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I've just finished 70-536 ("Microsoft .NET Framework - Application Development Foundation") Microsoft training book from Microsoft Press. I found it quite good. I have also done the 70-528 ("Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 - Web-based Client Development") book. What book should I be reading next?

I am job hunting, so I want to be marketable for a position as a software developer. What will make me stand out from the crowd and get the job?


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"What to learn next" questions are deemed off topic. Please see the FAQ –  ChrisF Feb 5 '11 at 21:03
From your question it's not clear in which order you finished these books. Depending on this, the answer could be either 70-544 or 70-520 I guess ;-) –  Péter Török Feb 5 '11 at 21:04
@Péter was the one that asked about the order, not me. –  ChrisF Feb 5 '11 at 22:06
@ChrisF fair enough. how can I reword the question? –  codys-hole Feb 5 '11 at 22:35
@Péter I stated that I had just finished 70-536. That mean's that I did 70-528 and then 70-536! –  codys-hole Feb 5 '11 at 22:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

What will make you stand out? Some experience. Reading books is a nice extra but you need to have demonstrable skills. Being able to read a book and pass a test doesn't show you can build a website or an app.

Having a website or an app shows that you can build a website or an app.

Hey Kirk thanks for the suggestions. I have one really good professional site that I created about a year ago. I use that to show case my skills in ASP.NET Web Forms, css, ajax at interviews. I am playing around with MVC 3 and the entity framework at the moment, so I could create a few mock MVC websites and have an online portfolio. Should I put the source code up there? What kind of small app's could I create to put up there? Thanks again. –  codys-hole Feb 6 '11 at 11:47
That sounds like a good start. As for what else to show people, it really depends on what market you are aiming for. Corporate people will like data display and entry, maybe reports and charting, a focus on function - marketing places might look more at the design itself (aesthetics). Consider if you are look for UI focused work, or do you want database / class library kind of work. It's up to you if you put the source up there, but most people will be more interested in the final product than the innards (I'm not judging whether that's correct or not, just my experience). –  Kirk Broadhurst Feb 7 '11 at 4:11

If exams are your goal, then be aware that 70-528 is being retired at the end of June 2011 and 70-536 will only be around to support VS 2008 certifications (and retired once those aren't supported anymore). So you'll want to pick something from the VS2010 or VS2008 track.

In terms of the next book to read, you can just pick something that fits with your goals. I don't have the numbers memorized, but take a look at Microsoft's MCTS certification or MCPD certifications and pick one that suits your goals. You should be able to pick a reasonable progression from there, especially since you already have 70-536 as a foundation.

okay so if I was to say what book would you recommend to become a superstar c# programmer, then what book would you recommend? –  codys-hole Feb 6 '11 at 2:02
@codys-hole C# in Depth by Jon Skeet + many of the language-agnostic books listed here. There's more to being a superstar programmer than knowing a language. –  Anna Lear Feb 6 '11 at 3:03
Thanks Anna, I'm going to get C# in depth and I'l have a look at the other ones. –  codys-hole Feb 6 '11 at 12:30

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