Please reference the updated post here for information - http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/btl/b/weblog/archive/2011/05/24/updates-to-the-transcript-and-certificate-updates-need-your-feedback.aspx
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be updating our certification transcripts and certificates, and you’ll probably notice some small but in some cases significant changes. For the full scoop and a sneak peek at the new look, keep reading!
Changes to Transcripts
Based on customer feedback, we’re consolidating the certifications on your transcripts, uniquely identifying each of them, and adding an inactive date where appropriate. I’ll explain in detail, but first let’s do a before-and-after comparison:
Notice how clean the new transcript looks on the right with certifications consolidated by track (MCITP, MCTS, MCSA: Security). This should make your transcript much easier for you, your clients and employers to read and understand.
Next, notice how we’ve organized all the various versions of, for example, MCTS underneath the “Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist” heading. Again, that’s to make the transcript easier to follow. We call the top-level boldface certifications your “certification tracks,” and the different flavors underneath are your individual “certifications.” In the example above, “Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist” is a certification track with two certifications (“SQL Server 2005” and “Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Configuration” underneath it.
Now some new pieces of information we are adding for each certification include:
1. Technology – This is the version of the product you’re certified on, for example Windows Server 2008.
2. Certification Number – This is like a serial number, uniquely identifying each certification you earn. It’s not your MCP ID—that’s your personal identifier—and it’s not the same thing as an exam number either. Someone else who earns the exact same certification will still have their own unique certification number—no two certification numbers are alike. (In case you’re wondering, certification numbers will be randomly generated—there’s no rhyme or reason to the numbers assigned). We’re adding this field because it’s required for our ISO 17024 certification (yes, even certification programs can be certified themselves!), but the cool thing about it is that it gives us the potential to modify our transcript sharing tool down the line so that you can enable people to verify an individual certification without sharing your entire transcript (but that’s in the future).
3. Inactive Date – This is a big change: many of our certifications now feature an “inactive date” which signifies either that your certification is no longer in mainstream demand, that Microsoft no longer supports the product on which the certification is based, or that you have not met recertification requirements (if any). You won’t always see this field on your transcript—only if and when we’ve determined an inactive date for that certification. For affected certifications, you’ll start seeing inactive dates show up in June. (You can find more information on inactive dates here.)
Let’s take a moment to discuss the Inactive Date, because I’m sure that some of you are reading that phrase and thinking “that’s Microsoft-speak for decertification date.” It isn’t—in fact, even if all of your certifications go inactive, you’ll still have access to your MCP benefits, and your inactive certifications will still appear on your transcript. All that’s changing is that we’re signaling to you, your clients, and employers that these particular certifications have outlived their market relevance. Just to clarify what we mean by market relevance is that in most cases Microsoft isn't even supporting the technology through mainstream support. In other cases, it may be that the way that the technology was used (many years ago or with cloud it could even be a few months ago) when it was first released has changed, because we all know that technology is ever evolving and changing at such a rapid pace. This means the certification may have validated how to use the technology in a different way and since then we have not re-validated the skills necessary to use the technology in the market.
Changes to Certificates
We’re making three small changes to our certificates, two of which mirror the changes we’re making to the transcripts, specifically the certification number and inactive date. However, we’re also adding a new piece of information that’s on your transcript today but not on your certificate: your certification achievement date. In other words, your certificate will now display the date on which you earned your certification. See below for an example of what this will look like:
If you’ve already printed or ordered your certificates, that’s fine—there’s no need for you to print or order replacements. (You can if you want to, of course, but the standard shipping fees apply if you choose to order one.) Just like with the transcripts, you’ll see these new changes in April (with the exception of the Inactive Dates, which will begin populating in June).
So that’s the complete rundown of what’s changing… so what do you think? We’d love to read your feedback, so please share it below!
Pass any virtualization exam and receive a complimentary TechNet Subscription*!
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A. Congratulations on passing your virtualization exam. The complimentary TechNet offer is only available for those that register through the website – http://www.prometric.com/microsoft/virtualization and take and pass an exam. We encourage you to take another virtualization exam and hopefully achieve your MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) certification.
