Showing posts with label microsoft training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label microsoft training. Show all posts

Friday, 19 May 2017

Firebrand Launch the Azure Academy

We’re living in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. According to Forbes, the cloud computing market is set to reach 127.5 billion by 2018 and 42% of UK and US companies are actively looking to hire professionals with cloud computing skills.

Microsoft’s public cloud offering Azure is leading the way with 120,000 new customer subscriptions per month. Demonstrating the strength of Azure, 90% of Fortune 500 companies are currently using the platform.

For those unfamiliar with Azure, it’s “a growing collection of integrated cloud services – analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage and web – for moving faster, achieving more and saving money”.

In this post we’ll take a look at Azure’s growth and how rapidly expanding demand for Azure cloud professionals is creating a skills gap. 

The growth of Microsoft Azure

In July, Microsoft announced that Azure revenue and usage again grew by more than 100% in the past quarter. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella attributed the growth to a mixture of high demand for cloud platforms combined with Azure’s ability to offer solutions that reflect the realities of today’s world. 

Testimony to this high demand and growth, is Microsoft’s recent announcement of the first complete cloud offering delivered from a global provider within the UK. These datacentres, which adhere to Microsoft’s stringent Trusted Cloud principles, means Azure can now offer customers 28 regions – with six more coming soon. More than any other major cloud provider.  

As mass adoption continues to accelerate, so too does the demand for cloud professionals with well-developed skills in Azure solutions. In a recent study by the managed cloud provider Rackspace, jobs specifying Microsoft Azure experience increased demand in the UK by 75%.

Lagging significantly behind this demand however, is the number of qualified individuals capable of supporting a business’s Azure needs. Rightscale found that the number one challenge for companies looking to bolster their cloud capabilities is the shortage of appropriate skilled job candidates.

Furthermore, while Microsoft’s Azure certifications provide excellent insight into the cloud platform, professionals and businesses alike are increasingly looking to further their Azure knowledge and subsequent application.

Microsoft offer a series of highly-demanded Specialist Azure certifications; Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions, Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions and the MCSD Azure Solutions Architect – aimed at demonstrating how to competently implement and administer Azure in a business environment. However, the demand for more in-depth, technical know-how surrounding Azure has seen Firebrand training in partnership with Microsoft develop the Azure Academy.

The birth of Firebrand’s Azure Academy 

Azure Academy is a new, accelerated product created by Firebrand Training in partnership with Microsoft and partners. The Azure Academy introduces the cloud platform in a greater and never-before seen depth.

The accelerated nature of Firebrand Training means each deep dive is just 4 days. Moreover, the content provided includes more than 80% in-depth technical content not found in the Microsoft Official Curriculum.  

Our UK Commercial Manager, James Lapwood said: "We’ve worked with Microsoft and partners in creating the accelerated Azure Academy. The content of the programmes - from Apprenticeships through to expert-level Deep Dives - has been developed based on what the market has asked us for. All delivered at twice the speed of traditional training".  

This Academy, which should be seen as an extension of the MCSD Azure Solutions Architect, is made up of three deep-dive programmes:
  • Infrastructure and Networking
  • Data Platform
  • Application Development

Let’s take a look at them in a little more depth:

The first of the three brand-new Microsoft programmes is Infrastructure and Networking. The course will focus on topics such as:
  • Cloud computing environments
  • Azure storage, backup and recovery
  • Automation, PowerShell and the Azure CLI
  • Microsoft Cloud Estate

You can see the full curriculum here.

The second deep-dive program is Data Platform. This programme will develop understanding of Azure data services, analytics and IoT – plus a detailed look at security. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Implementing Azure SQL Database
  • Azure Redis Cache
  • Azure HDInsight
  • Azure BizTalk Service

Check out the full curriculum.

The third and final Azure Academy programme is Application Development. Aimed at developing your knowledge of designing cloud application in Azure, some of the topics you’ll focus on include:

  • Availability
  • Data-management
  • Messaging
  • Resiliency

Integrated into each deep dive program is a focus on Azure security. With security in the Cloud seen as the second largest cloud challenge to businesses, the need for a holistic understanding of security is imperative.

