For the past month I have been looking at MVA – Microsoft Virtual Academy. I did check it out when it was first released, but it basically had IT Pro related courses. Though I prefer to wear a dev hat, I did play an IT Pro in the past.
My IT Pro experiences were back in the days of the dinosaurs when I roamed mainframes in the basement of a large shopping center. So I am always curious how the industry has progressed. In those days, remote access involved using the phone to get the status from an operator and deciding if the system had to be rebooted. If it dead need rebooting, you had more than enough time to drive in before the system was ready. System testing was done at 2AM Sunday, provided IBM left you a large enough time window. Sometimes you felt you were on a NASCAR pit crew when you tried to see haw fast you could bring down a production system, bring up the test system, run the test(s), bring down the test system, bring up production and then verify it was ready for hand over from the dev team to the prod team. The game has changed, things are far easier, but there are far more interesting things to do and play with.
If you are just curious about a technology, check out one of their courses. It will not give you instant understanding, but it may give you some insight to be comfortable enough to go further.
The beauty of the courses is that they have a rewind button. Each student learns at their own pace and sometimes the instructor comes out with a gem that the student wants to hear again to make sure they understand – press rewind. (On the PowerShell course it was interesting to hear the verb Claused being used with reverence.) So, you took the course last month and aced it. Review the course and see if their are any gems you missed the first time around.
You scanned the PDFs that came with the course, slept through the video, but what sunk in? Most modules in the course come with Self tests that make you think. Can you make the 80% mark and get 100% completion on the course?
So why would a dev be interested in IT courses? Some of the tools used by IT Pros are useful to devs. I spent the weekend enjoying two courses on PowerShell – Getting Started with PowerShell and Advanced PowerShell and now I have a whole slew of questions to ask Clippy. They even have courses on Database Fundamentals, Big Data, Networking Fundaments and more
Over the past month, I got carried away checking out the various courses and made it to #1 in the Top Students in Canada for the week. I have slipped to #3, but I am now #2 in Canada for the month. So join me on the Top Student board and enjoy the learning experience.
Here are some developer related courses:
C# Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners
Programming in C# Jump Start
Windows 8 UX Design Jump Start
Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps using C# Jump Start
Advanced Windows Store App Development using C# Jump Start
XAML Deep Dive for Windows & Windows Phone Apps Jump Start
Developing Windows Store Apps with HTML5 Jump Start
Windows Store Apps with HTML5 Refresh Jump Start
Advanced Windows Store App Development with HTML5 Jump Start
Building Windows Store Apps for iOS Developers Jump Start
Gaming Engines for Windows 8 Jump Start
Windows Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners
Building Apps for Windows Phone 8 Jump Start
Build Apps for Both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Jump Start
Visual Studio/ALM Applying ALM with Visual Studio 2012 Jump Start
Administering Visual Studio TFS 2012 Jump Start
Software Testing with Visual Studio 2012 Jump Start
Developing ASP.NET MVC4 Web Applications Jump Start
HTML5 & CSS3 Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners
Building Web Apps with ASP.NET Jump Start
Developing Microsoft SharePoint® Server 2013 Core Solutions Jump Start
Building Business Apps with Visual Studio Lightswitch
So check out MVA – Microsoft Virtual Academy
John Marshall… Visio MVP Visio.MVPs.org