New Windows 10 MCSD Credential Makes Its Debut
In the wake of the recent (and apparently ongoing) release of Windows 10, MS has now unleashed a new Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, or MCSD, certification. MCSD: Universal Windows Platform also gives an indication Microsoft's future direction regarding its desktop platform.
Rather than labeling the credential with a specific Windows version (such as Windows 10), the company instead focuses on the more general concept of a "Universal Windows Platform" through which it seeks to help developers created what the company calls "a compelling user experience." The credential will also encourage the leveraging of "other services and devices" while using "best coding practices to enhance maintainability."
This latest developer certification goes live next week on Oct. 13 and will require candidates to pass three exams — namely:
As I write this blog post, this new credential is not yet present on the MCSD home page, though Larry Kaye's Oct. 8 Born to Learn blog post entitled "Certification Update: New Windows 10 MCSD" promises that it will appear there soon (probably on Oct. 13, when the credential goes live).
There are two things about this forthcoming MCSD credential that I find extremely interesting. First and probably foremost, it's that the credential is explicitly associated with Windows 10, but does not include the Windows 10 moniker in its name. Second, the use of the Universal Windows Platform terminology, coupled with the exam descriptions' focus on mobile line of business (LOB) apps, and the emphasis on lifecycle management, all tell me that MS is trying to roll out a new paradigm for its most modern app and application development tools, languages, and methods.
I sincerely believe that the terminology seeks to promote a development mindset that will put conventional, desktop-oriented application development and more modern mobile app development all under the same umbrella, and all within the purview of a single consistent set of development tools (visual development, source code controls, test and deployment environments, and so forth). This snapshot of the "Skills measured" items for the 70-354 exam speaks directly to all of these points in stark, simple relief:
What will be most interesting to watch over time is whether or not the developer community picks up this vision and runs with it. Microsoft has tried to redefine and relabel its development apparatus several times in the last decade, first around web-based application, and then later around Modern/Windows Store UI and mobile apps, with varying degrees of success.
It's clear that the company is savvy enough to understand that developer engagement and participation in their vision is an important element of future success. The open question still remains whether or not this new vision will capture enough fancy amongst and amidst the developer community to create the kind of critical mass necessary to add momentum to the Windows 10 quick cadence model for OS updates and revisions, and to give it the legitimacy and widespread support it needs to succeed. Very interesting, indeed!