• Just a couple days ago, I blogged about the release of more OneNote Trainer Packs (OTPs) but also hinted at more news coming soon. If you thought OTPs were a good way to prepare for a course, then you might want to participate in our latest pilot that takes this concept to the next level. Here are the details:

    Three weeks ago, the Office team announced Office Web Apps which included the release of the wicked awesome OneNote Web App. You heard right: wicked awesome. Now OneNote files can be displayed and edited for free in your web browser, shared with multiple users for centralized community authoring, and synced across multiple computers/browsers in real time with changes tracked/displayed automatically while also available offline.

    So we here in Microsoft Learning started playing with this right after we heard the news and got to thinking (dangerous, we know)… what if we created/hosted “community” versions of OTPs and allowed 17,000 MCTs an easy way to share their notes, tips, updates, etc. for each course? What would stop us from offering MCTs ‘live’ trainer manuals that are constantly being updated and expanded based on real life trainer feedback as they teach the courses? Turns out nothing!

    Starting today, we will be piloting the OTP Cloud project wherein we’ll invite MCTs to test community editions of OTPs in the cloud using the OneNote Web App and SkyDrive. This will also be a great way for Microsoft Learning to better understand how you use these courses, and more importantly, how we can make them better for you in the future.  

    Here's how it works: If you are an MCT and interested, just email MCTOneNote@hotmail.com from a LiveID account (e.g., Hotmail account) to get access to all 32 "community" OTPs (with the option to open them in your browser or have them sync to your desktop). Please also provide your MCT ID in your email. Once you are granted access to the folder, check out the OneNote notebook called "START HERE" for more details and quick tips. As always, feedback/questions/comments are all welcome.

    If you're unfamiliar with OneNote, check out this video for a quick introduction.

  • Exam 70-513 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This exam is designed to test the candidate's knowledge and skills for developing applications using Windows Communication Foundation and the .NET Framework 4. 

    The candidate works on a team in a development environment that uses Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 to build distributed applications.  This candidate should have at least one year of experience developing Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)–based applications, including at least six months of experience with .NET Framework 4. The candidate should also be able to demonstrate the following:

    • A solid understanding of WCF in the context of the .NET Framework 4 solution stack
    • Experience creating service model elements
    • Experience using WCF to support open and .NET communication
    • Experience configuring and deploying WCF applications
    • Experience using Visual Studio tools, tracing tools, SvcUtil, WCF performance monitoring, and IIS/WAS for hosting services
    • Experience securing WCF applications
    • A solid understanding of concurrency

    For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide. To schedule your exam, visit Prometric's website.

  • Exam 70-515 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a Technical Specialist exam designed to  test the candidate's knowledge and skills in developing Web applications using ASP.NET and the .NET Framework 4.

    Candidates for this exam are professional Web developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio. Candidates should have a minimum of two to three years of experience developing Web-based applications by using Visual Studio and Microsoft ASP.NET. Candidates should be experienced users of Visual Studio 2008 and later releases and should have a fundamental knowledge of the .NET Framework 4 programming languages (C# or Microsoft Visual Basic). In addition, candidates should understand how to use the new features of Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.
     
    Candidates should also have a minimum of one year of experience with the following:
    • Accessing data by using Microsoft ADO.NET and LINQ
    • Creating and consuming Web and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services
    • State management
    • ASP.NET configuration
    • Debugging and deployment
    • Application and page life-cycle management
    • Security aspects such as authentication and authorization
    • Client-side scripting languages
    • Internet Information Server (IIS)
    • ASP.NET MVC

    For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide. To schedule your exam, visit Prometric's website.

  • You are invited to take beta exam 71-681: TS: Windows® 7 and Office 2010, DeployingIf you pass the beta exam, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form. The 71-xxx identifier is used for registering for beta versions of MCP exams. When the exam is released in its final form, the 70-xxx identifier is used for registration.

    By participating in beta exams, you have the opportunity to provide the Microsoft Certification program with feedback about exam content, which is integral to development of exams in their released version. We depend on the contributions of experienced IT professionals and developers as we continually improve exam content and maintain the value of Microsoft certifications.

     

    71-681: TS: Windows® 7 and Office 2010, Deploying counts as credit towards the following certifications:

    ·          MCTS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deployment

    ·          MCITP: Enterprise Administrator


    Availability

    Public Registration begins: June 28, 2010

    Beta exam period runs: July 6, 2010July 26, 2010

     

    Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta; we recommend that you register immediately. Beta exams have limited availability and are operated under a first-come-first-served basis. Once all beta slots are filled, no additional seats will be offered.


