A wet, chilly evening in Movember . . .

WIN_20141112_222811My chopper Mo is slowly coming along. Twelve days in, but it least it looks like a moustache now. That’s an improvement.

If you’re concerned at all about men’s health issues, please feel free to go to my Movember site and donate.  If I’m putting up with the scratchy face for a month . . ..





Movember Update

WIN_20141105_185442I’m five days into my ‘stache. It’s more like a furry caterpillar stuck to my face at this point in time. But it will come along.

If you’re at all concerned about men’s health issues like depression or prostate cancer, please consider making a donation. Maybe you are a man, or maybe you just care about a special man in your life. Either or.

You can donate here: http://mobro.co/jfinleynz


It’s Movember!

It’s been a few years since I’ve done this, but I thought I’d grow the Mo’, raise some cash with the ‘stache. I’m fundraising for prostate cancer research by growing out my Mo all this month.  I’ll be posting some photos (when there is something worth seeing). It would be great if anyone out there wants to donate. You can donate online through my Movember page: MoBro.co/jfinleynz

Thanks in Advance!

Prepping for Azure Exam 70-533/Learning from 20533—Pulling My Head Out

I’ve decided I need to become better/more comfortable with Azure. Like it or not, it’s probably not going anywhere. I can either stick my head in the ground or get with the program. I’ve kind of been stalling, so I think it’s time I took the latter option. Adapt or die. So I’m going to tackle the new Azure Infrastructure exam, 70-533.

Earlier this week Microsoft released course 20533-Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions, so I’m going to use that, along with the links from the blog entry from a few days ago, as my starting point. As I go through the process of learning about Azure and preparing for this exam I will share some of my thoughts on the course and eventually the exam here. I’m not sure how long this is going to take, nor how many entries I’ll make, but the hardest part is always the starting.

So away we go . . .

First Things First

Like I do for any exam that I want to pass I start out by reviewing the official exam page, which you can find here. While Microsoft has made the shift back to more closely aligning courses to exams, it still isn’t a perfect match and at the end of the day, what is on the exam details page is what matters if you’re sitting the exam. A quick look at this one shows me that the exam topics are broken into the six broad categories listed below Without doing much digging yet, I can already see that my experience with virtualization and with IIS should put me in good stead, at least at a foundational level. I’ve been using AD since before it was called AD, so I should be in decent shape there as well. I suspect that I’m going to need to spend a more time dealing with the cloud services and virtual networking sections. Time will tell, but that’s my first impression.

Exam Categories

  • Implement websites
  • Implement virtual machines
  • Implement cloud services
  • Implement storage
  • Implement an Azure Active Directory
  • Implement virtual networks

Normally at this point in time I might go and have a look to see if MeasureUp or SelfTestSoftware have any official sample exams that might be of use to me. (I know that there is quite a bit of debate over the use and value of sample exams, as well as whether or not it is “fair” to use them. A detailed discussion of that topic is probably a post for another day, but I will say this: If they are useful to you, and they are from a legitimate, authorized source (i.e. no braindumps), then I have no problem with using them as PART of your exam preparation. They don’t replace knowing the product/technology being tested, but they can help you make sure you know it in THE WAY that you need to know it to be successful in the exam environment.) Given the relative newness of this exam and exam stream I’m guessing that neither of the authorized sample exam partners will have anything yet.

Two minutes later: Nope. No sample exams. To be honest I doubt that there will ever be any from either of these partners. There are Microsoft exams that have a broader audience than the Azure exams likely will have (at least at the moment) that have been out for years that don’t have any sample exams from these providers. Little obscure products like Lync 2013, Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013. Perhaps you’ve heard of them . . . But I digress . . .

I’ve gotten my copy of the 20533 course materials, and now I’m ready to quickly compare the course objectives to the exam objectives. The quick onceover looks about as I expected, at least at a surface level they seem to be reasonably well-aligned. I won’t really know until I start to dig in.

Bring on the Azure!

I Got Picked for TechEd! And there was much rejoicing. yay.

I was chosen to speak at TechEd New Zealand this year. I’ll be doing some exam-prep sessions and helping out in the Certification Centre on what I like to call “Day 0”, Tuesday prior to the opening Keynote speaker. I’m also doing a session on “Top 10 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of PowerShell” during the main event.

If you are thinking of going and haven’t registered yet, get yourself to the TechEd NZ site for all the details. I hope to see you there!