Monday, April 16, 2012

New MCSE - Personal FAQs

As most blog readers know Microsoft has brought back the MCSE & MCSA certifications and titles.  For those newer to the field the MCSE was one of Microsoft's most popular certifications and tracks.  I'm on the AD/Server side of the house so for me this goes back to an MCSE in Windows NT, 2000, & 2003.

With the 2008 tracks Microsoft did away with the MCSE & MCSA and introduced the MCITP an MCTS tracks and certifications.

The MCSE and MCSA are back again but this time they stand for

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate

The Microsoft Learning team has put together a nice page with a lot of information.

There are also some good videos on the site and the Microsoft Learning YouTube Channel

There was a lot of great information on the site, but I still had questions and after asking around I noticed others had the same questions.  MSLearning has a Twitter Account and that is where I learned a lot more about the new certs and the future. I compiled some of my FAQs here:

MK FAQ 1 : What happens if I have the MCITP:SA do I need to start from scratch?

So that was good news, as you can see the MCITP:SA will automatically receive the new MCSA: Windows Server 2008 Certification.

MK FAQ 2 : What happens if I have the MCITP:EA?

This was interesting because the MCITP: EA and MCITP: SA will both have the same MCSA: WS2008 title.   I was hoping for two certs as I have both :)   

Note: It was common for people to get both the MCITP:EA and MCITP:SA certifications.

MK FAQ 3 : When will our transcripts be updated?

According to the twitter conversation above transcripts should change on April 24, 2012.

UPDATE:  Blog reader let me know in the comments that his transcript was updated on 4/17/2012.  Nice job by Microsoft getting ahead of schedule.

MK FAQ 4 : What happens to our old certifications?

This one I really like a lot!   I like that old certs will enter a legacy state and be stated that way on the official Microsoft transcript.

I also like that new exams and certifications will also retire.  It makes people need to stay somewhat current and re-certify.  Other companies already use the model the most famous probably being Cisco.   

I know there are going to be cynics out there that remember MCSE's being referred to as "paper tigers" or MCSEs that got their certs through brain dumps and that made us all look bad but Microsoft is definitely moving in the right direction in my opinion.

I'll take an analogy from the Army.  Every Army soldier goes through bootcamp and has "basic" skills but there is a lot more training and experience needed to become a Ranger or Special forces and deal with the advanced issues/topics.   That is how I look at a lot of these certs (from any company).  They are a good step but getting an MCSA or MCSE doesn't mean someone knows is an ongoing process.

One of my AD Heroes is Joe Richards and he once rated himself a 6 out of 10 in AD.   Again it is a lifelong learning one knows it all not even a guy like Joe (love how humble and cool he is)

I'd like to hear from the community.  What do you think about the new changes and updates?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Security Compliance Manager 2.5 Released

Ned Pyle wrote a blog entry in January on the  Microsoft askds blog  about Security Compliance Manager 2.5 Beta

The tool has been officially released and is no longer in beta.

From the download center

We are pleased to announce that version 2.5 is released and now available for download from the Microsoft Download Center!
          Download SCM 2.5 now

I've been testing 2.5 Beta and really glad that it is now out of beta as it will be much easier to get the tool approved for use where I work.

You can read about the key features & benefits on the Microsoft site so I won't copy and paste them again here.

There will be follow up blog posts with more info and screen shots from the tool.