OK, I’m not actually going to Disneyland, but I’ve always wanted to say that. I’m going to a super-geeky Association of Test Publishers (ATP) conference in Orlando with some of my esteemed colleagues from the Certification Development Team. Taj Heniser and I will be presenting about how we have been using the blog and other online tools to help put a face on certification for our customers. Hopefully we’ll also learn some good stuff that we can use to make our exams even better.
Over the last year, the Certification Development Team has been making an effort to be more transparent about our exam development process and schedule. (Hopefully you’ve noticed!) We’ve set up a SME profile system to help you get involved. We’ve posted on this blog and presented at events such as the bus tour and the MCT Virtual Summit. As Ken mentioned the other day, Liberty even has a Live Meeting coming up entitled “The Truth About Certification.”
I believe that our efforts to show you what’s behind the curtain have had an impact on your satisfaction with MCP exams. But quite frankly, I need some quotes from customers to add to our presentation—either to confirm or deny said belief. Yesterday I looked through the comments for many of the posts we’ve done in the last year, looking for some pithy quotes. I found some hilarious ones, not the least of which was Wayne Anderson’s “Mmmmmm. Rasch. Sounds like a country dish with pork and corn!” However, I was hoping for some comments that more directly address the impact of this transparency.
So here I am, shamelessly asking for you to send us some comments describing the impact that our efforts to be more transparent about the exam development process have had on you. For example:
My kids won’t be going with me to the conference, so I’m saving the trip to Disneyworld for next time. However, Stephanie Jordan, one of our awesome Project Managers, will be going to Disneyworld after the conference. She has offered to carry a printout of your quotes on a rollercoaster ride, and document said ride with a (likely very blurry but doubtless funny) picture.
You can submit your comments on this post, or send them directly to email@example.com. Taj and I will look at all the comments, and select a sampling to highlight in our presentation.
[update from your friendly editor]
Wow, 589 people joined Ken in the LiveMeeting, if you missed it, stay tuned, we ll soon post an update and new link to the recording on Born to Learn!
Exciting news today on MIX10, developers do not want to miss this one. If you are thinking of attending, make sure you don’t miss the $400 discount (ends Feb 7th) and check out the 10K Gallery which I find incredible! The things people have produced within 10K… I really encourage you to take a look!
“Just when you didn’t think it could get any better, we took it to the next level. At MIX10, learn about developing applications and games for the next generation of Windows phone. We were serious when we said you’d be learning the “future” of development—you really don’t want to miss this. MIX10 favorites Scott Guthrie and Bill Buxton have been announced as keynote speakers at this year’s conference—don’t miss the opportunity to hear from these experts and others on UX, design, Windows phone, and much more. Register by February 7th to take advantage of the $400 discount on your pass. Register now!
Be heard! Rate your favorite MIX10K challenge entry.
MIX10K challenge participants have submitted their entries, and now it’s your turn to decide the winner—visit the Gallery to rate your favorite entries. Your input will help determine the Community Winner. Voting ends February 5th so vote now!”
A really nice list of free ‘stuff’ from Microsoft on Techradar.com, and we are very proud to see LCDS at #7.
LCDS is free and enables you to create e-learning content, you can add quizzes and games, assessments and animations etc.
You may want to give it (and some of the other 47 items) a try! Enjoy!
Hi everyone! Doing ok today? Good!
Got a couple of questions for you all on how this blog is laid out.
1) Do you ever click on the tabs on this page (Microsoft Press, MCT, Train & Cert, Events)? Are they useful?
2) If we added discussion forums to BTL, are there any forums you would like us to see created? How should we organize it (by technology, by credential, etc.)?
When my colleague Deborah asked me to present a Live Meeting for IT hiring managers called “Whatever Happened to the MCSE? (and What’s This MCITP?),” I figured we’d maybe get a couple hundred interested participants.
So when I checked the registration numbers today, I was a bit shocked to find that we have about fourteen hundred registrations!
Yikes—guess we must have touched a nerve with that title! (and I guess I better finish my slides. :-)
If you’d like to join us, the more the merrier (and while you’re at it, sign up for Liberty’s “The Truth About Certification Exams” session too! As anyone who attended our bus tour events knows, Liberty’s sessions are always chock full of insider info you won’t get anywhere else!
Click below to register for: Whatever Happened to the MCSE? (and What s This MCITP?) Thursday, January 28 at 8:00 A.M. Pacific Time (What time is this in my region?) The Truth About Certification Exams Thursday, February 25 at 8:00 A.M. Pacific Time (What time is this in my region?)
