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Nothing should stop you from building the Microsoft...

If you feel like you’re missing out on the cloud, you’re not alone...

MCP Journey: 6 lessons from a cloud MCP

Paco de la Cruz, a senior development consultant specializing...

When you do good for others, you can realize your dreams

Krunal Trivedi of Ahmedabad, India, had a dream: he wanted...

If this 12-year-old can make time for his future, so can you

Uzair Abdullah is the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional...

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Nothing should stop you from building the Microsoft Azure skills you need

If you feel like the cloud is still a bit of a mystery, you’re not alone. Jasson Walker, Jr. and his company cFocus Software were—until recently—still tethered to strictly on-premises solutions. “We specialized in SharePoint services and custom software development with ASP.NET.” After Walker and his company started hearing about the rapid pace of innovation with Microsoft Azure, they felt a real urgency to transform to the cloud.

Walker took it upon himself to start his organization’s transformation. “I was unfamiliar with these [cloud] technologies,” he adds. “I didn’t know where to begin.” Thanks to research, planning, cloud training resources (and boot camp) from Microsoft Learning, and hard work, Walker transformed cFocus Software into a cloud ready company, and added a few things to his list of achievements along the way.


Growth in capabilities on an enterprise level

Walker “was very intrigued and wanted more” after first learning about how fast businesses were moving to the cloud. He didn’t want cFocus and its federal government agency customers to be left behind. Walker left his state of Maryland to attend the CloudReady program workshop; he even met one-on-one with a coach so he could understand what it might take to start growing his company’s capabilities. “The workshop gave me the blueprint for transformation,” he adds, noting that it was something he had been searching for since 2015. After getting the blueprint he needed, Walker is now happy to report that his company has added two new practices for Microsoft Cloud services (specifically Microsoft Azure Government and Office 365 Government). “We are even launching a third new practice as an ISV with a Software as a Service (SaaS) hosted in Microsoft Azure, too.”


A cloud certified and cloud ready workforce

cFocus transformation started with Walker. He researched and sought out resources like the CloudReady program and training through learning partners. Walker used the resources available to pass two of his certification exams, but for his third exam, he did it alone. The training he found gave him the know-how and confidence to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) in Cloud Platform and Infrastructure. And once Walker took the first steps, he started educating his team. cFocus now has three MCSE certifications. Walker even worked with his team to improve their recruiting process to identify the cloud talent they will need to grow their cloud practices for the future.


I was so pleased to stumble upon all of the resources

New monthly recurring revenue from SaaS

Once Walker grew his company’s capabilities and built out the cloud workforce they needed, his organization could then offer new services to existing customers. Providing custom software solutions for the cloud not only increased cFocus’ relationships with current customers, but new customers are also on the horizon. Since transformation to the cloud, Walker’s organization has acquired three new small business customers that are quickly becoming potential MRR opportunities.


A Microsoft partnership

Walker helped his business grow and made a lasting impact, but he didn’t stop there. While he ultimately pursued cloud transformation to help his company, Walker also learned about how much possibility there is with the cloud. His certification in Cloud Platform and Infrastructure helped connect him to others in the Microsoft certification community. He has also taken his success with cFocus’ transformation to help promote and inspire more businesses to benefit from the cloud. Walker and cFocus are now presenters for the CloudReady program—the same program that helped Walker get started in the beginning. Walker and his team have inspired more than 200 Microsoft partners to grow their cloud practice.

We've inspired many partners to grow their cloud practice

Walker didn’t let being new to the cloud prevent him from building the cloud skills he needed to begin transforming his organization. In fact, he used his sense of urgency to get to the cloud to motivate himself—and it paid off.


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Find the right motivation and nothing can stop you
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MCP Journey: 6 lessons from a cloud MCP

Paco de la Cruz, a senior development consultant specializing in Microsoft Azure, has learned a lot since he first began his certification process 10 years ago. Between the time he passed his first certification exam and the day he earned his Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) for Cloud Platform and Infrastructure last February, six lessons in particular helped shape his life as a successful consultant.

