Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Get ISACA CSX Practitioner, VMware VCP6-DCV and Microsoft certified twice as fast on these new Firebrand courses

By Sarah Morgan

Firebrand continues to accelerate traditional IT training! This week we’re proud to announce the release of four new Firebrand courses.

ISACA Certified Cybersecurity Practitioner CSX – only 9 days

ISACA’s brand new accelerated CSX Practitioner course is here, and with Firebrand it’s 33% faster. In only nine days you’ll get an introduction to crucial cybersecurity skills like:

  • Vulnerability analysis
  • Network evaluation 
  • Malware detection
  • Safeguard implementation

50% of this accelerated course is made up of hands-on lab exercises, conducted in a virtual cyber lab. Find out more about ISACA’s new cybersecurity course now.

VMware® vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [6] – only 5 days

Get the knowledge and skills you need to operate VMware vSphere 6, and take your VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Exam. On this accelerated course you’ll be VCP6-DCV certified in just five days.

As well as also hands-on lab training, covering VMware ESXi™ 6 and VMware vCenter Server™ 6, you’ll also learn how to:

  • Deploy an ESxi host and create virtual machines
  • Configure virtual networks with vSphere standard switches
  • Use vCenter Server to manage host storage
  • Manage virtual templates, machines, clones and snapshots
  • Create a vApp

Plus, this certification is the foundation for other VMware software-defined data centre technologies. Get VCP6-DCV certified in just five days with Firebrand!

Microsoft MTA Windows Operating System Fundamentals – only 2 days

Jump-start your IT career in database technology with Microsoft MTA Windows Operating System Fundamentals and get certified 33% faster than traditional training.

On this accelerated two day course, you’ll build an understanding of operating system configuration and maintenance. After completing this MTA course you’ll be able to:

  • Understand operating system configurations and maintenance
  • Install and upgrade client systems
  • Manage applications, files, folders and devices

Study Microsoft Official Curriculum and get certified in just two days on this accelerated Microsoft course.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Developer – only 6 days

Streamline your business processes and learn how to use Dynamics NAV 2015 to manage your finance, manufacturing, sales, project management and more.

On this accelerated six day course, you’ll get the skills you need to develop and modify Dynamics NAV 2015 – twice as fast as traditional training.

You’ll study:

  • MS Dynamics NAV Standard Data
  • Process Model
  • New Database Schema Synchronization
  • Microsoft Word in order to define report layout

Plus, on this accelerated course you’ll have access to Microsoft Official Curriculum.

190+ courses and counting

Firebrand’s portfolio now exceeds 180 accelerated courses from vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA.

We’re committed to developing new accelerated courses. To stay up to date with our newest and most cutting edge training follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and LinkedIn.

Find out how you can get certified at twice the speed and take a look at our full range of accelerated training.

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About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

LinkedIn is down!

By Sarah Morgan

The working day is about to begin, but one key tool for business around the world isn’t here yet! LinkedIn is currently down and displaying the error code: SSL Connection Error.

Will your sales teams, recruitment or lunchtime procrastination be hindered? We’ll keep you updated on LinkedIn’s status.

For more information on LinkedIn's status, take a look at downrightnow.

Update #1: LinkedIn is accessible on Internet Explorer.
Update #2: Hooray, LinkedIn is back for all users!

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Two Firebrand employers (and one Firebrand!) recognised at Microsoft Apprentice of the Year 2015 awards

By Sarah Morgan

Two Firebrand employers, and one Firebrand apprentice, were recently recognised at the Microsoft Apprentice of the Year 2015 awards - hosted by Microsoft UK’s Managing director, Michel Van der Bel.

The annual awards, which highlight the value IT apprentices bring to their businesses, recognised Firebrand apprentice employers: TechQuarters and Gamma. As well as 5G Communications' Firebrand apprentice, Richard Smith.

Judges were impressed with the great attitude apprentices shared with their employers – with many businesses expanding to hire even more talented young professionals.

Michel Van der Bel (left) and TechQuarters’ CEO, Chris Dunning

Gamma get recognised! Gamma employer, Joe Nunn with Michel Van der Bel plus Firebrand apprentices Reece Money and Simon Curren (left to right)

Firebrand apprentice Richard Smith (right),
5G Communications, receives his award
2014’s Apprentice Employer of the Year – Mitchell Fedlman, Cloudamour - spoke at length about apprenticeships, and why 20% of his workforce are now apprentices.

In regards to how apprenticeships shaped his business, Mitchell said, “We want to be vibrant. We want to be energetic…and we are.”

“To sustain rapid growth you need staff…you need apprenticeships.”

