• |

    Calling all Windows Phone and Windows Store Apps developers!

    Microsoft is supercharging its AppToCert program for Spring 2015, broadening appeal to a wider segment of developers.  Here are the updated details:

    We know that you have real world experience in building apps, and hard decisions on how to spend your limited time and money for training and certification. So, why not simplify your life and get credit for those apps you’re building? Elevate yourself by getting certified as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer through a special streamlined path, courtesy of Microsoft Learning and Microsoft Developer Support Experts.

    With the AppToCert Program, HTML5/JS or C#/XAML developers can save hundreds of dollars and get credit for up to two exams by showing the app development work you are already doing. 

    Along the way, the app review will provide you with tips on app design and implementation, and address common pitfalls and blockers to getting apps into the marketplace.

    Earning credit towards certification through AppToCert can now be achieved simply by completing these three steps:

    1. Pass either a Core or Intermediate technical review of your application by a Microsoft engineer
    2. Publish or update your application in the Windows Phone Store or Windows Store
    3. Take and pass one Microsoft developer certification exam from a list of Web, SharePoint, and Windows Store app exams.

     

    To learn more about the program:

    • First, review the program details and register here.
    • Then, visit Microsoft Virtual Academy and get a glimpse into the app review process: Last Stop: Getting Your Windows App to Market
    • Finally, learn more about one of our recent AppToCert program graduates in our spotlight here.
  • |

    Once again I am back from the annual Innovations in Testing conference, hosted by the Association of Test Publishers. I look forward to this conference every year as it brings together many of my counterparts and colleagues in the testing field, provides a good opportunity to learn and network, and lets me be immersed in my job for three full days. Once again, attendance topped more than 1,000 attendees—testing is a big field.

    This year I got to present at two sessions. My first session I co-created with my colleagues at Pearson VUE, our exam delivery provider. Our session, titled We Are Not the NSA: How to Factor Privacy Into Your Security Program, focused on the intersection between privacy and security. As both the exam security manager and the privacy manager for my organization at Microsoft, I encounter this topic quite often. We talked about basic privacy principles such as notice, consent, and control; data handling and sharing; and how the security professional can work with a privacy professional to ensure that customers’ expectations in both arenas are met.

    My ITCC colleagues from Pearson VUE and IBM and I also did a session called The Connection Between Socializing Professional Skills and Career Advancement. We demonstrated some methods that LinkedIn, Microsoft, and IBM employ to allow credential/certification holders to showcase their accomplishments, whether to social networks or employers. Wallet cards, LinkedIn profiles, shareable transcripts, and candidate highlights are some examples. Promotion of one’s earned certs was a recurring theme at ATP, especially as it pertains to badging and micro-credentialing. Once a candidate earns a certification, how can they use that to their online advantage? What does that certification tell the world about them? We got a lot of good questions and interest in that session as well.

    One other highlight for me was the opportunity to play with contraband that has been used to steal exam answers, thanks to the fine folks at Caveon Test Security, who brought some examples. I will not get into particulars on that, but I will assure you that the rules we have in place at a testing center exist for good reasons.

    Next up for me is Microsoft Ignite, where I will have the opportunity to meet and interact with our Microsoft Certified Trainers and candidates.

    Got a tip for me? Let me know at mlsecure@microsoft.com.

  • MCPs, 

    This is your chance to learn anything you want about PowerShell—straight from the inventor himself during our first MCP Insider Q&A!

    Here’s what we need from you: Questions!

    During the MCP Insider Q&A, Jeffrey Snover (Microsoft Lead Architect & inventor of Windows PowerShell) will be answering your questions as well as providing demos (based on what you ask) that you can use to prepare for an exam, leverage for a new project, or learn just for fun. This is a unique opportunity to interact directly with an industry expert and you own the conversation! Don’t know anything about PowerShell? There is no better way to learn than to ask a few basic questions. Tune in on April 9th to check out the answers and demos.

    Why am I excited about the MCP Insider series?

    The MCP Insider series is meant to connect the community directly with industry experts to accelerate learning, drive career and technical growth, and to get an inside look at where Microsoft is headed. We hope that this first event will be a great kickoff so get your questions in!

    How to submit your questions to Microsoft Lead Architect Jeffrey Snover

    1. Go to this forum
    2. Submit your questions by April 1st at 6:00 PM PDT.
    3. Return to Born To Learn on April 9th to see Jeffrey’s answers on video. 

    Thanks,

    Pat Thomas
    MCP Program Manager

    • What’s the best way for me to ramp up on [insert Microsoft technology product name]?
    • What are the hottest tech skills to acquire now for my career advancement?
    • I need to get certified or upgrade my old MCSE/MCITP. What exams do I need to take?
    • I’m having trouble with [insert tech issue or concept] at work and when studying. Can I pick your brain?
    • I have questions but am too nervous to ask during a session…

    These are just a few examples of questions you can bring to the MCT Ambassadors at Microsoft Ignite 2015. Who are they? They are a group of experienced IT pros and developers who have built their careers and businesses around learning, teaching, and consulting on various Microsoft (and other) technologies. As Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCT), they actively train technologists from around the world in classrooms or online. During Microsoft Ignite week, you will have access to their brains and expertise when you visit Certification Central or our booth, for FREE! In addition, many of them will be leading the exam prep sessions to help you ace your exams onsite.

    Here are your Ignite 2015 MCT Ambassadors:

    Adnan Hendricks

    Armando Lacerda

    Brian Svidergol

    Cale Teeter

    Chris Rhodes

    Christopher Harrison

    Cindy Lewis

    Farhan Sattar

    John Deardurff

    John Muller

    Mark Grimes

    Mark Wheatley

    Matthew Bailey

    Mindy Young

    Mirko Colemberg

    Peter De Tender

    Randel Hall

    Raphael Barini

    Rob Edwards

    Robert Reinsch

    Sidney Andrews

    Sondra Nelson

    Viviane Ribeiro

    Vladmir Meloski

    Wayne McGlinn

     

    You may already know several of them through their great work and active community involvement. While in Chicago this May, look for them in their black polo shirts embroidered with “Microsoft Certified Trainer.” They are full of valuable information, and they really love helping you learn (and certify!).

    Additional info:

  • We have a number of great updates to share with you in this ACE NewsByte!

    1. The Bing Rewards Campaign has been extended through April 30! Take a MCP certification exam until April 30, and regardless of if you pass or fail, you will receive 525 Bing Rewards Credits.

    2. MCPs receive a 40% discount on print books and 50% on eBooks.

    3. Rock it at Ignite at the MCP party and by taking an exam for half price! MCTs plan to be there a day early for Day Zero fun (and it really is fun!).

    4. Larry Kaye (he envisions, designs, and implements our developer certification paths, requirements, and strategy), won the FIRST ever ITCC Innovation Award for his AppToCert program. The Innovation Award celebrates professionals in the IT industry responsible for creating a product, service, or initiative that positively impacts customers, companies, and/or the candidate experience. This is an AMAZING honor for him!! I really cannot stress how innovative his idea is in the certification industry. To be recognized for this program is quite an honor.