    Testing is held at Prometric testing centers worldwide, although this exam may not be available in all countries (see Regional Restrictions).  All testing centers will have the capability to offer this exam in its live version.

     

    Regional Restrictions: India, Pakistan, China


    Registration Information

    You must register at least 24 hours prior to taking the exam.
    Please use the following promotional code when registering for the exam: WO20
    [In other words, the code is W, letter O, the number 2, and the number 0]

    Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta; we recommend that you register immediately.


    To register in North America, please call:

    Prometric: (800) 755-EXAM (800-755-3926)

    Outside the U.S./Canada, please contact:

    Prometric: http://www.register.prometric.com/ClientInformation.asp


    Test Information and Support

    You are invited to take this beta exam at no charge.
    You will be given four hours to complete the beta exam. Please plan accordingly.

    Find exam preparation information: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-681&locale=en-us

  • Please join us. The Live Meeting is about to begin.  https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/join?id=MSL063010&role=attend&pw=webcast

     

    Description:    
    Join Keith Mayer, WrightRobbins Lead Learning Consultant, to discover how enterprise organizations are successfully leveraging Microsoft learning and certification resources to build structured IT skills development plans that: 
     

    • Align skills development to business needs
    • Maximize IT training investments
    • Optimize staff time available for training
    • Validate mastery of learned skills

    This session will include discussion of best practices developed by our Learning Consulting team in working with enterprise organizations to build prescriptive skills enablement programs.

    Join us on June 30 2010 at 8:00am PDT  (What time is this in my region?)  

  • I am excited to announce the first two Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams go live tomorrow, June 30th, including Word 2010 Core and Excel 2010 Core. In the coming months, many more Office 2010 exams will be available. Here are the tentative launch dates for each of the exams. Please keep in mind these will likely shift!

    • Microsoft Project 2010, Managing Projects - September 2010
    • PowerPoint 2010 - October 2010
    • Outlook 2010 - November 2010
    • Access 2010 - November 2010
    • Word 2010 Expert - January 2011
    • Excel 2010 Expert - January 2011
    • SharePoint Workspace 2010 - Spring, 2011

    More Details are available to read more about MOS 2010 at a number of sites below:

    Need training before you take your exam? For a limited time, you can download the free e-book, "First Look: Microsoft Office 2010." Learn more about the offer and other training options on the Microsoft Office 2010 training portal.

     

     

  • Exam 70-519 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a Technical Specialist exam designed to assess candidates’  knowledge and skills on designing and developing Web applications using Microsoft .NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010.

    Candidates are typically Job Role Professionals who design and develop Web applications by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and  .NET Framework 4.   These professional developers should have a minimum of three years of experience using Microsoft ASP.NET technologies to develop compelling user experiences.

    This exam covers the following topics:

    • Designing the Application Architecture
    • Designing the User Experience
    • Designing Data Strategies and Structures
    • Designing Security Architecture and Implementation
    • Preparing For and Investigating Application Issues
    • Designing a Deployment Strategy

    For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide. To schedule your exam, visit Prometric’s Web site.

  • Exam 70-518 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a Professional exam designed to assess candidates’ knowledge and skills on making the appropriate job role decisions around Windows-based applications on the desktop using Windows Forms and WPF.

    Candidates for this exam work on a team in a development environment that uses Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2010 and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 to develop desktop applications.  Candidates should have a minimum of three years of experience developing applications, including one to two years of experience developing Windows-based applications. Candidates should have a thorough understanding of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Windows Forms technologies in the .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.  

    This exam covers the following topics:

    • Designing the Layers of a Solution
    • Designing the Presentation Layer
    • Designing the Data Access Layer
    • Planning a Solution Deployment
    • Designing for Stability and Maintenance

    For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide. To schedule your exam, visit Prometric’s Web site.

  • Exam 70-516 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a Technical Specialist exam designed to assess candidates’ knowledge and skills on accessing data sources using ADO.NET and the .NET Framework.

    Candidates for this exam use Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and ADO.NET 4 to develop the data access layer of an application.  Candidates should have a minimum of two to three years of experience developing application components that interact with a variety of data sources.  In addition, candidates should have a thorough understanding of relational database concepts and should have a minimum of one to two years of experience using a relational database management system. 

    This exam covers the following topics:

    • Modeling Data
    • Managing Connections and Context
    • Querying Data
    • Manipulating Data
    • Developing and Deploying Reliable Applications

    For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide. To schedule your exam, visit Prometric’s Web site.

