Thursday, July 26, 2007

Errors in MCTS Microsoft Self-Paced Training Kits

Derik Whittaker posted an item about his frustration with the errors in the .Net Framework 2.0 70-536 Self-Paced Training Kit. I have not had a chance to look at my copy yet, so this is a nice heads up.

First of all, I have to give kudos to Microsoft for truly recognizing the importance of the developer community. 

Since Ballmer's infamous rant, Microsoft has indeed put more effort into communicating with and listening to developers.  That's how I got this kit in the first place - they sent it to me for free.

However, Derik's point is that it is difficult to learn when the material is riddled with errors.  That is very true.

I actually had the very same problem while I was studying the SQL Server 2005 Implementation and Maintenance 70-431 Self-Paced Training Kit.  However, I did a bit more looking online and found a very detailed errata.  I printed this, and it was 8 pages!  There may have been a lot of errors, but they have really put in the effort to correct those errors.

In Derik's case (exam 70-536), the errata page is just as detailed.  Maybe there are even more errors in the .net book, because they felt the need to break it into 2 parts!

Not sure from his post if Derik actually found this info.  All you need to do is go to the good old knowledge base and search for the exam number.  Bang, there's the errata.  It does feel odd, because going to the support site for a book is not something that immediately leaps to mind, but this is after all a Microsoft product.

So it's hard to know whether to be upset they made so many mistakes in the first place, or just be happy they actually documented the errors properly.

I tend to cut the authors some slack.  Book publishing is a long process and these books unfortunately tend to be a) written by committee, and b) rushed because they will be out of date soon.  So I'm just happy they manage to get anything published at all.  The link to the Microsoft Learning support site is on the included CD, so if you go looking for the errata, you should find it.  But I think the CD should have a direct link to the errata page.

2 Comments:

At Fri Jul 27, 05:31:00 am , Blogger Derik said...

@Scott,

I did not know there was an errata, we (our entire team) did look for something like this, but did not find it. You are right, it does seem odd to look up a book errata in a knowledgebase.

Thanks for this info.

Derik

 
At Fri Jul 27, 07:29:00 am , Blogger Scott Stonehouse said...

Derik,

Good luck with the studying.

 

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