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Clarifying Microsoft's Certified Solution Developer Certification

Achieve MCSD with only Visual Basic.

Clarifying Microsoft's Certified Solution Developer Certification

Recently I received an email from a reader seeking a clarification on Microsoft's Certified Solution Developer Certification. In it, she asked if it's possible to achieve the MCSD by concentrating only on Visual Basic.

If you're considering getting Microsoft's Certified Solution Developer Certification, you might be happy to know that it is possible to achieve this certified developer status by concentrating only on Visual Basic.

To become a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD), you must pass three core examinations: Desktop Development exam, a Distributed Development exam, and Solution Architecture exam. You must also pass an elective examination.

For the Solution Architecture Examination, you have no choice---you must take the grueling Analyzing Requirements and Defining Solution Architectures (70-100). Within Desktop and Distributed development, there are a variety of `tracks' that you can pursue: Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Visual Fox Pro. If you intend to pursue the VB `track', you can take the Visual Basic 6 Desktop Examination (70-176) and the Visual Basic 6 Distributed Examination (70-175) to fulfill your three core examination requirements.

As for the elective examination, there are about twenty or so to choose from, including the Visual Basic 5 exam.

Yes, that's right, Visual Basic 5. Visual Basic 5 is still a supported Microsoft package, and I work with many companies that are still using it. The Developing Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 (70- 165) examination is available to take as an elective---and if you are like many Visual Basic programmers who have been using it for many years, you may find this examination to be a piece of cake.

Many MCSD candidates are under the mistaken impression that once you have taken two Visual Basic exams you cannot take another Visual Basic exam to fulfill your elective requirement. This is incorrect. In fact, if you check out the Microsoft Certification Web Page, they even have an example of how you can achieve the MCSD exactly as I've described here.

Written by John Smiley, MCP, MCSD and MCT, is an adjunct professor of Computer Science at Penn State University in Abington, Philadelphia University, and Holy Family College, and has been teaching computer programming for nearly 20 years. He also teaches a number of very popular online courses at SmartPlanet and ElementK. In addition, John is the author of four very popular Visual Basic books, and is reportedly the first guest to write a computer program live on ZDTV's Screen Saver's show.

John Smiley is president of Smiley and Associates, a computer consulting firm located in New Jersey.

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