How I got my MCSD. And 10 tips for you to get it too.

MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer)? What’s that?

This was my first reaction when I heard a Suyati’s Team Lead say,“For a .NET developer, MCSD is the top and there is nothing beyond it. In addition, a certified professional is more productive, and they are credible contributors to their organizations”. These sentences were framed in my mind as I started searching for Microsoft’s Certification Program – how one can achieve it, and what procedures to follow. I was also curious about whether it will be beneficial, on which technologies one can get a certificate on, when the exams occur, how often one can appear for the exam, what is the type of question (objective/ subjective), duration of the exam, total number of questions, and more. After my research, I was really keen to get ‘certified.’

Then one day, an opportunity came to kick off this certification process. A mail from our Systems Manager arrived, containing the Microsoft Certification details. Without bothering about my project schedules, ran I straight away to my System Manager’s cabin, and showed my interest towards it. He guided me in detail with all the procedures, and my certification journey took off!

With constant changes and shifts in technology, it’s difficult to choose a particular certification program. Ideally it would be better if one selects a certification program related to their current environment, related to applications they have experience in.

There is a famous proverb “Where there’s a will there’s a way!!!” Soon after I decided to attain this certification, two of my colleagues (Subin and Ajai) joined me in this process. And that’s how we formed a study group, doing combined study after office hours. And before office hours too! We also got a lot of encouragement and guidance from our senior team members that helped us in completing this program successfully.


Top Ten Tips to pass MCSD:

  • Have a study plan and stick to it
  • Schedule your exam, so that you can set your deadline
  • Download latest Exam Ref – Microsoft Certified Toolkit for the related exam
  • Go through the link for Microsoft Exam Training
  • Most of the questions are from real world scenarios, so hands-on practice will be beneficial
  • Use mind maps – A typical mind map will start off with a central topic, and from there it will have subtopics branching from it, and so on
  • Practice with a test simulator to get an idea of the exam, and an overview of your performance
  • Break down the questions into key points, and eliminate the incorrect answers – Normally, the questions are very long, which can be hard going
  • Don’t get trapped by tunnel vision. Try to study around the topic as well
  • Take advice from senior members who have already attempted the exam

Although it was challenging, I improved a lot technically. Since I had to look into every minor detail of the flow, it helped me get a great insight on technology. Now, I am aware of the scope of my current technology, and what new features were added with the release of the current version. It also helped me in keeping updated with the latest technologies.

The learning process has taught me to utilize evolving technologies, fine-tune my troubleshooting skills, and increase my job satisfaction. Becoming a certified professional also demonstrates to customers, peers, that Suyatians are committed to advancing our skills and taking on greater challenges.

Author : Reshmi Gupta Date : 20 Jun 2014