Home > Blogs > Microsoft's Month-Long "Know It, Prove It" Challenge for Feb 2016

Microsoft's Month-Long "Know It, Prove It" Challenge for Feb 2016

By  Feb 3, 2016

Topics: Browse by Cert

You've got to hand it to the team at Microsoft Learning and the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA): they're always coming up with cool and interesting ways to incent people to dig more deeply into their tools and technologies, while also expanding their skills and knowledge. It's a good thing 2016 is a Leap Year, as it happens, because MS has issued ten learning challenges IT pros, students, and software developers to get their juices flowing and to help them improve their technical chops.

The ten modules are depicted with cool graphical tiles below, but the approach is the same: each of the ten challenges is built around a daily MVA learning module that, according to the challenge page, "take[s] around an hour to complete." Items covered include video tutorials, assessments, labs, assignments, and more. Here's the set of challenges, all ten of them in icon form:

Looks like there's something for IT aficionados of all experience levels here.

Just for grins, I signed up to see what was available under each heading. Here's the results of my reconnaissance (individual module lists are available for each subtopic below, with further time breakouts):

Introduction to Development (Total 30 hours)
  C# Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners
  Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
  Windows 10 Development for Absolute Beginners

Big Data (Total 29 hours)
  Querying with Transact-SQL
  SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines - Developer Jump Start
  Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases
  Designing Database Solutions for SQL Server
  Implementing Data Models & Reports with MS SQL Server
  Designing BI Solutions with MS SQL Server

Game Development (Total 28 hours)
  Creating 2D Games with GameMaker: Advanced Techniques
  Developing 2D & 3D Games with Unity for Windows Jump Start
  Building Windows 10 Games with Unity 5
  Developing 2D Games with HTML5
  Microsoft Azure Back End for Gaming

Universal Apps Platform (Total 32 hours)
  A Developer's Guide to Windows 10
  Developing Universal Windows Apps with C# and XAML
  Universal Windows App Development with Cortana and the Speech SDK

Web Development (Total 31 hours)
  Introduction to ASP.NET 5
  Adding Style with CSS
  Building Response UI with Bootstrap
  Introduction to jQuery
  Creating Dynamic Webpages with Knockout
  Microsoft Azure Fundamentals: Websites

Introduction to IT (Total 28 hours)
  Networking Fundamentals
  Database Fundamentals
  Azure Networking Fundamentals for IT Pros
  Modernizing Your Datacenter Jump Start
  Modern IT: DevOps to ITIL, creating a complete lifecycle for Service Management
  Office 365 Identity Management
  Introduction to Hyper-V Jump Start

Enterprise Mobility Management (Total 28 hours)
  Enterprise Mobility Immersion V3.1
  Expanding Office 265 with Enterprise Mobility Suite
  Taming Android and iOS with Enterprise Mobility Suite
  Windows Phone 8.1 Enterprise Mobility Management
  Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager Core Skills
  Azure Active Directory Core Skills Jump Start
  Azure RemoteApp Core Skills
  EMS: Beyond BYOD

Hybrid Cloud (Total 30 hours)
  Hybrid Cloud Workloads: Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  Hybrid Cloud Workloads: Storage and Backup
  Virtualizing & Managing SQL Server Microsoft Cloud Platform
  Platform for Hybrid Cloud with SQL Server 2014 Jump Start
  Hybrid Cloud Websites
  Azure Multi-Factor Authentication
  Optimize Workload Architecture and Administration Capabilities Within Azure
  Dive Deep into Networking Storage and Disaster Recovery Scenarios
  Deploying Linux VMs on Microsoft Azure
  Moving to Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure

DevOps (Total hours 31)
  Dev/Test Scenarios in the DevOps World
  Fundamentals of Application Lifecycle Management
  Application Performance Monitoring
  Azure Resource Manager DevOps Jump Start
  DevOps - Visual Studio Release Management Jump Start
  Enabling DevOps practices with Visual Studio Online build.vnext
  Open Source for DevOps Practices
  DevOps: An IT Pro Guide
  Managing Your Systems on Microsoft Azure with Chef

Security (Total 31 hours)
  Security in the Enterprise
  Security Fundamentals
  Security in a Cloud-Enabled World
  Getting started with Azure Security for the IT Professional
  Office 365 Security & Compliance: Exchange Online Protection
  Securing Your DM Infrastructure with Role-Based Admin
  Endpoint Protection in Configuration Manager 2012
  Azure Multi-Factor Authentication
  How to Avoid Golden Ticket Attacks
  Support Corner: Self Service Password Reset in Office 365
  Defense in Depth: Windows 8.1 Security

If I've got this right, MVA has bundled up (and probably added to) its already-huge collection of modules to weave together coverage for each of the ten topics that make up any given challenge. This is a boatload of material, and if my prior experience with MVA training/learning is any indicator, it will be interesting, fun, and educational for current and aspiring IT pros and developers to take up one or more of these challenges.

Time's a-wastin', though: there are only 26 days left in February as I write and post this information. Time to get going!