Friday, April 19, 2013

Welcome to the SpringBoard Technical Expert Panel


Greeting True Believers,

Got some great news a few months ago while at the MVP Summit. I was invited to join the SpringBoard Technical Expert Panel by Stephen Rose. The panel is made up of  Windows experts from around the world. As described on the Springboard website, the "Springboard Series Technical Expert Panel (STEP) program delivers on our promise to launch and support new products at the community level. Because STEP members represent some of the top Windows IT experts, user group leaders, and evangelists in the world, they enable us to deliver quality live and virtual Windows events for IT professionals with greater frequency and quality than before".

I'm pretty excited about this opportunity as it will give me access to some great content and resources as I begin working on more public speaking engagements as well as expand my network of Windows experts. Stephen and Tony have put together a phenomenal team of evangelist across the Windows spectrum, and I look forward to engaging with the team.

Thanks again Stephen and Tony Mann as well as the rest of the STEP team.

Mike

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My thoughts on 70-410


Good Afternoon,

So it’s been a few weeks since we last talked. In that time, many of us have passed exams and moving towards our goal. For those that haven’t taken their first exam, it’s a good time to get it scheduled and on the books. Having the schedule exam creates a finite goal that will help motivate your progress.
So how about that 70-410 exam?

To be honest, I thought the 70-410 exam was well done. I believe Microsoft created a foundational exam that covered the objectives and focused on important skills IT Pros should know about Server 2012. Unlike previous exams I’ve taken from VMware, CompTIA, and Microsoft, this exam did not have anything I found to be the proverbial “needle in a haystack”.  In fact, there were a number of questions that covered the exact principles I teach my students every semester. That being the case, I told my classes this week that they should consider taking the 410 exam since I believe the knowledge they’ve learned provides a great base for  success on this exam WITH the proper study of Windows Server 2012.
The following are my tips for preparing for the 410 exam. As an MVP & MCT, I take the NDA very seriously so nothing listed here will be earth shattering or provide you deep insight into the specifics of specific questions. However, it should help you to prepare.

1.     I found the Craig Zacker Exam Prep to be a spot on guide. If you can learning the principles and tasked covered in the book, you should be successful on the exam.

2.     You need to know Hyper-V as a stand-alone virtualization host, and be able to create VMs through Hyper-V Manager. Also, you need to know how to configure new and existing VMs through the GUI and using PowerShell.

3.     You need to know how to perform all tasks related to the exam objectives in the GUI AND via command, whether that be PowerShell or other specific tools like dnscmd or dism.

4.     If your background is on a previous OS, I think you will find previous knowledge of AD, DNS, and DHCP will be a great benefit. Just make sure you know how to work with all three in Server 2012, as well as knowing new features in 2012.

5.     Spend as much time as you have available hands-on. When I work with students on preparing for exams and learning in general, I stress visualizing the environment. You should be able to visualize how you perform tasks in Server 2012 without having the environment in front of you.

6.     Run through every available wizard related to the exam objectives AND make sure you understand every option presented along the way. You can pick up a lot of insight from the wizards.
Well, I was off to prepare for 70-411. However, I had to reschedule and the only available time was after my scheduled time for 70-412 so I guess I will be studying for both exams in tandem. I'll let everyone know how that goes.

Thanks for listening…Mike