    Learn about these great updates and more by watching this ACE NewsByte!

  • What happens when experts in Microsoft technologies come to the MCP community and take questions? You get the “MCP Insider” series!

     

    The new “MCP Insider” series adopts the popular “ask me anything” format from online communities, and turns questions and answers into videos available for your repeat viewing pleasure and ease of reference. Questions and requests can be submitted to the dedicated “MCP Insider” forum on this site, where the featured Microsoft technologists will be watching and collecting your questions.

     

    The very first MCP Insider will feature Jeffrey Snover and host Jason Helmick. Have a question for Jeffrey or want him to demo something in a video? Post your questions and requests in the “MCP Insider” forum by 6:00 PM PDT on April 1, 2015. And then, watch for their video response here on Born to Learn blog on April 9 and see whose questions got answers.

     

    To participate, you need to have a profile set up on Born to Learn. You can use your MC ID email address or your Microsoft Virtual Academy login. (If you’ve participated in certification challenge or KiPi, you already have a profile.)

     

    Learn more about our featured guests in this first installment of MCP Insider, check out their blogs:

     

    See you in the forum soon!

     

    Patrick Thomas

    MCP Program Manager

     

  • Hello MCPs! 

    I am pleased to announce another new offer for MCPs – free eBooks! 

    Take and pass a qualifying MCP exam between March 24, 2015 and June 30, 2015 and earn a free Microsoft eBook!  If you pass an exam, expect an email within 3 weeks containing an eBook rewards code. Only one eBook will be given regardless of the number of exams taken and while supplies last. 

    EBooks codes can be redeemed by visiting the Microsoft Press Store. MCPs will either login with an existing account or create a new account on the site before they can begin the redemption process. Codes are automatically generated and distributed. EBooks can be viewed and downloaded onto a maximum of 6 devices. EBooks can be viewed on any computer, iPad, Kindle 2 or any other device that supports PDFs, ePUBS or MOBI files. 

    Thanks! 
    Pat Thomas 
    MCP Program Manager 

    Terms and Conditions – Pass a qualifying MCP exam and earn a free eBook

    Take and pass any qualifying Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exam, and receive a code for a free MS Press eBook. This offer is available for MCPs worldwide (except South Korea). See additional terms and conditions below.

    What exams are included in this offer?

    All Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), and Microsoft Specialist certification exams are eligible. Microsoft Dynamics exams are also eligible. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams do not qualify for this promotion.

    How do I get my free eBook?  

    When you pass a qualifying MCP exam between March 24, 2015 and June 30, 2015 and you opt-in to receive promotional communications from Microsoft, you will receive a code which can be redeemed for one free eBook. EBooks codes will be sent by email 4-6 weeks following exam completion. Limit one free eBook per person. To schedule your exam, sign in with your Microsoft account, select a qualifying exam from the exam list, and click Schedule exam.

    Frequently asked questions 

    1. How do I redeem my free eBook code?
      You will receive a code that can be redeemed in the Microsoft Press Store for one randomly-selected digital book. Each code corresponds to a specific title assigned at random.

    2. How many free eBooks can I receive?
      The offer is limited to one free eBook code per person. Code redemptions are subject to Microsoft Press Store terms of use.

    3. Which exams qualify?
      All of the exams in our MCSA, MCSE, MCSD, and Microsoft Specialist certifications are eligible for this offer. Microsoft Dynamics exams are also eligible.

    4. How do I opt in to receive promotional communications from Microsoft?
      Sign in to your Microsoft Learning benefits and exams dashboard, and then select Account Settings from the Account menu in the upper right corner of the page. Select My contact preferences from the Manage communications menu, and check the “E-Mail Address” box in the left column. Be sure you click “save” to record your preferences.

    5. How can I redeem my eBook reward?  
      To redeem your eBook using the code please go to www.microsoftpressstore.com.  You will log in with your account information for the microsoftpressstore.com site, or create a new account. Once you have logged in or created your new account you will enter the code in the Digital Product Voucher box on the account page. It will appear when you click the link under the Digital Product Voucher header on the right side of the account page.  Once you successfully input the code, the title will be added to the account and available for download.  The download will be available immediately via your account in a watermarked version.

    6. Is this a worldwide offer?
      It is available to MCPs in all regions except for South Korea. An individual who passes a qualifying MCP exam can expect to receive an eBooks rewards code through email 4-6 weeks after passing the exam.

    7. Who do I contact if I haven’t received an email with my eBooks code?
      If you passed a qualifying exam between March 24, 2015 and June 30, 2015, you have opted in for promotional communications, and it has been more than 6 weeks since you passed a qualifying exam, please contact Microsoft Press Store support.

    8. What devices can be used to view eBooks?  
      EBooks can be viewed and downloaded on 6 devices maximum. These eBook files can be viewed on any computer, iPad, Kindle 2 or any other device that contains programs for viewing PDFs, ePUBs or MOBI files. EBooks are watermarked and should not be shared.

    9. Are eBooks available in other languages?
      No, eBooks are only available in English.

    10. Do you want to learn more about EBooks?
      Learn about downloading eBooks and much more on our eBook FAQ page.

    11. Do you need help picking which eBook format is right for your reading app or device?
      Check out our eBook formats page

    Additional terms and conditions

    • You must be 18 years or older to participate.
    • Offer good only to the first 20,000 MCPs who pass a qualifying MCP exam between March 24, 2015 and June 30, 2015 and who opt in to receive promotional communications from Microsoft, while supplies last. 
    • Limited to one (1) free e-Book code per email address.
    • EBook code can only be redeemed for one randomly selected e-Book title from the Microsoft Press Store.
    • Code may only be used once.
    • Code may not be used for any other offering than the specified offer.
    • Code will expire on June 30th 2016. . 
    • Code cannot be redeemed for cash, credit or refund and any resale of code is expressly prohibited.

    Expired, stolen or lost codes will not be replaced.

    • Microsoft is not responsible for lost or stolen eBook codes.
    • The eBook code will be sent the email address associated with your Microsoft Certification ID (MC ID).  Any code returned as non-deliverable will not be resent.
    • EBook codes are subjected to the Microsoft Press Store terms of use. You must provide your code to redeem your free e-Book title.
    • This offer is valid while supplies last. Offer good only to the first 20,000 MCPs.
    • The eBook offer is non-transferrable and cannot be combined with other offers.
    • Microsoft is not responsible for lost or stolen codes.
    • Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient.
    • All exams are subject to compliance with the Microsoft Certification exam policies.
    • An individual may change their exam appointment as late as (but no later than) 24 hours before their scheduled appointment, provided the exam is taken prior to the offer expiration.
    • Due to government gift and ethics laws, government employees (including military and employees of public education institutions) are not eligible to participate.
    • Microsoft reserves the right to cancel, change, or suspend this offer at any time without notice.