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Just one week after Microsoft Management Summit 2011 (MMS), Microsoft Learning is hosting an exclusive three-day Jump Start class specially tailored for VMware and Microsoft virtualization technology pros. Registration for “Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals” is open and will be delivered via virtual classroom on March 29-31, 2010 from 10:00am-4:00pm PDT. Our last two events -- Windows Phone 7 Jump Start and Developing Cloud Applications with the Windows Azure Platform" -- were very popular, so please register today for all three sessions.
This cutting edge course will feature expert instruction and real-world demonstrations of Hyper-V and brand new releases from System Center 2012 (many of which will be announced just one week earlier at MMS). This course is designed for Data Center Managers, IT Professionals, IT Decision Makers, Network Administrators, Storage/Infrastructure Administrators & Architects. Attendees are in for a treat because this course will be team taught by two of the most respected technologists in the field:
Symon Perriman | A Microsoft Technical Evangelist covering Virtualization, Windows Server, System Center and Private Cloud technologies, Symon is a recognized expert in high availability, failover clustering, network load balancing, storage solutions, mobile, domain and web services. Symon contributed to several technical books for clustering, virtualization and SQL, wrote technology articles for Business Today, and is the founder of Microsoft’s Failover Clustering & Network Load Balancing Blog.
Corey Hynes | An IT Infrastructure consultant with more than 15 years in the field focusing on operating system virtualization, management and deployment. Corey has been working with products such as Hyper-V, VMware, and XEN extensively since they were introduced. Currently, Corey is working with Microsoft and Citrix to help partners design and architect enterprise class VDI implementations using XenDesktop and Hyper-V. Corey is also the owner and lead technical architect for holSystems, an online VM hosting engine for training and demo providers, which hosts thousands of VM instances in a custom thin provisioning engine, available on-demand worldwide.
Register now for all three sessions*!Session 1 - "Platform" | March 29, 2011 from 10am-4pm PSTSession 2 - "Management" | March 30, 2011 from 10am-4pm PSTSession 3 - "VDI" | March 31, 2011 from 10am-4pm PST* These sessions will be recorded in HD-quality video and posted to TechNet Edge in mid-April.
Please help us spread the word by posting this tweet: Register now! Mar. 29-31 "Microsoft #Virtualization for VMware Pros" VMM 2012 http://bit.ly/JS-Hyper-V @MSLearning @SymonPerriman #Hyper-V
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 Windows Phone 7.
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.
We are currently gathering information for exams 70-243 and 70-242. These exams cover System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and System Center Operations Manager 2012.
If you are a System Center subject matter expert, we would like to get your input. The questions will be about experience, primary use, and tasks that the qualified candidate should be able to perform.
We have two online surveys available:
System Center Configuration Manager:
System Center Operations Manager:
(Editor's Note: Lutz Ziob, General Manager of Microsoft Learning, was invited to attend the inaugural graduation of the NetHope Academy in Haiti. He spent some time in Port-au-Prince in mid-March and we asked him to write about his experience)
The contrast of hope and despair, optimism and anguish, faith and agony is a feeling that I experienced frequently during the four days of my recent visit to Haiti. In fact, it’s this contrast which characterized Haiti for me right now.
But, at the graduation ceremony, there is no place for gloom. It’s all about confidence, optimism, and high expectations for the future. These 39 computer science students have been selected out of almost 300 Haitian applications to participate in the first NetHope Academy, a collaboration of NetHope, Ecole Supérieure d’Infotronique d’Haiti (ESIH), Accenture, the Voila Foundation, Cisco, and Microsoft. The partnering companies sponsored their services and products, enabling a tuition-free attendance for the enrolled students. During the six months program, they received hands-on technical training on Microsoft, Cisco and other industry-leading technologies, combined with instructions and coaching on broader job enabling skills (often mislabeled as “soft skills”). They were also encouraged to achieve internationally-accepted IT certifications in high demand, like the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician.
The unique value NetHope brought to the table were the internships that all students received at other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Haiti. On-the-job experience helped the students to build up the crucial real-life skills and knowledge necessary to gain employability. Hence, I was very excited – but not surprised - to learn that almost all of them had already secured a full-time, family-wage position even before their graduation day! Clearly, these graduates and their families had all the reason to be confident and optimistic about their future. Frank Schott, NetHope’s Global Program Director and founding father of the NetHope Academy in Haiti, has written a wonderful blog about the program and the graduation ceremony that I think you will enjoy reading.
For me, the NetHope Academy program is proof that Haiti can indeed be “built back better,” as former President Clinton encouraged the country and the global community of nations to do. Yes, it can be hard at times to imagine a better Haiti while experiencing the devastation, the suffering, the poverty, the deeply rooted social and economic problems, the political instability. But, we all know that hope and vision can overcome the biggest challenges. Time and again we have seen the “power of a dream” transforming lives and changing nations.
I had the pleasure of meeting such a “dreamer” in person during my visit: Mathias Pierre, author of the book “The Power of a Dream - One Man's Determination to Pursue his Ideals”, is a native of Port-au-Prince and an ambitious, successful business person. But he is not only the President of GaMa, a leading IT services and distribution company in Haiti, but also the Chairman of the Haitian IT Professional Association, and a visionary educator and philanthropist. Through his Fondation ETREayisyen, Mathias is using education and training to promote societal change and to encourage local business development and entrepreneurship amongst the youth in Haiti. Mathis is passionate, determined, and energetic – and has no time to waste. Right at the beginning of our meeting, he let me know: “I probably would not have had time for you today, if it were not for you wanting to talk to me about education.” So, here we are, the IT company owner and the Microsoft representative not wanting to waste time talking just about technology, we had more important things to discuss!
Mathias’ comment really opened my eyes for what’s at stake in Haiti and what’s badly needed: To build a better Haiti, new solid and robust foundations have to be put in place. This is certainly true for the way that buildings, streets, bridges and cities are constructed in Haiti. I was shocked to learn that the 9.0 earthquake in Japan (which actually happened as I left for Haiti) was estimated to have been 1,000 times stronger in force than the 7.0 quake in Haiti, but the latter one claimed over 300,000 lives, mostly because of the devastating impact of collapsing buildings and other construction.
The second element that will be critical to re-building Haiti better is a robust, scalable foundation for education in the nation. The earthquake destroyed some 4,000 schools in Haiti, about 90% of the educational institutions in the country. And this catastrophic destruction hit an education system that already ranked at the very bottom in any global comparison. For example, only 5% of Haitians gain a high school diploma, a mere 1% attend college and over 80% of the College graduates leave the country upon graduation; and two thirds of all teachers in Haiti have never received any teacher training.
I feel that all of the people I met clearly understand the importance of education and training moving forward. This vibrant interest in learning was apparent amongst students, educators and teachers, government officials, NGO representatives, global help organizations, parents, entrepreneurs, journalists, etc. Literally each and every discussion pretty quickly turned to the question: how can better education be brought to more people, or more accurately: how can we provide a much higher quality of education to all citizens in Haiti, especially the younger generations?
These were probably the most encouraging, most rewarding moments during my stay in Haiti: when I realized that modern technology can indeed make a substantial contribution to helping this bold dream come true. Clearly, IT does not provide the answer to all of the pressing educational questions that the country struggles with today. But providing training for information technology and using modern, highly scalable technologies in education are powerful solutions that will be cornerstones in the new education foundation for Haiti.
