SharePoint 2010 Developer Exams 70-573 and 70-576 Thoughts and Tips

Having recently sat and passed Microsoft SharePoint 2010 developer exams 70-573 and 70-576 I thought I would share what I used to prepare as well as thoughts on the exams themselves!

First, about the 70-573 exam.  Passing this exam will earn you the MCTS: SharePoint 2010, Application Development certification.  The MCTS acronym is for Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist.  The exam was pretty straight forward with scenarios and code samples.  At the beginning of the exam you can choose to see code in either VB.Net or C#.  In preparation for this exam I used and would recommend the following:

  • Our online instructor led course MOC: 10175.  This course does a good job of covering at least 80 percent of what you’ll see on this exam. That’s not an official number; it’s based on my own educated guess.  There are a few areas that are not covered in this course that you are likely to see on the exam.  Topics that I encountered on my own exam included:
    • Developing custom search solutions.
    • Developing Timer jobs.
    • Creating custom Field controls.

    Here’s a book for additional topics or self study I liked “SharePoint 2010 as a Development Platform” published by Apress.  It’s a massive volume at over a thousand pages but it’s one of the most complete reference books I’ve found out there.  The authors do a good job in showing code examples as well as explaining concepts. This book doesn’t go into Timer jobs but there are plenty of references on the Web for that topic.

The 70-576 exam is the “Pro” level exam.  Passing this exam in addition to the 70-573 exam will earn you the MCPD: SharePoint Developer 2010 certification.  The MCPD acronym is for Microsoft Certified Professional Developer.  I found this exam to be a bit more awkward to classify.  It had elements that are more IT admin based as well as stuff that is developer based.  As with the 70-573 exam you can choose either VB.Net or C# at the beginning but I encountered very little code on my exam.  The questions where more scenario based and had you making decisions on best practices and efficiency.  In preparation for this exam, I used and would recommend the following:

  • Our online instructor led course MOC: 10232.  This course covers just about everything you’ll see on this exam.  If I had to quantify it I’d say it would be in at least the 80 percent range.  Like the MOC: 10175 course for the 70-573 exam, there are a couple of topics that are on the exam but not covered in the course.  Uncovered topics that I found on my exam included:
    • Developing custom search solutions.
    • Developing Timer jobs.

    A book for additional topics or self study that I liked is “Professional SharePoint 2010 Development” published by Wrox.  The book is deceptively thin page wise.  This is due to most of the code not being included in the printed text but in downloadable Visual Studio solutions.  The book did do a nice job covering topics such as custom Search solutions.

While passing these exams and holding the certifications isn’t necessarily the best measure of your proficiency in SharePoint, it does provide something solid to be measured with.  In addition to that, just studying and preparing for these exams will force you to explore topics that might not have explored otherwise.  In some people’s cases, such as my own, the certifications are required for your job.  Overall I felt the exams where fair and followed their published objectives.  I hope that this information will be useful to others that are either required or just desire to obtain the certifications.

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