  • |

    The first time I saw a picture of Telmo Sampaio, I was sitting down in Veronica Sopher’s office. As I glanced towards the back wall, I saw a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) ambassador poster from a past event (I don’t remember which one), and just for kicks I tried to name the people I recognized. I knew a fair amount of them having been to several Microsoft events that were heavily attended by MCTs, but of course, there were some I didn’t recognize. Veronica then helped me put names to the faces I didn’t know, and she said to me, “You don’t know Telmo? You should go talk to him. He actually works at the main Microsoft campus in Redmond now.” 

    As I’ve said in past posts, one of the most common questions I receive from the Microsoft Learning community is, “How can I get a job at Microsoft?” As I sat there in Veronica’s office, I thought going and talking with Telmo was a perfect opportunity to get the answer to this question as he went from being Microsoft Certified to a full-time employee in Redmond. I contacted him, set up a time to meet, and of course, I brought my small video camera.

    In this short video, I talk to Telmo about a few topics, including: 

    • His role and responsibilities at Microsoft.
    • His history as an MCT and how he got it after dropping out of college.
    • How he ended up working at Microsoft in Redmond after being an MCT.
    • His top tip for those with Microsoft Certifications looking to get a job at Microsoft.

    Enjoy!

  • About a year ago, I was talking with Veronica Sopher about writing a blog post for Born To Learn. During the conversation, I mentioned that I had never finished college. She then asked a question that would change my life, “Have you looked into whether your certifications would count towards college credits?” Thus began a truly difficult and rewarding journey, which you can follow in these Born To Learn blog posts.

    To follow up on those posts, I was able to pass my web development college courses, but have not yet taken any of the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) exams to pick up the certification. Fortunately, I am attending Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago, which includes great exam prep sessions and half-price exams.

    So, here I am a year later and only eight classes away from reaching my goal. While most of the IT courses seemed simple, not all the courses have been easy—specifically my English class. I was required to write a research paper and it took a long time to finally come up with the topic of Net neutrality. There were several times during the research and writing process that I thought about giving up, especially when my course mentor had me rewrite the paper a second time. But, once I finally finished that class I knew I had overcome my biggest hurdle, which was my own lack of confidence.

    I know I still have some big challenges to finish, but a year from now instead of saying “I wish I had.” I will be able to say “I’m glad I did.” Whether it is college or working on Microsoft Certifications, the biggest hurdle is believing you can achieve your goal. Have the confidence to keep learning, keep improving, and keep challenging yourself.

    And if you are attending Microsoft Ignite and pass an exam, stop by the MCP Party on May 5, 2015, at the Museum of Science and Industry. I’ll be there, and I definitely will not be studying anything.

  • I hope you’ll indulge me showing my age a bit to start this blog post. I remember the release of Netscape Navigator 4.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0. There was quite a bit of hype behind those browsers, as people were predicting you wouldn’t need an operating system any longer, just a browser. Obviously that hasn’t been realized.

    However, browsers have become more capable. Implementations have become more standards based. And we, as developers, have access to more power and frameworks than ever before.

    While the browser won’t be replacing the OS anytime soon, you can absolutely build apps that behave like they’re locally installed, hosted in the browser. This is the concept of a single page app, or SPA.

    An SPA offers several advantages to the web developer. They can often[1] achieve the goal of “write once, run anywhere”, using tools such as jQuery, AngularJSSignalR, and Bootstrap. All of those client-side frameworks are built using languages web developers are already familiar with – JavaScript, CSS and HTML5. And the server-side can be implemented using whatever technology you’re already using, as you can create HTTP or REST services using ASP.NET Web API and MVC, PHP, and Python Django.

    I often have developers ask when they should us an SPA, as opposed to a “traditional” website with MVC. The answer is based on what you’re trying to accomplish. SPAs are perfect when you’re trying to simulate a locally installed application. Ride sharing, location sharing, and games are perfect for SPAs. Traditional websites are perfect for sharing information with the public, for ecommerce or other businesses.

    One challenge SPAs present is search engine optimization (SEO). Traditional websites are handled very well by web crawlers, which makes SEO more straight forward. Because web crawlers don’t execute JavaScript, SEO with SPAs becomes a challenge. But there are times when SEO isn’t key. If you already have an established brand, or or scenarios where someone simply finding your app but not the actual data served up by it, then SEO isn’t as important.

    But one big thing to keep in mind is that SPA and traditional websites are not mutually exclusive. You could, for example, build an ecommerce site using MVC, and then implement the shopping card UI, both adding items and completing checkout, as an SPA.

    If you’re ready to begin the journey into building SPAs, we have several MVAs that can support you.

    A great starting point is with Building responsive UI with Bootstrap. Bootstrap is a framework developed by Twitter to be mobile-first, and it simplifies the creation of apps that can scale to different device sizes. It also includes the timeless humor of me and Jon Galloway. And by timeless, I of course mean corny.

    The next step is to explore the client side technology. Introduction to AngularJS, Stacey Mulcahy and I will walkthrough one of the most popular frameworks for creating SPAs.

    Finally, you need a server to provide the data. In Web API Design Jump Start, Jeremy Likness and I show you how to expose JSON data to clients using an environment you’re already familiar with as a .NET developer.

    For extra credit, you can complete the app by allowing two-way client-to-server communication. Jon Galloway and Brady Gaster show you how to how to Light up real-time communications with SignalR.

    SPAs can provide that rich user experience across all devices without having to learn a lot of new platforms. With a bit of experience in a couple of new frameworks, you too can meet your users’ needs.

    [1] Admittedly, not always

  • |

    Hello Australian MCTs!

     

    The Australian MCT Summit will be held on the 8th and 9th of April at Microsoft’s office in Sydney. The summit is a chance to interact with other Microsoft Certified Trainers as well as Microsoft Australia staff. The summit also provides a chance for us to review the Microsoft technology landscape, the initiatives around cloud and much more – all of which will be relevant to the training you will be delivering in the near future. This year’s Summit will include attendance from Australian Learning Partners and Microsoft’s technology evangelists.

     

    Topics to be covered

    • Microsoft Learning Visions & MCT Programs

    • Windows 10

    • The Future of Windows Server

    • The Power of the Cloud with Microsoft Azure

    • Skype for Business

    Details:

     

    Location

    Microsoft Sydney Office

    1 Epping Rd

    North Ryde, New South Wales 2113

     

    Time and Date:

                    Start time: 9.00am on 8 April 2015

                    End time: 5:00pm on 9 April 2015

     

    Register at

    https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032619251&Culture=en-AU&community=0

     

  •  
    DO NOT MISS OUT ON THIS POST!

    Hey fellow KiPi rock stars!  

    I hope you're all starting to recover from the epic February we just had. I've been super impressed with those of you who have continued to drive towards finishing your KiPi learning challenges and want to urge you to continue (see below for an extra cool incentive on that!) to do so before we hit March 25 and the site goes dark.

