Training and Certification

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Archive for September, 2010

CompTIA A+ exams will be updated with Windows 7 content

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 29, 2010

CompTIA Press Releases: Sep 28, 2010

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Update Planned with New Content on Windows 7 Operating System

New content will be added to existing exams in January 2011

Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., September 28, 2010CompTIA, the leading provider of vendor neutral skills certifications for information technology (IT) professionals, announced today it will update its flagship CompTIA A+ certification exams with new content related to the Windows 7 operating system.
The Windows 7 content will be integrated into existing CompTIA A+ exams beginning in January 2011.
"The ever accelerating technology adoption curve places increasing importance on the need to continually update the skills of the high-tech workforce," said Terry Erdle, senior vice president, skills certification, CompTIA. "CompTIA is committed to helping IT professionals keep their skills current and fresh through regular updates of the content of our certification exams."
The changes were recommended by the CompTIA A+ Certification Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from ASI Electronics, HP, Lenovo, Ricoh, Sharp and other organizations that support the certification.
Introduced in 2009, Windows 7 is the latest release in a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs and media center PCs.
Windows 7 content will be added to both tests required to achieve CompTIA A+ certification: CompTIA A+ Essentials (220-701) and CompTIA A+ Practical Application (220-702).
The new content will appear in the following objective domains:

  • CompTIA A+ Essentials (220-701) – Objective Domains 3.0 (Operating Systems) and 4.0 (Software and Networking)
  • CompTIA A+ Practical Application (220-702) – Objective Domains 2.0 (Operating Systems) and 4.0 (Security).

The new content will be added as a rolling change to the existing exams beginning in January 2011. Training providers and courseware publishers have been notified of the upcoming changes and are making any necessary adjustments to their existing programs.

"CompTIA A+ delivers a comprehensive measurement of the core skills and knowledge that are universal for any IT technician, regardless of job role or responsibility," Erdle said. "It’s recognized throughout the industry as the best credential an individual can obtain to launch a career in IT."
CompTIA A+ certification is an ISO/ANSI accredited exam that validates competence in areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security, troubleshooting, customer service and communications. More than 750,000 people worldwide have become CompTIA A+ certified since the program’s inception in 1993.

CompTIA certifications are globally recognized in the private and public sectors and are required or recommended by many employers, certifying and educational bodies. Because all CompTIA certifications are vendor-neutral, they’re relevant across multiple networks, operating systems and product lines; and they equip IT workers with greater versatility and a broader set of business and technical skills. More than 1.85 million CompTIA certifications have been awarded to IT professionals around the world.


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ITIL v3 Endorsed by NASA

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 29, 2010

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is fostering NASA’s alignment with recognition that information is the most important strategic resource any organization has to manage.

Using the ITIL v3 framework to champion positive changes in how NASA conducts IT business.

Linda Cureton, Nasa’s Chief Information Officer explains "Adapting these ITIL processes that have been refined and vetted thousands of times supports our goal of being the best at IT, enabling our delivery of outstanding IT services for our world- class scientists and engineers here at NASA.".

The ITIL framework has quickly become NASA’s springboard for improving service delivery, mitigating disruptions, increasing productivity and enabling achievement of IT business objectives. Additionally, ITIL addresses new guidance and reporting requirements from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Government and private industry leaders regard ITIL as the best and most cohesive approach to IT service management in existence. Spearheading our ITIL initiative on behalf of NASA’s OCIO is NASA’s Service Integration Manager Cliff Ward. This new framework is moving NASA away from the current federated management model to an industry-recognized Service Management and Service Delivery model.

"Our implementation of the ITIL v3 framework will enable us to increase our effectiveness in both management and delivery of IT services across our Agency" said Ward. "Our collaborative approach to consolidation and development of the ‘NASA-ized’ ITIL processes and procedures will result in our achieving ‘The Best of the Best IT.‘"



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Announcing: The Microsoft Certified Career Conference

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 26, 2010

The Born to Learn team is working on an exciting series of online events; we are proud to announce The Microsoft Certified Career Conference.

