Today I passed Microsoft exam 70-541: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 - Application Development. This exam gives you MCTS certificate. In this posting I will talk about the exam and also give some suggestions about books to read when preparing for exam.
This exam was good one I think. The questions were not hard and also not too easy. Just enough to make sure you really know what you do when working with SharePoint. Or at least to make sure you how things work. After couple of years active SharePoint coding this exam needs no additional preparation. The questions covered very different topics like alerts, features, web parts, site definitions, event receivers, workflows, web services and deployments.
There are 59 questions in the exam (this information is available in internet) and you have time a little bit more than two hours. It took me about 40 minutes to get questions answered and reviewed. I strongly suggest you to study the parts of WSS 3.0 you don’t know yet and write some code to find out how to use these things through SharePoint API.
One of my colleagues who is less experienced than me suggested Inside Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 by Ted Pattison and Daniel Larson. He told me that he found this book most useful for him to pass this exam.
When I started with SharePoint Services 3.0 my first book was Developer’s Guide To The Windows SharePoint Services v3 Platform by Todd C. Bleeker. It helped me getting started and later it was my main handbook for some time.
Of course, there are many other good books and I suggest you to take what you find. Of course, before buying something I suggest you to discuss with guys who have read the book before. And make sure you mention that you are preparing for exam.
If you are experienced SharePoint developer then this exam needs no preparation. Okay, some preparation is always good but if you don’t have time you are still able to pass this exam. If you are not experienced SharePoint developer then study before taking this exam – it is not easy stuff for novices. But if you pass this exam you can proudly say – yes, I know something about SharePoint! :)