1. Get certified, even if you have a degree in IT

Paco has a bachelor’s degree in computer systems and two master’s degrees. Even with this impressive education, he hasn’t stopped learning. Paco continues to advance his education with certification in leading-edge technologies—and it pays off. After earning his MCSE for Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, he’s now a successful cloud consultant.

2. Improve the skills that need it the most

As a developer, Paco decided to pursue his first certification (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer [MCSD]) ten years ago. Recently while working on his latest certification, he realized that infrastructure was a weak spot among his skills so he started to explore Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure. He gained many new insights that carried over into the work he would later deliver to his clients. He also became familiar with areas of the platform that were outside of his day-to-day responsibilities. “For me,” Paco says, “the exams are a good excuse to study the things that I still don’t know.”

3. Take time to explore the unknown

As a lifelong learner, Paco was already checking out IaaS and networking with Azure even before he became certified, but certification enabled him to delve deeper into those unfamiliar realms. As Paco puts it, “The certification was an excuse for me to play around.” He spent time during the certification process learning IaaS, networking, and Azure Active Directory end to end. The exams would test him on his true knowledge of these technologies, and his curiosity allowed him to learn even more through exploration of the subject matter.

4. Gain opportunities with new technologies

To be successful, Paco says, “[Your training] needs to be in the leading edge of technology.” No matter which tech discipline you’re in, it’s important to refresh your skills and knowledge as the industry evolves. For Paco, that was cloud platform and infrastructure. As more businesses adopt cloud-first strategies, cloud talent is harder and harder to find. Take advantage of new opportunities with cloud certification, just as Paco has. To ensure you’re getting the most up-to-date training, learn with Microsoft.

5. Look to yourself for motivation

Paco is inspired to learn and always seeks opportunities to increase his knowledge and experience. When we asked about his drive to get certified, he talked about self-motivation, which is valuable to employers because it shows determination and commitment. Paco was also motivated by his company. Managers and employers take notice of efforts to further education and skills with certification, and they might even finance your training.

6. Stand out with cloud certification

After you finally have the cloud certification that you worked so hard for, show it off with a badge on your LinkedIn profile. Paco’s Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE title sets him apart and highlights his skills and abilities for his clients to see. “It’s [about] having those credentials on my profile, which are always important for the customers.”

Ready to learn new technology, test your skills, and play around in a new developer environment? Earn your Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification, which is a literal badge of honor and can be a VIP pass to better opportunities. Explore the cloud, learn lessons of your own, and gain the knowledge and experience you need to set yourself apart.

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When you do good for others, you can realize your dreams

Krunal Trivedi of Ahmedabad, India, had a dream: he wanted to help other people. After he discovered his calling in technology, Krunal began to explore the different ways he could make his dream a reality. He realized that by first focusing on his own education, he would be in a unique position to start helping others. As Krunal took his classes, he discovered that the keys to helping others was both what he was taught and what he learned and took away from it. It was this insight about the power of education that led him down his current career path as a Microsoft Certified Trainer.

Never stop learning

“One thing that everyone should remember is that learning should never stop, no matter what the circumstances,” Krunal notes. His Microsoft certification and training helped him learn the technology needed for a career in IT, but he admits that in the beginning, even he did not know where to start. Some areas in India, rural and urban alike, struggle with the resources people there need to learn and excel in the tech and IT world. Krunal experienced this struggle firsthand. He needed help to understand which exams to take, what tech to learn, and how to prepare for his tests. These obstacles didn’t stop him from seeking the help he needed.

Do good for others

“I would like to thank Microsoft and all of the people who have helped me in this journey of mine,” Krunal shares, noting that this help was essential to his success. After gaining the knowledge he needed, he took steps to become a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). While Krunal didn’t exactly accomplish his early dream of working for Microsoft, he is now working side by side with Microsoft, and for Krunal, that’s how he can make the most impact. As an MCT, he wants to fill in the blanks for as many tech students as he can reach in India. He even provides exam vouchers to those who are unable to pay for their training, conducts free seminars, and delights his students with freebies like “Code Like a Boss” T-shirts.

