• |


    If you haven't met Tim Vander Kooi (Chairman of the North America IT Pro user group community, GITCA), you should consider joining this webcast next month.  Tim is extremely knowledgeable, and personable. These webcasts are hugely popular, and you get to submit questions, in advance, that you'd like answered during the webcast.  Here's the info:

    Join this live webcast with Tim Vander Kooi and Microsoft’s Harold Wong, May 23rd @ 10:00(pst) as they discuss the impact that the cloud is having on IT pros as they learn new skills, spend more time innovating and less time maintaining.  Register today.



  • |

    Why Enroll, other than it being free?

    The Microsoft Virtual Academy helps you to improve your IT skill set and advance your career with a free, easy to access training portal that allows you to learn at your own pace, focusing on Microsoft technologies.

    What Do I get for enrolment?    

            Free training to make you become the Cloud-Hero in my Organization

            Help mastering your Training Path and get the recognition

            Connect with other IT Pros and discuss The Cloud

    Where do I Enrol?



    Hello CRM MCTs--

    Exam #MB2-867 has been recently posted on the Microsoft Learning Site:


    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Installation & Deployment Exam


    This certification exam measures your ability to understand and articulate how to install and deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 including planning the installation, installing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Server, installing and deploying the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Email Router, installing and deploying the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Client for Microsoft Office Outlook, configuring Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, and upgrading to and redeploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.


  • Windows Server professionals,

    What is the most common mistake or troubleshooting scenario when configuring Active Directory objects?

    Help us keep it real on our exams! Take one of our quick surveys on Windows Server 2008. At the end of each month, we’ll give away exam vouchers (good for any Microsoft exam at a Prometric test center in 2011). Selection is by random drawing, so the more surveys you answer, the better your chance of winning!

    Check out our weekly posts, or visit any of the following pages for survey links and results:

    For today's quick survey on Active Directory objects, click here.

  • MSL | FAST University offers SharePoint Server 2010 specialty training for IT Professionals. The training covers a variety of Enterprise Search topics:

    • Describe the deployment, scalability, and fault tolerance options of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
    • Explain the purpose of Power Shell 2.0 and how to use it to perform administrative tasks.
    • Perform a single-node and multi-node Search Farm of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
    • Understand how to expand a Search Farm.
    • Configure a Search Service Application to feed content from file systems and SharePoint sites.
    • Create a search site.
    • Administer the search features Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
    • Monitor a search features and services. 
    • Perform a backup of search.

    For additional information please contact fastuniv@microsoft.com.

    By David Codrington

  • I am pleased to announce the release of the English ILT course: 10550A - Programming in Visual Basic with Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010.

     This course fulfills our commitment to the Visual Basic developer community by offering a course that is specifically catered towards the design and development needs of Visual Basic enthusiasts. Visual Basic programmers comprise nearly 50% of the developer audience targeted by Microsoft Learning. This VB course will provide a C# equivalent entry point for developers interested in the VB programming language.

    Here's more details on the course:

    Course Description

    This course teaches you Visual Basic language syntax, program structure, and implementation by using Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 and the Microsoft .NET Framework 4. This course provides a solid foundation in Visual Basic to the level necessary to enable students to attend other courses in the Technical Specialist tracks.


    This course is intended for experienced developers who already have programming experience in Visual Basic, C, C++, C#, or Java, and understand the concepts of Object Oriented Programming. These developers will be likely to develop enterprise business solutions. These professional developers will be attending the course so that they can quickly ramp up on Visual Basic Programming in the .NET Framework. The course focuses on Visual Basic program structure, language syntax, and implementation details with the .NET Framework 4.0. This course also focuses on new enhancement in the Visual Basic 2010 language using Visual Studio 2010.

    Student Prerequisites

    This course requires that you meet the following prerequisites:

    ·         • This course is targeted at developers who already have Visual Basic knowledge.

    ·         • This course is not for new developers; at least 12 months experience working with an Object Oriented

    ·         language is expected.

    ·         • Creating classes

    ·         • Inheritance and abstraction

    ·         • Polymorphism

    ·         • Interfaces

    ·         • Delegates

    ·         • Events

    ·         • Exceptions

    ·         • Experience with the Microsoft .NET Framework

    ·         • Knowledge of the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE).

