A Job Description for a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developers help businesses improve efficiency with custom applications.
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People with a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) designation get jobs as software developers and programmers for .NET web, mobile and desktop applications. This certification is the second highest .NET programming certification Microsoft offers, and the popularity of the .NET framework with software development companies has created big demand for MCSDs. MCSD programmers and developers spend their time designing, coding and testing applications using the programming languages of the .NET framework, such as VB.NET or C#.

Required Skills

    MCSDs need the technical skills to qualify for the certification and to get entry-level jobs in the field. These skills mainly relate to programming using the .NET framework. As software developers, they must have the analytical skills to understand how their applications will be used and the creativity to make their applications as useful and user friendly as possible. They need to be able to work with other team members and clients during the development process. They must have the communication skills to help programmers develop applications that are in line with their vision and help clients understand complex, technical information.

Programming Duties

    How much of your time you spend programming depends a lot on the job you take. Some positions for MCSDs are more focused on programming, while others are more focused on development, but in either case, you will probably need to spend some time programming. These duties include coding software, testing, debugging and recoding the applications of any projects you work on and meeting with clients and developers to ensure your code meets their needs and specifications. Your primary focus is on programming using the .NET framework, but employers may ask you to code in other programming languages, such as Java, JavaScript or C++(5).

Development Duties

    If the job focuses more on development, you will have a more supervisory and managerial role on the development team. One of the most important duties of developers is meeting with clients and project managers to try to understand what their goals are and to discuss how software solutions can meet those goals. Once MCSDs have a clear understanding of what the application is supposed to do, they work with programmers to communicate their goals help them build and test the application. MCSDs may also bring in typical users to test the application and get their feedback on its usability, features and design.

Certification and Background

    To get the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer designation, you need to pass a series of exams developed by Microsoft, which vary depending on your specialization. These specializations include Windows Store, web and SharePoint applications and application lifecycle management. Most jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a closely related field, though some employers may let you substitute training, experience and certification for a degree. Entry-level jobs may not require any experience as long as you have a degree. Because jobs for MCSDs require such a broad knowledge base, some employers may ask you to have other industry certifications, such as the Oracle Certified Professional designation.

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