We've had a few complaints that the home page is too hard to read because there's too much scrolling involved. We have long articles and unfortunately they take up a lot of space.
What we've decided to do is change the default view to excerpt mode. That means you'll only see a snippet of the article rather than the full one, and you can click and see on the articles you're more interested in (I'd recommend the middle click feature in all major browsers which opens the article up in a new window).
There are downsides to this for instance. One, we've lost all the images in excerpt mode and the articles aren't formatted correctly - just a paragraph view. This is as designed on the platform. The upside is that the page should load faster for you since you're not loading as much anymore and you can skim through more articles quickly.
Note that this change only applies to the home page. RSS feeds and the blog tab will still display full articles.
Again, it's not ideal and we're working on options but we wanted to get your input and feedback. What do you think? Should we just use the normal view again?
Oh and if you want to change it yourself, you can. Below the Featured box and before the posts begin are two icons (see screenshot:)
Those toggle between excerpt and full post view so one click returns it back to the way it was. If you're logged in, this setting should persist across sessions.
Anyway, leave us a comment - what do you think?
Are you new to Windows Azure? Or would you like to see how other customers are leveraging Windows Azure? Try out these short “learning snack” videos. You’re guaranteed to learn something new in just minutes.
About a year ago, I asked for volunteers to help out with creating the first Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams for IT Pro content areas. We shipped the first three IT Pro MTA exams in early July. (Yay!)
We are starting development on a new MTA exam: Windows Operating System Fundamentals. We are looking for folks who have experience teaching Windows operating systems to students who are new to technology. There will be several opportunities to get involved, some of which will only take half an hour of your time. If you have the experience we're looking for and would like to participate, please contact me at email@example.com.
Don't have experience teaching at this level? Well, I bet you know someone who does. Kindly forward a link to this post to folks you think might be interested.
We recently presented the following scenario to the IT Manager Advisory Council:
You are the hiring manager in an organization that is running an older version of Microsoft software (eg. Windows Server 03, Visual Studio 2005, etc.).
Would you be more or less likely to hire a candidate if they hold a certification on the newer version of the same Microsoft software (Windows Server 08, Visual Studio 2010, etc.)? Why?
Here’s just a sample of their opinions on the subject:
Hector: I would be more inclined to hire the candidate with newer technologies certifications.The technologies do not change drastically from a previous version to the next, and many of the tasks to be performed on either one are quite the same. Also, newer version include most functions the previous one had, and they could -depending on specifics- also behave as the predecessor if we so want to utilize them. Lastly, it is easier and more economical to upgrade such older versions to latest technologies than to retain old certifications.
Teresa: I would also consider the candidate with certification in the newer technologies because although we have to continue to maintain older product lines, we have to be ready to move forward. I want my staff to be agile in the marketplace.
Lucy: Yes it does matter, especially when stuff has moved around the interface - like email account stuff not being present in AD for 2008 but is present for 2003.Unless the individual can show that they have previously certificated on the older product prior to gaining the new one...that's when it's important to see if they sat the upgrade exams or just new ones.The ability to look at someone's certification history is very important.
Andres: IT Managers focus on the specific skills required for the current position with the current software inventory.But…If they have in mind migrating to Windows server 2008 in a near future, and here is a guy being interviewed who's carrying 2008 certifications, well, they would accept the credentials knowing that somehow, down the road, these skills are going to be needed. A short remedial action like OJT for a back level product is not a big deal also, and he will accommodate.
Shelley: I would hire someone with the newest Microsoft certifications. Since technology is changing at such a rapid pace they would be on the front line of knowing the newest features, functionality, techniques and new assemblies/classes. However they would have to have experience as well. I won’t take someone just out of technical school with the newest certifications and no experience for an intermediate or senior position.