This is one of the reasons why Microsoft has engaged to quickly and broadly in the rebuilding efforts of Haiti (check out this article if you are interested). And we in Microsoft Learning will continue to contribute in ways that are specific to our core capabilities and programs. Naturally, we will again support the NetHope Academy with training materials and certifications moving forward (the overall founding in Haiti was secured for at least two more years). I had a lot of discussions about the Microsoft IT Academy program, the Microsoft Certified Trainer certification, other Microsoft certification programs, offerings like Digital Literacy, DreamSpark, BizSpark, and Live@Edu, etc. We are now putting concrete steps in place to ensure that we can train and certify a number of MCTs, to enroll a number of schools and colleges into the ITA program and to set up at least one commercial Microsoft Learning Partner in the country. In that way, we hope that we can provide support for a strong education foundation in Haiti.
As I left the country on Saturday - the very next day after exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned to Haiti - I felt that hope and optimism is prevailing over despair and anguish. Haiti can indeed be re-built better and stronger! And technology, together with technology education, will be one of the core building blocks. A NetHope Academy graduating student captures the mood really well when he wrote to the organizers:
“This is to thank for all you've been doing for Haitian people, especially for me. Yesterday was on the nicest days of my life, I was so excited. Now I am more than ever confident and I don't worry anymore about my future. From the bottom of my heart, many thanks once more. Keep up the good work and I hope this program will continue and give opportunities to other young Haitian people. With your support a brighter day is possible for Haiti”.
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Last week, Erika Cravens posted a blog describing some forthcoming changes to the transcripts and certificates. She noted that the addition of the certificate number is specifically required to maintain the ISO 17024 accreditation that we hold for three of our certifications (Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Administrator; Windows Server 2008 Server Administrator; MCSA Security Specialization), and one commenter asked that we provide more information about the changes required by ISO 17024. I thought I'd take a slightly broader approach to this topic and talk about what is required to earn and maintain accreditation in general because we actually have several.
First, the requirements for accreditation vary based on the accrediting body. For example, the requirements to accredited to ISO 17024 are different from those required by the American Counsel of Education (based in the United States) and Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC; based in Ireland); however, the requirements for earning ISO 17024 accreditation are, by far, the most rigorous of any accreditation that we've earned, so let's focus on those requirements. If we meet those requirements, odds are good that we'll meet the requirements of other accreditation standards.
The ISO 17024 standard is lengthy and is broken into four key components that are relevant to our readers. I can certainly go into much more detail about the specifics of the standard (if anyone is interested, let me know), but I'm simply hitting the highlights below.
1. Certification body and organizational structure.The most important aspect of the related clauses in this section is that exam development must be conducted independently of training development. In other words, the exam must be an independent evaluation of the candidate's skills and abilities, and training cannot be required to earn the certification. Because of this requirement, we have implemented a stronger firewall between exam and training development; specifically, if you assist us with certain exam development activities, you cannot create training content that is considered part of the learning path for that exam, and vice versa (if you create training content designed to prepare candidates for a specific exam, you cannot assist with certain exam development activities for that exam). I recently posted a blog about these rules on the MS Press blog.
2. Certification and exam development and maintenance. We must follow industry accepted standards when designing, developing, and maintaining our exams to ensure their ongoing validity and reliability over the life of the certification, and document, document, document every phase of this process. We have always been good at the former...and less good at the latter.
3. Certification Process.Recertification of some sort is required because skills atrophy over time, and stakeholders must have some level of confidence that someone holding the certification continues to possess those skills. This is why we created a recertification exam (70-699) for the MCSA Security Specialization certification. Recertification for the accredited Windows Server 2008 certifications will be covered when we release of the next version of the software's certifications (the availability of the Windows Server v-Next Enterprise Administrator and Server Administrator certifications in conjunction with the inactive date associated with 2008 Windows Server certifications meet the recertification requirement).
4. Certificate Content. Oddly enough, the standard, while general in the implementation of many of its requirements, is very specific about what must be included on the certificate itself. Because of its specificity, I'm using the wording provided in the standard; my editorial comments are in italics:
a) the name of the certified person and a unique certification number;
b) the name of the certification body (in our case, Microsoft);
c) a reference to the competence standard on which the certification is based (in our case, this is passing the associated exam(s));
d) the scope of the certification (in our case, this is the specific technology and version), including validity conditions and limitations (a statement that the certificate holder has met all the requirements to be considered certified as X);
e) the effective date of certification (when earned) and date of expiry.
