November, 2010

  • With 80% of Fortune 1000 enterprises expected to adopt cloud computing services by 2012, this presents great training opportunities for MCTs. 

     

    Cloud computing is service oriented architecture falling into three main areas: Software as a Service (SAAS); Platform as a Service (PAAS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS).  Microsoft offers BPOS / Office 365, Windows Azure, and Virtualization to meet customer needs in these three areas.   Being ready for widespread adoption of cloud services is key to an individual’s or organizations’ migration success.  With Microsoft cloud solutions training and certification, companies can harness as much cloud power as they need, by ensuring their staff is ready to provision, manage, and develop cloud services.   That’s where MCTs come in.  You can offer your students the right training and certification to meet their skills needs.  Here’s how:

     

    For BPOS / Office 365 (SAAS) IT professionals will need a good foundation in Exchange, SharePoint and Lync. Becoming certified in those technologies is the best first step in managing and migrating to Office 365. In addition you can teach course 50408A: Introduction to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) to ensure they understand specific management and provisioning issues with BPOS / Office 365.

     

    Application development (PAAS) is also moving to the cloud with Windows Azure. To prepare for platform as a service, it’s important to earn MCPD: Windows Azure Developer 4.

     

    Special Offer for Developer MCTs:  As you teach the Visual Studio 2010 courses demonstrate the cloud using the Windows Azure platform 30 day pass and encourage students to sign up too! No credit card required, just enter this promo code:  MSL001 (Available in the USA only).

     

    As private cloud becomes the norm for IT infrastructure, training and certification provide the skills needed to prepare for infrastructure as a service: MCITP: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator. (Note that familiarity with Windows Server 2008 R2 and MCITP: Server Administrator or MCITP: Enterprise Administrator certifications are encouraged for success with Infrastructure as a Service).

     

    Take advantage of all the training opportunities cloud computing offers.

     

  • |

    Braindumps. We all know they’re out there, and we all know it’s wrong to use them, and it’s very wrong to distribute them. (Lifetime decertification would be the least of your worries.) But just as with software piracy, we know there’s a seedy underbelly in this business, and we do our best to ensure it stays marginalized.

    Which is why we were alarmed and surprised a few months ago when we noticed this tweet from one of our readers:

    image

    Ouch—when an MCT is accused of promoting braindumps, that strikes pretty close to home. The MCT community is one of Microsoft’s longest- and proudest-standing communities, and we knew this had to be a very, very rare exception and not the rule.

    Still, an hour later, another MCP followed up:

    image

    …and up until this point, the only thing unusual about this story is that the tips came in via Twitter rather than our tctips@microsoft.com alias. But here comes the plot twist.

    Just hours later, we received this e-mail from the MCT referred to by the first tweeter:

    “I saw on Twitter that one of my students [redacted] complained about the way I talk about preparing for exams (he states that I promote dumps).

    “Let me start by saying that I agree that what he states I’m doing  (promoting) is inappropriate behavior like you said in your response to his tweet, and I will adjust my behavior appropriately.

    “Having said that I have 2 comments I want to add:

    “Firstly: In my opinion I do not  promote the usage of ‘dumps’. I merely state they are there, and tell that there are people that are using that such methods to pass exams. That can be considered promoting. Being a trainer I take full responsibility for how people understand what I say.

    “Secondly: I do not think that simply ignoring the fact that there are sites like [redacted] where anyone can download almost perfectly recreated exams for free with very recent comments about how valid they are is the right approach. Ignoring them does not negate the fact that people that know about that they exist can find and use them, and in doing so undermine the value of certification. In the field of security this is considered ‘security by obscurity’. In this case it means that people that don’t know about this think that everyone that has passed an exam had to put the same amount of effort in archiving that, and the people that do know about it laugh their heads off and take the short route, thereby devaluating the certification of the ones that did it the proper way.

    “I have [redacted] spoke with Microsoft Learning representatives like [redacted] about that fact that those sites exist, and asking what Microsoft is doing about them. Therefore I know that ‘proxy exams’ in India and areas like that have been acted upon, and that legal actions have been taken against company’s like  [redacted]. It keeps bothering however me that the site [redacted] has been in the air for at least the last 5 years. I hoped that if mentioning that fact to my students (who are investing time and money in learning the product and getting certified ) would help put some pressure on Microsoft. Apparently this is being interpreted differently than I intended, and I will refrain from this in the future. However, I will not stop asking Microsoft any time I can to take action against these sites, because I think that not mentioning them is bad, but the fact that they are there is.

