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How Cert Exams Evolve & Change: Microsoft Lync Is Now Skype for Business

Reading over a recent post from Microsoft Learning that includes the tag line "Everything Lync is becoming Skype for Business" provides an illustrated lesson in how IT cert programs change and evolve. Even more interesting: what happens to old exams with scheduled retirement dates, while waiting for new ones, and how they count toward partner qualification requirements.

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Greatest Hits of MS Cert Info -- On Video!

Thanks to Kenji Onozama of Microsoft Learning, you can easily access a compilation of Microsoft learning videos from ace psychometrician Dr. Liberty Munson and her fearless sidekick (and Student Experiences Lead) Briana Roberts online. Their insightful and humorous back-and-forth style combines banter and teaching to answer lots of key questions about Microsoft certification and related testing tools.

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Are Credit Info Breaches the "New Normal?"

A recent flurry of reports via Experian, through its data breach resolution arm, in tandem will well-known security research firm the Ponemon Institute, paint a depressing portrait of the data breach landscape -- especially for firms involved in handling customer credit and other sensitive data. The moral of the story turns out to be a combination of ongoing education for security firms and data handlers alike, along with a profound need for preparation in advance of data breaches before they occur.

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Hadoop Offers Increasing Set of Cert Options

Hadoop is an Apache project, which means it's open source in nature. It's also a popular framework based on Java that's designed to support distributed storage, especially in connection with distributed processing of humongous data sets on generic computing clusters. As such, it's also an important element in many Big Data projects and activities. Given how popular Big Data is nowadays, no big stretch is needed to see Hadoop in the same light.

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CompTIA Launches New Linux+ Exams

On April 15, 2015, CompTIA reported that it has launched new exams for its Linux+ Powered by LPI certification, an entry-level credential aimed at what the organization identifies as "junior-level Linux administrators." These new exams incorporate changes and updates to reflect advancements in modern Linux kernels and the various tools, utilities, and command line programs so beloved of Unix admins everywhere.

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Cisco's Career Toolkit & Webinars: Worth Visiting

In perusing the Cisco Learning pages this morning, I came across a wealth of "IT Careers" offerings, including a very nice set of videos (both instructor-led training and pre-recorded Webinars) that provide career guidance as well as certification prep content. In this blog post, I provide more information about what's available, along with some hopefully helpful links.

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Musings on IT/Cert Salary Surveys

Over the past month, the folks over at Certification Magazine (who also own and run the excellent GoCertify.com site) have been mining their recently published end-of-year (2014) salary survey. As I chew over the numbers they report and the implicit career guidance they can dangle in front of current and aspiring IT professionals, I'm reminded of that old aphorism, often erroneously attributed to American humorist Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." Read on for further musings on what CertMag found and what it can, but doesn't have to mean, when it comes to crafting career plans.

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Digging Into Windows 10

Just last week, another build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview -- Build 10041 -- popped onto the landscape. I've been working with it desultorily at times, and with intense focus at others, but always, always I've been struggling to find good sources of information. I'd like to share some of the results of my searching in this blog post, to help other "early adopters" like myself get ready for a new slate of MS certs sure to show up in late summer or early fall when Windows 10 hits the "General Availability" milestone.

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By Ed TittelCommentsMarch 25, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert, MCSE, Microsoft, MCSA

Leaping Into Fuller (IT) Employment

Driving home from my Tuesday night pool league last night, I found myself listening to US Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott on the "Tavis Smiley" show, as they explained their legislative agendae as the only African-American members currently sitting in that august governmental bodies. One very interesting item that came up in the conversation is S.2234 the LEAP Act (Leveraging and Energizing America's Apprenticeship Programs), wherein I learned that South Carolina (Tim Scott's home state) currently leads the nation in creating and supporting such programs.

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By Ed TittelCommentsMarch 18, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert

It's Hard to Overstate the Value of Good Communication Skills in IT

This past week I've been OOO (out of the office), where I served as an expert witness in a patent suit. If there was one lesson I took away from that experience as I watched the 8-person jury struggle to absorb an amazing amount of technology information and patent law, it was the vital importance of clear communication in making things understandable and accessible as a prelude to taking action.

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By Ed TittelCommentsMarch 14, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert

Great New Materials Available for Just-Released Network+ Exam

As I read over the announcement from CompTIA earlier this week that the latest version of the Network+ exam (N10-006) became available on 2/28/2015, I found myself wondering: "What do we have ready for this latest iteration?" As I dug into the PITC site and started checking things out, I found myself pleasantly surprised. The short answer to the question is "Plenty!" but you'll have to read on to get details and pointers.

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Free SQL Server Online Training from MVA Available

MS has just rounded out a full slate of free online training courses for the SQL-related MCSA and MCSE certifications. That's a collection of materials that's hard to beat, and the price is right, too. Check them out if you're interesting in or already using SQL Server in the workplace. Find all the links you'll need in the paragraphs that follow.

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By Ed TittelCommentsFebruary 25, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert, MCSE, Microsoft, MCSA

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