IT training and certification can be a wild, wacky and sometimes wooly world. That's why I follow lots of different news sources to keep up. This week, I have a better than usual reason for sharing those sources with you.
Interesting item showed up on the Born to Learn blog from Larry Kaye at Microsoft Learning on February 16, 2016, to inform readers that most of the SQL Sever exams will now cover content from both SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2014. This should extend the lifetime of current SQL Server certs for a while, as new version is expected to follow in the wake of Windows Server 2016, scheduled for public release sometime in the second half of 2016.
Ace psychometrician and MS Learning guru Liberty Munson helps certification minded IT professionals strike gold once again in a recent blog post for Born to Learn. In that post, she not only asserts that numerous Microsoft certification exams can provide college credit at a large number of institutions at the rate of 2-3 credit hours a pop, she also provides a list of the exam that potentially qualify for this bonanza.
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.
In trying to understand the value proposition for IT certification, employers and IT pros alike are always interested in finding good answers to the question posed in this blog post's title: "Why hire certified IT pros?" Cert sponsors, always seeking to sell more cert exams and expand their certified populations, are no less interested in providing such answers. A recent study from IDC (October 2015) entitled "The Business Value of IT Certification" provides some interesting and useful answers of interest to all parties.
When LinkedIn bought online training company Lynda.com in April 2015, a lot of people wondered what was really going on behind the scenes. A recent post from Steve Weiss, Content Manager for Business and Data Science at Linked (formerly at Lynda.com), helps put such speculation to rest: in a self-referential bow toward data mining/Big Data/Data Science, LinkedIn has been mining the heck out of its 400-million-plus user base and watching hiring decisions made under its purview to help the company target hot education topics. What's at the top of the list for 2016?
Last month, MS updated some of its technical certifications, adding the MCSA: Windows 10, and dropping the earlier versions of that cert for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Perforce, this changes the certification roadmap for the company's programs, and now they've released an updated version of that infographic to follow suit. Find the link, and some discussion, in the remainder of this blog post!
Dr. Liberty Munson is not just the Principle Psychmetrician for Microsoft Learning -- and as such, a driving force in exam development and delivery -- she's also a calm, reassuring, and often funny voice for the organization. In a recent Born to Learn blog post, she provides some excellent advice on how to select oneself, and then to prepare for beta exams that is useful enough to be restatement and further examination. It bleeds nicely over into general exam preparation techniques, in fact.
As that inimitable and always sly soothsayer, Yogi Berra, once said: "It's like deja vu, all over again," when it comes to chart-topping IT skills and technical areas for 2016. There are some recurring themes here to be sure, but also some newer technologies that promise to take up residence on the short list of what's hot for next year.
This is the time of year when we can all thank our lucky stars for our current situation, and prepare for the onslaught of the holiday season. Most of my readers here are technophiles like myself, so I'd like to point them -- and their older, gently used computers and related gear such as game consoles, smart phones, routers, wireless access points, and so forth -- at some charities to which they can donate such gear to help those less well-endowed with gadgets and goodies.
In a recent post to Microsoft's Born to Learn blog, Senior Product Manager for Certification Larry Kaye announced the pending release of an MCSA for Windows 10, along with its specific requirements. The details are sure to surprise some readers, and to delight those among them who've earned the MCSA: Windows 8.
Ever since I started writing about certification and related IT career development topics back in the mid-1990s, one perennial question I've been posed has been "Which is better: a college degree or IT certification(s)?" This is something I've written about repeatedly, but it's one of those questions that keeps coming up, particularly for cash-strapped youngsters trying to decide if their lmited funds should go to a degree, or some collection of specific IT certifications. For this blog post, I'll give a nod to an interesting and informative article over at GoCertify, and then revisit the issue yet one more time because of its enduring relevance to current and aspiring IT pros of all ages.