    “If you think that any actions against my person are appropriate I will accept that because, as I stated, I take full responsibility for my actions.”

    Well now. There are so many interesting aspects to this story that I’m not sure where to begin.

    Let’s start here: First and foremost, I must offer my appreciation to both the individual who came forth and tweeted out the trainer in question as well as to the instructor who came forward voluntarily to explain himself. I appreciate the integrity they both displayed in doing so, and if more people spoke up when they notice something harmful going on, we’d have an even stronger certification program than we do today. It’s out of respect to them that I’ve redacted any identifying details.

    Next, let’s examine some of the trainer’s claims:

    “…I do not  promote the usage of ‘dumps’. I merely state they are there, and tell that there are people that are using that such methods to pass exams.“

    This is one of those cases where the delivery can say a lot more than the content itself, but let’s take him at his word, shall we? The thing I can’t figure out is this: at what point in the course does it help students to know that braindumps “are there, and… that there are people that are using such methods to pass exams?” 

    Ah, maybe it’s here:

    “ Ignoring them does not negate the fact that people that know about that they exist can find and use them, and in doing so undermine the value of certification… people that don’t know about this think that everyone that has passed an exam had to put the same amount of effort in archiving that, and the people that do know about it laugh their heads off and take the short route, thereby devaluating the certification of the ones that did it the proper way.”

    If I understand him correctly, I think the argument is something along the lines of: I tell my students that braindumps exist so that they know that there are unethical people out there who are profiting off of the hard work and integrity of those who take the high road, and that it’s important for the people with integrity to keep an alert watch for the folks without it.

    Maybe that’s a stretch., but I’m pretty generous with benefits of doubts. Although I faced a pretty big test on that front when I came to this part:

    “I hoped that if mentioning that fact to my students (who are investing time and money in learning the product and getting certified ) would help put some pressure on Microsoft. Apparently this is being interpreted differently than I intended, and I will refrain from this in the future.”

    So unless I misinterpret, I believe his hypothesis is: “if I tell my students about braindumps, maybe they’ll lend their voices to my own, and then Microsoft will surely take action!”

    But since the only voice we heard was:

    image

    …I may not be the only one misinterpreting.

    The thing is, by his own admission, this trainer actually knows that we take action against braindump sites. He had spoken to some of our staff and he cited specific examples where we had taken action, so he almost assuredly knows that he—and anyone—has a direct line to our anti-piracy/fraud team by e-mailing tctips@microsoft.com. That’s a far better strategy if you want to get our attention, and especially if you don’t want anyone else listening to misinterpret you. Yet we didn’t we receive any tips from him or his students.

    But by far, the most interesting part of the story is the fact that it didn’t play out over e-mail—it unfolded over Twitter. The student who reported the trainer didn’t whisper in our ear; he used a megaphone in a public square.

    Did that have anything to do with why the instructor came forward so quickly? I don’t know.

    But I do know that if I was that instructor, I would have been sweating bullets that day, hoping that my student wouldn’t reveal my name in front of the entire world.

    Which brings me to my own personal key takeaway from this story:

    At Microsoft, we absolutely investigate and act on allegations of wrongdoing, but we tend to do so privately. Cheat on an exam, and you’ll be decertified, quite possibly for life. But that’s between you and us—it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to publish a story about it (this blog post notwithstanding).

    But if a colleague, fellow student, trainer, test-taker or even a manager discovers you taking an unethical shortcut, they may very well start talking. (We actually get most of our fraud and cheater tips this way.) Most of the time, they come to us directly, but now there’s a precedent for taking to social networks—and that means your reputation is on the line in a big way.

    Food for thought.

    What’s your take on this? Let us know.

  •  

    Training materials for What's New in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 are now available on PartnerSource (sign in needed)

    These materials explain the new features and functionality found in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

    More Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 course materials will be available at a later date.

  • Training materials for two new titles have been released and are available on PartnerSource (sign in needed):

     

    Upgrading Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Native Database to Microsoft SQL Server, Course #80298

    This training is designed for individuals preparing to upgrade Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Native client to Microsoft SQL Server.  This training covers the upgrade process from preparing existing data, configuring Microsoft SQL Server, troubleshooting data issues, to validating data after upgrade. Individuals wishing to take this upgrade training should have Microsoft SQL Server knowledge and take Microsoft Course 80156: SQL Server Installation and Optimization for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009.

