correct.
..and this is not the only error. On a minor note, some questions asked refer to details not even mentioned in the book. Not a bad thing per se, but an irritation nonetheless.
Overall, could I recommend this book? If the book was simply described as a learning tool and not as a definitive examination resource then Yes - it's easy reading, does not assume a great deal of prior programming proficiency, blah, blah...and if you have no intention of sitting the MCTS exam...
However, as an examination resource how can one recommend something that is so fundamentally flawed as to spout incorrect answers? The student has no faith in the book they're reading so what's the point?
But, if this is a 2nd Edition, I shudder to think how many errors, typos and mistakes were in the original! I counted x5 mistakes - for example, Chapter 11, Lesson 3 has x4 'Lesson Review' questions, but x5 sets of answers at the back of the book!
Did nobody proof-read the book? (If not, why not?!) Or is this just another example of Microsoft's bug-ridden development practises?