March, 2010

  • With just 6 days to go, our speakers have their basic story ready for the summit and this is typically the time where their creativity kicks in. I expect great things from 'The Windows Platform: What's happened, what's next' where Joey Snow and Stephen Rose team up. Stephen is our senior community manager for Windows and Joey is our technical evangelist, both are dynamic presenters and both know their products inside out. What will happen when we put the two together? Stephen and Joey will take a look at the impact Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 products have had on the IT Professional. From App-V to Hyper-V, they will review key technologies that make up the Windows Client and Server Operating systems. Stephen and Joey will also discuss the future impact of the Windows Operating System on the desktop, on the server, and in the Cloud.

    Our own Krista Wall and MCT David Elfassy will tell The Truth About Certification; the inside scoop about Microsoft Certification exams. Find out which exams will be available soon, as well as what Microsoft is doing to protect the value of your certification. Get answers to your burning questions about how exams are developed, how they are scored, and how you can get involved in exam development.

    Throughout the summit, you will see 'Meet the executives' sessions. Real life conferences are often a great opportunity for many of us at Microsoft Learning to meet with MCTs and Educators, we want to hold on to that valuable exchange of information and in these sessions our executives will talk about their goals, vision and I'm sure there will be a lot of lively Q&A time. We look forward to it, see if you can join us, while all sessions are recorded these are best to attend live.

    Whether you are an academic Educator or an MCT, I'm sure you will get a lot of value out of the Train The Trainer sessions we offer. Here the authors present new and upcoming courses and these sessions should help you prepare for these new courses with much more efficiency. Hear more about the course design, how to deliver it, things to focus on and hear it from the authors themselves.

    There's more, much more, if you registered you will see the interactive agenda is now online, this may help as you plan for your visits to the virtual summit.

     

  • What is a Charter Member certificate?

    Candidates who earn an MCTS, MCITP, or MCPD certification within six months from the first date that the certification can be earned are eligible for Charter Member status. Charter Members receive a special Charter version of the certificate. This enables candidates who are early adopters of the certification to differentiate themselves from other candidates who hold the same certification.

    Why can’t I download the Charter version of the certificate?

    If you think you should have earned Charter Member status for an exam you passed within the last three or four months, but you didn’t see “Charter” on your certificate, you’re not alone. In the transition to digital certificates, the process for getting Charter certificates set up in our systems sort of broke. Some certifications released after the transition were impacted. Many of you called your RSCs to report this, but from the perspective of the customer service person looking at our systems, it looked as though you weren’t eligible.

    Charter version now available for affected certificates

    We started to get questions here on Born To Learn about whether Charter membership had been discontinued—which it hasn’t! We investigated based on your reports, and found that indeed, some certifications were configured incorrectly.

    The following certifications were affected. The Charter version of the certificate became available either in February or just yesterday:

    • MCTS: Windows Mobile 6.5, Configuration
    • MCTS: Windows Mobile 6.5 Application Development
    • MCTS: Windows Embedded Standard 7
    • MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuration
    • MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010
    • MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration
    • MCTS: Preinstalling Windows 7 for OEMs
    • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7
    • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7

    Wondering what the associated exam numbers are? Well, I’m not telling. And the reason I’m not telling is that I want to reinforce that the Charter status is associated with the certification, not with the exam. This is an important distinction for several reasons. For example, you won’t earn Charter status for an MCITP certification unless you pass the Pro level exam plus any required TS exam(s) for that certification within 6 months of the earliest date that the certification can be earned.

    For upgrade exams, the six months actually starts counting down when the last of the component exams is released in its live form. So if you’re planning to take 682 (the upgrade to EDST7) and want to get Charter status, you better get hopping like the proverbial bunny. You have less than 2 months left because 685 (the Pro level requirement for EDST7) was released in mid-November.

    Why doesn’t Charter Member status appear on my transcript?

    Charter Member status does not currently appear on a candidate’s transcript. We’d have to turn our systems upside down and backwards in order to support showing Charter status on transcripts. We are evaluating whether this change could be made at some point in the future.

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    VSLive! 2010

    Heads up, developers: VSLive is coming! Join us August 2-6, 2010 here in our home town of Redmond, Washington.