  • Exam 70-511 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a Technical Specialist exam designed to assess candidates’ hands-on skills in developing applications using Windows Forms, WPF and the .NET Framework 4.

    Candidates for this exam work in a development environment that uses Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2010 and Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 to create WinForms and WPF applications. The candidate should have at least one year of experience developing Windows-based applications by using Visual Studio, including at least six months of experience with Visual Studio 2010 Professional.

    This exam covers the following topics:

    • Building a User Interface by Using Basic Techniques
    • Enhancing a User Interface by Using Advanced Techniques
    • Managing Data at the User Interface Layer
    • Enhancing the Functionality and Usability of a Solution
    • Stabilizing and Releasing a Solution

    For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide. To schedule your exam, visit Prometric’s Web site.

  • Greetings, Born to Learners! A little over a month ago, Microsoft Learning (re)released OneNote Trainer Packs (OTPs) for 20 titles with the promise of 12 more being made available in June. Those 12 are now ready and available for all you MCTs out there. The 12 now available are 6425B, 6236A, 6292A, 10135A, 6426B, 6294A, 6368A, 6460A, 6464A, 6416C, 6419A, and 6430B. The original 20 are, of course, still available as well: 2778A, 6215A, 6231A, 2262BK, 6232A, 6234A, 6235A, 6214A, 6367A, 6424A, 6461A, 6462A, 6420A, 6421A, 6446A, 6463A, 6427A, 6445A, 6451A, and 6434A.

    And to recap, the purpose of OTPs is to provide MCTs a single location for the most relevant content needed to prepare for a MOC class (Microsoft Official Course). OTPs include the following content for each course on each page in the OTP (and in this order):

    1) Slides
    2) Instructor Notes
    3) Book Content
    4) Companion CD Content

    Also included for each module are the Lab Answer Keys (LAKs). OTPs require OneNote to run, which is available as a free download for all MCTs (as part of the MCT program) via the included TechNet Plus subscription. All OTPs are located on the MCT Download Center, just search by course number for the course you're interested in and open the digital MOC folder to find the OTP.

    Last but not least, we're not done! We have more news on OTPs coming soon. Stay tuned to Born to Learn for more details coming in the next few days. As always, feedback/questions/comments are welcome. Feel free to leave comments below.

    *Update* See below for a listing of available OneNote Trainer Packs with complete title names:

    Title# Name
    2262 Supporting Users Running Applications on a Microsoft Windows XP Operating System
    2778 Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Transact-SQL
    6214 Effective Team Development using Microsoft Visual Studio Team System
    6215 Implementing and Administering Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server
    6231 Maintaining a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database
    6232 Implementing a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database
    6234 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services
    6235 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services
    6236 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services
    6292 Installing and Configuring Windows 7 Client
    6294 Planning and Managing Windows 7 Desktop Deployments and Environments
    6367 Introduction to Object Oriented Programming using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
    6368 Programming with the Microsoft .NET Framework using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
    6416 Updating your Network Infrastructure and Active Directory Technology Skills to Windows Server 2008
    6419 Configuring, Managing and Maintaining Windows Server 2008 Servers
    6420 Fundamentals of Windows Server 2008 Network and Applications Infrastructure
    6421 Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure
    6424 Fundamentals of Windows Server 2008 Active Directory
    6425 Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain Services
    6426 Configuring and Troubleshooting Identity and Access Solutions with Windows Server 2008 Active Directory
    6427 Configuring and Troubleshooting Internet Information Services in Windows Server 2008
    6430 Planning and Administering Windows Server 2008 Servers
    6434 Automating Windows Server 2008 Administration with Windows PowerShell
    6445 Implementing and Administering Windows Small Business Server 2008
    6446 Implementing and Administering Windows Essential Business Server 2008
    6451 Planning, Deploying and Managing Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2
    6460 Visual Studio 2008: Windows Presentation Foundation
    6461 Visual Studio 2008: Windows Communication Foundation
    6462 Visual Studio 2008: Windows Workflow Foundation
    6463 Visual Studio 2008: ASP.NET 3.5
    6464 Visual Studio 2008: ADO.NET 3.5
    10135 Configuring, Managing and Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 
     

  • This weekend my wife and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary. I plan to create a movie, built from photographs and video that I have stored in folders (but never organized). Some photographs need some editing, for others it will be fun to add things to them and yet other pictures I can now Phuse or Stitch together. I'll go into MovieMaker and add themes and music. I'll post it in the cloud so our family in Europe can see it too.