    Course Objectives

    After completing this course, students will be able to:

    ·         • Describe the purpose of the .NET Framework, and explain how to use Microsoft Visual Basic® and

    ·         Visual Studio 2010 to build .NET Framework applications.

    ·         • Describe the syntax of basic Visual Basic programming constructs.

    ·         • Describe how to create and call methods.

    ·         • Describe how to catch, handle, and throw exceptions.

    ·          xiv About This Course

    ·         • Describe how to perform basic file I/O operations in a Visual Basic application.

    ·         • Describe how to create and use new types (enumerations, classes, and structures), and explain the

    ·         differences between reference types and value types.

    ·         • Describe how to control the visibility and lifetime of members in a type.

    ·         • Describe how to use inheritance to create new reference types.

    ·         • Describe how to manage the lifetime of objects and control the use of resources.

    ·         • Describe how to create properties and indexers to encapsulate data, and explain how to define

    ·         operators for this data.

    ·         • Describe how to decouple an operation from the method that implements it, and explain how to use

    ·         these decoupled operations to handle asynchronous events.

    ·         • Describe the purpose of collections, and explain how to use generics to implement type-safe

    ·         collection classes, structures, interfaces, and methods.

    ·         • Describe how to implement custom collection classes that support enumeration.

    ·         • Describe how to query in-memory data by using Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) queries.

    ·         • Describe how to integrate code written by using a dynamic language such as Ruby and Python, or

    ·         technologies such as Component Object Model (COM), into a Visual Basic application.

    Course Outline

    This section provides an outline of the course:

    Module 1, "Introducing Visual Basic and the .NET Framework," provides an overview of the .NET Framework and shows how you can start to build your own .NET Framework applications by using Visual Basic and Visual Studio 2010.

    Module 2, "Using Visual Basic Programming Constructs," provides an introduction to Visual Basic programming language syntax and introduces many of the basic Visual Basic language data types and

    programming constructs.

    Module 3, "Declaring and Calling Methods," introduces the concept of methods and describes how, in object-oriented languages such as Visual Basic, a method is a unit of code that is designed to perform a discrete piece of work. This module shows you how to declare and call methods by using Visual Basic.

    Module 4, "Handling Exceptions," introduces the importance of exception handling and explains why applications should be designed with exception handling in mind. This module explains how you can implement effective exception handling in your applications and describes how to use exceptions in your methods to indicate an error condition to the code that calls your methods.

    Module 5, "Reading and Writing Files," explains how the ability to access and manipulate files on the file system is a common requirement for many applications. This module shows you how to read and write to files by using the classes in the .NET Framework. It also describes the different approaches that you can take and explains how to read and write different formats of data.

    Module 6, "Creating New Types," explains how to build your own types that model items in the real world and describes how to implement the business logic for these items that your applications require. This module explains the differences between reference types and value types.

    Module 7, "Encapsulating Data and Methods," describes how to use the access modifiers that Visual Basic provides to enable you to implement encapsulation. This module also introduces the Shared access modifier, which enables you to define members that can be shared over multiple instances of the same type.

    Module 8, "Inheriting from Classes and Implementing Interfaces," explains that inheritance is a key concept in an object-oriented language and describes how you can use inheritance, interfaces, and

    abstract classes to develop object hierarchies. This module also explains how you can use these object hierarchies to help reduce bugs by defining clear contracts for the functionality that a class should expose and providing default implementations where you can sensibly abstract code into a base type.

    Module 9, "Managing the Lifetime of Objects and Controlling Resources," introduces the concept of resource management and discusses its importance. This module explains how the .NET Framework simplifies resource management by automatically reclaiming the resources for a managed object when an application no longer references it. This module also explains that the garbage collector does not control unmanaged resources and describes the steps that you can take to dispose of such resources.

    Module 10, "Encapsulating Data and Defining Overloaded Operators," introduces properties and indexers. These are elements of Visual Basic that enable you to encapsulate data and expose data

    appropriately and efficiently. This module also describes how to implement operators for your types by using overloading.

    Module 11, "Decoupling Methods and Handling Events," explains how to decouple an operation from the method that implements it and describes how to use anonymous methods to implement decoupled operations. This module also explains how to use events to inform consuming applications of a change or notable occurrence in a type.