    Join our expert instructors and industry heavyweights for a week of workshops, breakout sessions and inside info on Silverlight, Azure, SharePoint, SQL Server, VS 2010, and more!

    This year, VSLive is on the Microsoft campus, which means you’ll have access to an incredible array of presenters and experts—plus, you’ll get a trip to the Microsoft Employee Store!

    We’ve got an early bird discount available through May 12th—just enter promo code NXZR07 when registering to save $300.

    Register Now

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    Exam 70-580 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a technical specialist (TS) exam designed to assess candidates’ hands-on skills developing Windows Mobile 6.5 applications.

    A qualified candidate for this exam should have experience with the following;

    • experience with or knowledge of Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or later including concepts such as types, garbage collection, MSIL, CLR , and LINQ
    • one to two years of experience developing software with the .NET Framework 2.0 or later
    • at least one year of experience developing software with the .NET Compact Framework 2.0 or later
    • one to two years of experience programming in Microsoft Visual Basic .NET or Microsoft Visual C#  
    • six months to one year of hands-on experience with Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition and/or Windows Mobile
    • working knowledge of SQL Server 2005 and/or SQL Server 2008
    • experience developing applications for devices by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or later
    • experience with Windows Mobile SDK 5.0 or later
    • experience with or knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and AJAX
    • candidates for this exam are not necessarily native and/or embedded developers

    The exam covers the following topics:

    • Working with Data
    • Packaging and Deploying Applications for Windows Mobile Devices
    • Creating an Effective User Interface
    • Optimizing the Application
    • Implementing Core Mobile Programming Techniques
    • Programming with the Windows Mobile SDK

    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.

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    627383.indd We’re happy to announce that Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant, Second Edition, by William Stanek, has shipped to the printer. The book’s ISBN is 9780735627383, the book includes 17 chapters and 736 pages, and it will be available after April 21. The book’s first edition has been updated for the R2 of SQL Server 2008.

    Below is more info about the book. Check back later for excerpts from the book’s chapters.

    Introduction

    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition,
    is designed to be a concise and compulsively usable resource for SQL Server
    2008 and SQL Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) administrators. It covers everything you
    need to know to perform the core administrative tasks for SQL Server and is the
    readable resource guide that you’ll want on your desk at all times. Because the focus
    is on giving you maximum value in a pocket-sized guide, you don’t have to wade
    through hundreds of pages of extraneous information to find what you’re looking
    for. Instead, you’ll find exactly what you need to get the job done.

    This book is designed to be the one resource you turn to whenever you have
    questions about SQL Server administration. To this end, the book zeroes in on
    daily administration procedures, frequently used tasks, documented examples, and
    options that are representative while not necessarily inclusive. One of the key goals
    is to keep content concise enough that the book is compact and easy to navigate
    while also ensuring that the book contains as much information as possible. Instead
    of a 1,000-page tome or a 100-page quick reference, you get a valuable resource
    guide that can help you quickly and easily perform common tasks, solve problems,
    and implement advanced SQL Server technologies such as replication, distributed
    queries, and multiserver administration.

    Who Is This Book For?

    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition, covers
    the Standard, Enterprise, Developer, Web, and Workgroup editions of SQL Server.
    The book is designed for:

    • Current SQL Server database administrators
    • Accomplished users who have some administrator responsibilities
    • Administrators migrating to SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 from
      previous versions
    • Administrators transitioning from other database architectures

    To include as much information as possible, I had to assume that you have basic
    networking skills and a basic understanding of SQL Server. With this in mind, I don’t
    devote entire chapters to understanding SQL Server architecture or running simple
    SQL queries. But I do cover SQL Server installation, configuration, enterprise-wide
    server management, performance tuning, optimization, maintenance, and much
    more.

    I also assume that you’re fairly familiar with SQL commands and stored procedures
    as well as the standard Windows user interface. If you need help learning SQL
    basics, you should read other resources (many of which are available from Microsoft
    Press).

    How Is This Book Organized?

