Team Climbing

Team Climbing

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, Day 2

When I woke up this morning after less than five hours of sleep, I rubbed my eyes and looked around the room for some duct tape to wrap around my head to prevent yesterday's overload of technical information from leaking out. I looked in the mirror and noticed the bags under my eyes and contemplated taking before and after "Pre and Post Master's course" photos to demonstrate that the grueling event would have a physical impact on my body.

As I walked the short distance to building 40, I mumbled technical acronym after technical acronym to myself like some new age mantra, except I wasn't feeling particularly enlightened but more like in a dazed fog. "Don't forget that one!" I thought. "Dammit, what was it that Matt said we should remember about that one!" One day down, four to go till T1 - Written Test number one.

When I entered the classroom, the same Powerpoint Slide was still on the screen - LDAP. Matt stood at the podium with a sly smile on his face like a drill sergeant glaring down at his raw recruits. "They have no idea" I could almost hear him thinking.

Breathe. Focus. Breathe. Focus.

"Most IT pros don't know LDAP as well as they should" Matt started off saying, but which I heard as, "Get ready, I am about to shove LDAP technical knowledge down your throat until you can do LDAP queries with your eyes closed." Turns out that I was right and we spent the whole morning using LDP.EXE to gingerly get AD to feed back only what we wanted. We also learned how to build custom AD database indexes and measure their performance impact.

"Here's a test tip" Matt said abruptly. All activity in the room ceased as fourteen pairs of eyes focused on him. NDA mode on. "Good to know" I mused. NDA mode off. Then it was off to the technical races again as Matt delved into Client Server interactions of DC Locator.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the instruction is phenomenal, but I am not only impressed with the instructor but with my fellow classmates as well. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in this class and it is refreshing to be able to talk shop with folks whose eyes don't get glazed over with the technical details. One Microsoft PFE is responsible for a HA Active Directory implementation. HA doesn't stand for High Availability but is synonymous with "large".

The afternoon was spent learning all of the intricacies of DNS. If you think you know DNS, you don't. You have to come to a class like this one to really get a feel for all of the nuances that Microsoft has layered on the service.  "I am going to give you a case study to do" Matt said as he divided up the class into two teams. Each team is responsible for coming up with a DNS design for a large corporation and here are the requirements.

Each team huddled to its side of the room and began to plan its implementation. Matt seemed surprised that my team was done so quickly and came over to see if we were goofing off. He then called over the other team, which also had finished quickly, to our side of the room. After I described our well thought out DNS solution, Matt thought carefully and said: "Well, I don't see anything wrong with your approach."

Then we moved to the other side of the room to see how the other team fared and it turned out that their DNS design was identical to ours. Again Matt gave the thumbs up. Both teams broke out in smiles and grunts like the surviving pigs in a game of Angry Birds. Wahoo!!!!!

"Don't celebrate too early" I told myself through my oinks and grunts. The Birds are about to get angrier.

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About Me

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
I have been a techno geek for as long as I can remember. Making complex technology simple is my mantra and I enjoy teaching others that technology doesn't have to be rocket science mummo jumbo but can be expressed in simple easy to understand everyday terms.

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