This year, Microsoft Certification turns 20. And since I am old(er), I thought I would share some personal memories about being certified.
When I first started getting certified, everyone wanted to be a Certified Novell Engineer (CNE). It was hard to get certified as a CNE because the only way that you could train as a CNE was to take classes at a private training facility. For me, the cost was too high, unless an employer was going to pay for it. Then a local community college (Seminole Community College, now Seminole State College) started offering classes in Novell at affordable community college rates. I not only obtained my CNA (Certified Novell Administrator), but I also met my future wife.
Also around this time, I was working for an employer that needed to have several Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) on staff. They took several of us and trained us on (ready for this?) MS DOS 6 and Windows 3.1. In January of 1995 I became a MCP, certified in MS DOS 6 and Windows 3.1.
Seminole Community College began offering Microsoft courses and I was one of their first students in the Windows NT class. It was in this class that my instructor commented to me that I should be teaching the class instead of taking it. I thought he was joking. I applied to be an adjunct instructor and actually got hired. I started teaching Windows 95 for a Saturday course. I ended up teaching at Seminole for 10 years.. Seminole also received a grant for IT instructor training and through that experience, I finally earned my Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer in Windows 2000. In 2005, I used my status as an adjunct professor to also become a Microsoft Certified Trainer. I owe a lot to the Networking Technology department at Seminole State College for my career in IT.
When Windows Server 2003 came out and it was time for me to upgrade my MCSE, I turned to video training and CBT Nuggets. James Conrad’s courses in the MCSE upgrade tests were invaluable to me and helped me to not only pass the test, but learn the actual operating system. (Which is what training is supposed to do, right?). Later, when SharePoiint started catching my eye, I found TrainSignal video training with Coach Culbertson. Following that training, I earned my MCTS in Windows SharePoint Services at my second TechEd in 2008.
In 2009, in addition to the Microsoft IT Pro certifications, I became interested in the Microsoft Office certifications. At that time, Microsoft was transitioning Office trainers to become MCTs. To encourage current MCTs, vouchers were provided to take the Office tests. I took my first exam in Word 2007 and got hooked. I was impressed that the certification test used the actual software to test you. I became a Microsoft Office 2007 Master in 2010. This week, I started teaching my first classes in Excel.
So, that is my autobiography in Microsoft Certification. I cannot believe that I have been Microsoft certified for 17 of the 20 years that Microsoft Certification has existed. This year my certifications are taking me to TechEd here in Orlando. I have been chosen to work as an MCT Learning Guide in the Hands On Lab (HOL) area. If you are in the Hands On Lab area and see me, please say “Hi” and let me know that you’ve seen my blog.
Thank you for reading.
OK, I am back. Again.
When I started this blog, I had a lot more opportunities to write. As what happens with many people, life gets busier. I started this blog working in an academic environment and always connected to the internet. Now, I am in a data center with no personal access to the internet. Things have changed, but my desire to keep this blog and make it useful has not gone away.
So, once again, I am going to try to post on a regular basis – at least once a week. I have some book reviews that I have been wanting to complete and I want to finish some articles on Microsoft Certification that I have been working on. Also, Microsoft TechEd is coming back to Orlando and I have been picked to work as a guide in the Hands On Lab (HOL) area. It is my first time and I am looking forward to helping and meeting all the attendees that will be coming to the lab. The HOL is one of my favorite features of TechEd, so it is exciting to be a part of it.
I am also going to try posting short entries here and there during the day. I have always felt that my posts needed to be articles. However, my Windows Phone has a Word Press application that I think would work really well for posting shorter blog entries. If you come back and read some of them, let me know if you find them useful or not.
I will also have some product news coming up. As you know I have been selling CBT Nuggets here on ITCertPro.com. Look for a new product offering as well.
Please bookmark this blog or sign up for RSS or email. And thank you for stopping by.
I am sorry to announce that the CBT Nuggets discount that I have been offering through my site has expired. Thank you for all of the many people that have bought CBT Nuggets through my site over the many years,
I will still offer CBT Nuggets through my site as well as other products to help you with your IT Certification. Please check back with ITCertPro in the near future. I am back and looking forward to connect with more ITCertPros in the new year.
This year, Tech Ed is back in Orlando and I hope to be there. Also TechMentor is meeting on the Microsoft Campus this year. ITCertPro.com will be your place for news on these events plus product and book reviews to help with your certification goals.
Thank you for visiting and see you soon.