    I've got a bunch of news for you and it's all good. Make sure you read all of this or you might miss out on something extra juicy.

    KiPi icons in Born to Learn

    You should find that you now have an icon in your Born to Learn profile for every f you've completed. They're all bright green to indicate you were successful. Here's my profile with the gorgeous Game Development challenge lit up.

    Isn't it pretty? I think so! Now it's important to note where these are as you'll soon find out. You'll find your profile at Born to Learn, then sign in with your Microsoft Account that you used to participate in KiPi, then click your name up the top of the page and you should see your profile page. If you've only just completed a challenge and the icon's not there, don't worry! We're doing daily updates during the week, so just give it 24 hours and you should see it there.

    Know it. Prove it. Certification Challenge is Live!

    Now, you might notice another icon next to my Game Development challenge. Yeah, that one that looks like a medal. That shows that I'm participating in the Know it. Prove it. Certification Challenge!

    The KiPi Cert Challenge is an epic journey to validate your skills by getting a Microsoft Certification. These are highly regarded in the industry by employers all over the place, and we're seeing an increased value put on certifications when recruiters review job applications. We've created a VIP area complete with study guides, exam prep videos and study groups so you can get help in preparing for the exam you choose. And if you're a KiPi Learning Challenge participant, we've got you already in the system and you can just click the green "Go straight to the challenge" button.

    AND, not only that, we've given you the certifications we think you have the best jump start on with your KiPi learning experience. For each of the eight challenges, we've identified one or two different certifications you could choose from. Check it all out and join me on the journey to prove what I know - the KiPi Cert Challenge.

    Know it. Prove it. Completion Certificates are coming!

    We heard you loud and clear. You love your certificates of completion for the individual MVA courses that you finished as part of your challenge but what would be even better would be a certificate showing that you completed an entire challenge. So, guess what we're bringing to your MVA dashboard soon! Yep, that's right. We're going to deliver completion certificates to your dashboard for you to download, print and show off to your boss, your peers, your friends, your teacher. Show them just how committed you were to improving your knowledge around technology.

    I can't tell you exactly when these will arrive, but I can commit to you that they are on their way, and I will definitely let you all know when they're available.

    Know it. Prove it. Learning Challenges - Build and Ignite

    Yes! I am proud to announce that we will be reopening the Know it. Prove it. tour in April with a special edition all around our two premier technology conferences - Build 2015 in San Francisco, and Ignite 2015 in Chicago. These two giant tech-head meetups are going to be epic this year, and we here at Microsoft Virtual Academy, Born to Learn and, of course, KiPi HQ, want to be part of that buzz. So, in April, we're going to have special challenges for both conferences that you can take part in and get a taste of tech. If you're actually going to one of these conferences (wow, lucky you!), you can use these as prep work to get excited about the actual in-person experience you're about to take part in, but if not, these challenges are an extra avenue for you to continue to skill up.

    More details are coming soon, but I've been biting my lip for a couple of weeks now and couldn't wait to tell you all.

    And yes, I will indeed be at Build, so if you're there, please come say hi and tell me your KiPi story directly.

    Wanna go to Build 2015?

    Speaking of Build, anyone want to go? Microsoft is giving away a small number of tickets to Build and the way to enter is easy. Simply complete a Know it. Prove it. development challenge (that's Cloud Development, Game Development, Mobile Development or Web Development), tweet it using the right hashtag and mention the right Twitter handle, and you go in the draw to win. I'll write up a separate post just on this great contest as soon as the competition page goes live next week, but I wanted you all to have a chance to know about it as soon as possible so you could continue to drive to complete a challenge if you haven't done so already.

    And yes, this will be open to anyone who has completed a challenge for February right up through to March 25.

    WOW! I hope you got through all of that! See you soon!

  • Microsoft Certified Professionals represent one of the largest and most important communities among Microsoft conference attendees. There will be thousands of MCPs at Ignite 2015. Are you one of them? If so, pencil in “MCP party” on your calendar.

     

    Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2015

    Time: 7-10 PM

    Place: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

     

    And the crowd goes wild! Cool

     

    Oh yes. There will be food, drinks, exhibits, photo ops, and a certifiably good time. This MCP party will be larger than ever, but party passes are still required for entry (and I hear Kenji and Patrick are tough bouncers). How to get a pass? Stay tuned for details in April.

     

    Not an MCP yet? Pass an exam by Tuesday, May 5, 2015, and you could also be rubbing elbows with the most certified crowd at Ignite 2015! (Pssst, MCP exams are half price onsite.)

     

    Fair warning: If you hold a legacy certification on a really old version of Microsoft product, I reserve the right to make fun of it publicly. So, consider getting yourself upgraded or take a current exam, eh? Wink See you in Chicago soon!

     


     

  • |

    Updated with new responses below. 

    Everyone’s journey to Microsoft Certification is a little bit different.

    Okay, now that I think about it, this is a huge understatement. That’s because I often speak to certified professionals from all over the world about why they first got certified and what I find is everyone’s story is completely different. Some people tell me they get certified because they wanted a way to validate their skills to hiring managers, and others first got certified because they wanted to challenge themselves. Still others chose to pursue a Microsoft Certification because they were making a career change and needed a way to show what they know.

    As the community manager at Microsoft Learning Experiences (LeX), one of the best parts of my job is interacting with people from all over the world on our social media channels and getting to hear your voices in real-time, even though you may actually be thousands of miles away. It's fun and I love it. 

    This past weekend, I wanted to read more of your certification stories so I decided to tweet this out from @MSLearning: 

    I received a lot of really great responses, and today I wanted to share some of them with you. Here are some of my favorites:

    Thank you to everyone who responded to our tweet! 

    Want to share the reason you first got Microsoft Certified? Let us know on our MCP Story Wall

    ------

    Original tweets from @brigittagemes@shadabhusain786@MarcussenThomas@spsnomad and @giraygencaslan.

    ------

    After sharing this post out, a few more of you shared with me why you first got Microsoft Certified and I wanted to share them:

    Original tweets from @SanderHeinhuis@kbriankelley, @StevenMunden and @ExcelMaestro

  • |

    Today, Microsoft announced an exciting new initiative with edX, a leader in the online learning movement called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).  Microsoft is the first corporate member to offer MOOCs on edX.org, supporting our shared goal of increased access to high-quality education for anyone, anywhere, at any time.  We believe access to learning opportunities for key technology skills will empower edX’s broad global community to be successful in the world enabled by mobile and cloud technologies.

    Today, an estimated 10 billion devices are connected to the Internet.   It is estimated that by 2030, the number of internet-connected devices will triple to nearly 30 billion. The ‘Internet of Things’ will prevail, with more types of devices at work and home sharing information and connecting people.  We must prepare our students to live and work in this device-centric, data-driven world, where the global workforce depends on technology-skilled graduates across all career fields and vocations. 

