Exciting news on a Sunday afternoon as we just opened ‘MCT Renewal 2010’. All MCTs are invited to renew their MCT Status at their earliest convenience. Traditionally this is also a time of year where many new MCTs join our program.
In 2009, we focused on the tools and resources that MCTs need to deliver top-notch training. We made great strides in MCT Readiness and we now run monthly MCT Readiness LiveMeetings (known as the Third Thursday sessions). This year, MCTs are encouraged to take advantage of our three day, MCT and Educator Virtual Summit in April and more than one hundred recorded presentations available for download on our MCT Readiness Web site. (MCTs & Educators Register now for the MCT and Educator Virtual Summit - April 7-9, 2010)
MCTs have access to our full range of learning products, receive special discounts on Microsoft Press and O-Reilley (e)books as well as discounts on certification exams. We offer a free TechNet Plus Direct subscription to each MCT and each MCT can now request free Camtasia Studio and Snagit (screen capture and recording software) subscriptions as part of a special offer from TechSmith.
In 2010, we will introduce better ways to stay informed and new tools to help MCTs collaborate and communicate more easily. This will enable us to offer an even stronger tool set for MCTs to prepare for and deliver top-notch training in a more efficient and effective manner.
I’m smiling, I just renewed my MCT and look forward to an exciting year!
MCTs: Renew today using our MCT Program Renewal Tool
Interested in joining the MCT community? Have a look at the program here
Into my mail box today came not one but two notifications of cool resources from Microsoft to help me get stuff done like a pro!
No 1: Microsoft Fix IT
This seems to be a great resource of known issues and troubleshooting tips. Pretty AND cool ;-)
No 2: Microsoft Answers
This is a HUGE, and I mean HUGE forum or questions/answers, help, advice, etc….
The forums cover tons of stuff, from Office, Windows, Security and even Windows Live apps. Some of the contributors have posted thousands of posts to help people out, awesome.
Some of you may remember the Beta Drama, Red Telephones, and Silver Linings post from a few months ago. We did follow up with Prometric about whether they could move the registration start time from midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) to sometime when Prometric offices are open. Unfortunately they could not move the time because it would have affected all their other testing customers as well. Sadly, I didn’t get my red telephone either.
However, for the soon-to-open Exam 71-669 beta, we’re going to try something slightly different. I hope that this solution will have the same benefit as the red telephone. We’re going to wait to send out the notifications containing the beta code until 9 am EST on registration day.
Instead of getting the beta code a couple days ahead, you’ll receive it at 9 am the day of registration. You’ll get a notice a few days ahead telling you which day to expect it—just without the code in it.
What time is this in my region?
If you are interested in taking 71-669 TS: Windows Server® 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization, be sure to submit or update your SME profile by end of day Friday. Instead of midnight EST, you should be ready to register at 9 am Eastern Standard Time on March 1st. If your SME profile indicates that you have work experience with virtualization, you’ll receive a notification containing the beta code at the e-mail address indicated in your Microsoft Connect profile. If there are still seats left on March 3rd, we’ll post the beta code here on Born to Learn.
If you have an opinion about this change, put it in the comments here or send it straight to us at email@example.com. The idea is to make the process better, so if this isn’t an improvement, we’ll go back to what we were doing before. (And by the way, it’s not too late to wish me Happy Valentine’s Day.)
Readiness is key to every MCT so that we can remain sharp and keep "up to date" with the technologies we teach. I have been fortunate to attend the recent in-person summits and the virtual summit last year, finding great value from being part of these events.
See you in the summit cafe chat room in April!
Please join us for a special Live Meeting series created specifically for managers of IT professionals and developers. Click below for more information and to register for:
The Truth About Certification ExamsThursday, February 25 at 8:00 A.M. Pacific Time (What time is this in my region?) Join psychometrician Liberty Munson for a behind-the-scenes view into how Microsoft works to ensure that certification exams are a valid measure of technical skills.
You can find the full schedule of Live Meetings for Managers as well as recordings of previous meetings at our new IT Manager portal.
Want to know which exams will be available soon? Curious about how Microsoft develops exams? Interested in being a part of the exam development process? Join Microsoft Learning’s Krista Wall and MCT David Elfassy for the answers to these questions along with the “7 Truths about Certification.” Get the inside scoop on what your exam score really means and learn how Microsoft is fighting to protect the value of your credential.
