Friday, September 5, 2008

MY MCITP Bootcamp Experience

Last week I ventured to Dulles, VA to attend the Microsoft Certified IT Professional enterprise Administrator bootcamp. The bootcamp was hosted by Vigilar. I've attended bootcamps before, but this was my first with Vigilar.

It was only a short ride of 45 minutes or so to the Hampton Inn where we were housed. The hotel is located just across the parking lot from the Executive Conference and Training Center where the classroom was. The hotel was top notch, and provided a nice quiet and comfortable place to sleep, relax, and of course, study. And they have free internet access (wired and wireless), so that was a nice extra.

This bootcamp is an upgrade from MCSE 2003. It covers 3 exams, 70-620, 70-647, and 70-649. It is crammed into 5 days.

Monday morning at 8:30 we delved right into Windows Vista (70-620), after a few lectures, the instructor cut us loose to do labs, and study for the exam which was set for 4:00PM. Lunch came at about 11:30, and it was good. they get an "A" for the food.

We continued to cram into the afternoon. Just before 4:00 the test proctor (who was also the class manager) had us leave the room, remove all personal items, and he set-up the computers for testing. We came back into the room and tried to start the exam, but we were all booted out of the Prometric application. UGH!!! The class manager worked with Prometric for more then an hour, but to no avail.

We were released and tentatively set to take the test at 0800 the next morning. The class manager stayed through the night rebuilding the server and updating the workstations. We all arrived the next morning ready to test, but still a no-go. It was after 10:00 when Prometric finally fixed the issue, and we got to the exam.

As you know I cannot talk about the test, but it was not too difficult with the proper preparation. I passed, that's what matters. For passing this exam I was awarded the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Vista Configuration certification. One down, two to go.

After the exam, we had lunch (more good food), and dived head first into Windows Server 2008, the 70-647 portion. To be honest it gets blurry from this point, the pace is so fast. While the instructor is lecturing, you are working on the labs, and trying to do what he is talking about. It's brutal at some points, but it's only 5 days, so it's over before you really run out of breathe.

Tuesday and Wednesday, and most of Thursday are lectures and labs and studying the course ware. On Thursday evening 7PM, we took the 70-647 exam. All that cramming paid off, I did very well. Two down, one to go.

More studying for the 70-649 exam that night, and Friday morning, more practice on the labs. At Noon, I took the 70-649 exam, and I was done. I successfully completed the course, and subsequently awarded the Microsoft Certified IT Professional Enterprise Administrator certification.

John Crawford

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