    Microsoft SharePoint Technologies and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, Course #80297

    This training is designed for individuals wishing to integrate Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 with Microsoft SharePoint Technologies

    Courseware will be available in the MCT download center at a later date.

  • |

    MCTs and educators, here’s a chance to provide some feedback on Microsoft software products—we’re looking for some instructors to participate in a research study to drive improvements in our products and services.  All you need to do is spend 30-60 minutes answering some questions related to your interaction with our products. It’s simple and easy, and you’ll help us make our products work better for you.  To express our appreciation for your time and support, participants of the study will receive a $30 gift certificate.  Please contact Becky King if you are interested. 

  • Calling all IT Professionals! The Microsoft Learning Certification team would like to learn more about you and what you think of our IT Pro exams so that we can continue to improve and offer you relevant, high-quality exam content.

    Please click the link below to fill our our IT Pro Survey. It will be available until November 30th.

    http://microsoftlearning.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_4ZQuq9FahLtxYDW

    Microsoft is committed to protecting your privacy. This survey does not request or collect any personal information from you nor does this survey use any cookies or other technologies to track your responses to the survey. Your responses to this survey will not be linked to the contact information previously collected by Microsoft.  Your answers will be reported in aggregate with those of other respondents. Please note that this privacy statement applies only to the IT Professional survey. It does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, surveys, products or services.

     Thank you for your continued support of our certification program and commitment to making it the best it can be!

    Julie Devine
    Content Development Manager
    juliede@microsoft.com

  • |

    There hasn’t been a lot of good news coming out of Haiti for the last year, so it’s wonderful to see this example of how the IT industry and the people who work in it are making a difference to people who really need a promise of a better future.

    As always, your help is greatly appreciated—visit NetHope to find out how you can add your support.

  • |

    Do you have work experience working with Microsoft® SQL Server® code-named 'Denali'?  Want to help us create the first set of Denali exams? Here’s your chance!  We are looking for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for the following exams:

    70-460   PRO: Designing, Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 11
    70-461   PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft® SQL Server® 11
    70-586   TS: Microsoft SQL Server 11, Implementation and Maintenance
    70-587   TS: Microsoft® SQL Server® 11, Database Development
    70-588   TS: Microsoft SQL Server 11, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

    We will be using the MSL SME database to find participants for designing 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 complete instructions.)  

    Please note that if you already filled out your SME profile, you’ll need to go back and update it. We changed the answer options for “Which technologies do you have work experience with?” to include Denali. We’ll be looking for folks who select Denali on this question to help develop these exams. If you filled out your SME profile a while ago, this option was not available for you to select.

  • Well there's great news and then there's GREAT NEWS. Today officials from the state of North Carolina announced they were joining the Microsoft IT Academy program - at each of the state's 628 high schools! The IT Academy program gives students the opportunity to learn in-demand software and technical skills as well as earn industry-recognized certification as a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) or a Microsoft Certified Professional.

    What does this mean for the high schools, teachers and students? Read the full story here or read it on ABCCBS or NBC's pages.

  • I'm on the wait list for my Windows Phone 7, waiting is the hardest thing... If you have been reading Bob Caswell's blog posts, you may have seen some of the great Windows Phone 7 content that we offer, at no charge. If you plan to learn more about Windows Phone 7, check out the free e-book or the great Jump Start videos. And if you are joining the Certified Career Conference, you will hear even more! We just looked at the number of downloads of this content this afternoon and we could hardly believe our eyes, thank you for your interest and I hope you will with what you have learned! The below resources are still available at no charge, please drop us a note with feedback on the ebook or the videos, we'd love to hear from you!!

    233,296: number of downloads of Charles Petzold’s Programming Windows Phone 7 free 1,000+ page e-book 

    180,948: number of views of Rob Miles & Andy Wigley’s Jump Start for Developing Windows Phone 7 Apps & Games on-demand free videos (over 18hrs of training).

     

  • Are you a BizTalk subject matter expert (SME)? We are currently working on a refresh of a TS exam for developing business process and integration solutions by using Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2010 and looking for BizTalk SMEs who would like to volunteer and give us feedback through an online survey. The event will be held from November 16 to December 3, 2010.