He is passionate about enlightening students on what the current IT market holds and hopes to empower Indian IT professionals—especially women—and even has some education for children. By helping his community attain the skills they need to be globally competitive and tech literate, Krunal hopes that the new ideas his students bring to the tech world will change the industry for the better.

Create awareness

Krunal believes that everyone must learn and adapt to the fast-moving new technologies. “I have planned two to three sessions every month in various states all over India,” he says. He has placed a special focus on his sessions that teach Microsoft Azure and IoT. Krunal frequently conducts workshops, sessions, and seminars on the latest technologies so that the young minds he teaches can get the resources they need. He believes his students have the power to shift the world from where it is at now to somewhere even greater.

Continue to set new goals

Krunal realized his dream of becoming an MCT, but he’s not stopping there. In fact, he attributes his own success to something known as dynamic goal setting. “I have always believed that after achieving one of your goals, you should move on to the next,” he says. “Something more, something bigger, something better.” Once Krunal gained his first certifications, he then earned his title as MCT. After he became an MCT, he looked for ways he could maximize his impact on the community around him, and continues to do so. At each step of Krunal’s journey, he looks to future goals and dreams he hopes to achieve.

Krunal’s goals are ever changing, but his larger dream of making an impact while working with Microsoft has not. He has dedicated his life’s work to teaching the communities in India the technology they need to know, and making sure that his own learning never stops.

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If this 12-year-old can make time for his future, so can you

Uzair Abdullah is the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional. This Pakistani-born preteen is proof that if you dedicate time to meet your goals, you can achieve them. He wanted to earn a Microsoft certification in Cloud Platform and Infrastructure. Not only did he hit this goal, but by making time for his future, he achieved something greater. Uzair earned the title of Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)—as Charter Member, meaning he completed his certification in just six months.1 To add to his list of impressive accomplishments Uzair also earned a single certification in fewer than nine months.2

Important does not always mean urgent

Uzair's story is inspirational, but not everyone needs to earn an MCSE certification in six months. Like Uzair, you just have to commit to your goals and make time for what is important. He was able to fit ambitious training into his schedule, even with his rigorous curriculum in grade school, where he skipped over third and seventh grades. Uzair earned his certifications because he made time in his already-busy schedule to chase his dreams. The MCSE certification options are designed to work with anyone's busy schedule, so you can start with instructor-led training courses or you can learn online on your own. Your goals are your own—reach them at your pace.

Study when you can—wherever you are

All the materials you need to learn or build new skills are available online. Uzair studied for his MCSE certification frequently and wherever he could with whatever resources were available. You can, too. Pick up a new skill or learn something new whenever you have the time with Microsoft Official Courses On-Demand. There are courses for nearly every technology you’d want to learn in addition to certification courses to help you earn your MTA, MCSA, or MCSE (just like Uzair).

Set the right goals for yourself

It’s up to you to decide what your best looks like. For Uzair, his best was an MCSE certification at age 12. He wanted to validate his skills and earn valuable knowledge in his free time to use immediately—or later in life. Your goals are unique to you. If earning a Microsoft certification is what you would like to achieve, start by choosing what you want to study, how often you want to study, and when you aim to complete your goal. It’s important to set up a plan for yourself so that you can stick to it and meet milestones along the way.

Pay it forward

Everyone needs help as they work toward their goals. Although Uzair was studying for his Microsoft certification, he also tutored his two younger brothers after he finished his work for the day. Remember: you have valuable knowledge to share. When you teach others, you’re providing a benefit to them and you are gaining a better understanding of what you’re teaching, too. Whether you need help to reach your goal or you would like to help others reach theirs, the certification community is a great resource for learning and sharing tech expertise with others.

Uzair made time for his future—how will you make time for yours?

1. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1359834/preteen-becomes-youngest-microsoft-charter-member-cloud-platform-infrastructure/

2. www.jasarat.org/2016/12/09/10-year-old-pakistani-makes-world-record/