    Module 12, "Using Collections and Building Generic Types," introduces the concept of collection classes and explains that you can use them with greater flexibility than a simple array. This module also

    introduces generics and explains how to use generic classes to maintain type integrity and avoid the issues that are associated with a lack of type safety.

    Module 13, "Building and Enumerating Custom Collection Classes," explains how to use the collection classes that the .NET Framework base class library includes. This module also describes how to build custom collection classes.

    Module 14, "Using LINQ to Query Data," explains how you can use LINQ to abstract the mechanism that an application uses to query data from the application code. This module describes built-in Visual Basic LINQ extension methods and LINQ query operators. This module also describes how to build LINQ queries dynamically by using expression trees.

    Module 15, "Integrating Visual Basic Code with Dynamic Languages and COM Components," explains how the .NET Framework 4 enables you to invoke code and components that were written by using other languages from your Visual Basic code. It describes how the dynamic language runtime (DLR) enables you to reuse code built by using a wide range of scripting languages, such as Ruby and Python. This module also describes how to invoke COM components from a Visual Basic application.

    -Amith Vincent

  • Just one week after TechEd, Microsoft Learning is hosting an exclusive three-day Jump Start class specially tailored for IT Professionals looking for real-world proof of how cloud-based Office 365 enables you to solve more problems from more places. Registration for "Microsoft Office 365 for IT Professionals" is officially open! This course will be delivered via virtual classroom on May 24-26, 2011 from 10:00am-4:00pm PDT. Over 2,300 people attended our last Jump Start, "Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals," so please register today. 

    This fast-paced, demo-rich online course will feature expert instruction and real-world demonstrations of the Office 365 platform, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online. Attendees are in for a treat because Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Adam Carter (Bomb) will be team teaching this course with the best of the best. Throughout the course, leading experts for each technology -- Mike Kostersitz, Office 365 Program Manager; Naomi Alpern, Senior Consultant Exchange Online; Jeff James, Solutions Architect; Ziv Fass, Senior Product Manager; Mark Kashman, Senior Technical Product Manager; Matt Burnett, Senior Consultant SharePoint Online -- will be joining Adam to share the latest with Office 365.


    Day One — “Office 365 Platform” | May 24, 2011 | 10am-4pm PDT
    Microsoft Office 365 Overview for IT Pros
    Deploying Clients for Office 365
    Administration & Automation using PowerShell
    Identity and Access Solutions
    Directory Synchronization

    Day Two — “Exchange Online” | May 25, 2011 | 10am-4pm PDT
    Exchange Online Overview for IT Pros
    Exchange Online Administration
    Staged Exchange Online Migration
    Hybrid Options with Exchange Server & Exchange Online
    Exchange Online Archiving & Compliance

    Day Three — “Lync & SharePoint Online” | May 26, 2011 | 10am-4pm PDT
    Lync Online Overview & Configuration for IT Pros
    SharePoint Online Overview
    SharePoint Online Administration
    SharePoint Online Extensibility & Customization
    Office 365 Deployment Overview

    Please help us spread the word! Post this tweet:
    Microsoft Office 365 for IT Pros Jump Start! May 24-26 Register Now http://bit.ly/Office365-JUMP @MSLearning @msonline #azure #cloud

  • One of my goals this year was to understand what item types are the most effective psychometrically--which ones are neither too easy nor too difficult, which ones are the best differentiators between qualified and unqualified candidates, which ones are perceived by candidates as better assessments of real world skills, etc. In other words, what are the best item types, psychometrically speaking, that have ever been included on our exams? As many of you know, we have been gravitating toward multiple choice items. Because many candidates believe that multiple choice items are not real world assessments of their skills, I wondered if other item types were as good as multiple choice items psychometrically. To be very clear, multiple choice items appear on so many exams because they work psychometrically. Well-written multiple choice items are good differentiators between qualified and unqualified candidates and are valid and reliable measures of the content domain. But, many candidates seem to prefer other item types. So, the question was "Can we reintroduce a variety of item types into our exams without jeopardizing the psychometric characteristics and quality of our exams?"

