Today I took and passed the 70-433 database development Microsoft certification exam. All in all, it was not a bad experience. I think that I started to look at the prep kit about three weeks ago; spending, on average, about ten or twelve hours each week studying.
The Microsoft Press Test Kit seemed to cover all of the items that were on the test… but there were some portions where the "coverage" was a brief entry with notes that you should look at the books online. Fortunately, sitting down and taking the practice tests was enough to show me what areas I needed to look over on my own with other resources after I had finished reading the book. It seemed to me that the actual test might have been a little bit easier than the practice tests… although, to be honest, the practice tests themselves seemed to get easier as I took them (I ended up taking three and then reviewing most of the questions in order before burning out last night). I don’t think that I would have done nearly as well on this test without first having read the T-SQL Querying and Programming books in the past.
I haven’t decided what certification I might pursue next. I have the test prep kits for both the implementation and administration as well as the business intelligence tests. It is tough to figure out which of these two to take as I am fairly certain that I could take and pass any test on SSIS, but that SSAS and SSRS would give me troubles; in addition, I have never really had the task of administering a database of my own (beyond my personal computers). Furthermore, I don’t know how much of a difference, if any, there is between the MCTS and MCITP tests there are and if it would be worthwhile to go ahead and take the MCITP for database development prior to these others. In either case, I think that I am going to take a few weeks off to read some novels, play some games, spend some time with the wife, etc before spending most of my free studying for the next certification.