Check out the full curriculum

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Firebrand launch new Microsoft Azure Apprenticeship programmes

The use of cloud technology is rapidly increasing but businesses across the UK are failing to progress their cloud projects because of a lack of skilled Azure professionals.

“Today 80% of our customers have already deployed or fully embraced the cloud – by 2020 the idea that a company has ‘no cloud’ would be as rare as a ‘no internet’ policy is today” says Gavriella Schuster, Corporate VP of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group.

But despite the rapid uptake of cloud technology, the industry is experiencing a massive skills shortage. Azure skills were the hardest to source, according to a 2016 study of Microsoft Partners from Curotalent.

Microsoft is committed to closing the skills gap with their pledge to create 30,000 new digital apprenticeship roles by 2020. As part of this, and in time for the imminent arrival of the Apprenticeship Levy, Firebrand have launched four new accelerated Azure apprenticeships.

“We’ve developed these accelerated Azure apprenticeships to reflect the knowledge and skills demanded by UK businesses.

“We’re excited to see these apprenticeships shape and develop Azure skills for the next generation of IT professionals" says Stefano Capaldo, Firebrand’s Managing Director.

Built by Firebrand -- in partnership with Microsoft – these new Azure apprenticeships are the first of their kind to align to existing National Apprenticeship standards. Each apprenticeship also includes £10,000s of accelerated Microsoft Azure training and certification.

How to get new Azure skills in your organisation, fast

Four new Azure programmes, built around in-demand job roles and designed by industry trailblazers, are now available to employers and apprentices.

Azure Infrastructure Technician

Azure Infrastructure Technicians learn to support internal and external customers by resolving virtual and on-premise queries. Apprentices will also study virtual machine (VM) administration.

Accelerated training includes:
Apprentices on this programme will develop into your next helpdesk technician, infrastructure technician or Azure network support professional.

Azure Software Developer

Azure Software Developers learn to design, build and test Azure solutions and applications. These apprentices will also learn how to build and host application infrastructure in Azure.

As well as official Microsoft Azure courses, accelerated training includes:
This programme will teach apprentices how to become an Azure mobile/application/systems/web developer.

Azure Cyber Security Technologist

Azure Cyber Security Technologists will use their specialist cloud knowledge to identify cyber threats and risks to organisations and people. Azure Cyber Security Technologists will also specialise in cloud platform and infrastructure security.

As well as official Microsoft Azure courses, accelerated training includes:
Typical job roles for apprentices on this programme include: cloud security architect, cyber operations manager, penetration tester and security engineer.

Azure Network Engineer

Azure Network Engineers focus on virtual networks whilst learning how to design, install and support communications within an organisation. Azure Network Engineers will become experts in network configuration and administration.

As well as official Microsoft Azure courses, accelerated training includes:
Apprentices on this programme will develop into network technicians, network administrators and systems engineers.

Are you planning for the Apprenticeship Levy yet?

With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017, all businesses in the UK are now hugely incentivised to hire apprentices.

The Levy will change the way apprenticeships are funded. Here are three things employers need to know:
  1. Employers with a UK wage bill of over £3 million will pay the monthly levy
  2. Levy payments will be 0.5% of their annual pay bill
  3. Employers will control payments in a digital account where funds can be spent on apprenticeship training
  4. Non-levied employers will only pay 10% of the cost of apprenticeships, government will pay the remainder
Use your Levy on Azure apprenticeships, close your cloud skills gap, and move ahead with your Azure projects. Find out how you can hire and train Azure apprentices at little-to-no-cost right now.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Microsoft unveil new MOCs at WPC 2015

This year the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference was held in Orlando, from the 12th July until the 16th. Whilst we were expecting news on SQL Server 2016, Windows Server 2016 and SharePoint 2016, Microsoft also unveiled new MOC titles.

In this blog we’ve compiled a list of the newly announced MOC’s, including discussion and speculation. Microsoft has not yet stated which certification, if any, each MOC is relevant to.

Windows 10

Windows 10, Microsoft’s new multi-platform operating system, is planned for release on 29th July. Microsoft revealed new MOC titles to accompany the launch of Windows 10, which should align to MCSA, MCSE and MCSD certifications.

Expected to be released around September this year, Microsoft revealed these new MOC titles:

  • Installing and configuring Windows 10
  •  Deploying and Managing Windows 10 in the Enterprise
  •  Partner Applied Workshop: What’s new in Windows 10
  • Supporting and Troubleshooting Windows 10 in the Enterprise
  • Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications
  • Administering System Center Configuration Manager and Intune

As Windows 10 is an upgrade for Windows 8.1, one would assume that certifications like MCSA: Windows 8.1 would be updated too. The first two MOCs in the above list are similar to those in MCSA: Windows 8.1 titled “Configuring Windows 8.1” and “Supporting Windows 8.1”. This supports the thinking that these new MOCs are direct upgrades.

Plus, the “Supporting and Troubleshooting Windows 10 in the Enterprise” could be an addition to the MCSA: Windows 10, whilst the “Partner Applied Workshop: What’s new in Windows 10” MOC appears completely new.

The current version of “Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications” is included in MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps certification. It looks likely that we will now see an update of this certification that includes these new MOCs.

Windows Server/System Center

These MOCs apply to another new release for Microsoft, Windows Server 2016, as well as System Center:

  • Fundamentals of a Windows Server Infrastructure 
  • Fundamentals of Windows Server Storage and Virtualisation 
  • Configuring and Managing Windows 10 Devices (ecm) 
  • Planning and Implementing a Microsoft Infrastructure 
  • Planning and Implementing an Advanced Microsoft Infrastructure 
  • Planning and Implementing an Enterprise Windows Infrastructure 
  • Managing and Maintaining a Windows Cloud Infrastructure 
  • Upgrading your MCSA/MCSE to Windows Server Vnext

We can only assume that the first three courses in the list apply to the new MCSA: Windows Server 2012 R2 course because the current MOC titles are worded slightly differently; “Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services” and “Administering Windows Server 2012” for example.

The new Windows Server 2016 (WS2016) is expected September/October and the new MOCS normally arrive 3-6 months after the technology, so expect these in 2016. These could possibly be upgrades to the curriculum for “MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2”, “MCSE:Server Infrastructure”, “MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure” and “MCSE: Private Cloud”. However the names are so far removed, it is hard to tell what Microsoft has planned.

“Upgrading your MCSA/MCSE to Windows Server Vnext” is an upgrade path from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016. If you have an existing MCSA or MCSE relating to Windows Server 2016 (could also be related to Windows Server 2008), this will be the course for upgrading your certification.

Data Platform

SQL Server 2016 is scheduled for released in September or October this year. This means certifications like MCSA: SQL Server, MCSE:Business Intelligence (SQL Server) and MCSE: Data Platform (SQL Server) will be updated. The newly unveiled MOC titles are:

  • Updating your MCSD to SQL Server 2016 (this is an upgrade path) 
  • Install and Configure SQL Databases 
  • Query Data with Transact-SQL 
  • Analyze and Visualize Data with Power BI 
  • Developing SQL Databases 
  • Developing Data Clients with MVC and LINQ 
  • Performance Tuning and Optimizing SQL Databases 
  • Developing Non-Relational Databases 
  • Provisioning a SQL Database Infrastructure 
  • Operating a SQL Database Infrastructure 
  • Implementing SQL Server High Availability 
  • Implementing a SQL Data Warehouse 
  • Implementing Data Models and Reports 
  • Delivering Dashboards and Self-Service BI

Again, we are likely to see the new MOCs arrive in early 2016, 3-6 months after SQL Server 2016’s release. Many of these titles are similar to those in current SQL Server certifications -  e.g. “Querying Microsoft SQL Server” and “Implementing Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server” in the MCSA: SQL Server certification.

Expect some to be added to other certifications, but it is difficult to predict exactly how and where. In addition, “Updating your MCSD to SQL Server 2016” is clearly an upgrade path for the new technology.


Lync Server began the transition to Skype for Business Server on April 14th 2015. Businesses now benefit from a familiar Skype interface, a more global reach and continuity from existing Lync features. At WPC Microsoft revealed these new Messaging MOCs:

  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
  • Managing Office 365 Identities and Services
  • Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 (no exam)
  • Core solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
  • Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 (no exam)

In line with this, the MCSE: Communication certification will be updated, probably with “Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015.”

