Thursday, October 18, 2007

About Certifications and More....

Without wasting any time I have begun work on C# and how I can add value to myself. Industry recognized certifications is the way ahead! In case you are unaware about certifications, they are proof of your competence. You may be knowing Java but is there a standard way to test your profiency in the language? Yes there is! Sun Microsystems will test you (for a price of course!) and if you pass the test you will get a certificate from Sun saying that you are a Sun Certified Java Programmer or SCJP as it is popularly known. The test is not a cakewalk by any means, though you wouldnt call it very tough as well. Like any other exam, planned preparation will see you through. Many of my friends have cleared it and some with exceptional scores. And like Sun Microsystems there are a whole range of Companies that provide you with options to get certified in their products. Certifications add value to your resume. Of course there is a lot of difference between certification knowledge and working knowledge. However, a combination of both will really make you the expert in that field. That is why many of the certifications in their "Who should appear for the test?" FAQ tell that the ideal candidate would have worked on the technology for about year or so. However many of us in India take the test even though we have no working knowledge of the particular technology/product. I guess we have been brought up like that.

So much do you have to shell out to appear for the exam? Well that varies from exam to exam but the simple programming ones cost you around $50-100. That is about INR 2000-4000. Not too expensive I would say given the salaries that people are getting these days in the IT sector in India. And if you are already working for a company chances are that your company will refund the amount back to you. So that's pretty cool!

Thomson Prometric is the most popular vendor offering tests in various certifications across the globe.

So while I am still in the learning phase of C# and the .NET framework, I will also start preparing for the certifications. That is because if I got to have the edge in the market I must get certified. In the course of the next few posts I will be posting articles about things you should know about C# and the .NET framework that might help you in the certification exam. My first target is to clear the 70-536 Application Development Foundation and then the 70-528 Web Client Development after which I would be a MCTS in Web Application Development. Lets see how this turns out! Godspeed!

To know more about Microsoft Certifications, please go here.
To know more about Sun Certifications, please go here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Answer

In my previous post I had written about the dilemma I was facing. Well it seems that the dilemma is no more! And the answer is I will be using ASP.NET and Microsoft tools for developing whatever I develop henceforth.

So how did I arrive at such a decision? Firstly, if you have read my previous post, I do have a soft corner for Microsoft Software and Technologies. This is because I have used them before and find it easy to pick up.

Secondly, my work in the new role will revolve around .NET. Hence, the obvious choice seems to be .NET. Through this week I realized that developing a full-blown web-app in any language/technology/platform/framework involves in-depth knowledge. And as I have to work on .NET I might as well use it.

So the decision has been made. Its going to be C# and ASP.NET 2.0 all the way for the next few months.

Also Mr. Bob Tabor's videos I downloaded from msdn tilted the balance towards .NET and Visual Studio. For more about that visit MSDN Beginner Developer

In the posts to follow this, I will post about things that I learn about .NET, probably about how to get certified and other useful things as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Dilemma

I am facing a dilemma that many of you would have already faced or will face in the near future. I was planning to get into Web Development completely and had a nice idea for a simple web app. But as I am a beginner I am unaware of the various frameworks/languages/techniques/design patterns using which a robust web application can be made.

My good friend Darshan Santani sent a presentation which compared various options. PHP/Ruby on Rails/Java using Struts/JSF, ASP.NET etc. Each option had its pros and cons and at the end, the presenter had made a very simple conclusion:"The option with which you are at ease is the most suitable."

Having done my final sem project on VB, I am very much used to Visual Studio as an IDE. Though I have explored NetBeans and Eclipse, the ease I find in using Visual Studio is not there. You could say that I am a prisoner of Microsoft Software which has handicapped me in using only Microsoft software. With Microsoft coming out with Express editions of its tools and other software being used by developers like Visual Studio and SQL Server Express editions which are available for free, rookies like me who are used to the Microsoft way of software development can now use the these express editions at no cost. It is as good as Open Source IDE's for Java like Eclipse or NetBeans. So now that I have the express editions to pursue my interests why should I opt for Java? The answer lies in the fact that whatever Microsoft is providing you is only just sufficient for you to learn stuff.

But if you want to do some serious stuff then you will have to shell out a pocketful to get the appropriate software from Microsoft. Impressive strategy I must say! So though I am not into anything really serious at this moment, If I build my competency in .NET then I would have to probably shellout $1000 for just a Windows Server Operating System. Compare that with Ubuntu Server Edition which is FREE and probably is much more secure. But learning Java at this stage means to invest the one resource I am short of - TIME!!

So you are aware of the dilemma now! Any suggestions will be helpful as to what I should do- but at the moment it looks like .NET to me.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hello World!

The first example that any book on any programming language will give you is that of a program to print "Hello World".

So I have titled this post as Hello World, wishing all you readers a big hello. Welcome to my blog on the technology that I am learning which I want to share with all you people out there.

I am working as a Sofware Engineer in a Software Services Firm catering to the parent company which is a Retail giant in the world. Apart from the work that I do I am generally interested in technology, specially the Internet. Hence I thought it was high time that I started sharing whatever I learn with the world out there. I have greatly benefitted from the numerous blogs and posts by various people and I hope that whatever I post here will be beneficial for someone. I have a busy schedule and might find it difficult to post regularly but I will try my best and hope that this blog does not turn out to be one that is deleted.

People interested in contributing to this blog are invited. Please send me a mail at singh[dot]shashishekhar[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in forming a blogging team.