May, 2012

  • MVA top students ep. 5: Fabrice Legrand

    In our blogpost series about the top Belgian students in the Microsoft Virtual Academy it is time for the 5th episode! Samuel Dubrul, Marcelo Estrada Molina, David De Vos and Mike Resseler already shared their experience with the e-learning platform.

    Today, it’s Fabrice Legrand’s turn.

    Fabrice-Legrand

    First name: Fabrice
    Last name: Legrand
    Description: Sales and technical consultant for Econocom Belux.
    MVA status: Gold
    image

    What’s your experience with the Microsoft Virtual Academy so far? How does it help you to improve your IT skills?
     
    I discovered inadvertently the Microsoft Virtual Academy website by looking for technical information on Private Cloud. I was wondering what implications this concept would have on my presales approach and what impact it could mean in terms of the technologies involved. The MVA website has really answered my questions on the subject. System Center 2012 products are well covered.

    Once MVA discovered and browsing the content, I found other interesting tracks on Office 365, Windows 8, Hyper-V, Windows Azure, SQL 2012…

    What’s your favorite training on MVA (track or course)? Which one(s) would you recommend?
     
    It’s difficult to advise only one course but the track
    Microsoft virtualization for VMware professionals was one of my favorites. Another track where I spent a pleasant and useful time was the Office 365 track. You can learn lot of information at your own rhythm: day or night, during the week-end, when you have one hour at the office or if you have a portable device from wherever you are.

    What’s your advice for ambitious MVA newbies who want to improve their ranking?
     
    The easiest way to improve your ranking is by selecting track for which you have a real interest and if possible on subjects you have already some hands-on experience. Don’t go too fast and take the time to understand the material provided. Then, if you have a little bit the spirit of competition, you’ll want to “climb” in the ranking.

    Next week Karel Coenye will be closing the MVA interview series.

    Haven’t signed up for MVA yet? Now is the time to do so! The limited offer to get a FREE Welcome Pack (including an exclusive T-shirt and laptop sticker) is only valid until the 31st of May (only for Belgians). So be QUICK! Here’s what you need to do:

    - Register now on
    http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com
    - Send the URL of your MVA profile
    (example) to tnbewm@microsoft.com along with T-Shirt size and shipping info
    - Check your mailbox and open your Welcome Pack

    MVA t-shirt

    Please read the terms and conditions of this promotion.

  • MVA top students episode 4: Mike Resseler

    3 weeks ago we kicked off a blogpost series about top Belgian students in the Microsoft Virtual Academy. In this series, 6 students share their favorite trainings, how the platform helps them to be a better professional and give you some tips to improve your ranking. Samuel Dubrul, Marcelo Estrada Molina and David De Vos already shared their story.

    Today it’s time for the 4th episode of the series: Mike Resseler explains how he’s learning about new technologies via the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

     Mike Resseler First name: Mike
    Last name: Resseler
    Description: System Center Enthousiast, Architect, SCDPM MVP, Intune fan and consumerization adept
    MVA status: Gold
    image

    What’s your experience with the Microsoft Virtual Academy so far? How does it help you to improve your IT skills?

    The Microsoft Virtual Academy is an ideal way to get in touch with a lot of the new technologies.  Besides getting a heads-up on the new capabilities and a general overview, there are also many courses that will give you more in-depth information on that technology.

    What’s your favorite training on MVA (track or course)? Which one(s) would you recommend?

    I like the
    Enhancing Your Business and Career with the Private Cloud training. It is not a technical track but it gives you some insight on how IT is evolving and what we will need and change to grow in the IT world.  IT Pro’s roles and responsibilities are slowly changing and it never hurts to have a quick start on these changes… And then you follow all the other Private Cloud technical courses Glimlach.

    What’s your advice for ambitious MVA newbies who want to improve their ranking?

    Plan a lot of time for this.  Many of these courses are movies and take a while to finish them.  There is also a lot of reading material and additional information to get more knowledge on the different topics.  Spending a lot of time isn’t always the easiest thing to do but when you finish a course and took your time, you’ll see that you learned a lot and that you are ready to start with the technology

    Next week we’ll be sharing Fabrice Legrand’s view on the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

    Haven’t signed up for MVA yet? Now is the time to do so! There’s 1 more week left to get a FREE Welcome Pack (including an exclusive T-shirt and laptop sticker). The offer is valid until the 31 May (only for Belgians). Here’s what you need to do:

    - Register now on
    http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com
    - Send the URL of your MVA profile
    (example) to tnbewm@microsoft.com along with T-Shirt size and shipping info
    - Check your mailbox and open your Welcome Pack

    MVA t-shirt

    Please read the terms and conditions of this promotion.

  • Number 1 MVA student in Belgium: David De Vos

     
    MVA

    2 weeks ago we kicked off a blogpost series about
    top Belgian students in the Microsoft Virtual Academy. In this series, 6 students share their favorite trainings, how the platform helps them to be a better professional and give you some tips to improve your ranking. Samuel Dubrul,& Marcelo Estrada Molina already shared their story.