    To do this, I tracked down item level data from exams delivered over the last 6 years, married that to the item type, and worked my statistical magic to learn what we could learn about the psychometric performance of each item type. Here's a list of the item types that I were included in my analysis: Active Screen, Simulation, Build List, Create a Tree, Drag & Drop, Hot Area, Lab Tasks, MC choose 1, MC choose 2, MC choose 3, MC choose 4, MC choose 5, choose all that apply (I suspect some of you haven't ever seen some of these items!).

    I compared the psychometric performance across item types. Because I'm a data junkie, I also compared the average psychometric performance of multiple choice items to that of the average psychometric performance of our innovative item types (active screen, simulation, build list, etc.) and looked at these comparisons by audience (ITPro and Developer). 

    What did I learn?

    • In general, non-MC items tend to be more difficult than MC items but not dramatically so, and they are equally differentiating (see my note above about the effectiveness of multiple choice items).
    • Build list and drag and drop items tend to be more difficult for developer audiences than for ITPro audiences  
    • The most difficult items are: Labs, simulations, and build lists (but not too difficult)
    • Best differentiators: Simulations, choose all that apply (really! I double and triple checked this because this was a psychometric surprise)
    • Exams with these item types are perceived as more real world: Active screens, choose all that apply, simulations
    • Exams with these item types are perceived as more rigorous: Active screens, choose all that apply, drag and drop, hot area, simulations

    So, what does this mean to you?

    Based on this analysis, you will see a larger variety of item types on our exams--more drag and drop, more active screens, more build lists, etc.

    The bigger takeaway for you is that we are re-introducing "choose all that apply" items. I don't want to bury the lead, so to speak...these item types are coming back. As I mentioned, I was very surpised to learn that "choose all that apply" kept popping up as a desirable item type, but based on the data that I have, this item type works well psychometrically. I continue to be surprised by this result, but it is what it is. Of course, I will keep my eye on the psychometric performance of "choose all that apply items" as we incorporate more of them into our exams, and I have other data analyses planned that will provide even better insight into the psychometric performance about these items (I didn't have the level of data needed to run these analyses for the research that I've done so far, but let me tell you, these analyses are very, very cool, and I can't wait to get my hands on that data!). Currently, our plan is to incorporate these item types on all of our certification exams, but as with everything, as we learn more about this item type, we may refine when and where this item type will appear.

    So, bring it on. I know you have questions and comments about this. Smile

  • CRM MCTs--

    Check out the new  training materials and eLearning for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Customization and Configuration course #80294 on PartnerSource (sign in needed).

    AND the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Customization and Configuration exam #MB2-866 is now  available on Microsoft Learning.

    Other titles recently released are:

    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Sales Management
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Marketing Automation
    • MIcrosoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Service Management
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Service Scheduling

  • AX MCTs--

    We're happy to announce that the VM and courseware for What's New in Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 is now available on the MCT Download Center.

  • I just spoke with Stephen Rose from Springboard Series. We have very fond memories of the tours where we traveled together and it's great to hear that the Springboard team are on the road again and that seats are going quickly. So here's a friendly reminder, we don't want our Born to Learn readers to miss out on great content (or nice giveaways!).

    The team will cover a lot of content: how to manage the flexible workspace, a first look at Windows Intune and Office 365. some of the new Windows Slates and details around Microsoft’s strategy for Slate devices. They will preview the new tools in the MDOP 2011 suite, a deep dive into managing and deploying Office 2010 and great tips and tricks to help you deploy Windows 7 and move your users from Windows XP with speed and ease. That is a LOT of content and events will run for approximately 6 hours, with great networking opportunities during lunch.

     oh, the events are FREE, they will bring plenty of giveaways and lunch is included:-).  you can register here, have fun!

  • |

    The Career Factor participants are thinking about certification a lot these days: Caroline is working to master another Office program, Kevin is considering a different set of exams, and Simon asks if the MCTS is testing the right skills. Catch up on what's happening and let them know what you think!

    Watch Career Factor - Like Career Factor on Facebook - Follow Career Factor on Twitter

    This week: Chat LIVE with Career Factor

    Meet the Career Factor participants and other viewers to chat about résumé and interview tips. Meet us on Twitter: Use the hashtag #cfchat or login to your Twitter account at http://www.tweetchat.com/cfchat.