    Read the full story here, the beta will be available later today, check out the video and have fun. Get creative and send in a video to Born to Learn perhaps :-)

  • Would you like to shape the future of Microsoft Learning’s Certification program? Here’s your chance! Take a few minutes to complete a brief survey and help us improve the value of our certifications. Not only will you have an opportunity to provide your feedback on the future of the program, you may also win one of four X-Box 360s. 

    Complete contest rules can be found here, but the most important rule is that sweepstakes is only open to legal residents of the United States. If you are not a U.S. resident, we’d still love your input, but you can’t be entered into the sweepstakes for one of the X-Box 360s because of Microsoft’s rules around this particular contest. (I didn’t design this particular contest or its rules, but feel free to shoot the messenger…I’ll lay down on my sword for all of you who live outside the U.S. I hope a few of you will participate anyway because I’d love worldwide input.)

    To complete the survey, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/TechEd2010Survey

    The survey will be open until June 30, so if you’re interested in shaping the future of the program, you should act now!

  • Perhaps you've seen the movie, clicked on the site, and now you're wondering what's it all about? Having taken the beta Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Office 2010 certification exams for Word and Excel, I can tell you, it's awesome!

    Office 2010 melds advanced features like photo-editing, document-sharing, and accessibility (from your PC, Web or Windows phone) into the intuitive Office interface of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many other Office applications. I'm personally starting to leverage the integrated interface between these products and the new SharePoint Workspace tools to make my poor 100 GB hard drive stretch every byte. It's been a pretty cool, seamless experience.

    And, I'll be presenting some of these new features at an upcoming free webinar on June 29th. Come join me if you're interested to learn more.

    You can also check out the free learning snacks, classroom or online training that is now available for Office 2010.

     

     

     

  • Exam 70-177 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a Technical Specialist exam designed to assess candidates’ hands-on skills using and configuring Microsoft Project Server 2010.

    Candidates for this exam:

    • are experienced in implementing and supporting the Microsoft Project Server 2010 solution and also have experience with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and familiarity with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 technology.
    • are responsible for the installation, configuration, and maintenance of a Project Server 2010 implementation.
    • typically work as an Enterprise Project Management (EPM) consultant, a project server administrator, an IT professional, or a developer.

    For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide.  To schedule your exam, visit Prometric’s Web site.

  • New features and initiatives in TechNet this week!

    Check out the 'TechNet On:' series; a bi-weekly overview on the latest products and technologies. The first edition leverages the best of TechNet Magazine and TechNet Flash into a rich package that gets you up to speed on Cloud Security. The second edition is scheduled for June 28th and will be on Office and SharePoint 2010 Deployment. See the TechNet On Editorial Calendar for additional package themes.

    We also launched TechNet Innovation Center (beta), a new service from Connect, which allows customers to submit and vote on ideas. A new innovation space has been launched to get customer suggestions for TechNet On topics, so have a look and let us know what you feel the next TechNet On: package should be about. Finally, we rolled out an improved search that enables you to quickly refine your search results, really with just one click.

     check out Keith Comb's blog for more details

     

  • |

    Continuing the celebration of our newest product releases: new training videos are available right now over at Channel 9

    Application Compatibility for Office 2010 - Analyze your environment for installed add-ins and identify potential migration issues as you migrate earlier versions of Office to Office 2010. Learn how the Compatibility Inspector tools can perform an analysis of the code and suggest potential issues with this video on Channel 9. Additional videos and a lab are also available.

    Learn SharePoint 2010 Best Practices - Explore design considerations you should have as you start creating SharePoint solutions targeting SharePoint 2010. Additional videos, labs and code available on testing, deployment and security in this new training course on Channel 9.

  • What are the real-world situations that you face on the job? What are the common mistakes, troubleshooting scenarios, or design considerations you think we at Microsoft Learning should consider when testing for Windows Server technical skills?

     

    As a Windows Server technology professional, you are invited to join our community site on Microsoft Connect for Windows Server technology. This site gives you an opportunity to tell us more about how we should focus our exam development efforts. On this site, you can post your ideas, follow discussions, and engage with fellow subject matter experts.   You’ll also have the opportunity to vote for the best ideas.

     

    This is a great opportunity for you to have a voice in keeping our exams relevant.  Your participation also lets us know that you’re passionate about our exams and products and lets us know who to reach out to when exam development is around the corner.

     

    There’s more!  We have rewards for participants who post actively and for those who simply post good stuff! We have rewards for voters, too!

    Interested in participating in this program? Click here to complete a nomination survey or visit our site for more information. 

    (The site has external content available. Registration to Connect is required to participate.)  