    If interested, please  send an email to mslcd@microsoft.com and we will contact your directly with more information.

    While I have you Biztalk folks around Smile …we have updated our SME Profile Survey on Connect to include a selection for Microsoft® BizTalk® Server. If you are an existing member with BizTalk as one of your technical specialties, please logon and add this new selection to your profile.

    Not yet a member of our SME community? Come join us at https://connect.microsoft.com/site862 (Windows Live ID account recquired).

  • Beginning Sunday, November 14, 2010, at 7 AM Eastern Standard Time, Prometric’s scheduling and registration system will be down for a scheduled deployment. The system will be unavailable until approximately 1 PM EST. During the outage, you will not be able to register for any exams.

    While registration will not be possible during the outage, sites will be able to deliver exams as long as the appointments were scheduled in advance, meaning that walk in registrations may not be possible at most test centers during this outage. If you’re planning to take an exam during this time, register now!

  • We are happy to announce the following on-demand webcasts are posted on the MPN PLC and are ready for viewing. The webcasts were created by Microsoft Partner Technical Services and will help get you ready for the new product release.

     Descriptions of each webcast can be found on PartnerSource (sign in needed)

     Webcast topics (MPN sign in needed):

     ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Application New Features - Part 1 of 2

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Application New Features - Part 2 of 2

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Customization New Features - Part 1 of 2

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Customization New Features - Part 2 of 2

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for Microsoft Office Outlook New Features

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Mobile Express New Features

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Data Management New Features

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Reporting and Data Visualization New Features

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 E-mail Router New Features

    ·         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Install and Upgrade New Features

  • |

    Have you taught introductory Developer courses in a high school, community college, or other learning environment? We’re looking for volunteers to help us with the development of a new Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)* exam covering Microsoft .NET fundamentals.

    MTA is the first Microsoft certification targeted specifically at students who are new to IT. The exams validate the foundational knowledge needed to begin building a career by using Microsoft technologies. Candidates for these exams are expected to have some hands-on experience with the technology, but are not expected to have any work experience. MTA provides an ideal stepping stone to our professional MCTS certifications and to a career in IT.

    Please e-mail mslcd@microsoft.com if you’d like to participate in developing this exam. If you know someone else who would be interested in volunteering, please send them a link to this post. We want to hear from as many people as possible.

    *If this is the first you’ve heard about MTA, you can find out more about it here on Born to Learn. If you work for an academic institution, you can sign up for a free 45-day trial campus license here.

  • |

    It’s a big day for the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) program, as we announce the new MCM SQL Server 2008 certification path.  Our customers want to be able to earn a SQL Server Microsoft Certified Master certification at a lower price, with more flexibility, and we’ve responded by evolving the SQL Server MCM program without lowering the bar on quality. 

    What changes have we made?

    • We’ve removed the three week training requirement, instead making the experience-based exams stand alone in recognizing and validating the world’s top SQL Server talent.  
    • Candidates will now achieve MCM in SQL Server 2008 by passing these two new exams in the following order:
      • Exam 88-970: SQL Server 2008 Microsoft Certified Master: Knowledge Exam (now available)
      • Exam 88-971: SQL Server 2008 Microsoft Certified Master: Lab Exam (available in Q1 2011)
    • These new exams were written with the help of 25 SQL Server industry experts (internal and external to Microsoft) in order to ensure industry validity and integrity and will be available worldwide through a select network of high security Prometric testing centers
    • Although experience is paramount in order to be successful in the exams, flexible readiness options will also be made available. In addition to the recommended reading list and an overview of skills that are being measured, we are also providing several hours of free online video Masters-level instruction presented by top SQL Server experts.  In 2011 we also plan to release four new instructor led courses covering High Availability, Performance, Manageability and Security. These courses will be made available globally through select Microsoft Learning Partners.

    It’s our goal to reach the SQL Server experts worldwide who may be qualified to achieve MCM certification, but who’ve run up against the previous barriers of time, cost and location.  By reducing or removing these barriers, while keeping the integrity and value of the certification, we expect to grow the community of SQL Server MCMs and increase its visibility and awareness of its value. We’re very excited about the new program, and look forward to the continued growth of the SQL MCM community.  Look for all the details about the program, the exams, and exam prep materials at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/master-sql-path.aspx. 

    I’ll be blogging about all the details over the next few weeks and if you have questions, please contact me.  If you’re attending SQL PASS, please stop by the MS Learning product booth in the expo hall!

  • |

    This is a story of one of the NetHope Academy interns in Haiti.

    Jude Atinor is 24 years old. Jude is the youngest of five children and lives with two older brothers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    On January 12, 2010, Jude’s life was rocked by the destructive earthquake that racked his city. Jude was lucky to be in a building that did not collapse. But his cousin had her leg severed. And Jude lost many friends and some of his teachers from Ecole Superior Informatique d'Haiti (ESIH).

    Jude had distinguished himself as a computer science student at ESIH before the quake but struggled to find his first job in the IT field. Every employer wanted someone with work experience. Jude had none. How would he get his first job if everyone required work experience?

    Jude heard about the NetHope Academy. NetHope developed a program to work with humanitarian organizations and large tech companies like Accenture, Microsoft and Cisco to give unemployed Haitians the work experience they need in the IT field.

    Jude was assigned as a part time intern to CHF International, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in Haiti. Jude’s first weeks on the job were good for Jude and even better for CHF. Jude worked hard, often staying until 4pm or 5pm, well past the time that his part time shift was supposed to conclude.

    This week. Jude got his first pay check ever. The look on his face was one of pure delight. He was happy, I had tears in my eyes.

    Jude has been asked by CHF to move to a full time position where he will actually get paid for the long hours he is putting in.

    Jude is just one story. NetHope Academy has 36 interns working at 14 large NGOs. Thanks to Microsoft, Cisco, Accenture and Voila Foundation, Jude and others like him are getting a chance.

  • Global Knowedge and TechRepublic are inviting you to participate in their 2011 IT Skills & Salary Survey. What skills are in demand? How do certifications impact salary? How do the salaries of IT pros compare to national averages? Is the economy finally starting to turn the corner? Whatever your answers, they want to hear from you !

    For the fourth year in a row, TechRepublic and Global Knowledge are conducting one of the industry's most extensive surveys of IT professionals to answer these questions and more. This is your chance to be part of important research into what IT pros earn, what training and certifications matter most, and other critical issues facing IT workers today. The survey will take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete.

    Submit your survey response by November 19, 2010 and you will be entered into their random drawing for one of six American Express® gift cards. Two $500 cards and four $250 cards will be awarded. All participants will also receive a complimentary copy of the final report when it is published in March.

    Click this link to begin: http://cbs.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eJ5RYAPyLzb547q&user=6

  • This is the second in a series of blog posts authored by members of the IT Manager Advisory Council. We've asked them to share their insights and opinions on topics they are passionate about related to hiring & managing employees, and maintaining skills on their teams.  If you agree or disagree and have a different perspective - chime in and contribute your views.

     

    There is a gap between knowledge from earned experience and knowledge earned from books.  The theory of programming and consulting can be learned from books, but this takes you just a couple of miles down the road towards being a valid IT professional.  The rest of the road you will learn by experince and dealing with various problems, mainly detected by users. This is my experience from managing and working in IT matters for the last 20 years. 

                                                                      

    My name is Birgir Gunnlaugsson, and I am CEO of a six-person company in Iceland. I describe my company as being "IT managers for rent and programmers for business solutions." Currently we manage IT for companies that vary from 13 to 960 employees, and so we have to be able to be very flexible.

     

    Do I mean that young people without experience are out of scope for IT teams?  No, but hiring a young employees—we call them "officers" in Iceland—to join an IT team has different purpose than hiring an experienced one.  The purpose of hiring the young one is to create a teamworker for the future. The purpose of hiring an experienced professional is more often to be able to solve a short-term overflow of activities.

     

    Of course, to hire the younger one you need a budget that allows you to have an apprentice on the premises, but there are very good reasons that make good business sense for continuing to hire the less experienced IT people.

     

    The state of the economy (bank crisis) has now tightened up budgets for running IT teams, and in most cases there have been layoffs.  However, in these times it is very neccesary to remember the future and keep on hiring the young ones, or you will either run out of experience in IT or find that it becomes more and more expensive.  If there are no young IT’s to learn from the experienced ones, your company will suffer in the future. Always make sure that all neccesary knowledge is spread out between employees as much as possible.