What else would you like to know?
On Friday afternoon I heard about AppMkr and how easy it now was to create an app. I gave it a try and all of a sudden I found myself getting into that old 'garage project' state of mind. Exciting stuff! Yes, this was easy, and it was fun, and it was something I could do.
So on Saturday morning I created an App called 'Born to Learn Reader' which is out NOW on Droid and you can get it here. It is a basic but handy reader that enables you read Born to Learn on the go. I added loads of tabs so it's really easy to keep track of our news, our events, our Career Factor show, offers and I even threw in some other great blogs. Yes, I added advertising; a man can dream and my dream is that this app makes some money. If it does, we'll put whatever money it earns us towards building a school in a developing country. It would be awesome if that actually worked, so don't be shy and click an ad or two for the good cause :-).
Out now on Droid, coming soon on Windows Phone and iPhone. To see how easy it is to create apps, read the below announcement and have fun creating!! Oh, and don't miss the 'free Marketplace registration' at the very end of this blog post, if you don't have an account yet this may allow you to upload your apps at no cost :-)
Imagine developing an app in less than 30 minutes, with no coding required and no cost to you!
Creating a Windows Phone App has never been easier! Microsoft is excited to announce the partnership with AppMakr.
AppMakr is a browser-based platform, that makes developing Windows Phone 7 Apps quick and easy. No coding required. Anyone with existing content can use it and build Windows Phone 7 apps for free― bloggers/writers, business owners, website owners, musicians, sports figures and more….
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• Push-Notifications for Direct Alert Messaging to Your Users
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Microsoft Limited Free Offer! Microsoft is offering free Marketplace registration ($99 Value) to developers who install the Ad Control SDK into their Windows Phone 7 Apps via AppMakr. First 500 to qualify will receive! Take advantage of this special incentive today by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
In a recent InformationWeek article “Go Rogue with Enterprise Search”, Michael Healey laments “Enterprise search is one of the most powerful but underused technologies available to IT.”
He goes on to articulate why this is the case. “What's getting in the way are internal politics, understaffing, and an unwillingness on IT's part to tackle the bigger requirements that could truly change how employees find information across a company. Too often, enterprise search technology ends up pigeonholed in a single department or used on a single data set--a big but underutilized investment.”
Considering that only about 10% of the companies have deployed what has been called full enterprise search, one can understand the lack of compelling business drivers. What constitutes a full enterprise search solution? That would be the indexing of all of the content inside a company’s intranet. Specifically;
In deference to Andrew McAfee, who coined the term "Enterprise 2.0" a few years ago, the above search environment has been termed Search 2.0.
This virtual integration, which enables IT systems to work together through the search interface, should be reason enough to deploy Search 2.0. However, in the InformationWeek article, Mr. Healey, presented a survey of IT professional on the “Benefits of Enterprise Search”. The results are show below.
Since 40% of those surveyed think that “Better end-user productivity” is the leading benefit of enterprise search, lets take a closer look at what that could translate to. In a May 2009 IDC report, “The Hidden Cost of Information Work” a formal approach to measuring this benefit was proposed. Their formula is:
The report proposes a number of ways for an organization to measure the “Search Lift Cost” depending on the level of maturity in their business analytics process to provide reliable metrics.
Given the likelihood of real dollars IT can return to the company, the deployment of Search 2.0 should be a high priority of CIOs.
Trent Parkhill a former engineering consultant and Director of IT, stated: “Experiencing enterprise search 2.0 is like walking through a hidden gate and seeing a whole new world on the other side. Once one has seen that world, it is impossible to imagine not having instant finger tip access to all of the information, knowledge and expertise in an organization.”
Drop us a note at email@example.com, and we can help you walk through that “hidden gate”.
By Philip E. Helsel
This training is intended for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 partners, namely implementation consultants, presales consultants and developers.