    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant, Second Edition, is
    designed to be used in the daily administration of SQL Server, and as such the book
    is organized according to job-related tasks rather than SQL Server features. Before
    you use this book, you should be aware of the difference between the Administrator’s
    Pocket Consultant titles and the Administrator’s Companion titles. Both types
    of books are designed to be a part of an overall administrator’s library, but books in
    the Administrator’s Pocket Consultant series are the down-and-dirty, in-the-trenches
    books, and Administrator’s Companion titles are the comprehensive tutorials and
    references that cover every aspect of deploying a product or technology in the
    enterprise.

    Continue reading at the Microsoft Press blog.

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    Just in time for those of you prepping for our newly released Windows 7 upgrade exam (70-682):

    We’ve extended the availability of our Windows Enterprise Trial program—you now download a 90-day eval version of Windows 7 any time between now and December 31, 2010!

    This is a full working version of Windows 7—it just expires after 90 days, so you’ll need to do a clean install at that point. If you’re studying and practicing for an MCTS or MCITP exam, however, 90 days should be plenty of time.

    For more information, see the Springboard Series blog.

  • The clock is ticking and the MCT & Educator Virtual Summit is now just a little over a week away.

    Do we cover security content? Oh yes, for one thing we have David Tesar with his session ‘All Forefront Security Products in 60 Minutes’. And what about Andy Malone’s ‘Cloudy with a sense of fear’, have a look at the session abstract we received, should we be worried?

    ‘Cloud Computing is new, it’s exciting, everybody wants it! But just what are the security implications of placing all your eggs in a large multinational data centre basket? Where will your data be stored, who’s backing it up? What are the legal and law enforcement implications of storing your data in another country and most importantly who has access to it. These are questions that cannot simply be ignored. In this deep dive thought provoking session join Andy Malone as he attempts to find the answers. Is the 21st century data centre the answer to all our prayers or the beginning of a nightmare?’  

    Andy’s other session ‘The Gathering Storm’ sounds just as ominous, not to miss for MCTs and Educators, so let the clock tick because we can’t wait :-)

     

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  • Well over 1,000 of our MCTs and many of our academic Educators specialize in Office Applications training. If you are one of them, you have a lot to look forward to at our Virtual Summit. Office 2010 is just around the corner and we will be taking a first look with Debbie Collins from Certiport. During her ‘Get Ready for Office 2010’ session, Debbie will run through new exciting features and demonstrate mobile computing with SkyDrive; she will show how to master Office using the "Ribbon Hero" tool and announce some new upcoming certification exams for Office 2010! David Elfassy is on next and David will show the power of Office 2010 and Exchange Server 2010 and show how these Work Better Together.

    In the break out sessions we will focus on most Office Applications, 2007 and 2010 editions, with special tracks for MCTs and Educators. These are the applications we all use, it will be exciting to see the new features, for instance in the PowerPoint 2010 deep dive you will learn how to use the built-in Broadcast Service to share your presentations across the Internet;  how to record your slide shows with narration and a laser pointer; how to save your presentation as a Windows Media Video (.wmv) file so you can distribute it to others;  how to edit graphics and video from within the PowerPoint 2010 application itself! 7 Hours of content should broaden our knowledge on Office 2007 and prepare us for Office 2010. I look forward to it!

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  • Upgrade your MCDST certification to an MCTS or MCITP certification on Windows 7 with one exam! (this one)

    Microsoft Learning is proud to announce the availability of exam 70-682, Pro: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician.

    Get more information on the exam and how to prepare here.

    Exam 70-682 is currently available at Prometric test centers.  Localized versions (Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, German and Japanese) will be ready in early April, with a French version in the works for May 2010.

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    9780735626645fWe’re happy to announce that Windows 7: The Best of the Official Magazine is now available. Today we offer an excerpt from the book. First, here’s a quick a description of it:

    Explore the practical, fun, and creative things you can do right now with Windows 7—with expert guidance from the editors of the only officially endorsed magazine for Windows 7. This guide comes packed with smart-and-simple tips-and vibrantly illustrated how-to's-on everything from navigating the Windows interface to taking advantage of new operating system features to fun projects for home, school, and work. Topics include boosting your productivity with Windows Live and Windows Internet Explorer 8, thwarting hackers, organizing your photo and music collections, making movies, streaming to an Xbox 360, controlling your TV from your PC, using Windows Calendar to get organized, setting up a home network in 10 minutes, and more.

    The excerpt comes from Chapter 2, “Your First Hour”:

    CHAPTER 2 YOUR FIRST HOUR

    Introducing Windows 7

    Discover the new features of Windows 7, and personalize the settings to your liking

    The first time you load up Windows 7, you might not think that much has changed since its predecessor, Windows Vista, but you’d be mistaken. Although on the surface Windows 7 hasn’t been radically altered, there are many great new features.

    As the previous pages have shown, the Taskbar now becomes the place to launch your programs. Once you’ve got a few programs open, just hover the mouse over the icons and a thumbnail preview window will pop up to tell you what’s open. An additional user-friendly
    feature is Jump Lists. When you right-click a program icon, a menu will appear, giving you the option to open old files you’ve been working on or websites you’ve recently visited, along with the ability to quickly change settings.

    Many other things in Windows 7 have been made easier to use, but before you start delving into all the new features, your first port of call needs to be
    Windows Update. It’s always worth checking if there are any new downloads available to keep your PC running at its best. Updates are typically set to install
    automatically via the internet.

    If you’ve bought a new PC with Windows 7, and you still have your old PC running an older version of Windows, you’ll probably want to import your old files and settings. The Windows Easy Transfer route makes this easy – find out more on page 200. Over the course of
    installing and transferring, you’ll notice many systems options are now behind a security prompt, flagged with a shield icon. Click through the prompt (or enter your password) to continue. It can be a chore during the early stages but they become less frequent, and your PC is safer as a result. You can change how many notifications you receive by clicking the small flag icon on the Taskbar, selecting Open Action Center ➜ Change User Account Control
    Settings
    and adjusting the slider to suit, although it’s recommended you leave it at its default setting for security reasons.

    For advice, click Start ➜ Help and Support in Windows. You can also find further guidance at the website for Windows: The Official Magazine – www.officialwindowsmagazine.com.

     

    Let me stop there. This kind of excerpting doesn’t do this book justice. Instead, I’ll take a few snapshots of these same pages so that you can take a much better look at the book.

    Continue reading at the Microsoft Press blog.

  • Yes, the Virtual Summit will cover SharePoint too, in fact we will have a full track! Join Chris Givens, Rick Taylor, Steve Rosso, and Patrick Gallucci with a total of 8 Sessions focused solidly on SharePoint 2010!  Have a look at the schedule, here’s a quick summary:

    Rick Taylor will have a session focused on Governance, PowerShell and Upgrading to SharePoint 2010.  Chris Givens’ first session is co-presented with Dan Holme, SharePoint MVP, and focuses on Dan and Chris’s 10147A SharePoint IT Pro MOC Course.  Chris Givens has two other sessions focused on the Microsoft Learning SharePoint 2010 MOC Course and CWlibrary roadmaps followed by a session on SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence features include Excel Services with PowerPivot, and BCS integration with Bing maps for geospatial reporting.  Patrick Gallucci then follows with a deep dive of SharePoint 2010 Performance Point  features.

     

    Join us at the Virtual Summit!

    Download the agenda HERE
    Or add the full agenda to your Outlook calendar HERE
    Register HERE, this event will be free and exclusive to MCTs and Educators

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    Hi everyone,

    My name is Kanthi and  I am the Product Manager of the Microsoft Training Catalog at Microsoft Learning. And this is my very first blog on Born To Learn. Exciting!! :)

     Let me give you a brief overview of the Microsoft Training Catalog. It is an ecommerce platform that lets you view the complete list of trainings, exams and learning plans provided by Microsoft Learning. You can also buy e-learning and e-reference products for personal consumption from the Catalog. I started working on this platform a few months back.  On day 1 of my job, I landed on the platform and my first action was to search for Sql Training on the search bar and voila, I received 0 results!! Next, I searched for Office training. Again, 0 results!  0 results retrieved for both SQL and office trainings, when MSL has over hundreds of  training products available for both these technologies! This was the brightest red flag that I could fathom about an ecommerce platform.

     Since then, my team and I have been working diligently to revamp the entire Microsoft Training Catalog, everything from the user interface to the search engine to the ecommerce experience . And today, we are very excited to have released the enhanced version of the Microsoft Training Catalog with a complete face and heart lift.

    Go ahead and check out the new Microsoft Training Catalog, play around with the search and browse tools and find training that caters to your learning needs. Also remember that if you buy an e-learning from the catalog any time between today and May 31, 2010, you get a 25% discount. Find more details about the offer here.

    My work on the platform is far from complete and we are continuing to innovate and improve the Training Catalog.  So when you go through the catalog, if you have any feedback to share, please do post a comment here or respond on the Microsoft Certified Professionals forum on this topic.

    Kanthi

  • If your blog appears on the blog roll, please contact me at erwinc at microsoft.com.  I would like to clean it up a bit but also get your contact info so I know who to ping if I need something.

     

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    As some 7,300 (and counting) of you know, we’re even more prolific with our tweets than we are with our blog. We love to hear when you pass an exam, we’re pretty good at answering questions, and we’ve been known to give away stuff on occasion… So if you’d like to follow along,we’re @mslearning (or you can view our latest tweets over on the right nav bar below the tag cloud).

  • MCTs in Dynamics will not want to miss our Dynamics keynote, which covers the updated partner requirements within the Microsoft Partner Network and the opportunities it presents for MCTs, along with the MCT’s role within our Microsoft Dynamics partner readiness strategy.

    We are about to launch Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, so look for an exciting  keynote and breakout session for that product. We will have updates on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and industry solutions for Microsoft Dynamics AX. Also look for the latest in SureStep during each of the breakout sessions. Find out why it’s a good time to be a Dynamics MCT!

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  •   Last chance to register for Thursday's Live Meeting for Managers on the Business Value of Windows 7.

    Windows 7 has gotten rave reviews from analysts and customers but like any rollout or upgrade you must plan for success.  What are the benefits of Windows 7  to your organization and how do you take full advantage of its power.  How do you prepare your technical staff and end users to get the full value of Windows 7. Knowledge, Planning and Execution is key to any successful project.  IT Team Managers and Business Decision Makers will gain insight to  prepare for a successful Windows 7 rollout.  

    March 25 2010 at 8:00am PDT (What time is this in my region?)

    Register Now

    View the full Live Meetings for Managers schedule or find a previously recorded meeting. 

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    And now for something just a little bit different:

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    If you’ve followed this blog since we first launched Elevate America, you know that we have twelve states up and running in the program so far: Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.

    So if I asked you to guess the next program to kick off under the Elevate America banner, it’d be a trick question… because it’s not any of the 38 remaining states, but rather military veterans from across the United States.

    Nearly 185,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are unemployed—a figure about 20% higher than the norm for non-veterans, according to Pamela Passman, our CVP of Global Affairs.

    Over the next two years, we’ll donate $2 million in cash and $6 million in software to organizations that provide veterans (and their spouses) with career counseling, technology training, job placement, and other services. If you’re an active duty service member or National Guard or Reserve member transitioning back into civilian life, this program is to support you.

    For more information, see the Elevate America: Veterans site.

  • Just two weeks away from the Virtual Summit. Today the 'not so virtual' items arrived: T-Shirts, Posters, Caps.Tomorrow we start sending out the Summit Party Kits to those of you who are setting up your own event with friends and colleagues. We trust you will have fun, thank you for organizing this!

    Meanwhile the first slide decks are being sent in; I'm surprised and thrilled by the creativity, content and exciting storylines! While the majority of our sessions focus on technology, we also will have a few Soft Skills sessions. As trainers and educators, our story is based on what we know and our impact grows if we tell our story well. This is why you will see sessions like Bill Champan's - How to Present the Perfect Class, The MCT Driving a Successful Business - and Curt Valmy's Keynote session ' To Apply':

    To Apply: In the learning continuum, from the moment someone becomes aware that they cannot do something to well after the training event when they are reaping the results of their training, the ability To Apply is an ever-present theme. It it the goal of technical training, if not all training: to be able to do something that produces specific outcomes. Application is the purpose, the process, the practice, the ability and the deliverable in this continuum. And application applies to each of the stakeholders in the continuum: student, student manager, trainer, training manager, course designer and ultimately to all of the clients that are affected by the ability of the graduated student To Apply correctly or not. 

