411 (first attempt) is in the books. I did ok, but not well enough to pass and not near where I thought I my knowledge level was.
I’ve been working with Server 2012 fairly in depth for over 6 months in preparation of deploying my new Test Playground for the various teams that use Microsoft Products. To date I’ve gotten over 30 Windows Server 2012 machines running, 4 failover clusters, SC : VMM, CCM, COM, ORC, etc, as well as established DHCP servers, DNS servers, and Domain Controllers. I felt that this experience, along with a few prep resources should be sufficient.
Let’s go over the prep resources I used.
This was a great overview of all of the topics that are included in the 70-417 upgrade exam. It was a good starting point as it led me to look at things that I had never seen before. It’s about “a mile wide and an inch deep” so this is not all that needed to be done.
Working through #90Days2MCSE I got free access to this course. I went through it rather rapidly and slowed down at the stuff that was unfamiliar to me. Once again, I believe that this course only takes you “a mile wide and an inch deep”. Without violating the NDA that I’m sure I signed when I took the test, the level of detail that was on the test was much deeper than this. There was a very heavy emphasis on NPS and how it is applied in the environment. If you haven’t spent any time on this physically working with it in a lab or prod environment, I highly suggest that you do before you take the test. There were other questions that went to a level of detail that I did not get to such as which tab to choose in a certain scenario, testing your knowledge of the layout and use of the product.
So what do I do now?
Looks like going back and hitting up the talking points again, and actually deploying some of the stuff I haven’t seen : DA, NPS, DNS, VPN, NAP. It’s obvious that my points lie in the networking sphere as I did fairly well on the server and Active Directory stuff (but know your precedence!). I plan on using resources from Born To Learn to start setting up these items in more detail in my lab environment.
Further, I am going to buy a voucher from Prometric which includes a free second shot with purchase (hopefully I won’t need it, but I’m hedging my bets right now) and get another seating scheduled as soon as possible. I have a very hectic schedule with lots of night work going on right now, so it is going to be more difficult than usual but I’ve committed to a goal of getting my MCSA by the time TechEd2013 starts, and then possibly working towards getting my MCSE during TechEd to take advantage of the 50% off deal
Ok, back to work slacker! I’ve got other work to complete before pulling my resources together and getting started. I hope everyone involved gets something out of this, and if you have any questions at all about my exam experience (short of me telling you the questions I had) feel free to contact me either here (slow response) or on Twitter @mke077 and I will be glad to help any way that I can. Also keep a look out on Born To Learn as well Michael Bender’s blog for more insights into the 411 exam.
Good Luck To All!