Courses in this collection include:
Okay, so maybe it’s silly, but I got excited when I was hand-delivered my very own copy of the brand new shiny MOS 2010 Study Guide today. Fresh off the press, this latest MOS Study Guide was authored by two Office gurus, Joan Lambert and Joyce Cox. I’ve already put my name on it, because seriously, in our offices, these books grow legs and wander fast.
If you are planning to take a MOS 2010 exam on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook, this is the book for you. Check out this blog post for an excerpt about Excel formulas and functions… an area that regularly causes me headaches. Happy reading!
We're planning updates to various tools, systems, and sites to serve you better. One tool we're looking at is the Microsoft Certification Planner tool, where you can track your progress toward achieving a specific certification. Synchronized with your personal transcript, Certification Planner helps you evaluate your options and select the shortest path to achieving your next certification.
If you've used the Microsoft Certification Planner tool, we would love to hear your feedback on it. We invite you to take a two-minute survey to help us better understand your needs. This survey will close on March 19th.
Click here to take the survey now.
If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you’re probably well aware of NetHope. Microsoft has been a long-time supporter (our team in particular), helping to restore communication and IT infrastructure following disasters and helping to build capacity in developing countries. Most recently, we supported the NetHope Academy program in Haiti (more on recent developments there in a near-future post).
As you might expect, NetHope sprung immediately into action following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and as always, they can really use the help and support of those of us in the IT community. Here’s an excerpt from a newsletter I just received… if you can help, I know it’ll make a difference.
“Teams in the field are telling us that communications and electricity are very limited in the affected areas. As more information about the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami become available, our member organizations plan to increase their work in the country as well as support their partner organizations in improving their capacity to deal with the consequences of these terrible natural disasters in the months to come.
“We cannot understate the urgency of this appeal; communications capabilities and efficient information sharing are the lifeblood of every rescue and relief effort, and the task ahead in Japan is daunting. We need financial support now to provide our member organizations with the essential tools they need to speed the delivery of food, water, shelter, health care and family reunification services to the victims of this disaster.
“Based on the initial feedback from our member organizations, we expect to require funding for coordinating the ICT aspects of the response for at least the next six weeks. We expect there will be a need for communication equipment, laptops and software. Although we will try to procure as much of that equipment from local sources as possible, there will also be a need for funding the transportation costs for equipment donated in-kind from other countries.
“In the past your generous donations have made our work possible; they are a crucial piece in our collaborative efforts. It is though donors like you. the invaluable technical and cash support from your companies and your employee matches that give us the resources we need to deliver our important work. Everything we are doing is designed to provide urgently needed communications and information sharing capabilities right now to allow NetHope's member organizations to provide help to the people of Japan.”
Here are a few ways you can support NetHope's services to those on the front lines of relief in Japan:
Our friends at GITCA (The Global IT Community Association) are running a 24 hour virtual event focusing on cloud computing. Anyone can present at this virtual event and they are soliciting speakers! From what I've been told, speakers can speak about any topic they would like (cloud related of course). Speakers need to provide their contact information, address, profile, and session abstract this week. Career Factor cast member Neil Simon will be among those presenting at this very cool event.
Check it out and if you are interested see the information below:
On April 19th GITCA will run a 24 hour round-the-world virtual event focusing on Cloud Computing. The speakers will be available via twitter to answer your questions. Please visit http://sites.GITCA.org/24hours to find out more. You can also email 24HitC@GITCA.org if you have any questions or suggestions. There is still a small time window if you or somebody that you know wishes to submit a session. Time is now pressing and if you want to make a submission it must be very soon in order to incorporate it into the production process.
To meet our April target we need to get the sessions recorded as soon as possible. This is an important project with a tight time schedule and so we ask that those of you who get selected as speakers make every effort to get your recordings to us as soon as possible so that we can begin to build the presentation site. This is a community project and GITCA is simply the enabler. So this is the community helping the community which we hope you see as important. All selected presenters will receive a “24 Hours in the Cloud” T-shirt, a good quality web camera to record their session(s) and software to assist with recordings. Some of you will already have received instructions from us on how to proceed. If the presenters have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact 24HitC@GITCA.org.