    What often happens though is that attention is taken off of Apply, and gets refocused on knowing, or at what cost, or how fast, or how flashy, or how delivered, or where, or when, or who? Constant mindfulness of Apply by all participants is critical to maintaining intention, perspective, relevance, motivation, commitment and attention. The To Apply session is designed to explore, reveal, discuss, evoke, and apply these topic areas and more in an interactive and multi-action environment. If you can see how Apply can apply to yourself, your students, your company and your other stakeholders, then this is a session in which you'll want to participate.

  • I LOVE this tool; in fact, I would say 'LCDS is free BUT it is also a very cool and professional tool'. That may not be true for every free download that the internet throws at you, have a look and see if you agree. 

    LCDS - The Microsoft Learning Content Development System - is a must have for any trainer, educator, training company in the Microsoft Learning community that wishes to create high-quality and interactive, online courses. The LCDS allows anyone in the Microsoft Learning community to publish e-learning courses by completing the easy-to-use LCDS forms that seamlessly generate highly customized content, including interactive activities, quizzes, games, assessments, animations, demos, and other multimedia.

    Download LCDS v2.4 now on the Community site!

     

    What's new today?

    New features for learners and for authors of E-Learning courses and Learning Snacks include:

    • E-learning courses are Firefox 3.5–compatible
    • LCDS authoring is Windows 7–compatible
    • LCDS authoring and e-learning courses are Microsoft Silverlight 3.0–compatible
    • Indexing, spell check, and print are compatible with Microsoft Office 2007 and Office 2010
    • Refreshed thumbnail user interface is available, including for the single SCO package option
    • Community authors get packaging options (SCORM 1.2 and single SCO options) for the first time
    • Minimum topic limit is now 1 instead of 4
    • Kazakh language added for the viewer

    Also available on the site are 7 localized LCDS v2.3 versions: Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified), Russian, Hindi, Polish, Turkish, and Spanish.

    We would love to hear your comments!

    Let's hope you don't need any support, but if you do, LCDS is supported by msltools@microsoft.com

    Enjoy!

  • Registration still open for VS 2010 exams

    As I write this post, I know that 71-515 is now full. However, it’s my understanding that there are still seats available for 511, 513, 516, 518, and 519. Check out this post from Gerry for the details about how to register.

    How should I study?

    Typically when registration for a beta exam opens, most training products for that technology are still in development. Which leads folks, understandably, to ask us how they should study for a beta exam. Usually we suggest that candidates look for relevant materials on TechNet or MSDN. Recently I started this discussion about beta preparation on the forums. Poll responses indicate that most people would prefer to have a central place where beta candidates can view and submit learning resources.

    Pilot: Share prep resources with other beta candidates

    For the Visual Studio 2010 beta exams, we’re piloting a way for you to share your beta preparation resources with other candidates. If you have completed the SME Profile survey, you can submit a resource by using the Feedback mechanism on the MSL Subject Matter Experts site on Microsoft Connect. You can also vote on the usefulness of resources that other candidates have submitted.

    Here’s how to share a beta prep resource:

    1. Go to http://connect.microsoft.com/site862
    2. Sign in with your Windows Live ID.
    3. Click on the Feedback link in the left-hand pane.
    4. Read the instructions, then click the big orange Submit Feedback button. (Note: if you haven’t submitted a SME Profile, you should be able to see resources that others have submitted, but you won’t have access to the Submit Feedback button.)
    5. Select the appropriate exam link under the Suggestion Forms heading.
    6. Fill out the form and submit. Please include the exam number at the beginning of the Title Field to help people find resources for a specific exam.

    Tell us what you think

    If you submit a beta prep resource using the method described above, or if you just look at the list to find some materials to help you study, drop us a line at mslcd@microsoft.com and let us know what you think. Did you find it helpful? Is Connect a good platform for this? Or is it all too much fuss and bother? Your feedback will help us determine whether this pilot will become a more permanent fixture, will be adapted into some other solution, or will be dropped entirely.

  • With just 2 weeks to go to the MCT & Educator Virtual Summit 2010, I thought I would kick off a series of blog posts, each zooming in on a particular area of expertise.

    Let's start with Developers. We love developers! Any MCT or academic Educator that focuses on developer training will be looking forward to Visual Studio 2010. Why not join the Virtual Summit, free to all MCTs and academic Educators, and hear the latest and greatest from our great and creative speakers?