Why this event? Well, staying competitive in the job market is top of mind for most people these days. Skills and knowledge can give you the competitive edge – whether you are just starting your career in IT or looking at your next career step. The Microsoft Certified Career Conference is a series of virtual events where you can meet potential employers, hone your technical knowledge, acquire job-seeking skills, network with fellow professionals, and glean career advice from real-life experts in the field.

What will you learn? Well, we will be offering a number of tracks that will help you build the technical skills as well as the soft skills that can make you stand out in the crowd. In addition you can visit the Career Fair and meet potential future employers. Whether you want to see who is hiring around the world, what types of positions are currently open in the market, or just want the opportunity to chat directly with company recruiters about their ideal candidates – The Career Fair offers a wide variety of opportunities. A full company list for your review will be available for download closer to the event date.

The conference’s main tracks:

  • First Course: Technical sessions based on Microsoft Official courses where you will get a ‘taste’ of the course. We will offer sessions for IT Professionals, Developers, and Office power users and they will be delivered by MCTs and courseware authors. Audience: anyone considering taking Microsoft Training, each session will focus on one specific course.
  • Super Cert Me: Thinking about taking an exam? How about some help in preparing for the exam? Audience: these high tempo exam preparation sessions assume a proficient level of knowledge on the course’s topic.
  • Best practices: landing a job is an art – these sessions will help you identify the job that is right for you, write great letters, prepare for job interviews etc. etc.
  • People and Technology: Whether you are in an IT career or whether you manage a team, new technologies impact the way we all work. What impact can ‘Cloud Computing’ have on your career or on your team? Will Unified Communications change the way we work? Audience: Hiring Managers, MCPs
  • Opportunity Knocks: New technology = new business opportunity. Learn more about the technology, find out how where the business opportunities are and how to get started.
  • The 60 Minute Rock Star: whether you are in accounting, marketing or an administrative assistant, we will show you tricks that will boost your productivity and amaze your colleagues
  • A Day in the Life: What is it actually like to be an IT manager, an Enterprise Administrator, or an application developer? People in these roles will share what life is like for them, the challenges they face, the opportunities they see, the skills they learned on the job etc.
  • MCT & Educator track: Microsoft Certified Trainers and academic educators are invited to learn about new courses and the tools of the trade. Audience: MCTs and Educators.

We’re still working on these tracks and of course we would love to hear your suggestions and input. At the same time, we look forward to the Career Fair, where you can meet potential future employers and discuss potential job roles. Be a part of it and register now.

MCPs and MCTs: keep an eye out for the MCP and MCT Newsletters for an attractive MCP discount!

Look out for more updates here on Born to Learn and of course: Find us on Facebook.

If your organization is interested in exhibiting at the Career Fair, or if you’re interested in speaking at this or future events, please contact our event team.


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Free Microsoft Official Course Lessons on TechNet

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 26, 2010

The first in a series of Microsoft Official Course samplers on TechNet! First up: “Installing, Configuring, and Managing Windows XP Mode,” excerpted from Course 10324, Implementing and Managing Microsoft Desktop Virtualization.

If you’ve never taken a Microsoft Official Course from one of our Learning Solutions Partners, this is a great way to evaluate our courseware. Each month, we’ll publish at least one lesson from a featured course. You’ll need to take the full course from our partners in order to benefit from the expert instruction from our Microsoft Certified Trainers and the extensive hands-on lab opportunities, but this is a full excerpt from the student workbook.

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IT Career Guide: Advice for IT Professionals (Q & A)

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 26, 2010

The low-down on IT careers, from what it’s like to work in IT, to the hottest types of IT jobs and the skills and certifications you’ll need to land them. From hiring and salary data to expert advice,’s complete IT career guide helps you succeed.


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Free E-Book: Microsoft Patterns & Practices (Cloud)

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 26, 2010

Volume 1, Moving Applications to the Cloud on the Windows Azure Platform, provides an introduction to Windows Azure, discusses the cost model and application life cycle management for cloud-based applications, and describes how to migrate an existing ASP.NET application to the cloud.

Available now on MSDN: the second volume in our Windows Azure Patterns and Practices series. This new book demonstrates how you can create from scratch a multi-tenant, Software as a Service (SaaS) application to run in the cloud by using the latest versions of the Windows Azure tools and the latest features of the Windows Azure platform.

