Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate

So I've been out of the certification loop for a couple of years - mainly due to workload and time/cost vs gain just not being worth it to me once you hit a high enough level.  I always try not to certify too far past the level I currently work at because a lot of that knowledge will just drain away when you're not using it.
On a whim I logged into the MCP page this week and noticed some changes since my last visit.  I guess it was only a matter of time until Microsoft pushed out new 'cloudy' certifications.  One bittersweet surprise was that I gained a new certification - Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate - apparently just for being a 2008 MSCA (back when it was 'administrator').  I guess I can't complain too much about a new free title, it's just that after all those bad years of hearing horror stories about paper MCSEs and fly by night Microsoft certs coupled with a few real life experiences with 'book smart, practical dumb' certification holders I'd already felt my certifications were being devalued.  I guess it's time to get off my duff and get back to working on these again before I get left behind.  So starting today I'll start studying for my "Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert" cert which will be available June 11th, 2012.  If I find anything useful while brushing up I'll be sure to post.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

MDT 2012

After spotting the release announcement on Aiden Finn's blog I went ahead and downloaded MDT 2012 so I could upgrade my old MDT 2010 Update 1 installation.  That turned out to be a chore since TMG 2010 kept trying to eat the install file.  Installation was a breeze afterward, just dumped it on top of the old one and once I got into the deployment manager it had an exclamation mark over my deployment share to remind me to upgrade my deployment share to the latest version.  Running powershell scripts is now a built in task option and it now supports security compliance manager templates so there's some new stuff to play with.  I also noticed several screens seemed a bit more polished and if I'm not mistaken a few new options in the default task sequence steps.
So far so good and no issues - currently got a LTI deployment running to test out the new monitoring console.

Monitoring console: