Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The road to becoming an MCSD: Web Applications 2/4: Exam 70-480

I wanted to pass the 70-480 exam as a first stepping stone in my quest for MCSD (see my previous post). To do so, I might just try the exam out and see how I would do, but that would also mean I would not get any refresh course on the exam objectives, which was part of the goal.

How to pass Microsoft Exam 70-480 (HTML 5, CSS3 and JavaScript) in 30 days

On the internet you can find a good guide into building your carreer: www.developerhandbook.com. It also has a chapter on how to pass the 70-480: http://www.developerhandbook.com/career/how-to-pass-microsoft-exam-070-480-html-5-css-3-and-javascript-in-30-days/. It shows some books which might help you: 
Programming in HTML 5 with JavaScript and CSS 3
This book was authored by Glenn Johnson and was written specifically to help you pass the exam by giving hands on, practical examples, specifically target at the exam objectives.
Each chapter is divided into manageable sections, complete with hands on exercises (usually one or more per chapter).  This book very much helps you learn by doing, which in my opinion, is the best way to learn.
I believe that if I hadn’t read this book, I genuinely believe I wouldn’t have passed the exam.
But I am not one to learn much from books. I learn a lot more from doing and lectures. The site also has a list of Pluralsight training videos which is more my style of learning:
Here are some of the videos I watched whilst preparing for this exam; (Make sure you follow along whilst the presenter is talking!)
And probably the most important video on the site (from your perspective at least ) … HTML 5 Advanced Topics.

Pluralsight course playlist

Based on that list of Pluralsight courses I created my own playlist:

And started to follow the courses listed.

It is indeed important to make sure you follow along whilst the presenter is talking! But the courses feel sometimes very slow paced if you know the subject, and you feel the urge to skip to the more interesting parts. Than I found out (thanks for the tip Silvan Thus!) you can set the pace of the video yourself from 0.5x to 2.0x. I've set the pace to 2.0x when the course is handling the basics and to 1.0x if it gets to something new. Be sure though to not start at 2.0x. Your mind has to first focus on the course, and then after a minute or so you can set it to 1.5x and after another minute to 2.0x.to get onto

Now I got a lot of basics refreshed and even some new which I did not know. But when I got to the sixth, Learning to Program ..., I was getting bored by the videos. I had done the JavaScript track on CodeSchool last year, and there wasn't much new coming through. I felt confident enough to pass the exam, so I planned the exam.

Examination time!

I did pass it, with a score of 778 out of 1000. A tip to focus on during training: The exam focused much on how to use Ajax without the use of jQuery or other libraries, so make sure you check you know the XhrRequest fundamentals.

To be continued ...

So that was exam 1 of 3 on the road to becoming MCSD, 2 to go. Next blogpost will be about passing the exam MS 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications.