I’m an MCSE – What’s Next?

I  had a booking today for what was to be the final exam in my path to becoming an MCSE – 70-298: Designing Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network.MCSE

I arrived at the testing centre to be told there was a problem with the link to Prometric and that the exam would need to be rescheduled. Whilst the centre organised a Prometric Incident ID for the fault they managed to get the link restored I was exuberant that I managed to sit the exam today.

I passed with a sore of 784 – Not the highest I’ve achieved on an exam but neither was it the lowest so I was quite happy with that fact.

The pass today does indeed mean that I have now met all of the criteria for an MCSE certification. These are the exams I’ve actually sat to make up my MCSE:

70-290: Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment
70-291: Implementing, Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-293: Planning and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-294: Planning, Implementing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure

70-270: Installing, Configuring and Administering Windows XP Professional

70-298: Designing Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network

70-350: Implementing Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004

My plan was originally to also complete 70-299 to allow me to obtain my MCSE: Security status, however this Server 2003 usage falling by the wayside and Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 ever increasing in market presence, I’ve decided to drop 70-299 from my calendar and proceed ahead with the MCITP track for Server 2008.

I ordered the book for the 70-680: Configuring Windows 7 Technical Specialist exam on Thursday last week and Home Delivery Network should be bringing me that either later today or tomorrow.

In the mean time, I already have the ICND1 CCENT under my belt and I am sitting the second week of training and Global Knowledge in late May to allow me to plough ahead and sit my ICND2 to give me my CCNA certification.

My aim is to complete the ICND2 and the CCNA track by mid-June so that I can move to start the Windows 7 training and hopefully the Windows 7 exam by around July or August time. I slacked in 2009 on my personal training and development and I didn’t really get a lot of it done, however with 2010 being the year Microsoft seem to have a real product development rocket up their bottom, I’m going to try and make 2010 the year I put the rocket up myself.

Am I Overdue My MCSE

When I was previously working for Xerox I got into a great little routine – I would churn out an MCP exam to the tune of one every month or other month. This meant I was well on my way to achieving my MCSE, and with my MCSA already in the bag I had only two exams left:

  • 70-294: Active Directory
  • 70-298: Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network

When I moved to Vocera we all agreed that I could carry on with my training to complete my MCSE and maybe even aim to move onwards to an MCITP for Windows Server 2008 which suited me perfectly as I was planning this all along with or without backing.

It’s amazing how time blazes by you without a second thought until it dawned on me recently!

I was looking at my Microsoft Learning transcript just a week or so ago and I realised that it is now over a year since I sat my last exam – 70-350: ISA Server 2004. This made me realise how behind I have gotten, especially when you consider it may only be another year or so before the Server 2003 exam line is discontinued.

As a result I’ve got my butt into gear and this week I have taken one day’s holiday already, with another to come on Friday with the sole premise of training for the 70-294 exam. After Monday it’s all going well and I was achieving about 80% on the practice exams, so assuming all goes well after more studying on Friday I will be checking myself into the test centre on Monday afternoon to take the exam.

I think that finishing the Active Directory exam will be great weight lifted from me, because I actually started to study for this one prior to leaving Xerox, and having only one exam standing between me and MCSE, I think I should be able to master it up pretty quickly.

Lonely

So it’s Thursday evening, and by this time me and Nicky would have both finished our respective days working from home, and looking after Maddy for the day, except this day, there’s no Nicky. She’s out on a work do which they call an off-site. I call it a glorified team-building / skyve day but hey, but see this is where is gets worse – She’s gone tomorrow too. Thankfully she’ll be back tomorrow night, and hopefully before Maddy goes to bed otherwise she’s not going to get to see her little girl until Saturday morning.

Maddy’s been really good today, and hasn’t done anything that naughty which has made today easy for me, and has meant that I’ve been able to get quite a lot of studying done towards by next Microsoft exam, which hopefully won’t be too long around the corner, although this exam is probably one of the toughest to that I’m going to be doing as part of the Microsoft qualification so I need to make sure I’ve got it all covered properly.

Me and my boss (day to day) Colin went through my training plan a couple of days ago, and I’m going to be with Xerox now until at a minimum of 2012 due to all the training I am doing, so I could be up for a long service award before I know it :). For those of you who are interested, I’ll be finishing my Microsoft studies next year which will make me a MCSE 2003: Security and an MCTS: SQL Server 2005. Once all that is finished, I’m enrolling on a degree course through the Open University. Once that’s finished, I will have a BSc Honours degree, so I will become one of those geek people with far too many qualifications.

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