Birgir: Yes, I would be more likely to hire a candidate holding a newer version of certification, one of the things that this would show me is that the candidate has upgrated his knowlegde ...which is his product to sell. But first of all I would hire the candidate who has learned the most, earned the longest experince and comes with the highest recommadation regardless of MS certifications. I would urge such a candidate to get certification but in my mind experience is first, recommendation second, certification third.
Martin: Yes!For sure up-to-date certifications are a great plus! This proves that the candidate keeps up with current technology, is willing to learn and is not “resting” on existing knowledge and therefore should be able to bring things to a higher level.
Nicolas: I would say it’s kind of a ‘it depends’ type of answer…While it’s good to have a candidate being certified on the latest technologies, you usually need somebody that can work with existing technologies as well, so this may also depend on what you’re looking for…but also on the candidate’s seniority , if the candidate only has a few years of experience and is certified on the latest technologies, the chance is that he never got exposed to the previous versions, while a more experienced candidate may have had some exposure to it.The ‘it depends’ also comes into place when considering the gap between these technologies: this may not be that big (Win2008 and Win2003 compared to SQL 2000 vs SQL2008/2005 or .NET 2.0 vs .NET .4).
What’s your opinion ?
If you were running an older version of a Microsoft technology would you be more or less likely to hire a candidate with a certification on the newer version?
BTW - Check out this video for Hiring Managers which includes a chapter about matching certifications to job roles.
I was listening to the radio on my way to work today. The radio told me that there's this great product that helps you lose weight and it's on sale right now, well of course it is.
I had to stop driving, I was laughing too hard and would have hit something.
Meet MCT OIL: Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT's) are fats that are naturally found in coconut and palm kernel oil. MCT's are more easily and rapidly digested than other types of fats, as they require lower amounts of enzymes and bile acids for intestinal absorption. MCT's are metabolized very quickly in the liver and are reported to encourage an increase in energy expenditure, while decreasing fat storage. Numerous studies suggest that substituting MCT Oil for other fats in a healthy diet may therefore help to support healthy weight and body composition.
Funny, I thought MCTs were the oil that made IT implementations go more smoothly, that MCTs can help people become more effective and that 'MCT oil' could reduce IT downtime etc. Mmm, maybe there's a campaign idea in here somewhere :-)
Who wouldn't want to check out what their peers are doing? Here's some face time with influential community members and Microsoft evangelists in a series of short, engaging video interviews. Bytes by TechNet takes you inside the minds of today’s most interesting and influential IT Pros. You’ll learn what they love, what makes them tick and best practices from their diverse deployment experiences. New bite-size video clips are being added weekly, so check back often and maybe you'll see someone you know?
Wow, our team is a conference building machine right now! Thanks to great feedback following the announcement last week, we are excited to announce that The Microsoft Certified Career Conference will be bigger than we thought!
For one thing, we have decided to run the conference for a full 24 hours. You will find conveniently scheduled sessions for any time zone.
Many sessions will be presented twice so you have the option to tune in at a time that works best for you.
Good news for Microsoft Certified Professionals; we are extending the deadline for the MCP discount; you can use the promotional code that you will find in the MCP newsletter to get a 50 percent discount on the $50 USD fee until October 18th, 2010.
Microsoft Certified Trainers and Academic Educators will be happy to hear that there will be a trainer readiness track on the day prior to the conference, so MCTs & Educators please save the Nov 17th date!
Oh, and as we are looking at nearly 30 hours of presentations, and many of these delivered simultaneously, we will be recording all sessions and attendees can access these 'on demand' for 90 days following the conference.
We are really enjoying building the content and the ideas from our speakers are just fantastic. Stay tuned for an update on our content later today, meanwhile please find us on facebook and join in the conversation or register for the event.
(Thanks to Michael Domingo over at MCPMag for pointing this one out.)
Enterprise Systems picked up on Gartner’s prediction of up to 250,000,000 new Windows 7 installations over the next four years, warning that “demand for IT pros with Windows 7 migration skills will go through the roof.”