    Last week on Career Factor

    Caroline – The Office Competition Contender, Canada
    Compete at the 2011 Certiport Worldwide Competition on Office
    This week: Caroline has finished her PowerPoint exams and moved on to Access, which she’ll need to master for both the competition and her final exams. The school year has gone by quickly!

    Kevin – The Student, Texas
    Find a post-college job as an IT Professional
    This week: Kevin posted some of the tips he learned from the résumé/CV live session and considered targeting the Microsoft Technology Associate exam series and exploring more training options before returning to the MCTS exam. 

    Simon – The IT Manager, UK
    Goal: Get his team (including himself) certified to maintain Microsoft Partner status
    This week: Simon’s co-worker Dan also scored low on the MCTS exam, but after a few days of targeted studying he easily passed the retake. Simon’s question after this experience: What does certification truly signify, and how do changes to the exams reflect on their value?
    Bojan – The Aspiring Microsoft Certified Master, UK
    Take the MCM course and pass the Exchange 2010 MCM exam
    This week: Bojan is working on additional posts about his MCM experience, but he paused to reflect on the physical changes he underwent during the intensive 3-week training. Your results may vary!



    If you’re a developer, you’ve probably visited the MSDN site numerous times. The Microsoft SharePoint 2010 site on MSDN has a wealth of resources for honing your skills and exploring new features of SharePoint.

    Perhaps, you’re new to SharePoint, and want an interactive learning experience. If so, consider classroom training, which enables you to interact with a Microsoft Certified Trainer and other students.

    Browse through the Microsoft Training Catalog for classroom training or locate a training center in your area.

    If you’re considering getting certified, start by first taking a practice test. These tests help you identify gaps in your knowledge and provide direction – based on your budget and timeframe – for obtaining additional training. In additional practice tests offer a peek at the type of questions you might find on a Microsoft Certification exam.

    MeasureUp offers six practice tests for SharePoint Server 2010 for both Visual Basic and C#.  


  • |

    Yes, it’s true: we’re raising our MCP exam prices for the first time in almost a decade. (Technically, I should probably say "changing" since not every country will see an increase, but for most of  you, it's an increase.) The new prices go into effect on July 1st (August 1st in India).

    (If you haven’t already, read the announcement and FAQ before going any further.)

    Why? And Why Now?

    This probably isn’t welcome news—especially if you’re already in progress towards your certification and you’ve planned your budget carefully. (If this includes you, keep reading to find out how to lock in our current pricing for a while longer.) After all, who would want to pay more for something than they had planned to?

    No one enjoys paying higher prices, which is why no one really gets excited about having to ask their customers to do so, especially in our business, where our mission is to make successful careers in technology as attainable as possible. That’s why we’ve held the line on our pricing for more than nine years through two global recessions—a pretty tough feat (and yes, we’re kind of proud of that).

    But eventually, a decade of both increasing costs catches up to any business, and like any responsible business, we have to re-balance the scales from time to time if we’re going to continue to improve, innovate, and respond to customer requests. For example, you might have noticed the investments we’ve made over the past year or two:

    • Introducing the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) program at low cost to help lower the barrier separating students from technical careers.
    • Lowering the financial and geographic barriers to the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) certification for senior IT professionals.
    • Introducing new exam item types and security measures to increase the integrity of our exams
    • Introducing free jumpstarts to help you start down a new skills path and free Exam Crams to help you finish it.
    • Introducing virtual career conferences to help you start, advance, or accelerate your career, regardless of which of phase of it you’re in.

    …and we have much more in the works that we’re looking forward to discussing with you over the next year or two. Like any business in Microsoft (and probably yours, too), our investments are constrained in part by our costs. Our new pricing structure will enable us to continue making investments in our training and certification business so that we can help you realize the high return you expect for your investment in yourself—which, after all, is exactly what a certification is, right?

    Okay, so how much?

    If you’ve made it this far and are wondering why I still haven’t told you what the new price will be, that’s because our prices have always and will continue to vary depending on where you take your exam and whether you are a member of specific programs or communities. See our official page to look up the base price for your country; if you’re a secondary school or university student, you’ll receive a 45% discount, and If you’re an MCT, you’ll receive a 50% discount (we’ve eliminated the confusing 20/45/65 discount structure and simplified it at an always-50% level).

