This week I got certified, I guess. I took two tests, each one took 30 minutes or so, and got an MCTS Web Dev certification.
Because it was so easy (and cheap, test prices are 125$ but with discounts you can take a test for 85$) it makes me feel like this certificate doesn't mean much to those who know what it is.

.Net and Visual Studio can make it to easy to just drag and drop to create an application. Microsoft also has a lot of built in tools to make life simpler. Mastering these tools and drag and dropping seemed to be the focus of these tests. Sure, there were some questions about serialization, but after working with .Net ever since the first release (was it a preview or a beta? too long ago to remember) I found that most of the questions were about things I've never had to do.

Even without having experience with some (or most) of what Microsoft decided a .Net web developer should know, it was very easy to pass these tests, I guess after such a long time working with the .Net framework you understand the philosophy behind it and can guess how the folks at MS would've called a method, even f you never heard of it before.

There is a whole business built around certifications, Microsoft offers online courses and books and there are plenty of other companies in the game as well, so maybe it's all about the money, or maybe it's more important for IT certifications (system and network administrators should probably know what their doing, if you let them near the most important servers in your company).

So now I have my MCTS Web Developer certification, my guess is it won't hurt but I'm not sure how much it will help. I was planning on doing a third test to get the MCPD, but the only reason to do it now is to check if that test is any harder.

(btw, according to the Microsoft Learning web site, there are just over 20,000 MCTS Web Dev 'achievers', and 4,500 MCPD Web Dev while the number for certified windows 2003 sys admins is 186,000. This numbers are updated for April 2008, seems like not too many people felt the MCPD is worth it...)