My first post on Career Factor – Mastering the Aspirations – before I am about to embark on the Microsoft Certified Master course.
It’s been a few weeks since the last post, regarding my application to participate on Microsoft Career Factor. This is pretty much due to the fact that I got accepted, which in turn forced a change of plans and brought a few new tasks to the table. However, it also promises to be a very exciting few months ahead. Continue reading Career Factor and MCM
I wrote about Microsoft Career Factor in the previous post. It took me while, but I managed to submit my application for the Aspiring Microsoft Certified Master story arc. The preparation took five days of procrastination, three days of coming up with what to say, one day of socialising it to obtain comments from friends and colleagues and four hours to record, edit, render and upload the video. I have a feeling I should have allocated the time backwards. Continue reading Career Factor Application
Microsoft Certified Master Program is pricey. Apart from the $18,500 course fee, there is also the three weeks of accommodation, food & drink, as well as the return tickets from London to Seattle. Best guesstimate – $25,000, assuming all goes as planned and there are no surprise costs. Of course, that doesn’t even include the loss of income that a contractor like me has to account for. Hefty! But, apparently, there is a slim chance that majority of it can be gotten for free. (suspend disbelief and read on, it gets better) Continue reading Microsoft Career Factor Reality Show
New server purchased for WAIT to host practice labs for MCM preparation, as well as test environments for recreation (and hopefully resolution) of problems has just arrived. It’s a big box and Mrs. WAIT has kindly accommodated it in the loft, lest it interferes with the noise of the desktop and two laptops downstairs.
Server is a no-name self-build box with a XEON processor, 8GB RAM and 4 x 1TB disks (2 x 1TB RAID-1 arrays) and will use MS Hyper-V (it is a Microsoft product course I am preparing for after all, so reserve comments on this one).
WAIT will be regularly updated with information on configuration of the server and I’ll be looking forward to comments on how to improve performance, representation of real-world examples or with any other suggestions you may have.
It’s been a while since I started looking at the whole Microsoft Certified Architect programme. In fact, it’s been so long, they changed the structure and introduced another certification – Master, and a number of product-based streams. You can read more about it on the Microsoft Learning site. Finally, I made up my mind about a month ago and spent the last few weeks learning as much as I can about it.
Lesson 1: Blogs are your friends.
There are many useful blogs out there that provide very useful information about the MCM program. A special mention has to go to Brent Ozar for his comprehensive report on preparation for and experience of the program. Although I’m preparing for Exchange and he completed (ahhh) SQL, the information is very pertinent.
Lesson 2: USB keys are your friends.
You need to submit a previous design document with your application. If you are a contractor and change roles relatively quickly, you end up with any number of design documents scattered between your home computers, online file stores and email attachments. For me, the right document at the right version was on my key chain and I could edit it immediately.
Lesson 3: Find & Replace is your best friend.
One of the requirements is to sanitise the design documents by cleaning up all client data. Wow! I never thought there could be that many server names, configuration settings, IP addresses and examples that can be found in a 60-page Word document that pertain to a single client. And then the bombshell – Visio drawings converted to JPEGs, but not on the USB key. Oh, the joys of MS Paint.
In the end, the application consists of:
- $125 fee
- Sanitised design document
- 2 x Recent Project Involvement
Application processing takes up to two weeks.