    Already in progress toward your certification? Here’s how to lock in current pricing a bit longer

    Most of you take a pay-as-you-go approach with your exams, but since July, we’ve also been offering “certification packs” that offer you a volume discount when you pre-pay for at least two and up to five exams at a time. The discounts are pretty significant—up to 20% for the four- and five-packs, based on our current pricing levels—and we throw in Second Shot as well for an added benefit.

    But now with our new pricing coming into play on July 1st, there’s a “hidden” benefit to these packs: if you purchase one of them and take your first exam by June 30th, you have until December 31, 2011 to take the remaining exams. You can look at that as a way of extending our current pricing (at a 15-20% discount) through the end of the year, or you can look at it as a way to get an even better discount today on what you would otherwise pay if you wait. Either way, it’s unquestionably the best option if you have exams to take in the near future and you want the best pricing.

    We also have special offers available for students here, and IT people managers here.

    (Insider tip: If you know an MCT, they can get you an additional 10% off the price of a certification pack though our Learning Rewards program.)

    So now you know the what and the why—if you have additional questions or concerns let us know below or in our MCP Forum, and we’ll do our best to address them.

    We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to IT certifications, and we appreciate that you’ve placed your bet on Microsoft. We’re going to continue to do everything we can to ensure that you continue to get a great return on your investment—that’s our commitment to you. We hope that you’ll continue to be a part of this community and keep sharing your feedback as we go. We're listening.

  • In case you missed our Live Meeting for Managers on Virtualization yesterday, you can now view the recording on demand.

    Benefits of Virtualization
    Learn how to utilize Microsoft virtualization technologies to solve business problems with a mobile workforce and  achieve rapid ROI benefits. Technologies overviewed will include Hyper-V, Remote Desktop Services, Med-V, FDP-FX Client, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. The session will also provide training and certification plans for further learning.
    Watch Now.

    Watch a previous Live Meetings for Managers webcast on-demand, download PowerPoint slides, or get additional resources at the IT Manager Portal.

  • Just a friendly reminder from the MCT Readiness program. MCTs please don't miss the presentations below!

    One should not have favorites, but the first session is a session from which nearly all MCTs can benefit greatly. MCTs typically spend quite some time preparing for a course: including setting up the classroom. Obviously, the less time spent setting up the tools that support the course, the better. Mikael Nystrom promises to teach us some cool tricks that may offer MCTs great efficiency gains.

    And while I will not have any favorites, it's fantastic to announce Stan Reimer's course. Stan has written many books and courses and he's a rock solid presenter. Best of all, he's presenting on the course many MCTs have been waiting for, 'Exhange Server MCTs do not want to miss this one'!

    Finally, and no I do not have any favorites here, our dynamic developer duo returns. Susan Ibach and Christopher Harrison are just as skilled as they are funny, guaranteed to raise your skills and a smile.

    MCTs, I look forward to 'seeing you' tomorrow in the virtual classroom : on Thursday April 21st, sessions will also be recorded.

    · Session 1: Easy Classroom Deployment using MDT, presented by Mikael Nystrom. Start Time: 7:00 A.M. Pacific Time.

    We realize that setting up classrooms takes a lot of your time. Mikael will present a fantastic best practice that may enable you to save tons of your time. Deploy your classrooms using the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)!

    · Session 2: Trainer Preparation for Course 10165A, presented by Stan Reimer. Start Time: 8:00 A.M. Pacific Time

    Finally, the course you have been waiting for! If you have been teaching Course 10135A, and most of the students in your class are experienced Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange Server 2007 administrators, you now have a new course specifically designed for this target audience.

    · Session 3: Creating Captivating Code for Classes, presented by Susan Ibach and Christopher Harrison. Start Time: 9:00 A.M. Pacific Time

    Code demos are an essential tool for any successful class. However, if not done well they can instead be an unmitigated disaster. In this session, Susan and Christopher will present some tips and tricks for helping ensure your code demonstrations help you rock the classroom.