The second MOC on the list, “Managing Office 365 Identities and Services” is included within the current MCSA: Office 365 certification. It’s safe to assume that there is a direct update on the way for this certification.

“Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016” and “Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2016”, are directly linked to the MOCs within the existing MCSE: Messaging. Finally, the last two MOCs are part of the MCSE: SharePoint course. We can be confident that this is a direct curriculum update for the existing MCSE SharePoint certification.

It’s worth noting that currently, both the “Advanced Solutions” of Microsoft Exchange/SharePoint Server MOCs, align to an exam. Whereas, the versions revealed at WPC the 2016 technologies do not align to an exam. Perhaps this will become clearer when Microsoft Exchange Server is released around September or October.

We’ll keep you updated with anymore MOC news coming out of WPC and beyond.  As always, expect accelerated Firebrand courses for Microsoft’s newest technologies.

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. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Win Free Training for Life with Firebrand

 Free Training for Life

Firebrand is again giving one person free accelerated training for the rest of their life. This time it could be you.

The prize is worth more than £1million - considering the value of our all-inclusive courses and your potential future earnings.

Which courses are covered?

Join previous winners Mario Henkel and Joseph Guthrie who can now take every Firebrand course for free. You’ll get all of our Microsoft courses; from MCSA to MCSE, and Windows Server to Dynamics and SQL. Our other partners, including Cisco, Oracle and CompTIA, are covered too.

Project manager? PRINCE2 and PMP could be yours for free. Or if you're responsible for IT security, you could take any of our EC-Council and (ISC)2 courses.

How to win Free Training For Life

The competition is a raffle. One person will be picked at random, and they'll win Free Training For Life. It takes just two seconds to enter online.

 Win Free Training for Life

Increase your chance of winning. After entering you'll get a unique URL, which you can share with your colleagues and anyone else who’d be interested in Free Training For Life. Each extra entry via your unique URL counts as another 10 for you in the draw.

What it's like to win Free Training for Life

Listen to Joseph Guthrie, as he talks about what it was like to win Free Training for Life and his future aspirations.

Full terms and conditions can be found at:

Author Profile

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the Industry for almost 3 years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint, Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Retiring Microsoft exams – the latest update


Microsoft has announced the next batch of retiring examinations. This time, retirements concern 17 exams in 13 Microsoft certification courses.

The first exam to kick off the new batch of retirements is Exam 98-373: MTA Mobile Development Fundamentals of the MTA Gaming & Mobile Development Fundamentals course and it will do so on 30th June 2014.

The remaining 16 exams will retire on the same day, 31st July 2014. They are as follows:

Exam - Course

  • Exam 70-595 - TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010MCTS BizTalk Server 2010

  • Exam 70-518 - PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4MCPD / MCTS .NET 4 Windows Developer

  • Exam 70-519 - PRO: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4 MCPD / MCTS .NET 4 Web Developer

  • Exam 70-671 TS: Volume Licensing Specialist, Small and Medium Organizations AND Exam 70-672 TS: Volume Licensing Specialist, Volume Licensing Specialist, Large OrganizationsMCTS Volume Licensing Specialist

  • Exam 70-583 - PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Azure Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4 - MCPD / MCTS .NET 4 Windows Azure Developer

  • Exam 70-513 - TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 AND Exam 70-516 - TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 - MCTS .NET 4 Services & Data

  • Exam 70-177: MCTS Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuring - MCTS Project Server 2010, Configuration

  • Exam 70-433: TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development AND Exam 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 ­- MCTS / MCITP Database Developer 2008

  • Exam 70-450 Pro: Designing, Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Server Infrastructure Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 - MCTS / MCITP Database Administrator 2008

  • Exam 70-516 - TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Exam 70-511 - TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Exam 70-513 - TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 AND Exam 70-515 - TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 - MCTS .NET 4 Data Access, Windows and Service Communication Applications, MCTS .NET 4 Data Access and Web Applications AND MCTS .NET 4 Data Access, Web and Service Communication Applications

For more information on all retiring examinations, visit Microsoft Learning

Feeling confused? Call our Microsoft specialists at
080 80 800 888 and they will answer your questions. 

