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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Be a Cloud Buster - Get Microsoft Private Cloud Certified

Being an IT Professional is not for the faint of heart or for the nine to fivers who can’t wait for the work day to end so they can get home on time to catch their favorite TV show. It requires extreme dedication, frequent knowledge building, long hours away from family and friends and a knack at reinventing oneself.  The only constant in this industry is change.

So how do you make yourself relevant in this seeming chaos where technology seems to be traveling away from you at the speed of light while your brain cells try to kick-start warp speed in hot pursuit? In one word – certification.

For many, certification seems to be just a resume sorter that differentiates you from the noncertified and although this is a true statement, perhaps a change in perspective will help you to see past the resume stacking. While you are pursuing certification, you are also actively reinventing yourself as an IT Professional. The long hours studying, working through learning labs and memorizing new facts may seem like just an endurance test, but in reality you are getting in shape for the greatest of all IT sports competitions – relevancy.    

You would think that the amount of knowledge you have gleaned so far in your career would ensure you job security. Think again. Your current skills have a limited shelf life and unless you are willing and motivated to keep up with the constant changes, then perhaps switching to a less demanding career is in order. I know it is irritating and frustrating and stressful to learn a new skillset but it is also very necessary if you plan on continuing down your chosen career path. On the flip side, if you truly love technology, then keeping current should not be as painful.

Nothing strikes more fear in the mind of an IT Professional than picking up every trade rag and reading a new buzz phrase that is all the rage but they have absolutely little to no expertise in. For many that phrase today is “Cloud Computing”.  Worse, there seems to be more types of clouds than can fit in a national weather report. Private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud….

Put your fear aside, and get to work – on getting certified that is. If you are, as I am, an IT Professional who specializes in Microsoft products, you are in luck, because Microsoft’s next line of certifications is all about that dreaded word “Cloud”. In other words, you can fly in the clouds by pursuing the latest Microsoft certification. Don’t argue or try to reason with it, just do it.

If you look past at the last 20 years that Microsoft has been in the certification business, their focus has been on keeping you, their greatest technology champion, equipped with the right credentials to not only be competent at what you do but happily employed. That is really what the certification process boils down to – currently skilled IT Professionals in Microsoft technologies plus gainful employment equals Microsoft Market Share.

Microsoft’s Private Cloud certification focuses on just that – those Microsoft technologies that allow your organization to pool resources across the datacenter and the enterprise while providing a flexible usage-based self-service model for your consumers and at the same time simplifying deployment, maintenance, and cost, while increasing agility and power.

And this paradigm shift in computing means a paradigm shift in the skills IT professionals will need to configure, deploy, monitor, and operate private cloud solutions of today—and tomorrow. The increased capacity and capability of Private Cloud solutions means that IT Professionals and Developers will need to have a new and broader set of skills.

The cool thing about the Microsoft Private Cloud certification is that it builds on skills that you should already have, those skills required of a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) Server Administrator. If you have already achieved your MCITP Server Administrator certification, than you are already halfway to becoming Microsoft Private Cloud certified, just two more certification exams required. These two exams are currently in beta and will hopefully be released soon to the IT community.

If you want to stay relevant and add some shelf life to your IT career, get started today by reviewing the Microsoft Private Cloud Certification Overview page at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-private-cloud.aspx . You can prepare and practice for the new certification by signing up for Microsoft’s Private Cloud Jump Start course. Set up a test lab environment while you are at it to simulate your own private cloud, and deal with your fear of the cloud by immersing yourself in it. Soon you will be flying high and effortlessly through the cloud while your IT career finds itself back on solid ground.

Postscript: Microsoft has released some cool "comics" on the Cloud and Powershell and you can download them here: http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/comics/default.aspx

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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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