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Free Training, A Free Virtualization eBook, IT and Aliens & more Vol 13-24 | November, 2011
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After a User Group presentation I recently gave, I was approached by a member who said: “Rick — thanks for coming out. I wanted to ask if you could elaborate on HOW TO GET STARTED with certification”. I mentioned certification and it’s importance to have as a measure of competence in certain technologies. Experience is definitely valid and equally important, but the proof to the pudin’ is a measure of the skills you possess. he continued to explain he’d been out to research how to get started — but was a little overwhelmed with all the information and just wanted to get started down the path with a little bit of guidance.

My suggestion to him, and to everyone here:

Get the software. You NEED hands on experience and a study / eval LAB setup to do stuff and use the products. A Microsoft TechNet subscription is a fantastic resource to get this setup and it’s a very affordable way to get access to all the software — but you can get what you need FOR FREE from our Evaluation Center. Everything you need is at www.microsoft.ca/evalcenter . It has eval copies of Win7, Server 2008 R2, SystemCenter and more.

Get some orientation on topics from our FREE ONLINE TRAINING site called www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com — Sign Up — IT’S FREE. Consumable 20 minute chunks of courses organized into modules. It’s not certification practice tests — but it’s a starting point to see what areas interest you and gives you a certain measure you can use to validate where you need to spend some more time gaining that experience and knowledge.

Get involved with UserGroups / local Community. In each city where I’ve spoken over the last couple of months — there is interest in organizing a local study group of people who want to pass certification exams. Mostly the one I’ve been speaking about — 70-659 - If you’re of this mindset and a study group is of interest — but you are looking for more support — email me ( rick.claus@microsoft.com ) and I will do my damned-nest (is that even a word?) to connect you with others locally. Virtualization is a hot topic these days and even if you already have certifications from other vendors — one that includes Hyper-V is definitely worthwhile to complement your certifications in a multi-hypervisor world.

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