Sudar Blogs: My Certification Experiences

A record of my experiences with certifications. Starting with BrainBench, moving on to Microsoft (MCP, MCDBA, MCAD) and … surely one day with Sun (SCJP), together with things I come across my day to day life.

Note: This blog has been moved to

Monday, March 28, 2005

Some Certification Resource Links

It’s been a long weekend and I was using most of the time to learn ASP.NET for my 70-315 exam. I am currently using Microsoft’s MCAD/MCSD Self-paced training kit. It was quite useful. Off late I have been receiving mails from readers of this blog, asking me to post some links for MCAD preparation. So here are some of the links which I am using for my preparation. Exam Simulation/Practice Questions (Easy to use simulator with a huge question bank) Articles/Materials Wilson's Code Notes ASP.NET QuickStart Tutorial Forums News Hope these sites are useful to others who are also preparing like me. And one last line of disclaimer I am not associated with any of these sites expect that I am also one of their satisfied user.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A New Programming Language from SUN

Just a bit of technical news Guy Steele, coauthor of the Java Language Specification, is working on a new programming language called Fortress. Although the article claims the new language is intended to be better than Java the real objective seems to be a new domain specific language, this domain being science oriented programming on large super computers. Quoting from the article: ---- Fortress focuses on the needs of programmers who work in mathematical disciplines and disciplines such as physics and chemistry that rely extensively on mathematics. For starters, the code looks like math -- math the way it's written on a chalkboard, with square root signs and exponents placed above the line. ---- It was not clear from reading the article if the runtime would be based on a JVM or a completely new technology. Can anybody throw light on this...

Monday, March 21, 2005

BrainBench Offer

I just received a mail from BrainBench. As part of their promotional campaign, they are giving all their 450 + certifications for free of cost for a limited period of time. The offer starts from today (21-March) and ends on (4-April). Apart from making these certifications free, they have also introduced a new concept called Bench games. So the citizens of the country which certifies the most citizens will get a Bench Games Team Certificate. More info about the offer can be got from this link ( For those who don’t know what is BrainBench, it is an online certification site, which conducts online exams in various subjects and issues certificates on successful completion of the test. Most of the companies give emphasis for candidates with BrainBench certificates. These certificates also give a facelift to your resumes. More info can be got from So come lets start playing the game…. :)

Exam 70-270 Offer

Microsoft has come up with an offer for exam 70-270 (Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional) The offer is like this. Two people can take up the exam for the price of one. This is available only for 70-270 exam. The last date for this offer is May 31st. The official page for this offer is here. The conditions for this offer can be found here. So if anybody is interested in sharing this exam with me and if you are in India (Particularly from Chennai) then do let me know.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Passed exam 70-290

After preparing for just two weeks, I took my Windows 2003 (70-290) exam this Saturday. Oh my god, What a tough exam ! I JUST cleared it. I got a score of 700 (as you know 700 is the minimum score to pass). I thanked my stars after seeing the score for two reasons.
  • First, I don’t want to prepare for an administration exam one more time
  • Second, Microsoft is changing the exam pattern next week by introducing simulation into the exam.

So, one more exam to go before I become MCDBA (this feeling really thrills me) and I am planning to take up exam Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Microsoft Visual C# .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET (70-315) . Though I am relatively new to .NET and C#, I hope my experience in Web Programming and Java should help me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My MCDBA Track

When I was in college, I used to think that getting a Microsoft certification or a sun Certification is a mammoth task which can be done only by people with thick glasses (My idea of an expert) Then one of my friends introduced me to I took a couple of exams and got some decent scores. I took them just to show off to my friends that I am some one above them and that I add something that they don’t have. Some kind of a child ego. Soon when I landed up in a job doing some web development using PHP, my company expected me to do a certification (any certification for that matter, as their client needed it). So I started to search for the correct one. After some weeks of research I settled down to MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator) in SQL Server, as I had some interest in Databases and also I had some exposure to SQL Server in college (I used it in my college project). A local prometric center also offered me an offer. So I went and registered. Then came the preparation phase. I settled down to do a self- learn rather than going for some training for two reasons. First I didn’t had the time second all through my life I hated attending lectures. I installed the trial version of SQL Server 2000 in my system and started playing with it. I really found it difficult. Even though I have registered I postponed my exam date for more than 4 times, since I was not that confident. It took me more than 3 months to write my first exam (70-229) and at last I got a score of 875. After seeing the score I got a lot of confidence in me. I believed that I could do it. You know it was really a great feeling to put MCP next to your name and add the MCP logo in your resume, homepage, email etc…….. Before that confidence could fade away, I got an offer from a big software development company. Thanks for my confidence which made me get through the interview process. Although I have to work in J2EE in my new job I thought of finishing my remaining 3 exams for my MCBDA Track. Then I took my 2nd exam (70-228). This time I took it with in 3 weeks of preparation. I jumped off my seat when I got a score of 946 in that exam. And now as I am writing this I am preparing for my 3rd exam (70-290). This time I am going to write it with in 2 weeks of preparation. During the process I have found out a couple of new things First - getting a certification is not such a mammoth task. (Even though I wear thick glasses now, (when I am not hiding behind contact lens) Second – Having a certification does’nt tag you as an expert. Third – But a certification is really a tag for an expert. I found even carrol ( talking about the same thing.

Update : Thanks Satya for finding out those typos, which I have overlooked in my original article. Now I have corrected them.