If you’ve been on the fence about going for your Windows 7 MCITP certification, this would be a pretty good time to get off it…
Springboard Team are touring Europe, delivering exciting workshops on Microsoft
Windows, Office and MDOP Deployment.
marks the first stop on a 6-city European tour, en route to TechEd Europe, in
Berlin, Germany. Are you looking to plan, pilot or deploy Windows and Office?
These workshops will cover the Office 2010, key deployment strategies for
Windows 7, the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, as well as show you the
value of getting trained and certified in these key products.
why Windows 7 has received rave reviews from IT organizations and is setting
records as the fastest selling operating system in history, and find out why so
many IT Pros are ready to deploy Office 2010. Give the team five hours of your
time, and you will have a clear understanding of the tools, tips and tricks you
need now to jumpstart the successful deployment and management of your Windows
desktop environment today. Come join members of the Windows and Office US
Product Teams, as well as local Microsoft Technology Evangelists for technical
training, professional networking, and real world guidance. Don’t miss your
chance to attend a workshop in the 2010 Springboard Series Tour, register today and get
your Tour updates first! Follow the team on Twitter, @MSSpringboard
Amsterdam - 25 Oct
| Stockholm – 27 Oct | Helsinki – 29 Oct | Reading – 1 Nov | Rome – 3 Nov |
Vienna – 4 Nov
If you happened to miss Craig Brown’s fabulous Live Meeting for Managers this morning, no worries – you can watch the recording on-demand.
What to Expect from Windows Server 2008 R2: The Topline View
We’ll be opening registration for the following beta exam soon:
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. (See this post for more information.) 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 Silverlight 4.
A few days before registration opens, we’ll send a notification to qualified SMEs through Connect. The notification will include the beta code. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since we announced the Microsoft Certified Career Conference on Friday, our inboxes have been busy. And that's a good thing! Thank you for your comments and your questions. And yes, I will be sharing more details on sessions and speakers, in fact I plan to share a lot of detailed information on our conference tracks right here, a couple of times a week, so please stay tuned as we gear up for the conference!
Today, I am truly excited to announce an incredible soft skills session that will help you build and manage the brand that is most dear to you: i.e. you! What is your online presence like? Can people find you on the internet? If so, what do they see? What online visibility do you bring in to work? Did you know that some companies now require you to have over 150 followers on Twitter before you can even be considered for a job? Building and Managing your Brand is a key soft skill that can help you stick out in the crowd. A strong brand can improve your odds of being hired or finding the next role through the online communities you participate in.
On November 18th, join Stephen Rose for a hands on high energy presentation on how to Manage and Build your Brand (i.e. you). Stephen is our senior community manager for Windows OS at Microsoft in Redmond, I cannot think of anyone better equiped nor more inspiring to deliver this session than Stephen.
Check out Stephen's 'brand': Stephen manages technical content on the Springboard Series on TechNet, the Windows 7 Forums, the Springboard Insider Newsletter, The Windows Team Blog, Talking about Windows and the STEP program. Of course you can also follow the Springboard Series on TechNet via Twitter @MSSpringboard or on his personal feed @stephenrose.
A little off topic perhaps, but great news for many so I just had to share, let me keep this short. Great news for small businesses today, who similar to home users can soon get Microsoft Security Essentials> on up to 10 PCs for free, beginning in early October. Have a look at this blog post for details.
Today marks the 8th day of the NetHope Academy Boot Camp in Haiti. It’s really been an eye opener to see how absolutely dedicated the intern candidates are and the obstacles they work to overcome.
For those that don’t know the story, NetHope and the world’s largest humanitarian organizations are working together to provide internships for computer science grads (and near grads) in Haiti. It’s an age old story. How do you get that first job when just about every organization wants to hire someone with work experience? So NetHope and organizations like World Vision, Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and others are opening their doors to provide meaningful six month work experience opportunities in their IT departments.
The program design has been led by Accenture, Microsoft and Cisco along with ESIH (the leading technical university in Haiti). Over 300 unemployed young Haitians applied online during the ten day application period. Through a series of skills assessments, interviews and references, the group was narrowed to the first “class” of 30 interns (with 5 alternates).
