For the autodidacts out there

No financial interest here but Microsoft Press has an Earth Day sale with 50% off eBooks. So if you’re looking for that LINQ book, want learn more about C# and the Entity Framework, or just like buying computer books (ahem), this is a pretty good deal. Promo-Code: EARTHDAY.

Mark W.


Since we are off topic anyways, do you have an opinion about the 70-483 Programming in C# certification?

I don’t. And you’re right. We should have @josecgomez move this thread to another Topic. @hkeric.wci has had good book suggestions in the past.

Certifications are like participation trophies… Nice to have but they mean nothing. Don’t waste your money
Though feel free to read the books and study the stuff, you’ll learn something (maybe), however paying for the piece of paper seems silly.
The tests are generally an awful indication of actual knowledge, it just means you read a book and you know how to take a test well.

In my experience working in higher education for years I saw again and again how the results of a test mean absolutely nothing when it came to performance. I saw kids with a damn near perfect SAT score crash, burn and drop out of college because they couldn’t cut it.

If you are looking for a job, the certification may help you ONLY if the person doing the hiring knows what it is and cares about it. Again I am yet to find anyone that I have interviewed for that even knew that there was a Programming in C# Certification.

Sorry for the rant, but these certifications have become a huge source of income for these companies and provide little to no value to the person paying for it.

@Mark_Wonsil done


Thanks for the detailed response. That’s also been my impression of them. I wish HR departments would understand that as well :slight_smile:


Agreed on the certification. Nice to attract attention but the knowledge in the courses is the important half part. The other critical half is the application of the knowledge in a demonstrative way. Luckily, with the internet and open source you have the easiest resume building ability ever. Find a framework or topic that interests you and go for it. Fill your resume with the open source contributions. Start small - unit tests, documentation, anything to get comfortable with the process. Branch out form there.

Signed, father of two kids in IT now…


Great points all!
With rapidly changing technology, whatever value a certification has is soon lost in obsolescence anyway.Having done hiring myself for 20 years I can tell you the best IT folks I’ve found were those who taught themselves - not for a certification, but just because they loved it. Find someone like that and keep them well paid.

Happy Friday all!

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Well to be clear, you need both. You need to breadth a formal training gives you to move up the chain of command. But that is only one aspect of course.
I equate it to building a structure. A handyman / carpenter can crank out a really nice barn or shed, possibly even add a room to the house. All valuable skills and pragmatic costs and extremely valuable. I would not want them designing a sky scrapper though. Likewise I would not want an overpriced engineer and architecture to put up a prefab Shed Kit - they might not have a clue which end of the hammer is which.
Too often in IT (and especially in IT Recruiting) we don’t understand the differences. I believe it’s one of the leading causes of sarcasm in the dev community :wink:


Thanks for the heads up on the sale. Picked up a BI book on Excel and a C#

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