    This week David De Vos (number 1 in the Belgian MVA ranking!) shares his experience with the platform.

    david-de-vos First name: David  
    Last name: De Vos
    Description: My challenging job is to research new technologies and match them to the development of our business. Combell is a hosting provider which focuses on high quality and support.
    MVA status: Platinum
    image

    What’s your experience with the Microsoft Virtual Academy so far? How does it help you to improve your IT skills?
     
    The Microsoft Virtual Academy provides really good insight in any given Microsoft technology or product. I’m a research engineer which means that I dive under the hood of technology, get all the bits and bytes out of there and report back to our management. In that way, the virtual academy really helped a lot. Most of the tracks are level 200-300 which means they provide a high-level overview and they offer a great starting point. After following a track the best way to take your knowledge to the next level, is by building a test lab and putting everything you learned to the test. That way you’ll have the perfect balance between the theoretical and practical side of things. Because – in my humble opinion – there is still quite a difference. You get many links to white papers and TechNet articles during the courses. These remain within reach on my laptop and are a great resource to fall back to, whether this is during the building of test labs or later on during solution design.


    What’s your favorite training on MVA (track or course)? Which one(s) would you recommend?
     
    I really like the System Center tracks with Symon Perriman and Corey Hynes. Those two present really nicely together. They really bring the material in a fluent way and provide a bunch of practical details. They offered insight in System Center products like VMM 2012 when it was only CTP/RC. 

    The latest tracks I really like are Mission Critical Confidence using SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012: Scale on demand. I really think SQL 2012 is a brilliant product with amazing capabilities. The track really helps understand the practical challenges you face when designing multi-site solutions. Things like quorum configuration and best practices for client configurations are discussed really clearly. I did a study on SQL Server 2012 “Denali” earlier this year and it’s nice to see a lot of my challenges and findings come back during the tracks.


    What’s your advice for ambitious MVA newbies who want to improve their ranking?

    This is a rather difficult question as it depends on many different things. Your personal interest and technical profile should determine what tracks you want to follow. A good start is to highlight what topics you’re interested in on your personal profile page. That way you’ll automatically get a list of tracks that match your interest or need. Review the topic list frequently as new topics are added quite often lately. The availability of new tracks became more frequent the last months and the quality of the content keeps increasing. Increasing your rating can only be done by doing as many tracks as possible. From time to time you get the chance to profit from temporary promotions and bonus points, so you might want to follow up on that. Doing all available tracks requires quite some time and dedication, but it definitely worth doing if you’re a geek like me. Personally I consider it more a learning opportunity than a contest for the highest rating.

    Next week we’ll be sharing Mike Resseler’s view on the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

    MResse

    Haven’t signed up for MVA yet? Now is the time to do so! You can get a FREE Welcome Pack (including an exclusive T-shirt and laptop sticker) until the end of May (only for Belgians). Here’s what you need to do:

    - Register now on
    http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com
    - Send the URL of your MVA profile
    (example) to tnbewm@microsoft.com along with T-Shirt size and shipping info
    - Check your mailbox and open your Welcome Pack

    MVA t-shirt

    Please read the terms and conditions of this promotion.

  • Top MVA students in Belgium: Marcelo Estrada

    Last week we kicked off a blogpost series about top Belgian students in the Microsoft Virtual Academy. In this series, 6 students share their favorite trainings, how the platform helps them to be a better professional and give you some tips to improve your ranking.

    Last week
    Samuel Dubrul, a frontend solutions system engineer at RealDolmen shared his story.

    This week,
    Marcelo Estrada Molina shares his passion for the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

    MEM

    First name: Marcelo

    Last name: Estrada Molina
     
    Description: IT Professional and Technical Specialist currently employed at everis Belgium as Microsoft Technology Expert and Solutions Architect, specialized in Microsoft Servers Technologies and Enterprise Business Applications Platform and Infrastructure.

    MVA status: Platinum image

    What’s your experience with the Microsoft Virtual Academy so far? How does it help you to improve your IT skills?

    My experience since I belong to the MVA has been awesome! Not only because it allows me to learn and study Microsoft’s next generation products and technologies for free and at my own pace, which is something that I personally highly appreciate, but regarding the content available I must confirm that it’s been done with a remarkable and outstanding quality, for most part it’s been developed and featured by Technical Product Managers or other individuals that have been a key part in the product teams during their conception and development, therefore the content is delivered on a very straight forward manner.

    At the end of the day you have the chance to get to know these products not only from a technical perspective but also from a business stand point, which in my experience is really important to understand for which kind of scenarios or for what business requirement a particular technology has been intended for.

    Furthermore, you can also test yourself and confirm what you just learned right after finishing every chapter by taking a simple quiz. If you consider that additional practice might be required you can always follow the Virtual Labs where you can work on a virtual environment and further practice your hands on labs skills, with no additional charges whatsoever! In short, the overall learning process becomes very enjoyable, highly effective and most importantly very easy to follow.