Can a game about Office 2010 really be fun? Yes it can, at least I believe so!
I just installed Ribbon Hero which shows me the new features in Office 2010 as I work. And I get to boast my scores on Facebook, it is fun to read the response on that :-) (Click here to become a Ribbon Hero fan on Facebook). If you are ‘Born to Learn’, then you will enjoy playing Ribbon Hero. Ribbon Hero is a concept test for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel 2007 and 2010, designed to help you boost your Office skills and knowledge. Play games (aka "challenges"), score points, and compete with your friends while improving your productivity with Office.
As you can see below, I just went over 100 points in Word, but that was just 15 minutes of work. I’m more impressed by the number of features I just learned about!
If you are on Office 2010 Beta, try the add-in, learn & have fun!
In December, the MCSA Security Specialization plus recertification was accredited by ANSI as complying with the requirements of ISO 17024. If you hold the MCSA Security Specialization and would like to “upgrade” to the ANSI accredited version of this credential, you must pass exam 70-699: Windows® Server 2003, Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) Security Specialization Skills Update every three years. If you do not recertify every three years, your MCSA Security Specialization plus recertification credential will expire and will revert to the MCSA Security Specialization without the recertification designator.
If you currently hold an MCSA Security Specialization credential and work for the Department of Defense or an organization that prefers ANSI accredited credentials, you should take 70-699 and “upgrade” to the MCSA Security Specialization plus recertification credential. Candidates seeking employment in jobs where skills related to the security functions on Windows Server 2003 are critical to successful job performance should consider recertification if they hold this credential.
Learn more about MCSA recertification. Note that recertification is necessary to meet the requirements of ISO 17024; because legacy certifications (MCSA, MCSE, etc.) do not expire, Microsoft created a recertification process to meet this requirement for the MCSA Security Specialization credential. ANSI only recognizes MCSA Security Specialization plus recertification version of this credential as meeting the requirements of ISO 17024. If you do not pass 70-699, you will continue to hold the MCSA Security Specialization credential, but it is not recognized by ANSI as meeting the requirements of this standard. Because of the complexities related to recertification and credential expiration required by the standard, this is likely to be the only legacy credential for which we will seek accreditation.
I should also mention that the process we used to develop this recertification exam received a commendation from ANSI, which means the process was, well, awesome. Trust me, after years of working on accreditation for this credential, the praise went straight to my head…
I’m excited and proud to announce our new virtualization based lab product. We’ve been quite busy over the last 12 months working on the product line of hosted lab offerings. Today, I’m pleased to announce the release of Microsoft Learning Labs Online , with over 40 MOC Labs Online English titles. Microsoft Learning Labs Online takes MOC VMs, hosts them in Microsoft data centers. The VMs are then accessed through the interface below. The questions that may come to mind are:
As part of Microsoft Learning’s Career Initiative –which is designed to help customers and students to get trained and certified on Microsoft technologies – we are bringing back Second Shot starting TODAY.
We believe Microsoft Certification can boost your career and we want you to be successful when you take an exam. By adding Second Shot to our Career Initiative, you can now register for a free retake (should you need it), and take the exam with less anxiety and fear of not passing the exam. Second Shot is available for IT Pros, Developers and students; you can use this special offer to pass exams that are directly related to the top IT jobs available in the industry today.
Job roles, learning paths and clear guidance on getting skilled for these jobs can be found on the Microsoft Student Career Portal and for professionals, the Microsoft Professional Career Portal.
Students, register here:
Second Shot is available worldwide except India and China Prometric Testing Centers only.
Professionals, register here:
Second Shot is available Worldwide at Prometric Testing Centers only.
“Because of the breadth and depth of products and technologies, an IT Pro or Developer could build an entire career on Microsoft technology."
Cushing Anderson, Program Vice President for IDC, Consulting, HR, and Learning
If you are a game developer, a gamer or just interested in new technology (I guess that covers 99% of our readers :-)), you may want to read this article: Binary Body Double: Microsoft Reveals the Science Behind Project Natal for Xbox 360.
Soon we will be playing games without using any controller. In fact, you become the controller, the Xbox 360 will respond to your movements and your voice. If you want to see how that works, have a look here.
Hello everyone. Kimberly Kim here, managing editor at Microsoft Press. As we plan the Training Kits that will cover the next round of .NET Framework exams, I d like to hear from readers of the Training Kits that covered the last round. If you’ve read any of the books in the list below, let me know your thoughts by filling out the Microsoft Press Books Survey. (Have we mentioned that the survey is crisper, cleaner, and shorter?)
