Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm now an MCITP (along with MCTS)

Last week I took a 5 day, instructor-led class: Microsoft Official Course 10231B Designing a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Infrastructure. The course was taught by Khalaf Haddad. Partially due to this course, I passed Exam 70-668 Pro: SharePoint 2010 Administrator this morning. Even for an experienced lead SharePoint farm admin, this exam was pretty intense and challenging. It was heavily scenario based with several "testlets" based on different scenarios. It was probably 40% experience, 40% course/prep, and 10-20% just knowing how to take MS exams that allowed me to pass it (with a few of those last percents being pure luck). This exam was about as intense as the MCTS exam SQL Server 2008 R2 Business Intelligence I passed back in 2010, and quite a bit more difficult than MCTS exam 70-667 SharePoint 2010 Configuring. The addition of 70-668 on top of 70-667 earns me the title of Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional.

Course 10231B was lacking in a few areas. I won't go into deep detail, but suffice it to say you need to make sure you're well versed on operational strategy, business continuity and high availability, cross-farm service application sharing (UPS, MMS, BCS, SSS, and WAS), cross-domain trusts and multi-farm solutions, and the ports various communications occur over (WFE to App server, SQL, Service App, HTTPs, and so on). Also, the live course skipped the module on SharePoint Online since it has changed some and the instructor and/or training provider thought it would not be on the exam, but there were a couple of questions about SharePoint Online including solutions that are split, having some content on SPO and in-house/on-premise farm.

Anyhow, if you're looking to take the exam, or just increase your level of understanding of how to administer and architect SharePoint 2010, the course is worthwhile if you can use your organization's vouchers for it. However, at this point, you have to weigh whether to pursue 2010 certifications, or wait until SharePoint 2013 is officially released and exams for it become available. In either case, happy learning and good luck on your exams.

My current certifications:

Monday, September 10, 2012

SharePoint books on

Books24x7 is a vast virtual library resource available to subscribers. This is not an advertising plug... Many companies already subscribe to Books24x7, but this fact may not be well communicated in your organization and this resource may not be receiving much use, which translates to money flushing down the tubes. Check around with people in your organization, or search your intranet portal to see if they maintain a Books24x7 subscription account. Also inquire about what type of account it is (Office Essentials, IT Pro, etc.). Anyone looking to learn more about SharePoint and make the most out of your organization's SharePoint infrastructure will benefit from this excellent resource.

If your company does have access to Books24x7, log in and use the search box to find SharePoint books. Or, rather than searching, once you're logged in, use these links I'm providing to go directly to some good user oriented books worth checking out:

There's a plethora of other books on Books24x7 as well, so feel free to explore.You can access the books from any computer or even from Web enabled mobile devices (e.g., iPad, Kindle Fire, or Google Nexus) - no need to do this while you're at the office. 

Happy reading!