Although developer exams are notoriously difficult, Microsoft does make a number of training resources available for free. That should help candidates to better prepare for the exam. Even so, there are some trouble spots to watch out for.
One of the most important considerations to take into account is that late last year Microsoft released the Mango update to Windows Phone 7 (which brought the version up to 7.5). Mango was a major update with hundreds of new features, most of which were targeted at developers. As such, it is important to make sure that the training resources that you are using are current and that they include information related to the Windows Phone 7.5 release.
Another potential trouble spot is that simply knowing how to develop Windows Phone 7 applications might not be sufficient for passing this exam. Microsoft places a bit emphasis on code tuning. Specifically, you will need to know how to write an application in a way that doesn’t consume an excessive amount of battery power or Internet bandwidth. Similarly, you will have to plan for storage capacity (both locally and in the cloud). Of course, your apps will have to be able to access cloud storage in an efficient manner.
The best way to prepare for this exam is to spend lots of time developing applications for Windows Phone 7. Thankfully, Microsoft provides a number of different resources that can help you to do so.
One essential resource is a subscription to the App Hub. An App Hub subscription costs $99 and allows you to submit up to 100 apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Additional apps can be submitted for $19.99 USD each.
A more important reason for getting an App Hub subscription is that the App Hub includes the tools that you will need in order to copy the apps that you develop to a Windows Phone 7 device for testing. Without these tools physical device testing is all but impossible.
Another important resource that you should use when preparing for Exam 70-599 is the Windows Phone SDK. The SDK provides you with most of the tools that you will need in order to develop Windows Phone 7 apps. Perhaps the most important of these tools is the Windows Phone Emulator, which allows you to emulate a Windows Phone 7 device on your PC.
There are two important things to keep in mind about the emulator. First, the emulator is not full featured. Microsoft has locked down the emulator and blocked access to most of its functions. Some hacks are available that unlock additional features, but you may find that the development process goes more smoothly if you use physical hardware.
The other thing to consider about the SDK is that Microsoft routinely updates it and the updates are not always available at the link listed above. After you download the SDK you should search for SDK updates and verify that you have the latest version of the SDK.
Finally, check out some of Microsoft’s free training resources. One particularly good resource is Jump Start: Windows Phone 7. Jump Start for Windows Phone 7 includes 19 training videos for Windows Phone 7 development. These videos generally range anywhere from half an hour to two hours in length, with the average length being about an hour.
Recommended Study Resources
Although this is not one of Microsoft’s more popular certification exams, there are some study resources available. Some of the better resources include:
Getting Ready for the Windows Phone 7 Exam 70-599
2011 Microsoft Exam 70-599 EXAMETRIX Pocket Review Quiz Questions
Free E-book: Programming Windows Phone 7