  • Just after MMS 2011, Microsoft Learning hosted another new and exclusive Jump Start virtual training event – Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals.”  This live online course broke two Jump Start records with over 2,300 people joining the three-day event and an overall NSAT of 168! We are thrilled to announce availability of the HD-quality video recordings – FREE – on TechNet Edge, MS Showcase, the Zune Marketplace, iTunes! Additionally, every module will be made available (with assessment questions) on the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) later this month.

    Who is the target audience for this training?
    • IT Professionals, Virtualization Engineers, Data Center Managers, IT Decision Makers, Network Administrators, Storage/Infrastructure Administrators & Architects.
    • Microsoft customers and partners currently using VMware.
    • Companies using VMware searching for real-world answers as they consider whether or not Microsoft Virtualization truly fits their needs.

    What’s the high-level overview?
    • The 15-hour course is broken into three sections: (1) Platform, (2) Management, and (3) VDI
    • “Team-teaching” approach led by Microsoft partner and virtualization architect, Corey Hynes, and Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Symon Perriman
    • Every module is an engaging discussion, packed with best practices and real-world demonstrations
    • 86% said the course improved their perception of Microsoft’s approach to virtualization

    Where do I go for this great training?
    The HD-quality video recordings of this course are on TechNet Edge. If you’re interested in one specific topic, I’ve included links to each module as well.

    Where can people learn more?
    Clearly, virtualization experts worldwide are taking a new look at Microsoft Virtualization. After this Jump Start, we hope you’ll want to learn why. Check out the Microsoft Learning “Virtualization Training Portal” to better understand virtualization-specific certifications and where to find instructor-led classes to help you and your team. Of course, these videos will also be posted to the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) where you can learn at your own pace.

    Spread the word! This training covers brand new technologies – and it’s FREE – pass it on!

    1. Send a tweet! Here's a suggestion to get you started...
      @MSLearning FREE "Microsoft #Virtualization for VMware Pros" course videos just released! @MS_Virt @virtualization http://bit.ly/MSVirt-JUMP
    2. Post a blog. Point readers to “Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals” Jump Start” on TechNet Edge.

    Next Jump Start: "Leveraging the Cloud with Office 365" on May 24-26!
    This three-day Jump Start will be tailored to IT Professionals determined to understand clearly how productivity applications, e-mail, scheduling, and collaboration can be more effectively managed when hosted in the Cloud. Office 365 is Microsoft's brand new platform for the modern business and this course is designed to provide advanced training with real-world demonstrations of how the IT organization will flourish using this approach.

  • MSL FAST University offers SharePoint Server 2010 specialty training in developing search applications. The training covers a variety of Enterprise Search topics:

    • Content Crawling: Search Architecture, Content Sources, and Crawling Content
    • Configuring Search Sites: Keyword Syntax, Search Sites, and Search Web Parts.
    • Configuring Federation: Federated Web Parts, and New Federated Sources
    • Scopes and Managed Metadata: Search Scopes, Developer Dashboard, and Managed Metadata.
    • Linguistics: Noise Words, Thesaurus, Custom Dictionaries, Query Suggestions, Nicknames, and Phonetic Search.
    • Federated Object Model: Federated and Query Object Models in Search Web Parts
    • Custom Search Applications: Query Web Service Applications
    • Extending Connectors: External Content Types in SharePoint Designer
    • Custom Connectors: Business Connectivity Services, and .NET Assembly Connectors in Visual Studio 2010

    This class is offered in both classroom and live-virtual classroom formats. If you are interested in learning more contact fastuniv@microsoft.com.

    Cindy Staley

  •            Microsoft has developed a special series of webcasts to help managers of IT professionals and developers get the most out of training and certification opportunities and optimize team performance.

    Benefits of Virtualization
    Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 8:00am PST 

    Learn how to utilize Microsoft virtualization technologies to solve business problems with a mobile workforce and  achieve rapid ROI benefits. Technologies overviewed will include Hyper-V, Remote Desktop Services, Med-V, FDP-FX Client, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. The session will also provide training and certification plans for further learning.
    Register Now

    Find the full schedule of Live Meetings for Managers, watch a previous webcast on-demand, download PowerPoint slides, or get additional resources at the IT Manager Portal.

  •  Get the free Windows Phone app on Marketplace or get the Droid version in Android Market.

