I am graduating from a two year college in May 2002; I really enjoy working with Visual Basic. My question is: Should I prepare for a Visual Basic 6 certification or a .NET certification? I've taken two Visual Basic courses and I plan on spending the next year studying it, but I am concerned about discontinuation of the exams for VB6. Any advice will be helpful.
That's a tough question! Every situation is different but here are my 2 cents:
VB 6 is not going away too soon. Companies will be supporting it for a few years. MS has announced they will be dropping support in 2005. In any event, we will all need to do VB 6 development for quite a while yet. Because of that fact, experience and knowledge in VB6 is quite valuable. A certification will probably hold its value for a few more years.
The .NET exams are not quite ready for prime time yet. One of our developers has taken a C# beta, but the real exams aren't out yet. In a perfect world, I would recommend certifying under VB 6 first and then moving to .NET. You will have to gauge whether employers in your area are quickly adopting .NET or if they are going to hold on to VB 6 for a while.
I would ask what is your purpose for taking the exams? Is it to assist in gaining employment? For the personal edification? Is it to make sure you have all your bases covered in your learning? I do believe we will all need a good background in COM+ development for the mid-term. If you don't have a good handle on subjects such as: ODBC, MTS, database transactions, Windows DNA, Distributed Computing Architecture, ASP, etc., you may want to utilize your study for the exams to brush up. We will be needing those skills for some time yet.
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