     

    Young employees are often more keen on trying new stuff,  they are more eager to change things than the experineced ones. Why? My old boss said all the time, “If it works, don’t change it!”  If this was true, we would still be walking or horseriding between places, because that actually worked back then.  But we found a faster way to travel, didn’t we?  In our industry, we must challenge experience with new angles, different approachs, and keep on pushing for better software and hardware. Otherwise, instead of discussing the Cloud, we will be discussing graveyards. 

     

    For example, one of the younger teams created a new open source solution for direct digital invoicing. This solution is pushing EDI out of our Microsoft Dynamics system. In another instance, two young fellows—one is our youngest employee—have been experimenting with connecting Dynamics Ax with online marketing via Facebook.

     

    Besides the experience gap, there is also a gap between real ability and certified ability. Certification alone does not add to your quality as an IT worker, but it states that you have passed an exam. Sorry to say, as an IT manager these multi-answers exams can be learned by heart on the internet and you can actually pass one without ever learned or worked with the related topic. 

     

    Is certification then worthless? Absolutely NOT!  Have you seen Microsoft's funny video about the difference in interviewing candidates that do and do not have Microsoft certifications?

     

    As an IT manager you should have an ongoing schedule for certifying your employees' knowledge.  Make space in your schedule and budget to train and educate your employees in new versions, new ideas etc.  The benefits are mutual: the employee’s feel important and the knowledge on the IT teams stays current.

     

    Hiring a new candidate is always a challenge, but when it all comes together—CV, recommodation, education and certification, and the feel of the conversation is good—you  know you have a winner!

     

    I'd like to hear your views on the experience and the credential "gaps," and what you think about hiring younger IT professionals. What's been your experience? Who's learning the most on your teams?

     

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX MCTs-

    Check out  the Microsoft Dynamics AX  Team Blog to find videos, links and other information on the new VM.

     

  • A couple of weeks ago I posted an announcement of a casting call for Career Factor, a little "reality" show we're putting on in January.  Since then I've gotten a lot of applications and interest and I am moved by the stories I am reading.  There are a lot of people out there who really need help with their career situation and I'm glad that Microsoft is doing something to help.

    If you know of someone who can use this unique opportunity, please let them know.  Casting will remain open until after TechEd EMEA - November 15th to be exact. 

    We have opportunities for people who are unemployed, who are looking to advance, to get their first certs, and for students who are graduating.  We have tracks for our new technologies: Azure developer and Windows Phone developer.  We have one for teams and IT Managers and we have one for those looking to get a Masters cert.  Even if your case doesn't fit neatly into these scenarios, apply anyway - I can certainly find a way to modify one of the scenarios to fit your needs.

    It pains me that we cannot help everyone and that we'll only have 9 people gain these opportunities, but we hope that these 9 will serve as inspirations.  As we show the stories of these 9 starting in January, we'll provide you with ways with which you too can leverage the tools they use.

    Here's the original blurb from the initial announcement:

    • Are you looking for a new career?
    • Have you been looking for a job without much success?
    • Are you a graduating technology student who is looking for a job?
    • Have you been considering the Microsoft Certified Masters program?
    • Are you looking to develop for Azure and Windows Phone 7?

    If you fit one of these situations, then we are looking for you to participate in Career Factor, an online reality show starting in January.  Microsoft will be taking 9 dynamic individuals and providing them with training, certification, and other learning resources as they attempt to meet a career related goal.  Their efforts will be shown to Microsoft community through social media and digital media. The show will run until the May, leading up to TechEd North America.  If selected, you will have access to all of Microsoft’s resources as we help you achieve your goals and be in the spotlight in one of our more visible projects this year

    For more information of the campaign and application process, please see http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/cf/default.aspx

  • This is the November preview list of courses releasing this month.  Please note:

    1. Microsoft Official Courses (MOC) are instructor-led training courses offered by our Certified Partners.  Not all classes will be offered by all partners.  Find a training center through Class Locator and see if they will be offering the course you need.

    2. Community Courses (CC) are instructor-led training courses offered by our Certified Partners wherein the content is authored by our learning community.

    3. General Availability for MOC and CC is dependent on our Certified Partners, but the earliest is Ship Date + 7 days.

    4. Products with no link currently don’t have a URL – search for the course in the training catalog

    5. Release dates are always in flux so there may be a chance that a product is delayed.  This list does not guarantee the ship dates or availability. 