Conditions are still very bad in Haiti so we didn’t know what to expect that first day of Boot Camp. Registration started at 7:30am and EVERY one of the applicants was there on time, some having walked a mile or two to get to the training session. And EVERY day that first week, EVERY intern candidate was in class ready to learn at 8:00am. Amazing. Simply amazing. So many obstacles. Many of them still living in tents (or “transitional housing” as it’s called. All arrive on time, in clean clothes and eager to learn.
The first weeks of Boot Camp are focused on helping the interns become desktop support analysts. Here they learn technical and nontechnical skills leading up to the MCDST certification.
This training is followed by Cisco CCNA Discovery and telecommunications training. And then it’s off to their on-the-job work assignments for one of the 14 participating humanitarian organizations. Here they get paired up with an IT mentor that guides them through the six month internship, both working at the country office and field offices.
There are so many people to thank already.
Patrick Attie — the head of ESIH and our inspiration. His 5 story university was destroyed during the quake. Two teachers and 13 students died. But Patrick worked tirelessly to rebuild the school and we were honored to be part of the opening.
Marlene Sam — Our program coordintor in Haiti. She is the tough taskmaster that will keep the interns in line during their internship.
Lisa O'bradovich — Volunteer Program Manager from Accenture. She was in country for 3 months before contracting dengue fever. Fortunately she is getting her strength back and should be returning to work at Accenture shortly.
The IT Mentors — They are so excited to take these interns under their wings. Who hasn’t had an influential person in their career? These IT mentors are key parts of our program.
The Boot Camp Instructors … MCT’s Willio (from Haiti) and Marc (from Switzerland) … plus Juste and Sondja
Our Corporate Supporters — Ken Rosen and Lutz Ziob at Microsoft, Gary Coman and Amy Christen at Cisco, Dan Baker at Accenture
The NetHope Team including Lori Oviatt, Bill Brindley, Joe Simmons and all the rest.
What can you do to help? Think about giving to the NetHope Academy. You can learn more at http://www.nethope.org/academy. A little bit can make a big difference in the lives of these interns. All they need is a chance.
Available now on MSDN: the second volume in our Windows Azure Patterns and Practices series.
Volume 1, Moving Applications to the Cloud on the Windows Azure Platform, provides an introduction to Windows Azure, discusses the cost model and application life cycle management for cloud-based applications, and describes how to migrate an existing ASP.NET application to the cloud.
This new book demonstrates how you can create from scratch a multi-tenant, Software as a Service (SaaS) application to run in the cloud by using the latest versions of the Windows Azure tools and the latest features of the Windows Azure platform.
Microsoft has developed a special series of webcasts to help managers of IT professionals and developers get the most out of training and certification opportunities and optimize team performance.
What You Can Expect from Windows Server 2008 R2: The Top Line View Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 8:00 A.M. Pacific Time What time is this in my region? (Timeanddate.com)Get an inside look at the major changes you can expect to see and understand how those changes will impact your organization. Understand the primary differences from Windows Server 2003 and uncover the hardware requirements that you may need to take advantage of new capabilities. Finally, learn the long-range benefits of Windows Server 2008, and understand how those translate into your organization’s long-term plans. Register Now
An interesting article in the New York Times this weekend for anyone interested in the intersection of technology and education:
Jaron Lanier (Microsoft Research Partner Architect and virtual reality pioneer) writes about the potential downside of using technology for learning, even while acknowledging its strengths. When you use technology to predict the weather, your finances, and even your own musical tastes, do we lose the capacity for creativity, self-invention, and self-reflection? What do you think?
