Initial Take on “60 days to MCSE”

I started a journey recently. How many times have we said that to ourselves and others? Life is full of many journeys and side trips.

As a bit of a background, I currently do not have any certifications. For many years, I never went out and got certifications for my chosen profession, Information Technology. Most of the time, it was due to lack of finances but later on, it was due to lack of desire. I did not feel their value was a good investment of my time to get them. This was the biggest blunder I could have done. Especially since most of my background is Microsoft systems and I worked there a little over 4.5 years, I never went and got my Microsoft certifications. Needless to say, my outlook on this has changed.

This journey was thanks to some friends in The Krewe of MSTechEd, a large group of IT professionals that attend Microsoft's North America TechEd. My first taste of this great conference was June of 2011 in Atlanta, GA. That is where I met a few members of The Krewe and my friendship with them grew. Over time and thanks to online resources like Twitter and Facebook, I feel akin to all of them and hope they to me. On top of finding a good network of similar minded professionals, I attended many sessions about products, services and how to use them. Many of them spoke of certifications and the tests that were available at TechEd. Again, I did not take advantage of this opportunity.

Fast forward to April of 2012. Microsoft announces changes to their certifications for the new Private Cloud and other solutions. At the same time, Michael Bender (one of the leaders of The Krewe) announced a great idea, have a way for professionals to get their MCSE:PC in 60 days. This was a difficult thing to do but could be attainable. Many other members of The Krewe jumped on board including myself. I started to pull my resources together but ran into time and resource roadblocks. My journey has been delayed … but not stopped.

After starting to work on a plan to take all 5 tests needed for the MCSE:PC, I also started coming up with plans to get MCITP in other technologies I know, understand and support. Some will be tougher than others but I really can start showing my experience and knowledge to other professionals. On top of Microsoft certifications, I am also reviewing a few Cisco and security/auditing certifications. This will show the full capabilities that I am able to offer.

While this is an initial post, I plan to talk about my journey down this path, how I feel about events along the way, and the final outcome of getting these certifications. I would like to thank the following people directly:

  • Michael Bender - He came up with the idea for this so I blame him for all of this. *grins*
  • Veronica Sopher and MS Learning - They have latched onto this idea and given us a place to share knowledge with others on this journey. This is one of the best resources that could have been made available.
  • Gary Eimerman and TrainSignal - They have offered to the "60 days to MCSE" team access to their online learning videos. This is a huge thing and I can't thank them enough.
  • Prometric and North America TechEd - They are offering the two new tests for the private cloud portion for free to attendees of both the North American and Europe TechEds.
  • The Krewe (Peter Gray, Matt Griffin, Fredrik Nilsson, Claudia Perez, Scott Ladewig, Jeff Guillet) - I know I might be missing folks but these are the people that are my support network through this effort. I know they will celebrate with me on the victories and console me on the setbacks.

Keep checking back on my blog for my progress.