We got a place of our own, come join us!

April 22, 2012


It’s a challenge. It’s a study group. It’s a bunch of IT professionals who are set on adding Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert to their credentials, and they’ll do it in 60 days!

Veronica Sopher (Microsoft Learning) wrote this about us:

Q: What is this group “60 Days to MCSE” all about?
A: This is a completely community powered group. Its members are IT professionals who have pledged to achieve the MCSE title in ~60 days. Microsoft Learning is providing this space in response to the community’s needs and request.

Q: Who started this group and why?
A: It’s all Michael Bender’s fault. Read this blog post on B2L and this post on his blogfor the story.

Q: Who else is in this group?
A: In additionl to IT professionals who participate in the challenge, Microsoft Learning (MSL) Community Manager Veronica Sopheris here to provide support and moderation. We will also invite Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCT) for advice and feedback.

Q: Can I join?
A: Yes, everyone who has set a goal to attain MCSE is welcome to join. The challenge is issued by the community, and its members will expect to see your plan and results, so be prepared to act and participate.

Q: How do I join?
A: It’s easy! (1) If you don’t have an account on Born to Learn (B2L) yet, use a Live ID to create one. (If you’re an MCP, use the same Live ID.). (2) Send a request to join this group. (3) Use and follow the hashtag #60days2MCSE on Twitter.

Q: What do I have to do?
A: Again, what you’re signing up for is a community challenge and a study group. Start by introducing yourself in this thread. Everyone will be setting a goal, committing to a timeline, mapping out a study plan and presenting it to the group, finding and sharing preparation materials, taking exams, providing encouragement and support to each other, and celebrating everyone’s certification achievements.

Q: Is it just for Private Cloud certification?
A: Not at all. This group began organically around MCSE for Private Cloud. Due to community interest, we’ve added Business Intelligence and Data Platform as well for the SQL Server 2012 portfolio. More titles will become available as new technologies and certifications are announced.

It’s a community challenge.
Up for it? Click to join!


April 16, 2012


60 Days to Microsoft Private Cloud Certification

This initiative to this challenge was made by my friend in the US Michael Bender, who I got to know via The Krewe. You can read more about The Krewe here and there and everywhere đŸ˜‰
Follow @MichaelBender on twitter or on his blog I.T.’s all Geek to Mike!!!

If you want to follow his posts on this challange he also has got an article series going on on the Born 2 Learn blog , this is his first post, The 60-Day Private Cloud Certification Challenge…. The twitter hash tag for the challenge is #60days2MCSE if you want to follow the rest of us.

Recently Microsoft reinvented MCSE and made changes to the Certification program. As I am an IT-pro focusing on Cloud Technology I’m going to focus on that part.

MCSE Private Cloud consist of 5 exams.
First we have the 3 exams that builds the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate)
Windows Server 2008 :
  1. 70-640 – Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
  2. 70-642 – Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
  3. 70-646 – Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator

Then you’ll need to add the two new System Center 2012 Exams, 70-246 and 70-247*

  1. 70-246 – Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012
  2. 70-247 – Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

* Until January 31, 2013, Exam 70-659 may be taken in place of 70-247 to count towards the Private Cloud certification

MCITP Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrators will be awarded the MCSA at the end of April and I know that some already has received the title. You might already be MCSA, check your transcript at the MCP site.
Enough said about the background now back to business

How I prepare for an exam

My study plan includes almost all of the exams and this will be a huge challenge since it’s been a while since I worked with some parts. I already have MCITP Virtualization Administrator so I can use 70-659 in place of 70-247. That leaves me with 70-640, 70-642, 70-646 and the new 70-246.

When I study for an exam I always use the skills measured tab on the Microsoft Learning site for the exam, that helps me to focus on the parts that are important for the test.  I think it’s important to narrow down the topics because the products are huge and they cover so many aspects. The goal is to pass the exam not to know every little bit and byte of the product. (There are other exams for that MCSM for instance). Here you can find Exam 70-640 Skills measured.
I copy the list to OneNote, and then add information covering that specific topic. At first there might be internet links, document cut outs or references to chapters in a book so that it looks something like this.


Bear in mind that this document will evolve during your study sessions so this is just an example of how it looked like a few days ago when I started.


Last year at Microsoft TechEd North America I won a 1000$ gift card from TrainSignal wich I used to get me the Windows Server 2008 MCITP Enterprise Administrator Training Package which includes Trancender Practice Exams and Trancender Virtual Labs. I will use the material for the 70-640 and 70-642 studies.

Now it’s time to get cracking, I got an exam study to complete.

C ya soon