    Through our edX courses, taught by Microsoft experts, students will be empowered to build innovative applications, services, and experiences on the Microsoft platform that will help them make a meaningful impact in today’s interconnected world. Our courses provide hands-on experience with broad reach, cutting-edge technologies in areas including cloud services, mobile development, and data sciences in order to bring the learner the greatest opportunity to gain relevant and marketable skills. 

    The first round of courses chosen for this program are focused on the most widely applicable, in-demand technical skills and feature interactive coding, assessments, and exercises.  Students can audit Microsoft courses for free, or alternatively obtain a verified certificate from edX for a small fee. Enrollment opens today, with courses beginning at the end of March.

    The Microsoft courses include:

    • Programming with C#

    C# is a widely-used .NET programming language that is designed to provide a simple yet powerful language for general purpose programming needs. Students will learn the fundamentals of C# supporting cross-platform application development.

    • Introduction to TypeScript

    TypeScript is a new highly-productive superset of JavaScript that is rapidly gaining currency amongst developers who build and maintain large JavaScript applications. In this course, co-authored by Anders Hejlsberg, students will learn language syntax and how to use TypeScript to generate JavaScript for any platform.

    • Introduction to Bootstrap

    Bootstrap is a mobile-first web UI framework originally developed at Twitter that has become a foundational technology for front-end web development. This course will investigate the power of Bootstrap and how to implement it in applications.

    • Querying with Transact SQL

    Transact-SQL is the structured query language for SQL Server. This course will show how to use Transact-SQL to code a range of solutions, ranging from retrieving data from a SQL Server database to implementing transactional programming logic.

    • Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure

    This course takes a patterns-based approach to building real-world cloud solutions on Microsoft Azure.  Students will learn the latest tools and technologies in cloud development and study the techniques for cloud-based application design.

    • Introduction to Office 365 APIs

    Office 365 offers the tools users need to get work done anywhere and on any device. In this course, developers will learn how to create robust cross-platform applications using Office 365.

    • Windows PowerShell Fundamentals

    This course provides fundamental knowledge and skills needed to use Windows PowerShell to automate common administrative functions in Windows-based clients and servers. Students will get hands-on practice to replace manual, repetitive, and time-consuming operations with effective, automated solutions in both local and remote scenarios. This course is offered as part of the edX Professional Education series and has a fee associated with it.

    This new initiative expands upon our recent collaboration with edX and Microsoft Office Mix, where educators can produce videos and online lectures that deliver an engaging experience to students, with support for audio and video recordings, screen captures, hyperlinks, and digital ink. 

    We hope this program will enable many more students around the world to acquire the critical technical skills needed to be competitive and successful in our mobile-first, cloud-first world.  Most of all, we are excited to offer these learning opportunities so any student can accomplish their goals and realize their potential. 

    Please visit https://www.edx.org/school/microsoft for more information and resources.  

  • As you may recall, I participated in a webinar interview with Greg Shields from Pluralsight in December, where I answered many of your questions about Microsoft exams. I had a great time during it and because I wanted to continue answering your questions, we began a short series right here on Born to Learn where we do just that. In our first installment, we answered your questions related to exam preparation and alignment of learning content to exam content. In the second installment, we discussed question formats/item types.


    Today, we're back with a brand new installment of our mini-series where we discuss exam scoring. Specifically, we answer the following questions:

    • Are all questions objectively scored? In other words, are they all scored automatically or are some human graded?

    • If there is more than one way to answer a question--for example, when a task can be completed in a variety of different ways—what is considered “correct?”
    • How many points is each question worth?
    • How do you decide how many points a question is worth? Does difficulty of the question come into play in these decisions?
    • If you don’t answer a question because you either run out of time or skip it, is it wrong?

     You always have lots of questions about scoring... What else do you want to know? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • This is a guest post from Jean-Paul van Ravensberg, who has previously shared his certification story and study tips in this post. 

    --------

    Being a Microsoft Certified Professional is a great way to show your knowledge. It’s also a great way to become more visible in the big job market. 

    Jean-Paul van RavensbergI first started pursuing certifications in 2012 while at school when I was 17 years old and the first year was very easy. I’ve always liked working with computers and servers and at the time, was looking for a challenge that let me do the work I wanted to do. I then found out that I could become certified as an IT professional.

    On the first day of Windows Server instruction, I asked the Microsoft teacher for more information and he told me of the many possibilities and certification tracks I could pursue. I decided to start studying for the 70-680 Exam: Configuring Windows 7. My teacher gave me an access code for the Microsoft IT Academy exercises and I finished the course within a couple of weeks. It was great to work with content that was based on real-life scenarios, and I got a great overview of the exam topics.

    Next, I started to read the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) Self-Paced Training Kit. My goal was to get through 10 pages every day, but sometimes I did as many 50 pages a day because of my motivation. When I passed the exam, it was nice to be able to sign in to the Microsoft Certified Professional website and to see my certifications and current exam possibilities.

    I was very proud of myself when I passed my first certification exam, but, still, it was “just” one exam so I decided I needed more. I immediately began studying for Exam 70-686: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator to become a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP). After passing that exam, I was able to take Exam 70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012. I was given two options to skip Windows Server lessons if I either completed all of my courses earlier OR if I earned my MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification. This was a no brainer for me so within a couple of months, I passed the MCSA exams and earned the certification. That gave me more time to become certified on other tracks.

    After that, I started to learn about Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Linux Professional Certification (LPIC-1), and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)—of course, everything in steps. I was earning a certification every 30 or 40 days, because of the free time I had by passing other exams. Even though I had to pay for all the certifications by myself, I think it was a great investment.

    When I completed my studies, I had no problem finding a company where I could do my internship. That’s because after you finish school, if you have Microsoft Certifications, you are distinctive and well-positioned in the job market. 

    When I was almost finished with school, like most graduates, I started searching for a job. I connected with a couple of companies that I thought only hired college graduates, but I had to give it a shot and apply. I never thought that they would hire somebody with only a high school education but they offered me a job and I started to work for a company called Avanade—a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture. I’ve always been inspired to work for a company like Microsoft or Avanade and as a Microsoft enthusiast, this is a great opportunity for me!

    Recently, I passed the 70-413 and 70-414 exams to become an MCSE: Server Infrastructure and I’m, in addition to my work, studying for my bachelor’s degree in information and communications technology (ICT). Follow me on Twitter @JPvR_NL and check out my blog at jpvr.nl.

    Jean-Paul

    --------

    Thank you to Jean-Paul for sharing his certification story here on the Born To Learn blog. To read his previous blog post, please go to this page

    If you have a success story you'd like to share with us, let us know about it on our MCP Success Story wall. Who knows - maybe your story will end up right here on Born To Learn.

  • Last week, I shared with you the exclusive exam discount for Ignite 2015 attendees. If you missed it, get the discount code and preregistration instructions here. Earning a Microsoft certification is one of the best ways to increase the ROI of your conference attendance.