Interview with Graham Jones and Ashwin Kini, GITCA Chair and Chair-elect talking about “24 Hours in the Cloud”http://stephenibaraki.com/cips/v0211/graham_jones_ashwin_kini.html
We want to give everyone a chance to get to know the Career Factor participants better. We are introducing two tweet chats next week to help break the ice! We will be running the chats at two different times to accommodate our participants' time zones scattered across the globe.
When: March 16th at 10am PDT (check your local time) and March 17th at 5pm PDT (check your local time)Where: On Twitter. Be sure to use #CFchat so that you can join in the conversation.Who: All of our Career Factor participants, and everyone else who wants to join.
Each of the chats will last an hour, and will discuss Career Factor, Microsoft Certification and general discussion about IT career advice. We will also have a couple of Microsoft Learning experts on hand to answer any questions you have about the wide world of the Microsoft Certification exams.
If you haven't participated in a tweet chat before, it's a painless process. The easiest way to join and track what's being said is by going to http://tweetchat.com/room/cfchat and logging in to your Twitter account.
Read up on the Career Factor participants to see where they are, and come with your questions and comments ready!
Exam 70-595: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 is now available in Prometric testing centers. Candidates for this exam typically work as a BizTalk developer in an organization that has a need to integrate multiple disparate systems, applications, and data as well as the need to automate business processes by using BizTalk Server.
Candidates should have a solid understanding of fundamental BizTalk concepts around the core messaging engine and building business processes using orchestrations. Candidates will have some exposure to larger-scale multi-server solutions and deployment/management familiarity. This core knowledge is required for BizTalk 2006 R2, 2009, and 2010. In addition, core knowledge of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is also required.
Candidates should also have at least two years’ experience developing, deploying, testing, troubleshooting, and debugging BizTalk Server 2006 and later solutions across multiple projects and have experience using the Microsoft .NET Framework, XML, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft SQL Server, Web services, and WCF while developing BizTalk integration solutions.
To schedule your exam, visit Prometric’s Web site.
In case you missed our Live Meeting for Managers on Virtual Training, you can now view the recording on demand.
Moving to the Cloud
Tynan Fischer introduces the various remote training options that are available and shares some of the best practices for planning and executing a successful remote training initiative. Virtual training helps organizations leverage technology and smart planning to reduce cost and increase training efficiency and effectiveness.
Visit the IT Manager Portal for the full schedule of upcoming Live Meetings for Managers, to download meeting materials, and to view previous meetings on demand.
Last week Kevin prepared for his first certification attempt, while Caroline passed her exam with flying colors on the second try. Neil got to coding, and Simon just tried to stay awake while working hard in a new time zone. Read on for these recent stories and more from Career Factor.
Bojan – The Aspiring MCM, UKGoal: Take the MCM course and pass the Exchange 2010 MCM examThis week: Catch up with Bojan’s story in his new introductory video. More videos from his 3-week Microsoft Certified Master training on the Microsoft campus will be posted in the coming weeks.
Kevin – The Student, TexasGoal: Find a post-college job as an IT ProfessionalThis week: Kevin geared up for his first MCTS exam on Windows 7 with a training kit, tips from past test-takers, and lots of practice questions.
Caroline – The Office Competition Contender, CanadaGoal: Compete at the 2011 Certiport Worldwide Competition on OfficeThis week: Caroline’s second attempt at the Microsoft Word 2007 Expert exam was successful! Next she’ll help show her horse Quincy at a local competition and prepare for a school event, which will also be attended by a team from Certiport.
Simon – The IT Manager, UKGoal: Get his team (including himself) certified to maintain Microsoft Partner statusThis week: Simon was just beginning to plan his team’s certification strategy when he was sent to Malaysia to assist a customer. His team back in the UK is working to fulfill Microsoft Partner requirements, and it’s time to start studying for exams!
