Well, it was semi-announced when we posted up our new schedule, but here are a couple of very important details that I failed to mention before. The R2 program will be the next version of our MCM: Directory training and certification. We've taken everything we learned from our prior deliveries, looked at the new product, and have made the following key changes:

  1. It will now be 11 days of instruction, not 15.
    • This means week 1 will begin on Monday and run for 6 days through Saturday. Week 2 will begin on Monday with the Week 1 written exam and continue through end of day Friday. The week two test will be delivered on Saturday. The Certification lab will be delivered on Sunday.
    • Why are we doing this? Based on consistent feedback from all of our rotations this year, we are staying focused on the core directory services, and not branching the program in a more Identity focused direction (the majority of our 3rd week of content was Identity focused in the Windows Server 2008 version of the program). In addition to this, we will be moving some components into targeted pre-reading and pre-requisites so that we can maximize our time in the classroom covering truly the deep stuff. Personally, I'm very excited about this change as it ensures our focus is razor sharp, and in doing so, it gives all of you some time back. Somewhere down the road, I'd like to start an Identity track, too, but not today ;-)
    • "So, that's it then, you're lowering the bar aren't you!?!" Mmmmm...how about, 'No!' And we have no intention or interest of ever doing so.  We are focusing our delivery and listening to what our partners and customers have told us.  In some areas we are delivering deeper content, while in others the content level will remain the same. Streamlining deliveries and removing more basic content that individuals will be expected to know prior to coming, allows us to shorten the required training time.
    • "I'm MCM: Windows Server 2008, Directory certified. What do I need to do to be R2 certified?" We'll have those details for you in the coming months. It's a given that since not a ton is changing in the product in our areas of interest, the upgrade process should fall in line with the lightest of our 3 options (see the "Let's talk upgrades" post for further details).
  2. That means there are 3 tests, not 4.
    • Candidates will now be required to complete two written tests (not three) and one lab test.
    • The lab test remains as tough as ever and is still 8 hours long. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it.
  3. The price for the R2 program will be $13,950 and we’re going to start with a $1,000 discount for you which will make it $12,950 at least until January 1, 2010.

The dates will be updated shortly on our Microsoft.com site (start dates for our fall sessions will remain the same).

 

As I mentioned in the previous entry, registration is open, so come on down and get your spot before they’re gone!