- Hardcover: 794 pages
- Publisher: Microsoft Press; 2nd Updated, Revised ed. edition (November 19, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0735626197
- ISBN-13: 978-0735626195
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 2.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,495,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework Application Development Foundation, Second edition 2nd Updated, Revised ed. Edition
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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.
Top customer reviews
First off, I resent the fact that it is "bi-lingual". As it is, a third of the book is useless to me (i.e. the VB.NET code samples) - a complete waste of dead trees and ink. It's not only superfluous, it is distracting, since I must continually scan for the C# code. Please bother to print two different editions of the book. It should be trivial.
Second, there is too much generic boilerplate text. Each chapter starts with the same kind of generic paragraphs stating that you should have some prior experience with .NET and Visual Studio blah blah blah. Again, I have to scan the text to see where the actual content starts.
Third, I would have liked to see some illustrations! Several topics (such as code access security) would benefit greatly from visual presentations to accompany or replace part of the text. As it is, I have to mentally deserialize the text to build up these images in my head instead.
Finally, a complaint about the exam itself (not the book) is that there are too many questions about random .NET arcana (such as the sequence of parameters to a method call, or whether you pass something to a constructor or set a property after constructing the object, or if there's is a factory method you should use rather than a constructor). A good test would focus on understanding, not on the stuff that Intellisense and MSDN gives you.
1) I read the "70-536 Training Kit" cover to cover. I worked all the labs. I answered all the sample questions. Any subject that I was not familiar with, e.g., COM interoperability, I got a book on that subject and read the first few chapters so I had a good background on the subject. (The MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit is not a primer! It does not baby step you through the basics of VB .NET or C#, nor any of the APIs.) Fortunately, I have a subscription to one of the several online technical book libraries. So, getting my hands on books was easy & cheap. I would recommend doing the same.
2) I re-read the book cover to cover. This time I only spent time studying the lab code that I previously completed. I worked the sample questions again.
3) The weekend prior to the exam, I reviewed all of the text I highlighted and again studied the lab code. (I know, I'm old fashioned. I actually bought a hard copy of this book and used a high lighter.)
I was taken by surprise at how focused the exam was on testing the minutia of the APIs. The MCTS Self -Paced Training Kit did a really good job of providing coverage of the significant APIs to know to pass the exam. I believe I could have done a lot better on the exam if I had spent more time rote memorizing the examples in the book. (Like punishment at school, write the code snippets 100 times each. A dry erase board would come in handy. But not required!)
The sample questions were easier than the real exam. So, I would highly recommend getting one of the practice tests listed on the Microsoft site, "MeasureUp" or "Self Test Software".
I don't know what the big deal about errata is. There were only a couple of times that I got annoyed. But, the online errata page resolved that.
How I passed:
Read the book twice and took the tests until I scored close to perfect.
Took the Transcender tests until I scored 100's.
Looked up some extra stuff.
The test still had questions that were not covered by the book or Transcender.
I would have rated this book 4 stars except there are too many errors both in the text and in the tests. The errors in the practice tests are the worst because it could cause you to get the answer wrong on the real test. For a second revision, I would expect little or no errors.
Sadly this book does not cover all topics. In the sample tests on the CD, there are some questions refer to topics not covered at all in the book. It is very hard to pass test just with the book alone.
And there are some errors on the answers, as noted by most reviewers.
Unfortunately there is no other book to study, except hunting through info spread all over MSDN.