    We are proud to let you know that you can now read Born to Learn on your phone, here's how to get the app:

    Windows Phones:

    Ø  On your Windows Phone, go to Marketplace, look in the ‘apps’ session, go to the ‘business’ section and look under ‘new’ and you’ll find the Born2Learn Reader.

    Ø  Or install from your PC by starting the Zune software, go to Marketplace and search for ‘born’ and you’ll see Born to Learn’s familiar ‘burning brain’.


    Android Phones:

    You will find the app in Android Market, just search for ‘Born to Learn’.

    iPhone users: stay tuned, we hope to have the app approved soon:-)

    The Born to Learn team produced these apps themselves, it was a load of fun to produce these apps. And easy too!

    The Windows Phone app was produced using www.followmyfeed.net and the Android version was built using www.appmakr.com .

    Have fun!

  • |

    Rabeb, Kevin and Simon received bad news about their latest certification exams, while IT expert Stephen Ibaraki published the first in a series of interviews with the Career Factor cast. Read for more recent updates...

    This week: Get ready for your next career move with the popular "Job Interview Bootcamp" live session, presented by Microsoft recruiter Wendy Hill. There's still time to register for this free event!

    Last week's live session, "Career Essentials: Writing a Résumé with Word 2010," is now available for on-demand viewing! View it on the Microsoft Certified Career Conference website or on YouTube.

    Career Factor is on Facebook! Like us to receive exclusive updates and interact with the Career Factor crew.

    Rabeb – The Windows Phone 7 Developer, Tunisia
    Develop and release a WP7 app to the Marketplace
    This week: Read Rabeb’s recent interview with IT expert Stephen Ibaraki, in which she discusses her career goals and interests outside of technology. Rabeb also had a certification setback, but she’s ready to study hard for a successful retake.

    Kevin – The Student, Texas
    Find a post-college job as an IT Professional
    This week: Kevin evaluated his options after receiving a low score on his second attempt at the MCTS exam. Weigh in: Should he try again, explore additional training, or work on a different exam? Kevin was also interviewed by Stephen Ibaraki—you can listen to it here.

    Simon – The IT Manager, UK
    Goal: Get his team (including himself) certified to maintain Microsoft Partner status
    This week: Simon provided some honest feedback on his .NET exam and planned to spend some of his vacation time blogging and studying. Good news, though—he’ll be joined by his teammate Dan at Tech•Ed in May!
    Neil – The Windows Azure Developer, Canada
    Learn how to develop an application on Windows Azure and SQL AzExaure
    This week: Neil posted a new video in which he described a string of computer troubles while on a scenic walk with his puppy Rolo. You can read Neil’s interview with Stephen Ibaraki at the IT Manager Connection blog.

    According to a study by Windows ITPro, about 44% of readers view Microsoft SharePoint Server as a “very important application” for their organization’s operation. 33% say it’s a “mission-critical” application. No doubt, SharePoint enables information sharing, document management, Business Intelligence, and much more.

    If your company is like many, you’re being asked to implement this powerful tool. Microsoft Learning offers many ways to gain the skills and also become certified in SharePoint.

    A good way to started learning about SharePoint 2010 is by taking a free online clinic:

    If you prefer to learn on your own, from your home or office, online training is ideal.  

     If you’re like me, having a book to thumb through (multiple times) offers the best training experience. Microsoft Press offers two books for administrators:


  • Stephen Ibaraki, a prominent interviewer on many different sites, interviewed Rabeb for the IT Manager Connection blog. Read more to learn what Rabeb says about her progress and about how certification has helped her during Career Factor.


  • Check yourself into PartnerSource (sign in required) and get the latest training materials and eLearning on demand courses on the following topics for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

    • Sales Management
    • Marketing Automation
    • Service Management
    • Service Scheduling


  • SharePoint Server professionals,

    What is the most common mistake or troubleshooting scenario when developing controls and web parts?

    Help us keep it real on our exams! Take one of our quick surveys on SharePoint Server 2010. At the end of each month, we’ll give away exam vouchers (good for any Microsoft exam at a Prometric test center in 2011). Selection is by random drawing, so the more surveys you answer, the better your chance of winning!

    Check out our weekly posts, or visit any of the following pages for survey links and results:

    For today's quick survey on developing controls and web parts, click here.