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Are Computers Your Future? Let’s Find Out….

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So you have decided that you want to enter the tech field.  Maybe you want to create an online poker site? Or maybe you want to create the next great Windows application.  Are the Microsoft Certifications worth it?

If you had asked me this question a year ago, I would have told you, “No”.  If you get a degree in Computer Science, you will have that degree for the rest of your life.  If you get a Certification, it will expire. It is a waste of money. But that is no longer true.  Today, Microsoft’s certifications do not expire.

Some certifications will still be tied to the technology you took the certification with.  Even so, it is still a valid certification. But Microsoft has more certifications than just certifications tied to specific technologies.  Microsoft also has more generic certifications. The following is a list of some of Microsoft’s certifications that are not tied to specific Microsoft products.

98-349 Windows Operating System Fundamentals

As of August 31, 2016, this exam covers Windows 10 and it has removed any tools that are not included in Windows 10.  This exam is testing fundamental Windows Operating system concepts.

98-361 Software Development Fundamentals

This exam tests a wide berth of knowledge. Visual Basic or C# is the language used for coding in the exam.   But this isn’t just testing the fundamentals of one of these languages, it testing programming theory including core programming concepts, object-oriented programming, general software development, web application development, and desktop application development.

98-364 Database Fundamentals

This is an introductory test of knowledge and skills in Microsoft SQL Server 2008.  Although there are a lot of similarities between Microsoft SQL and MySQL, they are not exactly the same.  So don’t assume that since you understand MySQL that you do not need to specifically study for this exam.

98-365 Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

The difference between this exam and Microsoft’s product-specific Server exams is that this exam focuses more on the theory rather than the specific differences in the different server versions.

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Candidates for this exam should be sure to be familiar with the concepts and the technologies of Windows Server administration. Candidates should have some hands-on experience with Windows Server, Windows-based networking, Active Directory, account management, and system recovery tools and concepts.

98-366 Networking Fundamentals

Candidates for this exam need to be familiar with general networking concepts and technologies. Candidates should have some hands-on experience with Windows Server, Windows-based networking, network management tools, DNS, TCP/IP, names resolution process, and network protocols and topologies.

98-367 Security Fundamentals

Although this test does test general security knowledge, the candidate is expected to understand how that theory is used in Microsoft’s products: Windows Server, Windows-based networking, Active Directory, anti-malware products, firewalls, network topologies and devices, and network ports.

98-368 Mobility and Devices Fundamentals

This exam is specifically testing the candidate’s knowledge of Windows Devices and mobility.  The test also includes Windows-based networking, Active Directory, anti-malware products, firewalls, network topologies and devices, and network ports.  The test is not going to test your knowledge of Android or Apple products. No surprise there.

98-375 HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals

At first, you might think that this exam and the HTML CSS exam are essentially the same exam, but they are not.  The HTML Application exam focuses on the part of the HTML specification that deals with interaction with the user: forms, drag and drop, and other interactive parts of HTML5.  But HTML5 cannot do anything alone. It has to work in coordination with CSS3 and JavaScript.

So before you attempt to do the HTML5 Application exam, make sure that you understand everything that is tested in the HTML and CSS exam listed below.

98-381 Introduction to Programming Python

As with all of the other programming languages in Microsoft’s series, the programmer is expected to understand the core fundamentals of Python including Operators, Data Types, Control Flow, Loops, Input, and Output operations.

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But what is also included, but might not be expected, is that the programmer is expected to know code documentation, troubleshooting and error handling, and the use of the different python tools.

98-382 Introduction to Programming JavaScript

The major items of JavaScript seem to be included in the exam.  Besides the expected fundamentals of any programming language (operators, keywords, methods, variables, data types, function, decisions, and loops), the programmer is expected to understand the Document Object Model and how JavaScript interacts with HTML forms.

98-383 Introduction to Programming Using HTML and CSS

This test covers HTML5 semantic elements.  Also, the programmer is expected to understand and properly use Video, Audio, Track, Source, and IFrame elements correctly.  On the CSS side, it looks as if most of the items being tested are from the CSS 2.1 standards. None of the more recent tags added to CSS 3 seem to be tested in the exam.

98-388 Introduction to Programming Using Java

This test covers Java 6 SE and later, but be aware that Java is currently at Java 12.  In looking at what is tested, the test does not cover any GUI. The test looks to focus more on the core fundamentals of Java that every programmer should know who claims to know Java.  So you do not have to worry about if you should learn Java Swing or Java FX.

Summary

The main advantage of the 98- series of Microsoft certifications is that they focus on skills, that for the most part, are not Microsoft specific.  So even if you have a BS in Computer Science, if you never took a specific course in JavaScript, the Introduction of JavaScript Programming certification can show off your knowledge of this language to prospective employers.

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