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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

Book Review: MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-528): Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Web-Based Client Development

Technology is changing faster than ever. After ASP.NET 1.0 came out in January 2002, it took over three years for ASP.NET 2.0 to be released (in November 2005) but the latest version, ASP.NET 3.5 which has come out in November 2007 has taken a relatively smaller time frame. To add to developers' woes, most of them are perennially short of time. Therefore, learning a new technology under time constraints and becoming productive quickly is a challenge.

As the book MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-528): Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Web-Based Client Development, is based on the well-conceived certification objectives of the new Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) series Exam 70–528 & focuses on the essentials of ASP.NET 2.0 as they relate to the real-world, I feel it's useful for MCTS aspirants as well as those interested in ASP.NET 2.0. This is also the only 70–528 exam prep guide currently available as the Amit Kalani book is still in cold storage.

In the distinctive style of MS Press certification books, the content is well-laid out & you are also informed of the typical time you would need to complete each chapter. Going by that time estimate, you will need about 24 hours to finish this book.

This book does a good job of explaining the many new ASP.NET 2.0 features and the significant experience of the authors Glenn Johnson and Tony Northrup, shows in the explanations.

It is not perfect however. I noticed a few typos/printing errors and some technical inaccuracies. On pg 101, there is a highlighted statement - "The Table, TableRow, and TableCell controls are new in ASP.NET version 2.0". These were in fact available in ASP.NET 1.x.
On page 658, using CSS expressions, an IE proprietary feature, is encouraged as a HTML Layout Best Practice. How can a non-cross browser feature be called a best practice?

There were also a few bumpy statements that got me wondering. On pg 520 - "IIS regularly restarts ASP.NET applications to improve reliability, and applications are restarted if the computer is restarted".

I feel the lesson on Web Parts could have been better written with more complementary graphics. A few of the code samples are too introductory to be of any practical value. I wish the unwanted namespaces in some of the code samples were excluded. Moreover the code samples are in both VB.NET & C# and this makes this 900+ page book bulkier.

Overall, this book covers a considerable breadth of ASP.NET 2.0 topics in a well-organized & easily understandable manner. In my opinion, it doubles up as a good preparatory guide & a textbook for those graduating from ASP.NET 1.x to ASP.NET 2.0

Related links:
Fritz Onion's Essential ASP.NET webcast series
Learning Plans

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Posted by Blogger TheDrunkenThinker | 2/14/2008 01:08:00 PM

If you do not have a full or part time job where you are utilizing these skills on a daily basis could one that has prior programming knowledge and has done some small project be able to read this book and take the test and pass?    

Posted by Blogger Anil | 2/14/2008 02:03:00 PM

In my opinion, the book alone may not help.    


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