If you want to be a Microsoft Developer, having the right certification can make all the difference in the world. Learn the basics about how to become a Microsoft certified developer here.
The IT job market is ever-expanding to include new roles and positions on a yearly, if not monthly, basis. Deciding to specialize or hone your computing talents in a specific field can be a very smart investment of your time and money.
But with so many choices when it comes to the different IT sectors, which often have subsectors, (and whose sub-sectors may have subsectors, too), knowing where to start and making the right certification choice can be confusing.
We’ll take a closer look at the many roles a Microsoft developer can take and discuss how to get qualified.
Back-end, Front-End, Full Stack
When undertaking your initial research into IT developer roles, you may have heard the terms back-end, front-end, and full-stack. These terms are used to describe the different, overarching types of the developer with almost all other types of development roles residing under one of the three categories.
A Front-End Developer is also known as a client-side developer. Front-end developers specialize in the aesthetic of user interfaces, creating layouts that are easily navigated by clients.
A Back-End Developer is also known as a server-side developer. Back-end developers design and implement functional core logic, performance, and scalability in software.
Full Stack Developer is able to perform both front-end and back-end work and is, therefore, able to create a fully-functioning web application.
Choosing your Niche
A developer is actually a broad-spectrum term when it comes to IT. In fact, there are around 19 different types of developers currently recognized in the workplace.
From front-end developers to low-end developers, things can get confusing fast. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of developers that professionals opt for specialization:
Web Developer: A web developer specializes in creating and designing websites. At entry-level, becoming a web developer typically only requires a basic knowledge of common coding processes, such as CSS or HTML.
Desktop Developer: A desktop developer works with desktop operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. This is one of the oldest types of development careers.
Mobile Developer: A mobile developer works to create mobile apps and interfaces. This is one of the fastest-growing developer careers.
Data Scientist: A data scientist writes and designs software that analyzes data sets.
DevOps Developer: DevOps developers create, deploy, and integrate back-end software and systems.
Security Developer: Security developers create software that tests the security and integrity of IT security systems.
Other types of developer roles include middle-tier, graphics, game, big data, CRM, SDET, embedded, high-level, low-level, and WordPress.
Getting Microsoft Certified
As you may have discovered during your research, Microsoft truly represents the gold standard of IT and IT certifications. This makes becoming Microsoft-certified a smart move in terms of your personal and career development.
Let’s talk about how to get certified and what certifications are available.
Popular Microsoft Developer Certifications
Microsoft offers a very large range of certifications, and with some searching, you’ll likely find a course to suit the developer you want to become, whether general or more niche. However, there are some courses which make for popular choices such as:
- MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development
- MCA Microsoft Azure Developer
- MCE Microsoft Azure DevOps
- MTA: Intro To Programming
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
When it comes to selecting a course, the best advice is to hunt around as well as look through the course specifics to make sure the certification you choose is well-suited to the area of IT development you want to become specialized.
Becoming a Microsoft Certified Developer
When you have found the certification best suited for you, you’ll next need to consider how you’d like to go about getting this certification. Do you want to study alone at home or would you benefit from a group training session? Would you prefer to be on-campus or study remotely?
Thinking about how you learn best is one of the biggest things individuals overlook. This can often leave a student stuck in a learning environment that isn’t suited to their needs, thus reducing the chance of passing their exams.
You’ll also need to double-check that you meet the course/certification requirements. Remember that Microsoft represents the gold standard of computing, so they like to be a little discerning when it comes to eligibility for their certifications.
Some courses may require 1-2 years of practical experience, a BA degree, or even an entry-level Microsoft certification to be able to undertake the certification in question. You don’t want to spend money on a training course or exam only to discover later that you aren’t eligible.
Finally, you’ll need to consider funding. The cost of a course/certification is probably the biggest reason why not all of us choose to become certified. These certifications can be costly, but it is important to remember that you are investing in yourself and your future.
Additionally, many certifications may connect to more specialized positions within a few years which can include an increase in pay. It’s also worth checking with your boss or HR team as to whether there are any funding scholarships in place to promote education within your company.