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I am a Microsoft fan and .Net enthusiast. I want to align my career in the lines of current and future .Net technologies. I have an MCTS in ASP.Net 3.5. The question is about the continuation of certifications and my career growth and maybe a different job!

I want to keep pace with future Microsoft .Net technologies. My current job however doesn't allow so.So i bid to do .Net based certifications to stay abreast with latest .Net technologies.

My questions:

  1. What certifications should i follow next? I have MCTS .Net 3.5 WPF(Exam 70-502) and MCTS .Net 3.5 WCF(Exam 70-504) in my mind so that i can go for Silverlight development and seek jobs related to Silverlight development.
  2. What other steps i need to take in order to develop professional expertise in technologies such as WPF, WCF and Silverlight when my current employer is reluctant to shift to latest .Net technologies?

I am sure that there are a lot of people of around here who are working with .Net technologies and they have industrial experience. I being a new comer and starter in my career need to take right decision and so i am seeking help from this community in guiding me to the right path.

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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

In my opinion, the strongest reason to become certified is that it gives you a built-in goal for helping you learn a set of technologies. Go for it, if only for that reason.

Silverlight? Definitely.

As mentioned in a couple of other answers here, and in my experience, it does not really differentiate a good developer from an also-ran. Experience and other, harder to measure skills are MUCH more important when choosing who to hire.

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It's only natural as a developer to want to keep up with current technologies. However, that doesn't necessarily have to be done in the context of certification. It may not help you much to be certified in a technology that you're not currently using, and some employers may even see it as a negative.

If you've already mastered all of the technologies you use on a regular basis at your current position, then it may be worthwhile to look at additional certifications.

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Tbh, anyone that treats something you have gone to the effort of achieving, out of hand, as a negative, is not somewhere that I have the slightest interest in working. Don't know about the US/UK, but Australia is full of programming jobs, its hardly and employers market right now. –  Anonymous Type Jan 18 '11 at 21:30
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I've done a lot of hiring for our company and to be honest, certs don't carry a lot of weight for us. If we see certs on a resume we'll make note of them, but just in passing. What we're looking for is experience. It doesn't have to be commercial experience (though that obviously carries more weight). Could be your own app using the technology, or even better, get involved in an OSS project, or something like that.

Demonstrated experience is much weightier then book knowledge.

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It depends where you work. However if there are alot of candidates applying because the position is with a high profile company or the job is sort after, then expect to get eliminated early on from the pile of resumes if you don't have some certs in .NET.
Personally I agree with the other answerers, but I think certs do play a role in giving you a certain degree of additional freedom when applying for roles. You are basically removing some restrictions on the types of .NET roles you can apply for, by reducing the chance you will get culled prior to an actual interview.
That being said if you have 5+ years exp. and its a senior role they are just as likely to take a look anyway... or perhaps their logic will be... if he/she is so exp. How come they didn't have time to pickup a cert?

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+1... I tried off & on for a few years to get a job at a particular company, and could never even get called in for an interview. I finally met one of the senior developers that worked there, and he informed me that HR won't even forward your resume if you don't have a lot of certs (huge MS shop). –  red-dirt Jan 17 '11 at 12:59
    
Exactly my point right. I'm not saying they are good, im not coming from the "the study will improve your programming angle". I'm simply stating a fact of recruitment: that is this... Avoid the Cull! –  Anonymous Type Jan 18 '11 at 21:27
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