Ten years ago I abandoned my wife and new born son and locked myself away cramming for Microsoft certifications. I passed the 4 exams and achieved my MCSD.
Now, ten years later, once again I have abandoned my wife and new born (if 10 months is considered ‘new) and locked myself away cramming for, this time, just a single Microsoft exam. The exam was booked, up went the sign on my office door “Go away, I’m studying” and cram I did for an entire weekend. Occasionally eating the pizza kindly slid under my door. I used as my study tool the Microsoft Press Training Kit for 70-562 (.NET Framework 3.5 – ASP.NET Application Development).
Unfortunately it took longer than planned to get through the book. So when Monday morning arrived, the day of my exam, I hadn’t even finished the book. I skipped the entire chapter on Mobile development solely relying on what I could remember from the Mobile Toolkit – yeah, that was helpful. I sped through a practice exam as I forced breakfast down my throat. Needless to say, I failed. Not by much but failed. I would have rather failed then barely passed having not been properly prepared.
So back went up the “Go away” sign. I finished the book and labs. Having written the exam I knew better how the questions were presented and tried to study accordingly. I started taking practice exams but rather than just test what I’ve learned, I used them to look up every answer - right or wrong. Most often the wrong options were still valid so I ended up compiling a list of hundreds of code snippets. These certainly helped as I re-wrote the exam today. Having been prepared now for mobile questions, I ended up only having 1 question on it and it wasn’t a problem. I don’t recall a single WCF question compared to a couple on my first exam.
It was such a relief to pass this time, I could finally have my life back. Goal achieved. It certainly was a lot of work to cram a lot of content into my tiny brain. The stress from that feeling there was so much more to read or study or practice.
I just may have to reconsider the next exam . . . . in 2020. If I never go through this again it will be too soon. Oh, and if I have another new born in 10 years, please smack me.