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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, Day 3

If this were a regular work week, today would be hump day, but there is no such thing in the life of a Microsoft Master rotation. Instead, it was another day of punishing lecture that lasted from 8AM to 7:30PM, this time dished out by our new instructor Glenn Lecheminant who descended on us like a rat on a cheetoh. Now I can see that Matt's "easy" DNS Case Study from the day before was a psychological ploy to lure us into a sense of false security. That was cruel Matt, very cruel.

You see, Glenn is REPL-MAN, champion of efficient Active Directory replication everywhere and fighter against disjointed databases and lingering objects throughout the free world. Glenn made it clear that no self-respecting IT Professional can don the cape of a Microsoft Master unless they thoroughly understand how AD replication works, how it can be tweaked and most importantly how to troubleshoot it, and it was his job to make sure we did.

OK, I have a little confession to make. I never really understood how AD replication really worked until the last couple of days. Sure I knew the basics, but terms like High Watermark, UptoDatenessVector Table, and InvocationID never seemed to make any sense to me. The light bulb finally came on today in class. I felt embarrassed that I had never properly understood these concepts before, but then again I never had the privilege to hear it explained so authoritatively before either.

This is one of the things I like most about this class. From a learning perspective, you could spend months culling through hundreds of Technet articles, Internet blogs and Microsoft protocol specs to get the deep technical information you need to understand Active Directory replication or you can get it all collated, cooked up, demoed and served nicely to you in the Master's class by an authority like Glenn .

In fact, I would venture to say, that even if you don't give a darn about certifications and acronyms on your business card, attending a Master's class purely from a learning perspective is well worth the money. Of course, everyone in this rotation and I am sure the one's before had as their goal certification, but it is the learning that produces the real value add. I know walking away from this course, the insight and skills I have learned here will help me be a better trainer and a better consultant regardless of the certification outcome.

Another thing I noticed is that the six Microsoft PFEs that are attending this class all really seem to know their stuff. While I am scribbling feverishly to put down on paper a technical concept I just heard of, the PFEs are laid back in their chairs with their arms folded, all knowingly nodding in unison at what the instructor is saying. What do these guys eat for breakfast, Technet Cheerios?

Now, I am back in the hotel room, dreading having to revisit the copious notes from today, all too aware that I am already mentally exhausted and it is only the end of day three. Another pot of coffee is already brewing, Seattle's best of course, and it won't be the last pot tonight. Sleep is just a luxury anyway, right?

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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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