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Microsoft Security Essentials (FREE)

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 26, 2010

A little off topic perhaps, but great news for many so I just had to share, let me keep this short. Great news for small businesses today, who similar to home users can soon get  Microsoft Security Essentials> on up to 10 PCs for free, beginning in early October. Have a look at this blog post for details.

Source: Born to Learn

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Silverlight beta exam coming soon — Submit your SME profile now!

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 26, 2010

Microsoft will be opening registration for the following beta exam soon:

70-506   TS: Silverlight 4, Development

As with every beta exam, seats are limited. Microsoft will be using their MSL SME database to recruit for the first round of beta participants. For your best chance of participating, create a SME profile by filling out the survey on the MSL SME site on Microsoft Connect. If you have already created your SME profile, make sure that you update it to reflect your interest in taking a beta exam and your experience with Silverlight 4.

A few days before registration opens, Microsoft will send a notification to qualified SMEs through Connect. The notification will include the beta code. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail

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Article: Windows 7 Skills Shortage

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 26, 2010

IT pros with Windows 7 skills are — or soon will be — a hot commodity By Stephen Swoyer

Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 7 operating system is popular with enterprise customers, but soon they’ll be under the gun, reports market-watcher Gartner Inc.

The Redmond firm plans to stop supporting its Windows XP operating system in 2014. The upshot is that Windows 7 migration schedules have been severely compressed. According to Gartner’s tally, in fact, enterprises will phase in as many as a quarter of a billion new Windows 7 installations over the next four years.

As a result, Gartner projects, demand for IT pros with Windows 7 migration skills will go through the roof.

"We estimate that large and midsize organizations worldwide will migrate approximately 250 million PCs to Windows 7, during the migration timeline, so it makes sense for organizations that plan to leverage external services to line up service providers early," said Gartner vice president Charles Smulders, in a statement.

He recommends enterprises "begin talks with suppliers now about putting in place contracts that can deliver flexible levels of resources at a fixed rate over the migration period."

Most shops skipped Windows XP’s successor, Windows Vista, planning instead to wait for Windows 7. Although Windows 7 shipped late last year, IT organizations usually don’t deploy untested (or unvalidated) operating environments. (In the case of Microsoft operating systems, Gartner and other industry watchers usually caution shops to wait for the first service pack release before deploying.)

Microsoft is currently prepping Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows 7. Once it ships, IT organizations will likely ramp up their migration efforts, but SP1 by itself won’t precipitate a migration free-for-all. In most cases, organizations prefer to phase in new operating systems as part of a scheduled hardware refresh: if a system running Windows XP gets decommissioned, it’s replaced with a new PC running Windows 7.

The rub is the timeline: in many cases, shops were still buying new hardware preloaded with Windows XP less than 12 months ago.

True, many lame-duck systems came with free (or deeply-discounted) upgrade paths to Windows 7. However, an in-place upgrade on top of existing hardware is objectively more expensive than a phased-in upgrade via new hardware.



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Breakthrough: ISO20000 is now required by US Government

Posted by Rubel Khan on September 24, 2010

ISO20000 is now specifically required by US Government, as a requirement for service providers who want of offer their services for government IT services. Recently, the US Air force, for their Enterprise Integration and Services Management (EISM) system, required an ISO20000 certificate from sourcing providers.

Requirements are very specific: "The prime contractor shall have evidence of ISO/IEC 20000 certification throughout the life of the contract, inclusive of options. The Government will evaluate (confirm) the offeror’s certification(s) based on the documentation provided in the proposal." This obviously requires a regular confirmation of the certified status.

Also: "This certification must be held at the organizational level of the legal entity performing the contract." Which means that a service provider cannot get this status cheap, by certifying just one team or just one service against the ISO20000 requirements (which is a common trick amongst providers, ever since the introduction of ISO standards).

Another RFP by US Dept of Defense, to be published in February, will be requiring the ISO 20000 certification. Also, NIST seems to be going to require ISO 20000 for an upcoming proposal, as well as the US Veteran’s Affairs has indicated a preference for ISO 20000 certificate for upcoming Help Desk proposals. These findings confirm the uptake of ISO20000 in the US.


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