Some thoughts on the dearth of training materials for the new MCSE certifications RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Mostly this is venting... while it would be nice to see some remediation, I have no such expectations.

    Given that Windows Server 2012 was GA 15 months ago, I'm severely disappointed at the lack of published training guides targeted to the MCSA and MCSE certifications (most notably the 70-413 and 70-414), and specifically with respect to the objectives involving System Center that are included in those examinations.

    I used the Exam Ref by Steve Suehring, and frankly was quite disappointed, although I'm not sure whether to blame the book, or the question pool on the exam. What I did observe was that a significant percentage of the concepts discussed in the Exam Ref book, and ostensibly in the objectives for the exam, were not actually touched at all by the exam. More significantly, I encountered concepts on the exam that were not even mentioned in the Exam Ref. Presumably the Training Guide (700 pages) will go into much more detail (e.g. the exam I encountered seemed very heavy with respect to Active Directory Site design), but it won't be available until April (at the earliest).

    Further, there's nothing available in the realm of preparation materials for the 70-414. The Exam Ref was supposed to be available in September 2013. (The O'Reilly site says March 2014, but the MS Exam Page is not yet updated.) Who knows when it will really be available, and I don't even see a mention of an actual Training Guide for this exam.

    Adding insult to injury, I bought into the special last spring to take the -417, -413, and -414 (which expires tomorrow), and have been unsuccessful at passing the -413 (due to the poor prep materials) and didn't even consider the -414 (due to the non-existent prep materials).  Frankly, I feel very ripped off -- (And if the actual questions on the -413 compared to the Exam Ref are any guide, I'm not particularly encouraged by the eventual availability of the -414 Exam Ref.)

    I do see where there's still a discount package available (including 2nd shots) for the MCSE: Server Infrastructure ($255 for both exams plus 2nd shots), available until May 31, 2014-- and expire on December 31, 2014. I think I'll wait until May and see if [a] the -413 Training Guide gets published and [b] what the "master plan" will be for training for the -414.

    Btw.. it seems the prospects are no better for the MCSE: Private Cloud exams either.

    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile:
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Monday, December 30, 2013 8:12 PM