As background: like most people I suspect I'm awful about (a) getting professional training and (b) getting certification. I dislike training because I'm not the most social person in the world, and far too much of it involves breaks and lunches where you have to make small talk with people you're never going to see again. As for certification, typically it's not included in the package, so it's easy to let it slip and then not bother (I did a self financed MCSA in 2006, and then stupidly ended up not bothering with the exams).
I've contacted Firebrand, mostly because they come up a lot on Google, and they offer "high intensity" training where you're in residence (and purportedly do 12 hour days), followed by certification. That's great, because it makes it a lot more difficult to avoid the exam, but their courses inevitably are expensive.
1. Has anyone used Firebrand and/or have any other recommendations?
2. Has anyone tried any other form of training? e.g. on-site training. I tend to train much better with 1-on-1 training. More expensive of course, but I get more done. The ideal would be on-site training with a paid for exam at the end, with coaching on the exam, if such a thing exists?
Interested to hear any relevant thoughts.
My thoughts on these 'high intensity' training establishments is that is prepares you to pass the exam.
There was a problem a few years ago when I first started out in IT, where people were getting their MCSE but had no real world experience, aka 'Paper MCSE's'. The numerous Braindump websites didn't help either.
I know things have got better as I believe some of the exams went to more simulation based rather than just question based.
I too did all the training for MCSA with exams included in the training, but I fell apart in the first exam. Nerves just got the better of me and I failed it by 6 points! After that I became disillusion by it all and it became apparent that experience in my role was more important than doing things the 'Microsoft Way' as dictated in the exams. I am not however showing any disrespect towards the certifications as I know many employers would want to see them in place before even looking at you. I'm just crap at exam situations. However, I enjoy doing courses and meeting like minded people who are in a similar role and discussing technical and real world based scenarios. I did a Exchange 2007 course with Neos-IT back in 2009 which I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot from, it was aimed at the project I was working on which was implementing an Exchange box into the School. Most of the other delegates on the course were network managers from other Schools and Colleges.
Just my thoughts.
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