I’ve never been able to get myself motivated to pursue the Microsoft certifications

in the past, the value proposition for me as a BizTalk Server developer was never

there. First, for a long time there were no BizTalk certifications, and even

once they created such certifications I was never asked about them when pursuing positions.


some of that has changed, first I now work for a Microsoft Gold Partner and the more

certified people they have on staff, the easier it is for them to maintain that status.

Secondly I’m currently engaged in some internal planning and as part of that it was

going to be very helpful if I knew just exactly what was required to achieve the BizTalk

certification. Enter TechEd and PearsonVue…


Monday and Tuesday at TechEd 2007 I had some free-time, some by choice because none

of the tracks interested me, some because the sessions I wanted to attend were canceled.

PearsonVue had a testing center setup at TechEd and had lowered the exam cost to $50

per test. That was well within the area at which I could “risk” the money on

not passing, so I decided to take 70-235 “Developing Business Process and Integration

Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006”. I’ve been working with BizTalk

Server since 1999 when I was part of an organization doing Alpha and Beta adoption

of BizTalk Server 2000. I know the product very well, but I still expected to

fail because I have always had the impression that the certification exams covered

minutia that you would not encounter in your day to day work with the product.

Apparently I was wrong, I passed the exam and in so doing earned the “MCTS: BizTalk

Server 2006” certification.


since I was pleasantly surprised by what was expected for that exam, I decided to

take TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 – Application Development Foundation, which

I also passed. That exam had allot of asynchronous questions on it, but I did

well enough. So since I was now officially on a streak I went and took TS: Microsoft

.NET Framework 2.0 – Distributed Application Development, which I also passed.

That means I’ve also met the qualifications for “MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Distributed


Finally I did take, but not pass, the Web exam as well. It contains two question

areas that I was weak on, and that was my undoing. Specifically it contains

questions on Mobile web development, and “Deployment Scenarios” which are all about

which Wizard/Tool you would use. Since almost all my deployment scenarios for

Web are done manually because I understand what each of the files in the solutions

do, I was weak on the tools which publish/copy your site for you.

All in all, it was a good week, and I’m pleased with the quality of the certifications

from Microsoft. It’s not going to guarantee you an guru, but it will ensure

you’ve got someone competent at the technologies.