    Please post a comment if you can't find something or if you have any questions

    Microsoft Forefront

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

      Deploying Microsoft® Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server eBook English 11/1/2010
      Deploying Microsoft® Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 eBook English 11/1/2010
    Deploying Microsoft® Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 eBook English 11/1/2010

     

    Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

      Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 Inside Out Book English 11/15/2010
    10555 Configuring, Managing and Troubleshooting Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 MOC Portugese (Brazil) 11/29/2010

     

    Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    80240 Using Microsoft® SharePoint® Technology with Microsoft Dynamics® GP 2010 MOC English 11/11/2010

     

    Microsoft Project

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    50413 Mastering Microsoft Project 2010 CC English Shipped

     

    Microsoft Office 2010

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    50471

    Excel 2007 for Beginners

    CC

    Danish

    11/1/2010

    10352

    Skills Training in Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010

    e-Learning

    English

    11/3/2010

    77-884

    Outlook 2010

    Exam MOS

    English

    11/15/2010

    10387

    Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 Part 1 - Setting up a New Site

    e-Learning

    English

    11/17/2010

    10388

    Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 – Part 2 – Managing Data and Content

    e-Learning

    English

    11/17/2010

    10389

    Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 - Part 3 - Workflows

    e-Learning

    English

    11/17/2010

    10390

    Microsoft® SharePoint® Designer 2010 – Part 4 – Integrating Business Data

    e-Learning

    English

    11/17/2010

    10355

    Beginner Skills Training in Microsoft® SharePoint® Workspace 2010

    e-Learning

    English

    11/18/2010

    10576

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    French

    11/24/2010

    10577

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Italian

    11/24/2010

    10578

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Portuguese (Brazil)

    11/24/2010

    10579

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Korean

    11/24/2010

    10580

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Dutch

    11/24/2010

    10581

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Chinese (Simplified)

    11/24/2010

    10582

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Swedish

    11/24/2010

    10583

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Danish

    11/24/2010

    10584

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Russian

    11/24/2010

    10585

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Polish

    11/24/2010

    10586

    Beginner Skills in Microsoft® Word 2010

    e-Learning

    Norwegian

    11/24/2010

    77-885

    Access 2010

    Exam MOS

    English

    11/30/2010

     

    Microsoft SharePoint Server

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    10377

    Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 for End user - Unified Communications

    e-Learning

    English

    11/10/2010

    10375

    Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 for End user - Enterprise Content Management

    e-Learning

    English

    11/17/2010

    10373

    Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 for End user - Business Intelligence Features

    e-Learning

    English

    11/18/2010

    10374

    Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 for End user - Collaboration Features

    e-Learning

    English

    11/18/2010

    10376

    Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 for End user - Enterprise Search Features

    e-Learning

    English

    11/18/2010

     

    Microsoft SQL Server

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    70-433

    TS: Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008, Database Development

    Exam TS

    English

    11/2/2010

    70-451

    PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008

    Exam Pro

    Portuguese (Brazil)

    11/5/2010

    10333

    First Look: Understanding Parallel Data Warehouse Core Concepts (RTM)

    e-Learning

    English

    11/25/2010

     

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

     

    Parallel Programming with Microsoft .NET

    Book

    English

    Shipped

    70-521

    Upgrade:  Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Developer Skills to MCPD .NET 4 Windows Applications Developer

    Exam Upgrade

    Japanese

    11/5/2010

    70-518

    Pro: Designing and Developing Windows® Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    Exam Pro

    Japanese

    11/8/2010

    70-518

    Pro: Designing and Developing Windows® Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    Exam Pro

    German

    11/8/2010

    70-523

    Upgrade:  Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Web Developer Skills to MCPD .NET Framework 4 Web Developer

    Exam Upgrade

    Japanese

    11/8/2010

    70-523

    Upgrade:  Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Web Developer Skills to MCPD .NET Framework 4 Web Developer

    Exam Upgrade

    German

    11/8/2010

    70-523

    Upgrade:  Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Web Developer Skills to MCPD .NET Framework 4 Web Developer

    Exam Upgrade

    Chinese (Simplified)

    11/12/2010

    10264

    Developing Web Applications with Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010

    MOC

    English

    11/22/2010

    70-521

    Upgrade:  Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Developer Skills to MCPD .NET 4 Windows Applications Developer