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. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Moving on from MCSA Windows Server 2012


The MCSA Windows Server 2012 qualification has proven exceptionally popular with the technical community over the last 18 months. Rightly so, as the qualification gives students a solid grounding in all aspects of Windows Server 2012 roles and features, and once the certification has been attained, students can be confident in capably working with the operating system.

Since its release in 2012, many have now held the MCSA certification and have been using the associated technologies for an extended period of time. This segment of the server community frequently seeks the qualification or qualifications that are next on the ladder.

Taking the next step

MCSA Windows Server 2012 is the prerequisite qualification to a range of MCSE qualifications, including: MCSE: Messaging and MCSE: Communications, which are tracks for those specialising in Exchange Server and Lync Server technologies. MCSE: SharePoint is also an option for those planning to work with SharePoint on a regular basis. All three of the aforementioned MCSEs are clearly defined and easy to differentiate from each other.

There are however a series of Microsoft qualifications that are not so easy to differentiate, as they appear to have considerable crossover. These are the qualifications we will be taking a closer look at in this article. They include the MCSE: Server Infrastructure, MCSE: Private Cloud, and Microsoft Specialist: Server Virtualization with Windows Server and System Center qualifications.

Know the right direction

In order to pick which qualification is right for you, take a look at your job role and ask yourself the following questions:
  • How much do I work with System Center 2012 R2?
  • How much do I work with Microsoft Virtualization technologies?

If you work primarily with Microsoft infrastructure, using Microsoft Virtualization and want to evaluate the System Center 2012 R2 suite: MCSE: Server Infrastructure is the choice for you.

If you work primarily with Microsoft infrastructure and you use Hyper-V and Virtual Machine Manager to manage your virtualization environment. Or you currently work with a third-party hypervisor and will be transitioning to Hyper-V and Virtual Machine Manager. In this case, Microsoft Specialist: Server Virtualization with Windows Server and System Center is for you.

If you work in a data centre managing the virtual environment for your internal business units or for your customers. You now wish to gain an in-depth knowledge of the System Center 2012 R2 product suite. Then MCSE: Private Cloud is for you.

To read the full article written by Firebrand’s lead Windows Server Instructor Mike Brown, check out

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, 8 October 2013

Microsoft Insights 2013


Do you want to advance your skills or kick-start your new career in technology? Do you want to ask questions from industry experts? Join the Microsoft Insights 2013 online event on October 29. In this interactive panel discussion you’ll learn about emerging opportunities in technology, their earning potential and the means of getting the required skills.

The panel will feature senior executives from Dice, and the Center of Excellence for Information & Computing Technology, to share their perspectives on technology employment trends and how you can make the most of these new opportunities.

If you want to know how to succeed in the field of technology, attend this live event on October 29 at 4.00 PM GMT. Registration is free and now open.

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, 11 June 2013

MCSE SharePoint 2013 exam tips


MCSE SharePoint 2013 logo
SharePoint 2013 is part of the new version of Office making it easier to stay connected, access files, and maintain messaging security. The MCSE SharePoint certification proves that you have expertise in helping your company organise, sync, collaborate, and share information.

Here are the top five tips to passing your MCSE SharePoint 2013 exams from Joel Jefferey - our SharePoint instructor.

Top five tips for your SharePoint 2013 exam

1. Pace yourself
You have a limited amount of time and a lot of questions to answer. Give yourself a time limit per question - and stick to it.

2. Look out for clues in later questions
Sometimes you can find two or three questions spread over the course of an exam that, when read together, can only have one logical combination of correct answers.

3. Eliminate the stupid choices
Although all question choices in the exam must be viable areas of SharePoint 2013's object model or platform, there are usually still one or two obviously incorrect choices which helps narrow down the correct answer.

4. Look out for trick questions
Sometimes Microsoft puts in choices that are more applicable to a previous version of a product or technology, but which would not work on the new platform.

5. Leave no question unanswered
There is no "negative" marking in Microsoft exams. You only accumulate points for correct answers; no additional marks are deducted for incorrect choices.