    If you are looking to brush up before an exam, we have 19 exam prep sessions lined up, delivered by Microsoft Certified Trainers. The exam preps are listed in the session catalog now (filter under “formats”). Take a look at them to help you plan ahead, and add them in when the schedule builder is live.

    Now here’s the NEW part. We heard your feedback about exam preps from previous events. You told us some of the two-exam combo sessions were too rushed. So at Ignite this year, we are introducing a new format of Exam Prep sessions that will span content over TWO sessions. This format will only apply to select MCSA and MCSE level certifications that require TWO exams. For example, the MCSA: Office 365 certification requires candidates to pass exams 70-346 and 70-347, and the content for both of these exams will be spanned over two sessions. I know what you’re thinking: “Two exams, two sessions. What’s new about that?” MCT David Elfassy is here to explain:

    “When you are studying for the MCSA: Office 365 exams, you will gain knowledge that will help you in BOTH exams and skills that will span to BOTH lists of exam objectives. We want to make sure that our Exam Prep sessions mirror that experience. Assigning a separate session to each exam would mean that some of the content would be repeated across both sessions; and since we expect MOST candidates interested in Office 365 to attend BOTH sessions, we certainly don’t want to waste your time listening to repeated information. Our solution? Exam Prep on MCSA: Office 365 Part 1 and Exam Prep on MCSA: Office 365 Part 2. Attend both sessions and you will prepare with an expert MCT, with ample time to properly review all topics covered in both exams. The content will flow from one session to the next, ensuring that technical information is NOT repeated across sessions and that the content from the second session builds upon the content from the first session.”

    This new format will apply to three tracks at Ignite 2015: MCSA: Office 365, MCSE: Private Cloud, and MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps. Keep an eye out for them in the session catalog, and be sure to grab both part 1 and part 2 when the schedule builder comes online.

    Additionally, you will find that the exam prep sessions will have even more focus on technical knowledge, and very little “fluff” about certification in general, because we heard you on that, too. If you’re sitting in an exam prep session, you already know about the value of being Microsoft certified. :)

    For those who want more study resources beyond the prep sessions, we will bring an entire study hall full of materials, too. Look for more information about that in another blog post soon.

    And here are Rick Claus and Joey Snow, in episode 5 of the Ignite Countdown Show. It’s all about the session catalog.

  • This came across my Twitter stream today: 79% of surveyed recruiters report that they struggle to fill IT and technical roles, according to one “2015 North American staffing and recruiting trends” report. The survey of over 1,200 recruiters in North America was done in December 2014. You can read more about it here.

    Huh. 79% of recruiters out there are having trouble finding you, all you Microsoft Certified Professionals in North America.

    There are plenty of articles out there on writing keyword rich resumes, building personal brands, networking effectively, etc. We can talk about all that some other day. Today, I’m sharing one simple thing you can do right now to help those recruiters find you.

    If you hold a current Microsoft certification, log on to https://www.microsoft.com/learning with your MC ID now, and use those “Add to LinkedIn Profile” buttons we’ve added to your dashboard. Pasted below is a screenshot of how those buttons might appear to you when logged in. It takes just one click for you to help all the struggling recruiters out there.

    Don’t see the buttons on your dashboard? You can still log in on LinkedIn and add your Microsoft certifications to the “certification” section of your profile. Microsoft is among the top certification providers on LinkedIn. If you’re an MCP, you want to be part of that top spot.

  • Hey there everyone! We're well and truly past our official Know it. Prove it. Learning Challenge deadline, and the tour is coming to an end. As a reminder, we're going to have the site running until March 25, so if you want to finish off a Challenge, go for it. Regardless, I highly recommend that you add the courses to your MVA Learning Plan so you have easy access to them from your dashboard. I'll show you how to do this in a moment.

    But for now - CONGRATULATIONS! You completed the tour, and no matter how much you completed, you took up the challenge to start your year off right and get skilled up on technology. I'm proud of you all, and you should definitely be proud of yourself. It's an achievement of monumental proportions, and if you completed a full challenge, all I can say is WOW! So impressed! I'm going to return in a day or two to let you know about what's next, but for this post I wanted to run through some numbers, give you the full country breakdown I promised and a couple of tips on working with MVA.

    KiPi - By The Numbers

    So, the numbers. You know what's amazing? People were still signing up for Know it. Prove it. right up until the end (and even today we saw hundreds sign up!). A lot of you finished your challenges in the last week. And even more of you managed to finish at least one course in their challenges. So, just how many are we talking about?

    55,425 people signed up for Know it. Prove it.
    39,197 KiPi participants signed up for at least one challenge.
    8,880 KiPi participants completed a course.
    4,641 KiPi participants completed an entire challenge.


    Over 55,000 people? That's crazy! And almost three quarters of you went on to sign up for a challenge? That's amazing! And more than four and a half thousand people completed an entire challenge, filling up their little badge all green? I. AM. IMPRESSED.

    Oh, and the other number I've referred to previously? There were over 53,000 challenges started. 14,000 extra challenges. That means, thousands of you did more than one challenge!

    To finish, here are a couple of charts that show you the breakdown of the challenges and who participated in Know it. Prove it. First, the challenges.

    Web Development - wow! Over 15,000 people all coming together from all over the globe and learning how to develop for the web. And while Hybrid Cloud may have had the least number of total challenges started, they were amongst the highest proportion of people finishing the challenge. :)

    And just who took part?

    I know I keep repeating myself, but wow! Check out all you lovely people! The three big areas - Developers, IT Pros and Students are all present of course, but there's a massive number of you who don't fall into one of those categories. WAY TO GO!

    Adding courses to your Learning Plan

    So, as I mentioned, I highly encourage you to add your challenge courses to your MVA Learning Plan. When we hit March 25, we're going to shut down Know it. Prove it. for a while. That's because there's something new coming and we need to make space for it. But it also means you won't have easy access to those courses unless you add them to your Learning Plan.

    So how do you do that? Super easy. Here are the steps:

    1. Open up your Learning Challenge from the KiPi Challenge Dashboard.
    2. Expand out the Course you want to add to your Learning Plan.
    3. Select one of the modules (doesn't matter which one) and click on Start or Resume and you'll be taken to that module in the course.
    4. And here's the tricky bit (not really, but nothing else has been tricky so far, right?). Click on the Add to My Learning Plan link directly under the Course Title.
    5. This will display a small dialog. You need to make sure you check the checkbox, and then hit Apply and you're done.

    The course will be available from your My Learning Plan tab in your MVA Dashboard, and always available from the My Dashboard link at the top of any MVA page.

    Showing off your completed courses

    Did you know that you can show off your progress on Microsoft Virtual Academy? If not, you're not the only one. MVA has a public profile that you can control and link to. Usually, people can see your profile in places like the Top Students list, but there is a way to get a direct link to your profile so you can send it to others. Here's how to do that.

    1. Go to your dashboard (remember - it's the My Dashboard link at the top of every page).
    2. Click the Edit my profile link directly below your name.