This new presentation is a deeper dive into certification and a good follow-up to our popular Certification 101, however Certification 101 is not a prerequisite.
Register for one of the following Live Meetings:
Back in the Fall, we kicked off recruiting for one of our most important initiatives this year - the Microsoft Learning IT Manager Advisory Council. 15 fabulous managers of IT and Developer teams joined Microsoft Learning in Berlin in November for the IT Manager Advisory Council, Europe Summit - a day of open discussion around the challenges we face when it comes to reaching the folks who are making hiring decisions and managing teams. (Read the original post)
This group met again (this time via Live Meeting) in January to continue our discussion and start to map out valuable tools, resources, information that Microsoft can provide to IT People Managers.
Well, we want to do it again.
We’re looking for experienced folks who manage a team of IT Professionals or Developers to work with us as part of the Microsoft Learning IT Manager Advisory Council, North America Summit. The primary objective for this group is to provide input and feedback around key Microsoft Learning strategies and products and to help us build solid recognition at a manager level around the value of certification and learning. Members will share their insight and experiences as IT managers. They will be the voice of the community as we develop offers, tools and materials exclusively for the IT Manager audience.
We’ll be holding 2 in person meetings per year, one anchored by TechEd North America and one by TechEd Europe. Between times we’ll use Live Meeting, conference calls and email to stay engaged.
Are you interested in participating as a North America representative to the Microsoft Learning IT Manager Advisory Council? Or do you know someone who would be a great voice for the team?You can find the IT Manager Advisory Council Profile form here. Selected individuals will be notified in April.
What are the Requirements for Participation?• 18-24 month commitment• Min 3 years experience in IT• Min 1 year experience as a manager of IT or developer team• Participate in 1 day of Advisory Council activity prior to TechEd North America (June 6, 2010 in New Orleans)• Participate in 3-4 Live Meetings during the year
What do Advisory Council Members get out of their participation?• A voice in developing new offers, products, tools, etc.• Direct contact with Microsoft Learning strategists and product experts• A TechEd registration discount• Microsoft Learning product discounts• Exclusive swag and treats from Microsoft
For more information or if you have any questions, please send me an email
Do you have work experience with configuring Project Server 2010? Want to help us create the next Project Server exam? Here’s your chance! We are looking for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for the following exam:
We’ll be using the MSL SME database to find participants for blueprinting as well as other phases of development for this exam. For your best chance of participating, create a SME profile by filling out the survey on the MSL SME site on Microsoft Connect. (See this post for more information.)
Please note that if you already filled out your SME profile, you’ll need to go back and update it. I changed the answer options for “Which technologies do you have work experience with?” to specify versions of Project Server. We’ll be looking for folks who select Project Server 2010 on this question to help develop these exams. If you filled out your SME profile awhile ago, your answer will show as Office Project Server without a specific version unless you go back and update your survey response
Live Meeting: Certification 101: Getting Started with Microsoft Certification (Worldwide) Investing in training and certification can help make you more valuable in today’s economic climate. Join the Microsoft Certified Professional team for a Live Meeting to learn about the value, benefits, and process of getting certified: choosing a certification path, preparing for your first exam, taking an exam, and what to expect after that.
Are you a desktop virtualization subject matter expert? We’ve got the beta exam for you!
71-669 TS: Windows Server® 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-669&Locale=en-us
As with every beta exam, seats are limited. We’ll be using our MSL SME database to recruit for the first round of beta participants. For your best chance of participating, create a SME profile by filling out the survey on the MSL SME site on Microsoft Connect http://connect.microsoft.com/site862. If you have already created your SME profile, make sure that you update it to reflect your interest in taking a beta exam and your experience with virtualization technologies.
Thank you for your patience, do not adjust your monitors, Born to Learn was indeed offline for a while but we are back up!
What happened? Well, let’s just say Erwin has been very nice to all us B2L bloggers and he will be serving us coffee and snacks until the end of the day :-) Erwin has secretly been working on fine tuning Born to Learn, always eager to improve and he now knows the answer to ‘do I cut the yellow or the red wire?’
It’s good to be back, thanks Erwin for working day and night to get us back online!
I hope you are enjoying the Olympics, for us the games just became even more exciting as we read about Steven Holcomb on CNET news.
Steven is the reigning world champion in the four-man bobsled.
Steven is on his way to Olympic Gold, he’s also a gamer, he is A+ certified and a Microsoft Certified Professional! Needless to say, Born to Learn is now rooting for Steven :-).
