WARNING! This posts serves no useful purpose beyond potentially giving some insight into my writing style, sarcastic wit, and learning methodology. Mostly its just a fluff piece that will leave you asking - "Can I get those 22 seconds back?"
I decided I wanted to go back and get a few technical certifications, since the ones I got early in my career have through executive fiat been ruled "expired" - as if knowledge could ever be so easily plucked from the mind after it has been planted there. But I digress.
I set my sights on the Exam 70-410 from Microsoft - the first of three in a series designed to earn the designation MCSA - Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator.
So, how do I prep for this? Follow along, and we'll see if it's something you can use for yourself.
First, I hit the Microsoft website and grabbed the exam objectives. for 70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012. These are the things they're going to test over. The first thing I noticed was the big bright yellow Notice!
As of January 2014 exams would cover content from the 2012 R2
Definitely something worth noting since I've only installed it a few times myself and I haven't tossed it around well enough to feel comfortable reciting from memory, which is essentially what you're doing on these exams. I'm certain that the exam will want to exploit the nuanced differences between the two versions.
I guess we'll see.
So, I copied and pasted those exam objectives into a text document so I could start hacking them up for study. This is what I have.
Plan for a server installation; plan for server roles; plan for a server upgrade; install Server Core; optimize resource utilization by using Features on Demand; migrate roles from previous versions of Windows Server
Immediately I noticed something. I mean besides just how unfriendly and unuseful pasting it in like this is. This blob of text belies the sheer amount of information being covered. There's a "how to" built into each one of these, and dozens of questions that spring to mind just looking at the first half dozen elements covered in this very first section.
I also looked at the prerequisites. Having done server administration for 20 years now, I was initially dismissive of this section, but I'm ultimately glad I looked. While the verbiage was casual and non-specific, it made reference to a class one could take to get this knowledge, and when I went there and looked at its "Course Outline" I learned a great deal more about what they expected I could do. Any of these things then were fair game for the exam too, as near as I could tell. Based on my historical exam taking I would say this is absolutely true. We tend to dismiss them as "simple questions", but they can't be overlooked.
So then I split up what they gave me and threw it in a One Note notebook. Mostly so I could familiarize myself with THAT program in the process. As I get more and more of my notes done I'll post them here for whoever comes later.