Following last week's official announcement, I'd like to follow up and share our excitement about The Microsoft Certified Career Conference. Thank you for sending in comments, requests and ideas! Our team is working around the clock and there are some fantastic ideas floating around. I thought I should share my personal 'Behind the Scenes' look at this event by blogging about it as we put this event together. In all honesty, we have never ran an event like this one. You see, this is not just about IT skills, this is about your career, which means we will be working on technical skills as well as on soft skills. As we build the agenda and as we speak to speakers, we meet people from all kinds of companies, from all kinds of industries. And we are discovering a plethora of ideas, tricks and clever skills. This in turn has inspired us to present technical skills in different and new ways. It's an exciting project that we would like to share with you here on Born to Learn; please feel free at any time to comment, add ideas and please make suggestions. Help us make this an event you will want to stay at home for!
First of all, why oh why would we call this a 'Career Conference' and what do we hope to achieve? Well, we know the economy is tough, very tough. We have heard you loud and clearly and we have felt it ourselves. Some students are struggling to start a career in IT, many experienced professionals are eager to take the next step in their careers and finding this very challenging. People looking for a new job face a lot of competition. In our opinion, the odds are better for those who have skills. (I thought I would do a series of Behind The Scenes videos, see below, while it was fun to produce this I want to stress that the real people working on this project are MUCH more excited than the virtual ones below).
We want to help, we want to offer skills that can improve your odds of getting hired. We want to work on the soft skills that are essential when you are trying to get a job and of course we will work on technical skills from our training and certification tracks. Most of all, we want to do this online, with a worldwide audience, so you can interact with others and share tips and tricks and grow your professional network. We are even adding a Career Fair; a marketplace where you can meet employers and find out from them which career opportunities they offer.
Right now we are building sessions that will help you identify the job that is right for you, sessions that will help you write stronger letters and build a stronger resume. We are designing sessions that offer technical skills, straight from our official courseware, presented by experts. These sessions will offer highlights of a specific course; high tempo sessions that include core skills and drill in on specific topics. Make no mistake, these sessions will be 'meaty' (120 minutes of high tempo classroom content)! And for those who have already put in some training, or who have kept their skills up to date, the 'Super Cert Me' sessions may appeal as these will contain extremely efficient training designed specifically to prepare you for the exam.
We will share our news on this event here, on Born to Learn, as we build it. Soon we hope to have more details on the sessions and speakers. In fact, if you are interested in speaking at this event or if you know someone who could deliver a great soft skills or technical session, please let me know! We will also show you what this virtual conference will look like; this is NOT just a series of LiveMeetings! We are building a new platform that will allow you to attend sessions, chat with others, share files and 'friend' others (stay tuned for a demo and screenshots).
Meanwhile, please share your thoughts, comments and ideas!
Just published minutes ago: the first in a series of Microsoft Official Course samplers on TechNet! First up: “Installing, Configuring, and Managing Windows XP Mode,” excerpted from Course 10324, Implementing and Managing Microsoft Desktop Virtualization.
If you’ve never taken a Microsoft Official Course from one of our Learning Solutions Partners, this is a great way to evaluate our courseware. Each month, we’ll publish at least one lesson from a featured course. You’ll need to take the full course from our partners in order to benefit from the expert instruction from our Microsoft Certified Trainers and the extensive hands-on lab opportunities, but this is a full excerpt from the student workbook.
Got suggestions or requests for future topics? Let us know!
The Born to Learn team is working on an exciting series of online events; we are proud to announce The Microsoft Certified Career Conference.
Why this event? Well, staying competitive in the job market is top of mind for most people these days. Skills and knowledge can give you the competitive edge - whether you are just starting your career in IT or looking at your next career step. The Microsoft Certified Career Conference is a series of virtual events where you can meet potential employers, hone your technical knowledge, acquire job-seeking skills, network with fellow professionals, and glean career advice from real-life experts in the field.
What will you learn? Well, we will be offering a number of tracks that will help you build the technical skills as well as the soft skills that can make you stand out in the crowd. In addition you can visit the Career Fair and meet potential future employers. Whether you want to see who is hiring around the world, what types of positions are currently open in the market, or just want the opportunity to chat directly with company recruiters about their ideal candidates – The Career Fair offers a wide variety of opportunities. A full company list for your review will be available for download closer to the event date.
