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What do I need to do to get certified as an MCAD or MCSD?

I'm veteran mainframe CICS/Client Server Application Developer with experience in Microsoft Software Tools. I'm currently attending .NET certification. My question is: What do I need to do to get certified as an MCAD or MCSD? And where do I need to go?
If you read some of the past questions, you'll see that I don't put much weight in certifications. There's nothing wrong with studying to learn about the technologies and how to get started with them. However, the certification scheme has become such a "ticket punch" that they don't really indicate skill levels at all. What I'd recommend is that developers write an application using the technology they're interested in. The best advice I can give is to contact a non-profit organization that needs some applications developed and to take one of them on. The important thing here is to finish it! As a hiring manager, I'd take that person in a heartbeat before I'd take someone with a certification.

This was first published in August 2003

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