Read the full story on CNET news here.
Wow, I just saw this video and as I think all of us here love technology, have a look at this. It’s worth watching until the end!
Microsoft Learning’s localization team wants to improve the quality of the localized ILT courses, and we need your help to do it.
Given that Valentine’s Day came and went over the weekend, I thought I’d send a little Valentine out to all of our friends on Born to Learn, celebrating our beloved readers. (Please forgive the complete lack of flowery prose. There’s a reason that I don’t work for Hallmark!)
O B2L community! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
You make us laugh, you make us cry.
You make us cringe when you ask, “Why?”
You’re almost never quiet and shy.
You have nerve and you have style.
Your feedback is most worthwhile.
For you we’d walk at least a mile.
You love to teach and love to learn.
For new technologies you yearn.
Your certifications you earn.
Though we can’t always make you happy,
And I admit this poem is sappy,
Born to Learn readers, we think you’re snappy.
Here’s to you, B2L community. You are the life of this party. Will you B Mine?
You may have seen/heard our Windows Phone 7 Series announcement. If not, have a look here to see more (and I’m nearly at the end of a 2 year contract, time to upgrade!:-))
What does this announcement mean for developers?
Everything you could ever want to know about Windows Phone 7 Series is at MIX10. You’ll preview the new development platform, show you how to work with the Windows Phone 7 Series development tools, and give you a tour of the Windows Phone Marketplace. All MIX10 attendees will receive access to the Windows Phone 7 Series development tools and have access to a dedicated track on the Windows Phone 7 Series platform that runs throughout the event. MIX10 attendees will also receive exclusive free developer support for the Windows Phone 7 Series development tools. Don’t miss this unique opportunity -attend MIX10.
Once a year, we get infected with ‘Summit Fever’. We run a ‘readiness’ program throughout the year that ensures that our Microsoft Certified Trainers have the ‘latest and greatest’ knowledge on new technology and new courses. Once a year we run Summits: three days and nights of technical overviews, deep dives, train the trainer sessions etc. It’s an exciting event where MCTs share content and best practices.
This time around, we proudly invite MCTs & academic Educators. We will offer tracks that are specifically designed for Educators and MCTs and we will cover all main Microsoft products as well as our new courses. All of this through our Virtual Summit platform, that also allows for Expert Chat Sessions and even hosts a few ‘virtual bars’ :-).
Yes, there’s a serious case of Summit Fever going around right now; great presenters are added every day, great ideas for sessions fly through our inboxes (including some surprising ones like ‘Cloudy with a chance of fear’ – on security:-)).
Educators and MCTs, please take a look at our summit agenda here. The event is complimentary to all educators and MCTs, I hope you will save the date to your calendar and look forward to seeing you at our summit!
Last July we launched a program that enables subject matter experts (SMEs) to express interest in participating in content development for Microsoft Learning. At the moment, our SME database contains about 2000 profiles—way more than I ever expected. If you have created a SME profile, you should have received a notification from Microsoft Connect inviting you to fill out a survey about the SME Profile Program. I hope you’ll take the time to tell us what you think so far. We’ll use your feedback to continue to make improvements to the program. I’ll also post a report here in a month or so with the most interesting themes from the survey results.
For those of you who have not filled out your SME profile yet, what are you waiting for? Now’s as good a time as any. See this post for instructions.
This is the ultimate visual guide to the fun, practical ways you can use Windows 7 in everyday life:
· 12 reasons why you’ll love Windows 7
· Get ready: Action stations!
