Getting Up To Speed

I recently received an email from someone who watched my “Rock Your Technical Interview” video:

… long story short, I have way too many years of classic VB (and all its flavors) and only two or three years of (VS 2005/2008).  I have had several interviews but have discovered I’m too light in too many areas and what i know is not current. Can you suggest what i should focus on to get up to speed the quickest?  maybe MVC?  WPF?  Azure?  MCSD certification?  Any help appreciated.

Here is my reply to him:
You are in a hard spot to get a job in the .NET world. First, get a current version of Visual Studio by going to or These sites will give you for free VS 2013 Professional.

Second, start watching training videos on You can get a free trial there or if you are enrolled in school, they will give you free access to the site (not sure for how long). Many of my best friends create content so I know a lot of it is good.

Third, the technologies you mentioned are all very different. Try to decide if you want to do front-end or back-end programming and go that direction. It’s too hard to know it all anymore.

Forth, I do recommend taking classes. For instance, I teach at UCSD and we have a certificate program there that is good proof that you got through our program. They all are online now if you don’t live in the San Diego area. Also, certs are good too. Anything you can show to a perspective employer will help. Any recruiter will tell you this is a good idea.

Finally, I am recommending this to everyone who comes to my Rock Your Technical Interview conference session this year; always write programs at home no matter what level programmer you are. A program you thought up and wrote and maybe sell. Take these programs on a thumb-drive so you can show a company during an interview. At my last company we required this… especially for beginners. This goes a long way to proving you know your stuff. This is actually how I got jobs as a beginner but I carried around a box of floppy disks back then.

Also, you can get the latest version of my tech interview conference session on DVD by going here:

I hope my suggestions will help you too. If you have any feedback, please post a comment to this post.