Here is a press release from Microsoft regarding Tech Ed North America 2011:
Tech•Ed North America kicked off today in Atlanta, Georgia with a keynote from Corporate Vice Presidents Robert Wahbe and Jason Zander. They discussed the company’s investments in the cloud and showcased how Microsoft developer solutions will help organizations increase productivity.
News Highlights Include:
- Exchange Virtualization Made Easy: Additional supported hypervisor scenarios for virtualized Exchange Server 2010, including Unified Messaging were announced today. This combines Exchange’s high availability solutions, Database Availability Groups (DAGs) with hypervisor based clustering and failover solutions.
- Updated Exchange Server 2010 Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) program: Announced today, The Exchange Server 2010 MCM program allows Exchange Server 2010 experts to achieve MCM certification at a lower cost and with more flexibility by removing the barriers of travel and training time investment. For more information, please visit the Microsoft News Center.
- New Features coming to Windows Phone 7: New business features for mobile workers will be delivered in the next update of Windows Phone (code named ‘Mango’) to enable even greater productivity. Some of the forthcoming features being announced at TechEd 2011 including search enhancements in Outlook Mobile, out-of-the-box support for Office 365, and the new Lync mobile app.
- New License Mobility program: New license mobility options will become available on July 1, 2011 through Microsoft Volume License agreements with an active Software Assurance benefit were announced today. The new options will provide customers with the flexibility to deploy application services on-premises or through hosted service providers in the cloud.
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V support for Linux-based CentOS: Window Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V will support for Linux-based CentOS to provide customers who run mixed-environments consisting of Linux and Windows. Visit Openness@Microsoft to read about Microsoft’s keynote at the Open Source Business Conference today.
New Management Tools Align Development with Operations
- The ALM vision in Visual Studio vNext: Microsoft announced its vision for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) technologies in the next version of Microsoft Visual Studio. Microsoft described how its ALM capabilities will enable organizations to respond faster than ever to business needs and improve the flow of information between key stakeholders to plan, build and manage-applications.
- Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 connector for Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 CTP1: Microsoft announced a CTP of the new connector available in the next 30-60 days. The connector enables an operations team to send application performance monitoring information immediately to the engineering team for attention.
Keep up on TechEd news and activities online via the Virtual Press Room and TechEd Online where you can watch the keynote, and experience all-day streaming coverage and live interviews. Finally, follow the buzz in the Twittersphere using the hashtag #MSTechEd.
On Twitter, @bbnetman asked this question:
“How does TechEd differ from TechMentor?”
I attended Tech Ed back in 2007 and 2008, but I have never been to TechMentor. I was afraid to reply in a tweet and send a wrong answer, so I decided to do a little research.
First of all, Tech Ed is Microsoft’s premier annual conference. It is not only held in North America, but also in Europe, India, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, Latin America, China, New Zealand and Australia. And, for the most part, it is run by Microsoft. I met a lot of Microsoft employees by going to Tech Ed. I also got to hang around with fellow MCT’s in the MCT lounge.
TechMentor is run independently from Microsoft by 1105 Media, Inc. which also publishes magazines and web sites such as Redmond Magazine, TechNet Magazine, and Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine Online. TechMentor is held twice a year – Orlando in the Spring and Las Vegas in the Fall. Since TechMentor is run independently from Microsoft, you may get to see some non-Microsoft content. For example, at TechMentor, Greg Shields, the conference chairman, is teaching several sessions on VMware. But, there will also be Microsoft employees leading sessions, such as MS Principal Technology Architect Laura Hunter and MS Senior Evangelist Yung Chou.
One other difference that I am looking forward to seeing at TechMentor is size. At Tech Ed, there are thousands of people. When Tech Ed is held in Orlando, it is held at the Orange County Convention Center, which has two very large convention centers. Tech Ed takes up one of those convention centers. The vendor area is almost a small city by itself. Lots of vendor swag to carry home, too. Tech Ed is so big, Microsoft is able to reserve a whole Universal Studios theme park for the conference party. (That was pre-Harry Potter, of course )
I am expecting TechMentor to have a smaller group, numbering in the hundreds. It is being held at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and not at the largest convention center in the county. This means that the sessions will also have smaller groups where you can get your questions answered. One of the TechMentor activities that I am looking forward to happens on Tuesday night. Dine Around Dinner is where attendees will break up into small groups and meet at a restaurant within walking distance for dinner. It will definitely be an atmosphere for networking.
So, having not attended a TechMentor conference yet, those were the differences that I could come up with. Since I live in the Orlando area, I like that TechMentor is held here every year. However, I cannot say that one is better than the other. I thoroughly enjoyed the times I had at Tech Ed. But I am also looking forward to experiencing TechMentor next week.