Yesterday I finished teaching my first Windows Server 2012 MCSA course for Firebrand Training at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire. The course kicks off on a Saturday evening at 6pm with induction to the centre, the training facility the classroom and the instructor. This is swiftly followed by dinner and then the first module of the 20410A MOC course. This might seem a bit harsh to work late into the evenings but the whole focus of the course is to accelerate the learning process by around 50%.
The three courses involved 20410A, 20411A and 20412A lead to the 70-410,70-411 and 70-412 examinations respectively and these in turn lead to the new MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect) certification. This blog entry is a short introduction into the difference between this MCSA and previous one for Server 2008R2. To Gain that certification also required 3 examinations. The 70-640 the 70-642 and the 70-646. Many but not all of the topics are the same. The big difference in the exams and indeed in the MOC courses are that in the previous version the 70-640 was the Active Directory, the whole active directory and nothing but the active directory. The 70-642 was the equivalent course but for the Network and network services. The final exam 70-646 drew everything together and expanded on the topics to a PRO level.
The Server 2012 courses and syllabus for the exams are a complete change. Each exam pretty much covers a bit of everything with only the most advanced areas added in the final 70-412 exam (topics such as Federation Services, Certificate Services and some of the more complicated new features like IPAM).
So – much more solution focussed at every turn, rather than a specialist in AD DS, you may be considered a more rounded Server installation consultant if you pass the 70-410 examination.
The other huge change in the MOC strategy is to provide courseware of such a huge leap in usability that they are almost unrecognizable. The content is great, the labs are relevant and almost all work, almost all of the time (even under severe time pressure).
Some takeaways for me. Always, always makes sure every machine has the correct spec and to suggest to Microsoft that they revise their Hardware Levels… 10 VM’s in the 20412A course – a little slow would be a more than fair description (even with 16GB RAM and hefty processors).
More later but in short a great 8 days, lots of great new people met and taught. Lots learned, lots of exam passes and 8 new MCSA’s in the wild. (soon to be four more once a the odd retake is sorted out).