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, 16 October 2012

‘Early Experts’ Challenge on Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Virtual Academy logoWant to quickly learn about the latest version of Windows Server? Then take the Windows Server 2012 ‘Early Experts’ Challenge.

The ‘Early Experts’ Challenge is a free online study group with exam preparation materials. The Challenge is based around Knowledge Quests which begin with the apprentice quest. After each quest is competed, you gain a certificate to boast your new found knowledge.

The video below by Keith Mayer from Microsoft gives you an in depth report on the challenge:


The challenge targets each of the exams needed in order to gain an MCSA on Windows Server 2012. The three exams are as follows:
  • MOC 410: Installation and configuring exam
  • MOC 411: Administering windows server 2012
  • MOC 412: advanced configuring

Once the Quests have been completed, you will be prepared for Exam 70-410 – Windows Server 2012 Installing and Configuring.

Early Experts – Apprentice Quest
This is the first quest, were you will learn and discover the latest and most important technical functions of Windows Server 2012.  The main areas covered are Virtualization, Management, Networking and Storage.

How to complete the Installer Quest
There are seven modules in the Installer Quest, all covered through videos and whitepapers. As there are so many new features, it is only meant to be an introduction to Windows Server 2012. The platform this is done through is in the MVA website. The MVA stands for Microsoft Virtual Academy, and is where you can train online for free and gain points. So here’s how to begin your quest’s…

Step 1: Sign in
You will first have to be signed up for the MVA web-site (click here to sign up). If you already have an account, just sign in.

Step 2: Download Windows Server 2012
The best way to learn is to do it yourself and build your own lab environment. Microsoft offers the Windows Server 2012 installation bits here for FREE.

Step 3: Build your Server 2012 study lab
Keith Mayer made another video giving a step by step guide of how to build your own study lab as a dual-boot environment.

Step 4: Join the Study Group
Now join the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group on Linkdin and participate in the community. You can join here:

Step 5: Gain your ‘Early Experts’ Apprentice Certificate
Once you have completed all the above steps, you will be eligible to gain an Apprentice certificate for the ‘Early Experts’ challenge. All you have to do is email them to request it. You can email them here:

Now what?
The quests don’t end there. More Quests are soon to be released to give you further knowledge and help you towards your Windows Server 2012 MCSA.

  • Installer Quest: Targeting the Install, Configure and Active Directory exam objectives on Exams 70-410 and 70-417.
  • Explorer Quest: Coming Week of October 15th 2012
  • Networker Quest: Coming In November 2012
  • Virtualizer Quest: Coming in November 2012

Friday, 10 August 2012

Almost 1 Million IT professionals served!

Microsoft has managed to far exceed their original goal of delivering the Cloud Skills message to 300 thousand in 2012 to a massive 949 thousand IT professionals. The virtualization certification has also seen a huge success with over 17,000 exams delivered in the fiscal year.

Are you going to keep up with the cloud?
Read more here

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Why exams are getting harder

Microsoft Learning explains through this vlog why the Microsoft exams are getting harder. Liberty Munson also explains what new question types test takers will encounter. For more information on Microsoft, go here.

How did you find your exams?

Monday, 6 August 2012

Thanks Microsoft!

Microsoft MCSE Mouse-pads

Thank you Microsoft for the free MCSE mouse pads.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Video: Microsoft Certification Exam Demo

Here's a brief video to help you know what to expect in a Microsoft Exam:

For all Microsoft courses, visit:

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Microsoft Course Update: 80313A - Development IV in Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2012

Microsoft has released a four-day instructor-led course that covers the programming architecture of Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2012 more extensively. It provides professionals with a hands-on approach to customizing the system, along with case studies. This course involves coding.
The course is for experienced systems consultants, ideally working for a Microsoft Dynamics partner that is selling, consulting, implementing, and supporting Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Note: This course is available for download on PartnerSource, and will be available on the MCT Download Center 12 April 2012.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Rate your salary: MCSE certification

The GoCertify website lists the average salaries for those with some of the most highly sought-after certifications.

On the MCSE certification page, salaries are listed for job roles such as IT Manager, Systems Engineer and Network Administrator. Information is provided by PayScale.

With Firebrand Training you could be MCSE certified and recognising your earning potential within only 14 days.