    3. This will allow you to control your public profile. Make sure you check the Publish my profile on MVA checkbox, and check the profile items you want to show off.

    4. Scroll down the page until you find the My status in MVA section. Check the components you want to show off, but for KiPi courses, you'll need to make sure Courses is selected. 

    5. Then click the Save button.

    6. And here's where the secret magic happens. Scroll back to the top of the profile page, and click the View what others can see about me link. Voila! Your public profile, with the items you selected including the courses you completed! Just grab the URL out of your           browser's address bar and share away!

    Don't believe me? Here's my MVA public profile: http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/Profile.aspx?alias=468122

    Born to Learn Profile

    Born to Learn has a public profile too. Remember, Born to Learn is the Microsoft site we used to integrate the blog and forums into Know it. Prove it. on Microsoft Virtual Academy. While this might not seem important, soon we'll be able to show off your completed KiPi badges on your Born to Learn profile. They'll appear right up the top of your profile page. Check out my profile page here: https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/members/mrandypuppy. You'll see I have a couple of system badges because I'm from Microsoft and I write a blog. Alongside those will be some pretty green badges (well, in my case, only one) that show off your achievement. Go to Born to Learn, sign in, and then click on your name in the top right and you'll be taken directly to your profile. Simple, and then easy to share.

    KiPi - Full Country List

    The last thing for today's post is the full country list. Ready? Here you go:

    • Afghanistan - 22
    • Albania - 67
    • Algeria - 42
    • Angola - 12
    • Argentina - 205
    • Armenia - 27
    • Australia - 1091
    • Austria - 394
    • Azerbaijan - 14
    • Bahrain - 34
    • Bangladesh - 229
    • Belarus - 58
    • Belgium - 851
    • Bolivia - 61
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina - 78
    • Botswana - 18
    • Brazil - 975
    • Brunei - 11
    • Bulgaria - 205
    • Cambodia - 15
    • Cameroon - 9
    • Canada - 726
    • Cape Verde - 1
    • Caribbean - 8
    • Chile - 92
    • China - 157
    • Colombia - 357
    • Congo - 1
    • Congo (DRC) - 2
    • Costa Rica - 84
    • Croatia - 165
    • Cyprus - 29
    • Czech Republic - 212
    • Denmark - 711
    • Djibouti - 1
    • Dominican Republic - 107
    • Ecuador - 75
    • Egypt - 900
    • El Salvador - 46
    • Estonia - 165
    • Ethiopia - 18
    • Finland - 538
    • France - 303
    • Gabon - 1
    • Gambia - 3
    • Georgia - 30
    • Germany - 925
    • Ghana - 83
    • Greece - 431
    • Guatemala - 35
    • Gulf - 2
    • Haiti - 1
    • Honduras - 23
    • Hong Kong - 117
    • Hungary - 252
    • Iceland - 40
    • India - 6373
    • Indonesia - 375
    • Iraq - 26
    • Ireland - 695
    • Israel - 106
    • Italy - 1473
    • Ivory Coast - 15
    • Jamaica - 74
    • Japan - 54
    • Jordan - 67
    • Kazakhstan - 33
    • Kenya - 163
    • Korea - 66
    • Kuwait - 44
    • Latvia - 106
    • Lebanon - 57
    • Lesotho - 2
    • Liberia - 4
    • Libya - 11
    • Lithuania - 310
    • Luxembourg - 8
    • Macedonia - 73
    • Madagascar - 5
    • Malawi - 2
    • Malaysia - 279
    • Mali - 2
    • Malta - 38
    • Mauritius - 35
    • Mexico - 942
    • Moldova - 18
    • Montenegro - 5
    • Morocco - 125
    • Mozambique - 4
    • Namibia - 5
    • Nepal - 94
    • Netherlands - 1743
    • New Zealand - 329
    • Nicaragua - 24
    • Niger - 1
    • Nigeria - 354
    • Norway - 767
    • Oman - 26
    • Pakistan - 2057
    • Palestine - 154
    • Panama - 24
    • Paraguay - 13
    • Peru - 157
    • Philippines - 1075
    • Poland - 1004
    • Portugal - 1112
    • Puerto Rico - 42
    • Qatar - 72
    • Romania - 541
    • Russia - 482
    • Rwanda - 6
    • Saudi Arabia - 301
    • Senegal - 8
    • Serbia - 152
    • Sierra Leone - 2
    • Singapore - 325
    • Slovakia - 67
    • Slovenia - 75
    • Somalia - 7
    • South Africa - 864
    • Spain - 1370
    • Sri Lanka - 234
    • Sudan - 32
    • Swaziland - 2
    • Sweden - 713
    • Switzerland - 419
    • Syria - 11
    • Taiwan - 86
    • Tanzania - 15
    • Thailand - 92
    • Togo - 3
    • Trinidad and Tobago - 83
    • Tunisia - 149
    • Turkey - 245
    • Uganda - 22
    • Ukraine - 237
    • United Arab Emirates - 307
    • United Kingdom - 3387
    • United States - 12864
    • Uruguay - 34
    • Uzbekistan - 5
    • Venezuela - 166
    • Vietnam - 185
    • Yemen - 7
    • Zambia - 12
    • Zimbabwe - 38

    Congratulations again! You're all rock stars. Thank you for being part of the wild ride.

  • Last September when I attended the MCT Summit, I was asked what one word describes being Microsoft Certified. The first word that immediately sprang into my head was community. Over the years I have met, learned, and worked with hundreds of other professionals within the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) community. It is an honor to be part of such an outstanding and giving group of people.

    Even though I have been an MCT for 15 years, I was not always involved in the activities of the overall community. Beyond just my co-workers at the training center where I work, I didn’t know that there was a network of MCTs out there. But that all changed with the release of the 6231A SQL Server 2008 Administration courseware. Prior to the release of that course, whenever new courseware was released I would set up my test machines, practice the labs, and update my demonstrations. However, this courseware was lacking in several areas. (Fortunately, that is an issue that was fixed with the 6231B classes.)

    Being the only SQL Server instructor at our training center, I had no one to ask for help. I was literally banging my head against the wall and unsure of what to do. That is when I found an 80-page guide on the 6231A course, written by Craig Beere, located in the newsgroups. He had gone through every page and detailed all the errors and how to correct them. I can truly say, I would not have been able to teach that course without Craig’s guide.

    It was in that moment that I decided to become more active in the newsgroups and forums. I felt the need to give back. To help others just like I had been helped. What a rewarding experience it has been. There is a saying that the more you give, the more you get back. That is absolutely true here in the MCT community. I have gained so much knowledge and confidence from being an active member, and my career has never been brighter.

    I can’t wait until the next community event, which is MCT Day on May 2, 2015. The event is being held at the Microsoft Technical Center in Chicago the Saturday before Microsoft Ignite. I know it will be a great event full of informative round tables, presentations from Microsoft Learning, and great networking with both new and old friends. Later in the evening the team from Learn on Demand Systems are sponsoring an awesome private event at Buddy Guy’s Legends.