    I'm looking forward to 'Visual Pursuit', an overview of Visual Studio in gameshow format. No, I'm not sharing any details other than that I hear that Susan, Chris and Tibi have some cool prizes! Dino Esposito and Martin Kulov will follow with two cool deep dive sessions and Michael J. Corkery will then zoom in on Developer Certification Tracks. Lynn Langit will be looking at Windows Azure and what that will mean to .NET developers, Susan Ibach will present Visual Studio 2010 Tips and Tricks, we will have various authors present their new or upcoming new courses and the list goes on.

    Stay tuned for more updates, meanwhile to get ready for the Virtual Summit:
    -Download the agenda
    HERE
    -Or add the full agenda to your Outlook calendar HERE
    -Register HERE

     

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    image Want to learn (more) about our cloud computing platform? Windows Azure FireStarter is a full day event for developers, packed with information to help you build and deploy your first application on to the Microsoft Cloud Platform – Windows Azure.

    This full day event has rock star speaker--like Steve Marx from the product team—revealing what makes Azure so compelling to developers.

    This is a free event on April 6th from 8:30am to 5:00pm (Pacific Daylight time), and you can either come attend in person on our Redmond campus or view it online. The entire event will be broadcasted live!

    Learn more and register here

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  • As you can probably tell, I had a look at TechNet in the UK today. Some interesting findings:

     

    You’ll already be familiar with TechNet, Microsoft's site for IT Professionals, but TechNet 2.0 is packed with even more of the best technical content, essential tools for the job, and connections to Microsoft product groups and the technical community.

    TechNet went through a global redesign, changing the look and feel across all of TechNet sites. This new version of TechNet is a lot lighter, with many old and redundant pages deleted, and now a new look slimmed down version of the homepage.

    There is also the launch of the TechNet Wiki , TechNet Search with meta-data enabled search results for TechNet Forums (see Hyper-V example), and new "finder" features for Troubleshooting resources and Downloads (both top IT Pro Tasks)

     

    IT Pro Guide  is also very interesting for IT Professionals who may be considering using Microsoft Products. The IT Pro Guide enables you to gather advice from MVPs and Microsoft product experts.

     

  • If you are into SQL, this is a cool chance for you to win prizes using your skills and knowledge:

    The SQL Server Sequence contest in full swing, and there are still 9 weeks to go! Each week, we’ll be issuing a new question on: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  Answer a question correctly and you’ll be placed into a drawing to win a brand new netbook. (If you get stuck on any of the questions, check out the SQL Server website to jog your memory.) There’s a new chance to win each week, and the more questions you answer correctly, the better your chances will be to win the grand prize – a Suped-up Set-up for your workspace from SQL Server. The grand prize includes a wireless keyboard and mouse, 24-inch HD monitor, speakers and noise canceling headphones all valued at over $1000.  To enter, become a fan of the SQL Server on your favorite social network to find out the location of each week’s question. Come back to the SQL Server blog for the answers to each week’s question, as well as updates on winners and prizes. 

  • I heard about this cool pilot project that I would like to share today. It addresses the following challenge: ‘With 39% of IT Pros intending to deploy Windows 7 in the next year how can Microsoft remove the skills barrier to adoption?’

    The UK AMM team have developed the Deployment Learning Portal designed to help IT pros identify the strengths and gaps in their knowledge around Windows 7 deployment and provide targeted learning to help them gain confidence in their skills and accelerate deployment.

    What is the Deployment Learning Portal?

    The Windows 7 Deployment Learning Portal has been designed to assess the level of skills and readiness to deploy and provide personal learning recommendations to IT pros in customers and partners. Helping IT Pros to focus on the training in the areas they need.

    All training modules were created by the team that wrote the Windows 7 certification exam, including Preparing your deployment, Configuring a Windows 7 image, Migration, Compatibility testing, making this assessment really robust and a true test of skill.  At the end of each module the user will receive learning recommendations based on their score, these recommendations direct IT pros to the most relevant resources across Springboard, MS learning and TechNet, and provides clear next steps to certification.

    This is for now a 6 month pilot that runs in the UK, we’ll let you know when we hear more!