· Interact with the Interface
· Jump Start: The Taskbar and Start Menu
· Hardware help: Device control at your fingertips
· Take note, and get creative: WordPad, Paint and Sticky Notes
· Introducing Windows 7
· Join the Library
· Start: what’s really on the menu
· Those handy little helpers: desktop gadget
· Keeping your system safe and secure online
· Stop spyware with Windows Defender
· Prevent hackers with Windows Firewall
· Protecting you and your data
· Using BitLocker
· Set up your PC so it’s safe for all the family
· Parental Controls
· Using User Accounts to protect your children
· Prime searching
· Find files quickly and easily
· Exploring the Index
· Do things quicker in Windows 7
· Keyboard shortcuts
· Advanced folder tips
· Never lose a file or photo again
· Create a system image
· Set up your network at home in just 10 minutes
· The Network Center
· Share files and more with a home network
· Connect, share and update
· Networking know-how
· Hooking up to a wireless network
· HomeGroup networking
· Move files between your PC and your smartphone
· Organize your photos: Windows Live Photo Gallery
· Enjoying your music with Windows 7
· Create playlists: Windows Media Player
· Your music, how you want it
· Ripping yarns: selecting the right format
· Using Windows DVD Maker
· Home movie show: Windows Live Movie Maker
· Windows Media Center
· Improving the Windows Media Center experience
· Get more from Windows Media Center
· Streaming from your PC to an Xbox 360
· Play great games
· How to fit a graphics card in five easy steps
· Set up your Windows Live Mail account today
· Make sending emails a pleasure, not a chore
· Getting news and files with newsgroups
· Organize your life with Windows Live Calendar
· Getting the most from Windows Contacts
· Better browsing with Windows 7: Internet Explorer 8
· Tailor your internet connection
· Get internet feeds delivered
· View feeds in Windows Media Center
· Protect your ID with Windows CardSpace
· Taking your PC out and about
· Windows Mobility Center
· Battery power: laptop energy management
· Discover the secrets of the tablet PC
· Save time on the move
· Setting up your mobile device
· Ensure a smoother, faster PC system
· Windows Experience Index
· Fast and flash: solid state drives
· Windows ReadyBoost
· Top 10 speed boosts
· Cut down on crashes and solve PC problems
· Making the most of System Restore
· Performance and Reliability Monitor
· Watch recorded TV on your cell phone
· Use your PC to control your TV
· Go high-definition with Windows 7
· Your high-definition questions
· Make your own cell phone ringtones
· Get fit using your PC
· Create your perfect patch
· Find your family history
· Create a paperless home
· Make your own must-see movie
· Shoot and share: make more of your photos
· Take the hard work out of homework
· How to get the best grades
· Never forget anything again
· Host the ultimate party
· Create a killer résumé
· Take your office with you
· Childproof your home office
· Personalize your desktop
· Choosing the right edition
· The main editions compared
· Take precautions before you install
· Using Windows Easy Transfer
· Consider the power of your PC
· Installing Windows 7
· Common queries answered
· Keep your PC as good as new
We expect the book to be available via online retailers on February 24, 2010. We’ll post excerpts from the book and much more information about it at that time. You can preorder the book here or here.
Anticipating the rapid adoption of Windows 7, Microsoft Learning introduced numerous training and certification resources and offers to help IT professionals and developers get up to speed quickly. Many of these resources, including certification upgrade paths, are now available on a single Web page.
Even if your company doesn’t plan to standardize on Windows 7 this year, it’s not too early to start exploring your options.
<warning> This is a long post </warning>
Ever tested your knowledge on these topics? Want to?
I have just the opportunity for you.
I know some of you are just waiting for the announcement while some of you may find this page through a search engine and have no idea what I’m talking about. Whatever brought you here is not important at the moment. What is important is that I am providing advanced notice of upcoming exams for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.
Why is this worthy of your time? If you decide you want to take one, or more, of these exams, it’s important to know what you’re up against and what it will cost you.
First things first. Cost. Simple. You don’t have to pay anything to take these exams. Absolutely, 100% free, no charge, take ‘em while you can. There are no catches, no caveats, no tricks. Free is free in this case.
In case you doubt me, let me explain what a beta exam is and why we are offering it for free. During our exam development process, we make the actual exams available, at a Prometric testing center, for no charge. This is a step that helps us increase exam quality by having industry experts evaluate each question, by taking the exam, and providing feedback to Microsoft. We use your feedback to fix, replace, or scrap questions that are technically incorrect, not relevant, etc. You help us create a better product for your fellow developers that will have to pay for the exam.
Some common questions and answers are provided here;
1) How much does it cost to take a beta exam? – Absolutely nothing but your time. There is no charge. Nothing from Microsoft or Prometric.
2) Is this a real exam? – Yes it is. Even though the questions are not scored at the time you take the exam, they are real questions and the exam is real. If you pass the exam, you earn the certification just the same as if you took it in a non-beta environment. This means you don’t get a pass/fail or score immediately following the exam, but you do get notified 8 to 10 weeks later because we move slow in getting the final scoring in place.
4) What is the main difference between a beta and non-beta exam, besides cost? – The beta exam will show you questions that have not been through a final QA check. You are that final QA check. Non-beta exams expose you to 40 or 45 questions and you have a total of two hours to complete it. The beta exam could expose you to as many as 125 to 150 questions and take up to four hours. (bathroom breaks permitted).