    Come join the fun and be a part of the MCT community. Learn more about MCT Day.

  • As you may recall, I participated in a webinar interview with Greg Shields from Pluralsight in December. You had a lot of questions that I didn't have time to answer, so I'm answering them in a series of ACE NewsBytes because, you know, why not? 

    In our first installment, we answered your questions related to exam preparation and alignment of learning content to exam content. In this installment, we will be discussing question types and answering these questions:

    • What are the different types of questions someone might see on an exam?
    • What question types are being pilot tested right now? Includes an update on the assertion reason question type and introduces a new question type called "solution oriented" (I'm thinking this might need a better name...)
    • How does the "solution oriented" question type "work"?
    • What question types appear on which exams?

    Have you seen either of these two new question types on an exam yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments section below. 

    What else do you want to know? Your questions will be answered!

    Hit "play" to watch this ACE NewsByte

    If you're looking for more expert insights and tips for preparing for a Microsoft exam, please be sure to check out our first question and answer session here

  • The very first Microsoft Ignite conference is happening during the first week of May 2015. Just as we have done at many larger Microsoft conferences in previous years, our team will be bringing certification and training resources to you. At “Certification Central” during Ignite, you’ll find exam prep sessions delivered by Microsoft Certified Trainers, a study hall full of learning resources, and an onsite testing center managed by our team for your convenience. 

    During the conference week, all Microsoft certification exams will be available to attendees at 50% off the regular price. Exam appointments are available Monday through Friday. You can pre-register for your exam(s) now to avoid the rush onsite and secure your preferred times. The discount code and registration instructions are at the end of this post.

    For members of our community, you will have a chance to meet and chat in person during Ignite with some of our team members you’ve come to know and love:

    • Kerri Davis, Anti-Piracy Project Manager
    • Holly Dickson, Certification Product Manager
    • David Lewis, Senior IT Program Manager
    • Larry Kaye, Certification Product Manager
    • Patrick Thomas, MCP/MCT Program Manager
    • Christopher Harrison, Content Development Manager
    • Kenji Onozawa, Community Manager
    • … and me! Look for more announcements from me in the coming weeks. I’ll be revealing news about special offers from our partners, exam prep sessions, MCT Ambassadors, the (bigger) MCP party, etc.

    I can’t wait to see you in Chicago. Now, here are Rick Claus and Joey Snow to tell you more about getting certified at Microsoft Ignite 2015!

    Exam registration instructions for Microsoft Ignite 2015 attendees

    1. Go to www.microsoft.com/learning
    2. Click on Register for an Exam, and select the exam you wish to take
    3. Click on Schedule Exam, then confirm your registration information (or register if you are new to the process) and click Submit
    4. On the Select Booking Method page, check “I will be scheduling for a future date at a test center” and then click Next
    5. Once you’ve selected your exam language, search for testing centers near Chicago, IL, select “Microsoft Ignite North America 2015” location, hit Next
    6. Look under month of May 2015, select your preferred date and time then Next, you will Proceed to Checkout and agree to Microsoft Policies
    7. Once you arrive on the Enter Payment page, click on Add Voucher or Promo Code, then enter ignitena and click Apply
    8. Complete the checkout process
  • |

    It takes a good amount of effort to pass a Microsoft exam. Beyond just scheduling the time to take the exam, for weeks and months ahead of that, candidates must commit a great deal of time to studying. Often, this means taking time away from other important things—and we here at Microsoft know it’s not easy.

    That’s why when you finally earn a Microsoft Certification or pass an exam, we want to ensure that it’s meaningful and valuable to both you and businesses out there. How do we do that? That's what I set out to learn! 

    In this episode of Inside MSL, I spend a few minutes with Holly Dickson, a product manager on our team. During the short interview, we discuss:

    • Her role and responsibilities.
    • How she goes about ensuring that exams are meaningful.
    • The best ways for people to provide feedback about Microsoft exams and certifications.
    • Her tip for someone trying to get a job at Microsoft.

    Enjoy!

    Get to know more faces behind our certifications, training, and testing:  

  • Nossa comunidade global de MCTs tem suas tradições e intensa participação dos membros contribuindo para amadurecimento e melhoramento do programa.

    Uma dessas tradições é o MCT Day Zero. Eu não conhecia esse evento até que comecei a comparecer ao TechED/US alguns anos atrás.

    MCT Day Zero é um evento de um dia organizado pela comunidade de MCTs com participação da LeX compartilhando informações importantes para nossas atividades em sala de aula. Assuntos como o futuro das certificações e dos MOCs e como conjugar MVA com MOC sempre acontecem.

    Além disso, MCT Day Zero também traz diversão. Concursos e passeios e jantar são completam o dia, com a participação dos patrocinadores do evento que normalmente trazem boas oportunidades em diversas áreas de tecnologia.

    É com grande alegria e expectativa que este ano, no retorno do TechED Brasil, ou no evento inaugural do Insights, nós teremos o MCT Day Zero/Brasil.

    Será um dia antes do evento, no prédio da Microsoft. Teremos um dia cheio com conferências com o pessoal da LeX em Seattle, com nossos amigos da Microsoft Brasil, evento especial na cidade, almoço e jantar.

    Como um Microsoft Certified Trainer você está convidado a participar do MCT Day Zero. A taxa de inscrição é de R$ 50,00 (cinquenta reais).

    Nos vemos em São Paulo.

    Armando Lacerda – MCT – Regional Leader Brasil

    Emílio Mansur – MCT – Regional Leader Brasil

    André Calil – MCT – Regional Leader Brasil

     ----------------------------------

    Our worldwide MCT community has its traditions and intense participation by members of the community for the improvement and maturity of the program.

    One of our traditions is the MCT Day Zero event. I was not aware of this event until I started attending TechED in US a few years ago. Now I can’t wait for the next one.

    MCT Day Zero is a one day event put together by the MCT community. We have LeX participating sharing important info regarding certification and MOC evaluation and future, important information for us when in classroom.

    We will also have lesure time. Contests, city tour, lunch and dinner are included in the program with sponsors bring new opportunities on many venues.

    É com grande alegria e expectativa que este ano, no retorno do TechED Brasil, ou no evento inaugural do Insights, nós teremos o MCT Day Zero/Brasil.

    It will happen on the day before the brazilian version of former TechEd, now Insights. Down in Brasil they’ve named it Insights powered by TechEd. Yes, a mouth full name. We have a long naming tradition inherited from Portugual. J

    As a Mirosoft Certified Trainer you’re invited to register for MCT Day Zero. Registratoin fee is R$ 50,00 (fitfy reais, local currency) which is about US$20.

    See you in São Paulo, Brazil.

    Armando Lacerda – MCT – Regional Leader Brasil

    Emílio Mansur – MCT – Regional Leader Brasil

    André Calil – MCT – Regional Leader Brasil