Microsoft’s MCAD Makes Debut

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Microsoft’s Road to Developer Expertise



Microsoft Corp. has added a new stepping-stone, the Microsoft Certified
Application Developer (MCAD), on the path to the updated Microsoft
Certified Solution Developer (MCSD). Exams for the new certification
paths will start rolling out in June.



“We have a favorite saying here that training takes you on a journey,
and the exams tell you whether you’ve arrived,” said Anne Marie
McSweeney, director of certification, skills and assessment for
Microsoft. “And they do more than tell you when you’ve arrived—they also
give you signposts along the way.”



You can start your journey with Microsoft’s newest addition, MCAD,
designed for application developers with one to two years of experience
working at the department level. The three exams required to earn the
MCAD are a subset of the exams required for the MCSD, so candidates can
earn the MCAD on their path toward the MCSD. New exams for both
credentials will be available in beta starting in April 2002, and the
final versions of these exams will be available starting in June 2002.



Just as Microsoft added versions to its Microsoft Certified Systems
Engineer (MCSE), a new version of the MCSD is being released, focusing
on .NET skills for developers working at the enterprise level. This
credential is appropriate for lead developers with at least two years of
experience working on enterprise solutions using Microsoft’s development
tools, technologies, platforms and the .NET Framework. Current MCSDs are
not required to upgrade to the .NET version of MCSD, which requires four
core exams and one elective.



“People should start preparing now by getting experience with the Visual
Studio product suite, and there’s training available for that. We have
this great roadmap for development skills and career opportunities for
people. It tells you which exams will apply, and it gives a great big
picture.” To see the roadmap for developing your .NET Framework skills,
go to



For more information on Microsoft’s certifications, go to


Selling Yourself with Demonstrable Benefits



Last week, we took a look at the things you should be careful NOT to do
on your resume. So what SHOULD you do to make your resume stand out?



List your technical skills, but make the list more readable by breaking
it into sections. Rank these sections according to how necessary they
are to the position. And go further by explaining how your knowledge and
ability have benefited your employers.



“The natural tendency for IT professionals is to put together a laundry
list of their skill sets and say very little about what they’ve done
with them,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of RHI
Consulting. “There has to be a complete and total cultural shift in how
IT professionals put together their resumes. They need to summarize the
technologies they’ve worked with, but they need to pay just as much
attention to what they’ve done with those technologies and how they can
help a company save time, cut costs, cut expenses and increase revenues.
A company’s not going to hire you today just because you’re a great
technologist. They’re going to hire you because you can do great things
with technology.”



Companies want employees who have demonstrated that they can deliver
quantifiable benefits, according to Lee. For example, she explained, you
might tell your potential employer that you worked on a VB team that
completed a project under budget and ahead of schedule. You don’t just
want to tell them you have great VB skills.

Some people send out a mass mailing of resumes, sending the same copy to
every potential employer. This is not the way to land your dream job. Do
a little research on the company, and then tailor your resume to each
potential position. Highlight specific technical skills that match up to
the requirements of the job. Leave out the objective, and instead focus
on a summary of reasons you’re the one to hire.



“Take a look at what you’ve done and compare it with what your potential
employer is looking for,” said Lee. “Then pick the projects that relate
most to your prospective job and highlight them.”



Blended Learning: What’s in it for You?



You’ve probably heard a lot about blended learning. But most of what
you’ve heard probably related to benefits for your organization and not
what’s in it for you. So why should you care?



First of all, what is it? Blended learning takes multiple learning
formats and unites them in order to help learners acquire and retain
more information. In other words, you don’t just go sit in a class with
an instructor. Instead, students might participate in some e-learning to
get them all ready and then go to a four-day instructor-led course,
supplemented by Web-based training materials and text to read.



It seems to be effective. Thomson Learning recently announced the
results of a two-year study, which demonstrated that blended learning—
consisting of online content and simulations, text, online and live help
desk and classroom-based training—resulted in a 30 percent increase in
“accuracy of performance” and a 41 percent increase in “speed of
performance” as opposed to single-delivery training options. 



Accuracy and speed are sure to benefit your employer, but how can they
benefit you?



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