5) Who is eligible? – The prep guides will go into more detail about the target audience for the exams, and the links to those will be forthcoming, but, If you use .NET 2.0, 3.5, or 4, and Visual Studio to create software applications using the technologies included in the .NET framework, you are eligible.
6) Why is this beta different from others? – In the past, we have focused our beta invitations on a small set of subject matter experts. We want to expand the beta offerings even more to industry experts who haven’t taken an exam yet, are considering it but don’t want to invest the money until hey know what the exam is all about, and to get a larger set of experts providing the feedback to help drive quality.
7) In the past, I have tried to register but the exam slots were all full. How will this be any different? – We set a maximum limit on the number of beta exams that can be delivered. This is necessary for various reasons, some obvious and some not, but I won’t be going into those here. To alleviate the issue of the exams filling up, we are increasing this maximum limit to address two problems, not enough open seats and no-shows. That’s right, people actually register for an exam and then don’t show up to take it. Even it is free. No-shows result in exam seats being unavailable to someone who wanted to take it but could not.
8) When will these be available? – All but one exam will be available between the dates of March 31, 2010 to April 20, 2010. Mark your calendars now! We will also be opening registration earlier for these as well.
9) What exams are we talking about? –
70-511 TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4 70-513 TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4 70-515 TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4 70-516 TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4 70-519 Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications using Microsoft® .NET Framework 4
70-518 Pro: Designing and Developing Windows® Applications using Microsoft .NET Framework 4 will not be available in this time frame but should be available in the April time frame.
10) How do you sign up? – In a little while, I will be making a post to this blog again with the link to the prep guide, Prometric’s web site for registration and the all important beta exam codes that change that cost in your shopping cart to $0.
As always, if you have comments, questions, or suggestions, please start the dialog here.
Kim Spilker here. The Society for Technical Communications is an international organization of technical communicators whose purpose is to foster quality in print and online technical publications. Other competitors at the local level (Puget Sound region) included Microsoft UA teams and organizations like Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, and King County.
On a Tuesday night a couple of weeks ago Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Resource Kit won Best in Show in this year’s STC competition. The STC president remarked that the decision ultimately came down to the fact that this book was just really well written.
More winners from Microsoft Press and Next Level of Competition
This year Microsoft Press entered five books in the Technical Publications category of the 2009 STC Competition-Puget Sound Chapter. An amazing four of our five entries received awards, including two Distinguished awards, which is STC’s highest level of award!
Our Excellence and Distinguished winners now qualify for entry in the International STC competition.
Congratulations to our editorial team, creative team, planners, and authors – the STC judging standards are rigorous and these books reflect the best in the technical communication community.
Exam 70-579 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a technical specialist (TS) exam designed to assess candidates’ hands-on skills configuring Windows Mobile 6.5 devices. .
A qualified candidate for this exam possesses a deep and broad understanding of managing and configuring the user experience for mobile devices and mobile applications in a business environment. The candidate has the knowledge of concepts such as Outlook® Web Access (OWA) and synchronization solutions and XML configuration.
The candidate also has a minimum of one year of experience working with Windows Mobile devices. Experience includes using or managing Windows Mobile 6.5 with Exchange Server 2007, Configuration Manager 2007, and System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008. The successful candidate also has knowledge of mobile and general network security concepts such as firewalls, encryption, certificates, and configuration XML and security protocols; Microsoft ActiveSync® 4.5 or later or Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1; and messaging protocols.
The exam covers the following topics:
For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide. To schedule your exam, visit Prometric’s Web site.
Try the fun quiz on Microsoft Learning for Students Facebook site: http://apps.facebook.com/plan-your-it-bejidae/
Do you want to help develop a Microsoft certification exam? Here s your chance!
Certiport© is recruiting SMEs to help refine the content of the Office 2010 certification exams. Participants will be chosen based on expertise with the Office 2010 products - especially Word and Excel. But, they are also looking for PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, One Note and SharePoint (end-user) expertise. You will need access to the Internet and email to complete surveys related to this work. Compensation will be in US dollars via gift certificates or gift cards.
If you are interested, please submit your resume with details about your past experience working and teaching with Microsoft Office to SMERecruitment@certiport.com
Office 2010 SMEs with experience writing examination items are especially needed for this effort.
Learn how a certification exam is developed...become a SME!