MCSD stands for Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer, and it's an information technology credential developed and administered by the Microsoft Corporation. Read on to learn more about MCSD certification and determine whether it's a good fit for you.
What is MCSD Certification?
MCSD is an acronym for Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer. MCSDs create business solutions using Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0 and 1.1 and other Microsoft development tools. This certification is designed for software engineers, software architects, consultants and other IT professionals who have at least two years of experience developing and maintaining IT applications and solutions.
How Do I Earn MCSD Certification?
Students must pass five exams to earn MCSD certification. Topics include Web applications development, Windows application development, Web services and server components, solution architecture and an elective exam that focuses on one of Microsoft's database or enterprise solutions products. These may include Visual Basic .NET, Commerce Server and SQL Server. Various question types include hot-area, active-screen, drag-and-drop and case studies as well as performance-based. Each
type of question is explained on the Microsoft site.
It's important to note that exams in Microsoft's certification tracks are sometimes retired. If an exam is retired, students cannot complete the certification track unless they've previously taken and passed the exam. Although certification exams can be retired, MCSD certification never expires.
Preparing for the Exams
Microsoft offers preparation guides for each exam. These guides contain a list of skills students can practice. Microsoft notes that this is the best way to prepare for each exam. Microsoft also recommends hands-on experience with each product prior to taking the exam. Additionally, each exam offers various training materials and resources. These include practice tests, Microsoft Press books, self-paced training kits and instructor-led training.
Students can also prepare for the certification exams via prep courses offered by colleges and universities. These courses cover content seen on the certification exams, including database objects, indexes, logical design, SQL server and desktop applications. A practice exam may also be included in the courses.