    What’s your favorite training on MVA (track or course)? Which one(s) would you recommend?
     
    Currently I just finished the Private Cloud Specialization and I’m about to start the courses available for SQL Server 2012. That’s another point that makes this platform so attractive: you can learn Microsoft’s latest technologies before the products have been even officially released to the market, which is a huge advantage.

    If I have to recommend one I would definitively suggest either Private Cloud, Office 365 or SQL Server 2012. These products and technology trends will assure you a smooth journey to the Cloud, especially if you are an IT Professional who’s looking forward to boot start your career by adding  private or public cloud skills to your toolbox. If you want to be what’s next and be part of an exciting and bright future, this is definitively the best place to start.

    What’s your advice for ambitious MVA newbies who want to improve their ranking?

    The most important advice that I can give is be passionate and bold, stay strong and perseverant. Every aspect of life requires certain amount of sacrifice and as long as you keep it up the sky is the limit. If you want to have a successful career in IT, one of the key elements is the constant study and ongoing learning, there are no secrets to success rather than effort, true enthusiasm and never-ending passion for technology. Besides learning on the MVA it’s a very enjoyable journey.

    Next week David De Vos (number 1 in the Belgian MVA ranking) will share his experience with the platform.

    david-de-vos

    Haven’t signed up for MVA yet? Now is the time to do so! You can get a FREE Welcome Pack (including an exclusive T-shirt and laptop sticker) until the end of May (only for Belgians). Here’s what you need to do:

    - Register now on
    http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com
    - Send the URL of your MVA profile
    (example) to tnbewm@microsoft.com along with T-Shirt size and shipping info
    - Check your mailbox and open your Welcome Pack

    MVA t-shirt

    Please read the terms and conditions of this promotion.

     

  • Top Belgian Students in the Microsoft Virtual Academy


    Do you know the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA)? The academy was founded in March 2011 and aspires to be a free, easy to access training portal for IT professionals who want to elevate their IT skills and advance their career. You can access a variety of training content online, gain points and become one of the renowned experts in the IT Pro community around the world.

    MVA

    Your learning progress on the platform is measured via points. You can collect points and improve your ranking by completing the different courses, tracks or specializations on offer.

    Currently, the academy counts about 2,300 Belgian students (655,000 on a worldwide scale). In the next few weeks 6 top students (all of them part of the top 10) will share their experience on MVA with you. You’ll find out what their favorite trainings are, how the platform helps them to be a better professional and some tips to improve your own ranking.

    First up is Samuel Dubrul

    Samuel Dubrul First name: Samuel

    Last name: Dubrul

    Description: I'm a frontend solutions system engineer at RealDolmen. My main focus and interests go out to the System Center products and how they make the private cloud.
    MVA status: Gold
    image

    What’s your experience with the Microsoft Virtual Academy so far? How does it help you to improve your IT skills?

    I first heard about MVA from a colleague and it directly caught my attention. I realized that MVA really consolidates and categorizes a lot of useful resources that are out on the internet.

    Starting of with the knowledge I already had I took some tracks. It was fun to do and there were some nice "to know's". Later on I also started some tracks of which I knew I could use a knowledge boost.

    I must admit that collecting points is also stimulating and these factors keep me going in the Virtual Academy. Even after completing the tracks, I sometimes go back to certain modules to quickly find and access the resources.

    What’s your favorite training on MVA (track or course)? Which one(s) would you recommend?

    One of my favorite tracks is "Microsoft Virtualization for VMware professionals - Management". In these tracks IT infrastructure expert Corey Hynes and Microsoft Technical Evangelist Symon Perriman really give a clear view about managing the datacenter and eventually managing a private cloud. Yeah I really spent some online time with those two. It made me realize that I was actually becoming a geek (don't know if that's a good thing :-)).

    What’s your advice for ambitious MVA newbies who want to improve their ranking?

    Yes, you need a lot of time... I would suggest to start with something you already know. Find out if you get extra's out of it and just take the assessments. For the things you don't know a lot about... Take one module at the time and don't  take the assessments before you have enough knowledge, you'll just become frustrated doing all the questions again and again. Also remember that you get a second shot if you fail an assessment for the first time, but this is only the first time so be aware.



    Next week
    Marcelo Estrada Molina (Platinum status) will share his passion for the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

    MEM

    Haven’t signed up for MVA yet? Now is the time to do so! You can get a FREE Welcome Pack (including an exclusive T-shirt and laptop sticker) until the end of May (only for Belgians). Here’s what you need to do:

    - Register now on
    http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com
    - Send the URL of your MVA profile
    (example) to tnbewm@microsoft.com along with T-Shirt size and shipping info
    - Check your mailbox and open your Welcome Pack

    MVA t-shirt

    Please read the terms and conditions of this promotion.