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Months behind schedule, I have begun preparations for my next exam: 70-487 Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services. If I pass this one, I’ll be MCSD in Web Applications. At first glance, this seems like a fairly easy exam but that’s where the danger lies. This is why I decided to write a blog post to prevent other people from falling into the same trap.
I have worked with Azure, WCF, Web API, Entity Framework, ADO.NET for my whole career (all 4 years of it + the time I worked with it in college, which makes it about 5 to 6 years). But I never actually learned the theory of these techologies, I just used them in reality. So it is almost certain that I have missed some details about these technologies that could be vital to the exam.
For instance, when I started working with Entity Framework, the fourth or fifth edition was released with the introduction of the DbContext. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I ever actually had to fall back to the ObjectContext class, and according to the official preparation book, it seems this class does still get some coverage on the exam.
Unlike the official preparation book of 70-486, which was rubbish, this one is quite easy to read. But if you do some research yourself on MSDN, you’ll notice they just copied whole paragraphs from it! No wonder they did because Microsoft’s documentation is excellent. Nonetheless, it is a good book to start with but I don’t believe you’ll pass if you just read this book (and especially if you’re new to the technologies).
Anyway, as a way to prepare for the exam, I’ll take notes (i.e. copy/paste text from MSDN) and share them with you. Moreover, I have created a Github repository where you can find code samples that could be useful for you to understand certain concepts or behaviors.
Next to the book and my links, there are other options such as:
- Fire Brand Training Preparation Guide: a lot of slides covering most of the exam topics in depth.
- Pluralsight: a good source for when you have heaps of them preparing for the exam. If you don’t have the time, you might want to skip the videos and stick to the book and my posts.
The outline of the exam is straightforward. There are five chapters:
- Part 1: Accessing Data
- Part 2: Entity Framework
- Part 3: WCF Services
- Part 4: Web API
- Part 5: Deployment
I’ll share the same outline for the remainder of this series.