What would you do if you had to travel halfway around the world on a few hours' notice? Are you ready to put your Word skills to the Expert test? Read on for these topics and more from some of the Career Factor participants.
Caroline – The Office Competition Contender, CanadaGoal: Compete at the 2011 Certiport Worldwide Competition on OfficeThis week: Caroline spent the week studying with her classmates and instructor Janine to get ready for a second chance at the Microsoft Word 2007 Expert exam.
Rabeb – The Windows Phone 7 Developer, Tunisia Goal: Develop and release a WP7 app to the MarketplaceThis week: Rabeb has had a busy week working on her Windows Phone 7 app and studying for certification exams, and she’s working hard to prepare for upcoming presentations on Windows Phone software.
Bojan – The Aspiring MCM, UKGoal: Take the MCM course and pass the Exchange 2010 MCM examThis week: Bojan attended a three-week training course on the Microsoft campus in late January. Watch Bojan’s first video to meet his family and learn about his Microsoft Certified Master goals.
Kevin – The Student, TexasGoal: Find a post-college job as an IT ProfessionalThis week: Kevin just got a job offer! He also tested his web design skills and scheduled his first certification exam.
Simon – The IT Manager, UKGoal: Get his team (including himself) certified to maintain Microsoft Partner statusThis week: Simon was just beginning to plan his team’s certification strategy when he was unexpectedly sent to Malaysia to assist a customer.
You probably have noticed our scrolling banner on the home page along with a tab marked Training Spotlight. I hope you've all had the opportunity to explore this but if you haven't, I wanted to give you a quick rundown of this campaign.
Training Spotlight highlights one course each month which we will feature on the Training Spotlight page. We've then gone to our Partners and asked them if they would be willing to provide discounts or other benefits to you the customer for this course this month. We also have various courseware authors and partners blog about the featured course to give you a better idea of the course. You can see those posts on the Training Spotlight page as well. For this month, we had Eamonn Kelly, Product Planner for Microsoft Learning, give a better view of what the course covers. Here's an excerpt of his blog post:
We're now in our second month (the first we covered a Windows Server course), and the reception has been terrific. For this month's offer (course 10215), we have 67 partners offering 20-30% discounts off the tuition fees for the course to others offering free products (one is even offering free Bose headphones!). You can check for partners who are offering this promotion on the right hand side of the Training Spotlight page.
This campaign runs until July and we'll feature courses on SharePoint, Windows 7, SQL Server, and Virtual Studio 2010 in the coming months.
This is a very exciting pilot that we're doing this year and based on your reception, we may continue to provide these offers on a regular basis. If you've signed up for a course through Training Spotlight, let us know in the comments!
FAST University offers both self-directed learning (SDL – on-demand) and self-paced eLearning (online) as individual tutorials or part of our online library subscription. The FAST University online library subscription complements our instructor-led (ILT) courses and is recommended as a follow-on to our ILT courses. They are not meant to replace our ILT courses.
FAST SEARCH: Enterprise Search Training
Self-directed Learning (On-Demand): Recorded Courses with Hosted Lab Servers – Self-directed Learning is offered in an interactive web-based learning environment where students learn by doing, using a rich system of guided, hands-on exercises and self-assessment questions.
Self-paced eLearning (Online): Online self-study tutorials are an interactive Web-based learning setting ideal for students who require maximum flexibility in their learning environment. Students learn by using a rich system of guided, hands-on exercises and self-assessment questions.
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.
Virtual Training - How to Ready your IT Staff Anywhere/Anytime through Remote TrainingWednesday, March 23, 2011 at 8:00am PST (What time is this in my region?)
Are you facing challenges getting your staff the skills and training they need?
In this meeting you will learn the about the various remote training options that are available to you and hear about some of the best practices for planning and executing a successful remote training initiative. You will see how real companies have leveraged technology and smart planning to reduce cost and increase training efficiency and effectiveness.
Find the full schedule of Live Meetings for Managers, watch a previous webcast on-demand, download PowerPoint slides, or get additional resources at the IT Manager Portal.