  • Then you'll want to be sure and check out our Third Thursday session "Engage and Energize Students" by Janelle Montplaisir on June 17 at 10:00 PDT. Janelle has some great ideas you can put to work in your classroom!

    Find more details on this session by signing into the MCT site.

    See you there!

  • Are you in the “Communications Server 14” TAP/Super TAP/TRP? Have you attended one of the "CS 14" airlifts? Do you have the "CS 14" skills to pay the bills and the urge to influence the shape of an entire MCITP exam track? The certification team is looking for subject matter experts to complete a Blueprinting exercise. Providing feedback is quick and painless and helps us to create relevant exams.

     

    If you’re interested, please e-mail (jseymour@microsoft.com) by Monday morning (Redmond time), June 21st and give me a short blurb about your experience with “CS 14”. We should be sending out the blueprints next week.

     

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    P.S. Bounus points if you can name my favorite album from the 70's funk group, "Super Tap".

  • Settling back into the relative routine of life in my office is a little jarring after the past week spent at TechEd. I feel for very fortunate to have been able to connect (and reconnect) with the vast network of trainers, consultants, IT pros, developers, business owners and community stakeholders.

    I finished up the week with a couple more interviews that I want to share: Andrew Bettany and Randy Muller.

     

    Look for more videos and discussion amongst the Community in posts to come!

  • |

    Title pretty much says it all—our Office 2010 learning snack is now available in four languages. Go get ‘em!

  • Here’s a cool way to prepare for Exam 70-640 (TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory -- Configuration) or Exam 70-536 (TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation): Challenge yourself by signing up to receive a series of practice test questions that can help identify gaps in your knowledge.

    After registering for this free program, you’ll receive an email every week - for seven weeks - with three practice test questions from MeasureUp, a leading provider of practice tests for MCPs. You will also be able to review videos created by some of our best Microsoft Certified Trainers who provide the answers to the questions and discussions on the featured technologies.

    Web

    If you are considering taking these exams, why not take a few minutes to learn more about this opportunity to test your knowledge. And let us know what you learned and how this program works for you.

  • Exam 70-512 is now available in Prometric testing centers. This is a Technical Specialist exam designed to test the candidate's knowledge and skills on installing, configuring, and maintaining Visual Studio 2010 Team Foundation Server. Candidates typically work in an enterprise development organization that provides process automation services by using TFS.

    This exam covers the following topics:

    • Installing and configuring TFS
    • Managing TFS
    • Customizing TFS for team use
    • Administering version control

    For a more detailed list of the skills measured on this exam, check out the prep guide. To schedule your exam, visit Prometric’s Web site.

  •  

    Thank you New Orleans, what a warm welcome and what a fantastic city, what an awesome event!

    We were in a building that is 1.5 miles long, but to quote our event manager ‘yeah but we are only using one mile of it’Big Smile

    The event was sold out, quite a few sessions were therefore repeated so everyone could attend, the hands on labs were at full capacity nearly all of the time and we enjoyed a lot of interest in our certification pathways as people were looking at updating skills or taking the next step in their careers. People were in high spirits, business seems to be improving for many and there was a lot of interest in more in depth knowledge on new products.

    The week started for us on Saturday as we welcomed the MCTs at TechEd at our ‘MCT Day’. A great way to get the community together, to share a business update and our title plan for the new year. I had some meetings on Sunday and I must add how much I enjoyed the ‘downtime’ in my schedule as New Orleans really offers fantastic music on every corner: indoors and outdoors, there is a plethora of talent out there, fantastic! The same could be said for TechEd, there were great sessions on every corner and both the community lounge and the expo hall were well attended. Have a look at the TechEd site and browse the sessions that are available online now.

    We had invited Steven Holcomb who shared his stories about his bobsledding career and who seized the opportunity to look at future opportunities in IT and how to best update his Microsoft Certification. I had the honor of joining him and got to see the event through his eyes. Steven announced the winner of the IT Grand Prix (congratulations once again GOLD TEAM) and joined us at the Microsoft Learning booth where he chatted with attendees and signed caps, T-Shirts and bags. Many people asked him about bobsledding and about which things at TechEd that had his interest. We visited The Bus which was parked inside the expo hall and we had a look at the ‘Are you Certifiable?’ game show. The Community Lounge was a great place for MCTs and MVPs to relax for a bit and to catch up. As people shared ideas and their excitement about the areas they specialized in, it made me realize once again how many opportunities people have in IT, if you have the skills and the passion you can really change your line of business in just a few weeks whenever you want to.

    A big ‘Thank You’ to everyone who attended or who worked at this great event and to the kind people of New Orleans for their warm welcome!