2015 marked the 5th anniversary of Microsoft’s Apprentice of the year Awards. Microsoft’s ‘Get-On’ programme has so far helped over 7000 apprentices get employed and trained by Microsoft partners.

Find out more about how to hire a Firebrand apprentice, on a programme with 38 days of Microsoft training and certifications.

Firebrand is the fastest way to develop IT staff with industry-recognised training and certifications worth £10,000s. Expand your business today.

Related articles:

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

How to become a SharePoint Consultant - Industry Interviews


Today we speak to President and Senior SharePoint Consultant at vNext Solutions, Vlad Catrinescu. With more than 5 years experience analysing and deploying SharePoint Infrastructure, Vlad has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for SharePoint Server since 2013. He is currently the youngest SharePoint MVP in the world. 

Vlad is active on the SharePoint speaking circuit and is renowned for his Absolute SharePoint blog. He is the founder of SharePoint Community - the largest and most active SharePoint community on the web.

Find out how to become a SharePoint Consultant with Vlad in today's Industry Interview.


Name: Vlad Catrinescu
Job Title: SharePoint Consultant and President
Employer: vNext Solutions

Personal Blog: Absolute SharePoint
Social Media: LinkedIn | Twitter  
Awards: SharePoint Server MVP, Top 25 Office 365 Influencers 2015

- Microsoft MCSE: SharePoint 2013
- Microsoft MCSA: Office 365
- Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2012
- Microsoft MCITP: SharePoint 2010

Summarise your job in a sentence

I help companies get the most business value out of SharePoint by using the platform’s capabilities to the maximum, solving real business problems.

What does an average working day look like?

About 50% meetings where I try to understand the pain points of the business, and the rest where I try to solve them. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with SharePoint is always a challenge since every business has different needs, so every client is unique.  I enjoy meeting new people and by talking to business owners, and people from every department I get to make new connections every day.  

What are the biggest challenges in your current role?

SharePoint is at a big turning point right now, and with Office 365 and Hybrid, a lot of changes are coming. Getting clients used to SharePoint Online and Office 365 with all the new features it brings can be quite a challenge.

What career path did you take to bring you to your current job title?

I started out as a Junior Network Administrator, which allowed me to learn the Microsoft ecosystem.  Since I was working in a pretty small company, within a month I had Domain Admin rights and was playing with Lync, SharePoint, Exchange, AD, DNS , SCCM, SQL and more. 

This allowed me to have a much better understanding of how all the Microsoft Servers work together.  After, working as a SharePoint Consultant for a few companies, I set up my own SharePoint consultancy. 

Do you have/did you require any professional certifications to secure your current job title? If yes, which?

A lot of my clients require me to be certified in SharePoint, and I have my MCITP SharePoint 2010 and MCSE SharePoint 2013. Personally, I enjoy more the learning I have to do to get those certifications, and I think the learning you do to get them is worth a lot more than the title itself. 

What guidance would you give someone wanting to do your job?

Don’t only learn SharePoint, learn SQL, AD, DNS, and everything in the ecosystem, it will help you better understand how everything works together.  Also, be prepared to learn something new every day as Microsoft is pushing new features and changes to the cloud every two weeks, and since clients see you as the “Expert” you need to know what those changes are.

What guidance would you give someone starting their career in IT?

If you can, join a smaller company or a startup. You will be able to do multiple jobs, and see what you really love. In a big company, your roles and responsibilities are locked in. In a smaller company, you can help with Dev, IT, writing proposals, and taking care of the company twitter if you want to.

Has training and/or certification influenced your career? If yes, how?

For sure it did. I think that everyone who is in IT has to go through training a few times per year to learn new best practices and the new tools. Not only did the training help me get to the technical level that I am now, but being certified helped me open more doors. 

If you are certified, Microsoft Gold Partners will be looking for you. They need your certifications to keep their gold status. 

What are your thoughts on the widely reported IT skills gap and its impact on business?

There is a big IT Skills gap, because IT is evolving so fast that most IT Pro’s cannot keep up. However, that opens up a huge market for consultants, and people that are specialised on certain systems. 

What are your opinions on professional training and certification?

Training is very very very important in IT, since it keeps evolving every day. If you don’t keep training and learn new technologies, you will fall behind and your chances at getting a good job will go down.  

Also, let’s face it, new technologies are cool and doing projects on new technologies is a lot more fun than doing COBOL.  

Certification, well, unfortunately the reputation of IT Certification took a hit in the last few years due to the huge amount of illegal material out there. Whether you believe in the certification or not, I highly recommend you do the training as if you were going to do the exam. And in my opinion, paying that extra $150 to take an exam and be certified is worth it in the long run!