What were your favorite elements of the Training Kits (for example, case scenarios, lesson review questions, the objective card)? Were there elements you skipped? How’d we do on depth of coverage? What are your ideas for making them better?
The survey is here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/booksurvey.
We’ll analyze the data you provide and let you know here if we make changes based on your feedback. The survey will ask you for the ISBN of the book you’re reviewing, so I’ve included the ISBNs in the list.
Calling all Windows 7 Subject Matter Experts. We are designing virtual labs for our second virtual lab certification exam, 83-680 Windows 7, Configuring and we’d like to hear what you think. What tasks would you like to see on this exam?
Please send me your top 20 tasks that you’d like to see on the lab portion of this exam, and I’ll make sure your ideas are considered by our design team.
All tasks must correspond to skills measured on the exam: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Exam.aspx?ID=70-680#tab1
Julie Devine Content Development Manager | Performance Based Testing Assessments and Certification Exams | Microsoft Learning
Three months ago, Microsoft released digitally 71 of its most popular Microsoft Official Courses (MOC). Since that time, we ve received a lot of great feedback and have been working around the clock to make improvements to the digital MOC experience. Today I m happy to announce that digital MOC just got better. You asked, and we listened.
Digital MOC now includes:
Enhanced Bookmarks & Browsing: new expandable/collapsible bookmarks allow you to jump to any of the key sections in the book. Every module and then even lessons in modules are clearly labeled and hyperlinked and take you right to those sections when you click on them.
Enhanced Note Taking & Markup Tools: fast and easy ways to take notes right inside your digital materials before, during, and after class using features such as:
If you work with/are a student interested in a career in IT, check out Microsoft’s Student Career Portal.
The portal provides students with information and resources about careers in information technology, and information on training, certification and resources to pursue five job roles. Those include Consumer Support Technician for Windows 7, Database Administrator, Server Administrator, Web Developer, Windows Developer. Much more information will be added on an ongoing basis.
Each of the five job roles includes a general job description, along with desired skills, experience level, other job names that often apply to the role, the responsibilities relevant to the job and the next career step from that role. It also outlines the steps that an interested student should take to pursue that role, including recommended learning plans, e-learning courses (many are free), certification exams and discounts, and free Learning Snacks, Webcasts and virtual labs that will help a student learn more and try out the latest version of technology in a virtual lab. Some job roles include challenges designed to give students a chance to test their skills. Additionally, students can find information about jobs in the IT industry and opportunity.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the EDST, so I thought I’d post what I think you want to know in one tidy package.
To earn the MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7 credential, you’ll need to take the following exams:
Both exams are currently available at Prometric.
You can upgrade to MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7 from the following credentials:
You’ll need to take the following exam:
70-682: Pro: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
The upgrade exam is planned for release in the February/March time frame. We’ll post something here when we have more specific details.
Back in July we announced a partnership with HDI (Help Desk Institute) relating to the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician credential. In November we promised that we’d have more details by the end of December. December came and went. We still don’t have the full details, but I can tell you that the HDI certification will not be required to earn the MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7 credential.
We are exploring partnership opportunities with other certification programs, including HDI, but do not have any new certifications to report at this time. We will keep you updated if and when any new partnerships are put in place.
Jim Clark recently did a Q&A with Stephen Rose about Windows 7 certifications that was packed with information. The post title did not include the word Windows 7, so I must confess that I overlooked it. I encourage you to check it out if you missed it.
We hope you had a great holiday, your loyal Born to Learn Bloggers had a fantastic time and are looking forward to an exciting 2010! Let’s start the year with some fun:
On Thursday at 6pm Pacific Time, you’re invited to see Alicia Keys perform live!
Why? Well, this promises to be a great event and it is fun to experience it through Microsoft Silverlight. Play with the five-camera angles, become the director of your own interactive viewing experience. You can share the experience through Twitter and Facebook with friends directly from the concert 5 camera player.
Check out this free online concert Thursday at 6pm PST- http://live.billboard.com/Concert/View/200230
Happy new year everyone! Sorry there hasn t been a post since Christmas when we ended the 12 days of VBC series. The office has been very quiet since Christmas and for most of us, Monday was the first day back. We ll be back with more stuff very shortly.
I know one of the things everyone s waiting for is the clarification for Win 7 EDST cert. I ll try to get this info or an update this week.
Post your questions for our returning staff on this thread and we ll try to answer them all! =)