|Development 16 November 2012 -|
Motivation to go for a Microsoft exam
I guess, this is quite personal but let me briefly describe my intentions to go that exam.
Second, this exam has a very interesting aspect which is listed at the bottom of the exam's details:
Credit Toward Certification
So, passing one single exam will earn you specialist certification straight-forward, and opens the path to higher levels of certifications.
Preparations and learning path
Well, due to a newsletter from Microsoft Learning (MSL) I caught interest in picking up the circumstances and learning materials for this particular exam. As of writing this article there is a promotional / voucher code available which enables you to register for this exam for free! Simply register yourself with or log into your existing account at Prometric, choose the exam for a testing facility near to you and enter the voucher code HTMLJMP (available through 31.03.2013 or while supplies last). Hurry up, there are restrictions...
As stated above, I'm already very familiar with web development and the programming flavours involved into this. But of course, it is always good to freshen up your knowledge and reflect on yourself. Microsoft is putting a lot of effort to attract any kind of developers into the 'App Development'. Whether it is for the Windows 8 Store or the Windows Phone 8 Store, doesn't really matter. They simply need more apps.
This demand for skilled developers also comes with a nice side-effect: Lots and lots of material to study. During the first couple of hours, I could easily gather high quality preparation material - again for free! Following is just a small list of starting points. If you have more resources, please drop me a message in the comment section, and I'll be glad to update this article accordingly.
The list is not complete for sure, but this might keep you busy for at least one or even two weeks to go through the material. Please don't hesitate to add more resources in the comment section. Right now, I'm already through all videos once, and digging my way through chapter 4 of Kraig's book.
Additional material - Pluralsight
Recommended workspace environment
Well, you might have guessed it but this requires Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012 Express or another flavour, and a valid Developers License. Due to an MSDN subscription I working on VS 2012 Premium with some additional tools by Telerik. Honestly, the fastest way to get you up and running for Windows 8 App development is the source code archive of codeSHOW(). It does not only give you all source code in general but contains a couple of SDKs like Bing Maps, Microsoft Advertising, Live ID, and Telerik Windows 8 controls... for free!
Hint: Get the Windows Phone 8 SDK as well. Don't worry, while you are studying the material for Windows 8 you will be able to leverage from this knowledge to development for the phone platform, too.
It takes roughly one to two hours to get your workspace and learning environment, at least this was my time frame due to slow internet connection and an aged spare machine. ;-)
Idea: Start/join a learning group
The way you learn new things or intensify your knowledge in a certain technology is completely up to your personal preference. Back in my days at the university, we used to meet once or twice a week in a small quiet room to exchange our progress, questions and problems we ran into. In general, I recommend to any software craftsman to lift your butt and get out to exchange with other developers. Personally, I like this approach, as it gives you new points of view and an insight into others' own experience with certain techniques and how they managed to solve tricky issues. Just keep it relaxed and not too formal after all, and you might a have a good time away from your dull office desk. Give your machine a break, too.