I got through two-thirds of chapter 11 in my 70-536 book today. This chapter covers application security, which is a pretty big topic, and one with which I’m not that familiar. Looking around for other reading material, I realized that Juval Lowy’s book Programming .NET Components has a chapter on security. I bought this book for the advanced .Net class I took at NYU last year, but never read far enough into it to get to that chapter. That seems to be the only book I have that covers application security though.
Looking around on the web, I see that Microsoft is dropping CAS in .Net 4.0, so I guess I’m learning this stuff just in time for it be replaced with something else. This blog entry at the .Net security blog has a bit more info on the .Net 4.0 CAS situation.
I just got the last of the three books that I need to read to get my “Web Developer on Visual Studio 2005” certification. I bought the first book at Borders, new, but the other two I got used from Amazon, really cheap. And they both still have the 15% off exam coupons in them, so I’m actually saving more money on the exams than I paid for the books. So, good deal, assuming I follow through and take all three tests!
I finished reading Catcher in the Rye last night. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading this book. There are a lot of other great books that I’ve never gotten around to reading. I think next up is maybe Catch-22 or For Whom the Bell Tolls. I’ve actually never read any Hemingway, and it seems like I should. I vaguely recall having a conversation with my father about a particular Hemingway novel that he liked. I can’t remember which one it was though.
Well, now that I’ve read Catcher in the Rye, and Salinger’s short story Laughing Man (which I read a year or two back), I should probably re-watch the Ghost in the Shell: SAC anime series. There are various references to Salinger throughout the series, and I think the series as a whole might make a little more sense, having read a bit of Salinger.
Over the course of this week, I managed to get through chapters 6 through 9, and most of chapter 10, in the 70-536 book. I’d like to have finished chapter 10 today, but I’m feeling a little under the weather, and I can’t really concentrate on anything too complex right now. So maybe tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep.
I’m hoping I can get through the remaining chapters (11 through 16) next week, then take the exam on Saturday April 3, maybe.
This blog entry from Microsoft has all the details about VS 2010 pricing. As usual, it’s more confusing than it needs to be. I may actually opt to pay for the $299 upgrade from VS 2008 Standard, assuming my free copy of VS 2008 Std is eligible for the upgrade price, which I can’t really be sure of.
I don’t think I’ll really need a copy of VS 2010 right away. I think I’m actually going to do the “Web Developer on Visual Studio 2005” certification path first, so that will keep me busy for a while. Then, I’ll take the upgrade exam for VS 2008, then I’ll think about VS 2010. So, no rush. I’ve actually got quite a bit to learn before I catch up with all the current .Net stuff.
I hit another little snag in my attempt to get through the self-study material for Microsoft’s exam 70-536. I’ve gotten to the section on creating a Windows service, but that only works with Visual Studio Professional, and I’ve only got Standard on both my desktop & laptop. I have a license for VS 2008 Pro, from the Dreamspark account I had last year, when I was taking a class at NYU, but I need to press the ISO to DVD, then do the install (which will hopefully work OK over VS 2008 Std), then re-apply any VS 2008 patches.
This all got me to thinking about VS 2010, and what the status was on that. I haven’t really been bothering to keep up with that lately. Turns out it’s scheduled for release April 12. If I want to buy an upgrade, it looks like it’ll cost $549, based on this page. This article, though, indicates that it might be possible to buy an upgrade for $299. I’ve managed to avoid spending money on Visual Studio so far, getting my licenses through either Dreamspark or at launch events, so we’ll see if I can wrangle a free VS 2010 license one way or another.
I did get through chapters 1 to 5 in the self-study book for exam 70-536 last week. I didn’t get any reading done on the weekend, though. The books24x7 account I have through ACM stopped working. Heck of a time for *that* to happen. ACM seems to be aware of the problem now, so hopefully it’ll get fixed.
I decided to go out today and buy a hard copy of the book at Borders anyway. I had a 30% off coupon, so the book cost me about $50. I got through chapter 6 today, and will continue trying to get through a chapter or two each day, until I’m done and (hopefully) ready for the test.
The book is pretty well-written, and does cover a bunch of stuff with which I’m not terribly familiar. So, it’s worth reading regardless of whether or not I take the test.
Opinion: Certifications are no longer optional
I’ve decided to pursue a Microsoft certification or two. According to Computerworld, this is a good idea. I’m still not 100% sold on the value of a certification at this point in my career, but, hey, it’s something to keep me out of trouble, and maybe it’ll help!
Somerville St. Patrick’s Day Parade postponed due to flooding
No St Patrick’s Day parade today in Somerville. Looks like they’ll try again next week. That’s OK. I’m not feeling too well today, so it’s a good day to sit inside reading books, and sipping tea.
After all the changes I’ve gone through over the last several months, I’m not entirely sure what I want to do with my life next. I’ve tentatively decided, though, that I’m going to pursue a Microsoft certification, probably some variant of MCPD. I’ll have to start with exam 70-536, regardless of which path I take, so I’ve started working on that. I’m reading through the official MS Press book for this exam, via my ACM Books24x7 account. I’ve succeeded in reading a chapter a day for the last three days, so if I can keep this up, I can probably take the test a few weeks from now.
I’m not sure how serious I need to be about practicing for the test. Should I buy a practice test from Transcender or MeasureUp or somebody like that? Or just wing it?
I stumbled across this page on CodeProject this morning. Looks like something that would be worth playing with after I make it through the book.