The conference's main tracks:
We're still working on these tracks and of course we would love to hear your suggestions and input. At the same time, we look forward to the Career Fair, where you can meet potential future employers and discuss potential job roles. Be a part of it and register now.
MCPs and MCTs: keep an eye out for the MCP and MCT Newsletters for an attractive MCP discount!
Look out for more updates here on Born to Learn and of course: Find us on Facebook.
If your organization is interested in exhibiting at the Career Fair, or if you’re interested in speaking at this or future events, please contact our event team.
Back in July, we put together 12 hours worth of live training on Windows Phone 7 that over 1,000 of you attended. We then released it in August as a series of videos to get you up to speed on all you needed to know for Windows Phone 7 application development. As it turns out, a few things have changed since then and not only that, 12 hours of content still didn't allow us to go as deep as we would have liked on certain topics. So what's a good solution? More free training, of course!
Join us next Tuesday, September 21 for 7 hours of live training to cover topics like Panorama & Pivots, Bing Maps, XNA, Planning & Optimizing for Performance, and Design using Microsoft Blend. Plus, there will be a live Q&A with lots of Windows Phone 7 Microsoft employees.
While any developer interested in Windows Phone 7 app development is invited to attend, for those who weren't able to attend the first training event back in July, we recommend you get up to speed on the basics by checking out the 12 hours of content available on demand (also available via Zune Marketpace, Zune.net, and iTunes). Free corresponding course materials can be found here (which will also be the location for the new course materials coming out soon for the Windows Phone 7 Advanced Topics training).
The date and times for these course sessions are the following:
Space is limited, so go register for the course now!
Microsoft Certification can be a valuable hiring and management tool. But you may have some questions about which certifications to watch for, how to verify credentials, or even how the different Microsoft certifications (MCTS, MCITP, MCPD, Master, Architect) work together and build on each other.
View this quick and interactive video to learn about:
The value of Microsoft Certification and benefits to your team.
The current Microsoft Certification family
How to match an IT job role to the relevant Microsoft Certification
How to identify qualified candidates
(When you're ready to get your team certified, check out this special offer for IT Managers)
What are the best situations, common mistakes, or typical tasks that should be the focus in exams? Should we ask how to share SharePoint content externally? How about configuring a SharePoint 2010 farm? How much should we focus on configuring search?
We would like to invite SharePoint subject matter experts to join our community site on Microsoft Connect. This site gives you an opportunity to tell us more about how we should focus our exam development efforts. On this site, you can post your ideas, follow discussions, and engage with fellow subject matter experts.
This is a great opportunity for you to have a voice in keeping our exams relevant. Along the way, we have rewards for participants who post actively and for those who simply post good stuff!
Interested in participating in this program? Click here to complete a nomination survey or visit our site for more information.
(The site has external content available. Registration to Connect is required to see additional content and participate.)
How would you test someone’s ability to design a database backup strategy? How do you validate someone’s knowledge on designing file storage for a SQL Server database? How would you ensure the DBA you intend to hire can deploy a SQL instance in a fault-tolerant manner?We would like to invite SQL Server 2008 subject matter experts to join our community site on Microsoft Connect. This site gives you an opportunity to tell us more about how we should focus our exam development efforts. On this site, you can post your ideas, follow discussions, and engage with fellow subject matter experts.
(The site has external content available. Registration to Connect is required to see additional content and participate.)
Friendly reminder to all MCTs out there. This month's Third Thursday sessions (3 free hours of trainer readiness) will start in 16 minutes at www.mctvirtualsummit.com.
On today's menu are:
1. Course 6451B, presented by Conan Kezema2. Teaching Outside the Box, presented by Susan Ibach3. Delivering 60064, presented by Christopher HarrsionSee you there, or access the recordings later on!