    Exam Upgrade

    German

    11/29/2010

    Windows Server 2003 & 2008

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    6238

    Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory® Domain Services

    MOC

    French

    10/4/2010

    6824

    Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory® Domain Services

    MOC

    Spanish

    10/4/2010

    10325

    Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell® 2.0

    MOC-Digital

    English

    10/11/2010

    10324

    Implementing and Managing Microsoft® Desktop Virtualization

    MOC

    English

    10/19/2010

    10222

    Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory® Domain Services

    MOC

    Portuguese (Brazil)

    10/25/2010

    6822

    Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server® 2008 Network Infrastructure

    MOC

    Spanish

    10/25/2010

    10325

    Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell® 2.0

    MOC

    English

    10/28/2010

    98-365

    Server Administration Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Portuguese (Brazil)

    10/29/2010

    98-365

    Server Administration Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Japanese

    10/29/2010

    98-365

    Server Administration Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Russian

    10/29/2010

    98-365

    Server Administration Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Spanish (Latin America)

    10/29/2010

    98-365

    Server Administration Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    German

    10/29/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Spanish (Latin America)

    10/29/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Russian

    10/29/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    German

    10/29/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Chinese (Traditional)

    10/29/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Korean

    10/29/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Chinese (Simplified)

    10/29/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Portuguese (Brazil)

    10/29/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Japanese

    10/29/2010

     

    Windows 7

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    10697

    Windows 7 Essentials I

    e-Learning

    German

    11/12/2010

    10698

    Windows 7 Essentials II

    e-Learning

    German

    11/12/2010

    70-680

    TS: Windows 7, Configuring

    Exam TS 

    English

    11/22/2010

     

    Windows Essential Business Server

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    6893

    Configuring, Implementing, and Managing Windows® Essential Business Server 2008

    e-Learning

    English

    11/10/2010

     

    Windows Small Business Server

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    10326

    Implementing and Administering Windows® Small Business Server 2008

    MOC

    German

    11/29/2010

     

    Windows Phone

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    10697

    Programming Windows® Phone 7

    Book

    English

    11/15/2010

    10698

    Windows® Phone 7 Plain & Simple

    Book

    English

    11/15/2010

     

    Windows Server 2008

    Product Number

    Title

    Type

    Language

    Forecasted Ship Date

    50291

    Developing High-performance Applications using Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008

    CC

    English

    11/1/2010

    6824

    Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory® Domain Services

    MOC

    Spanish

    11/15/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Spanish (Latin America)

    11/15/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Russian

    11/15/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    German

    11/15/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Korean

    11/15/2010

    98-366

    Networking Fundamentals

    Exam Associate

    Portuguese (Brazil)

    11/15/2010

    6822

    Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server® 2008 Network Infrastructure

    MOC

    Spanish

    11/22/2010

    6823

    Fundamentals of Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory®

    MOC

    Spanish

    11/22/2010

    6825

    Configuring and Troubleshooting Identity and Access Solutions with Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory®

    MOC

    Spanish

    11/22/2010

  • While we were at TechEd North America last June, more than 250 IT managers, IT professionals and developers stopped by our ShoutIT video booth to share their stories. Now we're sharing some of those stories with you.

    First up, Jeff Smith ...

     

  • Microsoft Learning is pleased to announce that Microsoft Ireland was granted HETAC (Higher Education and Training Awards Council) accreditation for its major technical certifications earlier this year. The associated Microsoft technical certifications now carry ECTS (European Credit Transfer & Accumulation System) credits and are accredited at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications which equates to Level 5 of the European Qualifications Framework. The ECTS system allows for the transfer of learning experiences between all of Ireland’s Higher Education bodies and, as a result, more flexible routes to gain degrees and further education. This accreditation allows all students who earn a major Microsoft technical certification in Ireland to receive a dual award from HETAC.

    With this accreditation, Microsoft became the first provider of international IT certifications to achieve full academic accreditation for its certifications in Europe. 

    Microsoft plans to replicate this achievement across Europe to ensure that students from other countries receive the same benefits as those based in Ireland. The goal is that all major Microsoft technical certifications carry the same number of ECTS credits that will be transferable across Europe and that these credits are accepted by all European Higher Education Colleges and Universities. HETAC accreditation is a first step in making that happen.