The Harsh Realities of the Exam Room

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how tough I found Exam 74-409 was in my article Another Tough Exam.  I also mentioned that Microsoft exams were meant to be tough, and going into an exam unprepared can (and usually will) come back to bite you. Last week I decided to bite the bullet … Continue reading The Harsh Realities of the Exam Room

Does Microsoft Learning listen?

I often tell people who are worried about taking Microsoft exams for fear of failing that I have failed more exams than most people have ever taken – to date over twenty failures, including one miserable exam that I only passed on my fourth attempt. Don’t worry, I do pass more than I fail.  Something … Continue reading Does Microsoft Learning listen?

Gee thanks…

This is one of those situations I laugh at… because even great organizations like Microsoft Learning Experience is going to make the occasional mistake.. especially when it’s systems are all automated and unmonitored. I received the following e-mail today congratulating me on passing my exam yesterday: I was reasonably sure that I already had that … Continue reading Gee thanks…

Certification Planning

I maintain a spreadsheet of every certification exam I take – pass or fail.  Excluding the title line it currently consists of seventy (70) rows, dating back to my first failed exam in December of 2001.  I don’t remember when I started maintaining it, but it goes back a while, and consists of the following … Continue reading Certification Planning

Another tough exam…

As a subject matter expert (SME) on virtualization, I was neither excited nor intimidated when Microsoft announced their new exam, 74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center.  Unlike many previous exams I did not rush out to be the first to take it, nor was I going to wait forever.  I actually … Continue reading Another tough exam…

Just in time… Second Shot Exams Are Back!

Why do I say Just in Time? Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 exams are coming out soon, and there’s a good chance that you may still have to write a few exams to earn your MCSE! I don’t know if they are THE most popular promotions that Microsoft Learning offers, but if they are … Continue reading Just in time… Second Shot Exams Are Back!

MCSE Private Cloud… Not easy, but valuable!

This morning before I started teaching I came into the training centre early to sit an exam.  It is not the ideal way to take exams – I showed up at 7:30, knowing I had to start teaching at 9:00 – but sometimes it is the only way that you can make it work, and … Continue reading MCSE Private Cloud… Not easy, but valuable!

Tweet Chat – Cloud-proofing your IT career

I am excited about this.  Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 3rd) I will be the guest on Microsoft Learning’s Tweet Chat.  The topic will be what IT professionals should be doing to ensure they stay relevant in this day and age where so much of what we see in the IT industry is heading into the clouds. … Continue reading Tweet Chat – Cloud-proofing your IT career

Wow that certification exam was TOUGH!

I was so excited in 2003 when I passed my first certification exam and became a Microsoft Certified Professional.  I immediately went out and printed new business cards with my new MCP logo, quit my (reasonably low-paying) job, and decided to make my own way as an independent computer consultant.  It was, up to that … Continue reading Wow that certification exam was TOUGH!

Under the Wire Revisited… Another exam deadline leads to success!

I don't mind deadlines; they are great for enforcing discipline for tasks that I have to get done in order to get paid. However when it comes to taking certification exams I hate them.  I do not like studying, and even though I have taken myriad of exams they are usually on technologies that I … Continue reading Under the Wire Revisited… Another exam deadline leads to success!

A response to a recent blog response

Yesterday a gentleman named Cameron wrote a very insightful response to an article I write back in July (Certifications Alone do not Make the Pro, July 20, 2011).  He points out that as he has been in IT for 26 years, he actually pre-dates most certifications.  Please read his comment, but this is my response.  … Continue reading A response to a recent blog response

Skills Measured: Improving your chances of passing certification exams

I have a friend who has been using Hyper-V since it was released with Windows Server 2008.  I know that because at the time I did some consulting for his company, and was given a tour of his environment.  That is why I was a bit surprised to hear that he recently failed his certification … Continue reading Skills Measured: Improving your chances of passing certification exams

Your Certification Journey Starts with a Single Step!

Sunday morning I woke up to find a foot of snow in my driveway; time to break out the shovel! I dressed up warm (the thermometer read -9C / 19F), grabbed my shovel, and opened the garage door... and was flummoxed. Where should I start? There was a wall of snow all along both sides … Continue reading Your Certification Journey Starts with a Single Step!

Certifications versus Degrees

As I peruse the articles I have written over the years that were not originally written for my blog (or, as is the case here, that was originally on my old blog, was republished elsewhere, and did not get transitioned over to the new site after the moves) I am finding a number of articles … Continue reading Certifications versus Degrees