New Ventures and (Another) Path-Change

SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & SwitchiBay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
Well, it's that time again. A new job always seems to bring new direction when it comes to cert-studying, and it looks like my situation's no different. I just got a job as a systems administrator for a firm that specializes in IT outsourcing for small and mid-size companies. Basically, they're giving me somewhere between 8 - 10 different networks to run and do "proactive maintenance" on, while a team of helpdesk staff takes the day-to-day trouble calls and does the usual "I've lost my password/desktop icon/mind" tickets. It seems like a fun place to work, I get to do more in-depth design and new-install-project type of work, rather than spending all my time fixing things as they break.

Now, there's still the reason why I'm posting this in the MCSE section and not the Off-Topic section: my first task is to complete my MCSE, right after taking 70-284 and 70-285, since I'll be working with Exchange 2003 right off the bat. I'll probably end up doing an Exchange 2007 exam or two, as well. Of course, as soon as I get some cash in my pocket, the first thing I'll be doing is knocking out the CCNA, since I've been waiting two and a half months to do that, then I'll be beginning my journey back into Microsoft-land. The trade-off is that my CCNP aspirations are going to sit on the back-burner for a while. So, (don't say I didn't warn you,) I'll be seeing you all on both the 70-293 forum, as well as the Exchange Server 2000/2003/2007 forum, sooner than later.

Oh, and in case anyone's wondering. . . I'll be purchasing the MS Press book for each respective exam, as I go through them, as well as checking out the CBT Nuggets and TestOut whenever I have the corresponding course. I still have a lot of the CBT Nuggets and Testout material left over from my last job, (better their money than mine, that's for sure,) and this new job is not only paying for the books I'll be buying, but they'll cover the cost of each exam. . . even if I fail the first time around. Wish me luck everyone, and I'll see you in Microsoft-cert-land.

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Comments

  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Great news on the new job, congrats! Glad you'll be hanging around in the MS forums for a while. I'm sure royal will be a great help on any Exchange issues you run into.

    icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945
    Welcome back to the darkside.

    You may want to read the reviews for the MS Press 293 book before picking up that one.
    Andy

    2017 Goals: 1 of 5 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • jkstechjkstech Member Posts: 330
    nice, sounds like a great opportunity
    get back to studying!!!
  • doom969doom969 Member Posts: 304
    Congrats on the new job !

    You might want to pick the syngress book for 293, its much better. Other might agree, 293 is the worst mspress book on the mcse 2003 track. (bought both of them myself and ended using almost only the syngress)

    Glad we'll be seeing you on the ms side :D
    Doom969
    __________________________________________________________
    MCP (282 - 270 - 284 - 290 - 291 - 293 - 294 - 298 - 299 - 350)
    MCTS (351 - 620 - 622 - 647 - 649 - 671)
    MCSA / S / M - MCSE / S
    MCITP (EST - EA ) - MCT
    A+ - IBM - SBSS2K3 - CISCO_SMB
    CompTIA : A+
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    Great news! Good luck on the exam progress.
    sprkymrk wrote:
    I'm sure royal will be a great help on any Exchange issues you run into.

    You betcha! I've been doing so much Exchange 2007 work in the last few months it's been crazy!


    Also, as a side note, I'm sure people have noticed I haven't posted in the last couple weeks. I did not disappear! I had an out-of-town emergency come up and had very important real-life issues to take care of during that time. But I'm back now!
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    royal wrote:
    Great news! Good luck on the exam progress.
    sprkymrk wrote:
    I'm sure royal will be a great help on any Exchange issues you run into.

    You betcha! I've been doing so much Exchange 2007 work in the last few months it's been crazy!


    Also, as a side note, I'm sure people have noticed I haven't posted in the last couple weeks. I did not disappear! I had an out-of-town emergency come up and had very important real-life issues to take care of during that time. But I'm back now!

    Hope all is well, nice to have my right-hand man back! icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • dstock7337dstock7337 Member Posts: 95 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Gratz on the new job!

    I actually found the 293 material to be a nice refresher of 291. I did get the 293 MS-press book, it's pretty good. The Testout CBT for 293 I found to be similar to the 291 CBT. If you need a refresher, I'd go with MSpress.

    Although I got the book, I briefly looked at the above mentioned and just took the test and passed it.

    I wouldn't reccomend that unless you feel 100% about it - I'd suggest to look at the practice exam in MSpress after a review of the objectives and see how you do on the practice test before going for the real deal.

    On the other hand, Microsoft is offering a free second shot for a limited time:

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/offers/secondshot/default.mspx

    Either way, I wish you the best!
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    Thanks for the words of encouragement everybody, and for the congratulations on the job. I think I'll take the resounding advice and head down to the bookstore to compare the MS Press and Syngress books for 70-293, see which one disgusts me less. . . err. . . "looks better". :D

    To both royal and sprkymrk, I'm sure I'll be back with lots of questions whenever I'm stuck on (read "completely screwed by") something at work. Of course, that doesn't mean mikej412's off the hook, not by a long shot. I'll still be bumming around the Cisco forums, for both getting the CCNA behind me, as well as moonlighting on the CCNP stuff. I've been reading Cisco LAN Switching on the side, and I'm far too deep into it to not to finish it. (Big thanks to my "benefactor" for giving me the chance to read it, it's been a big help. You know who you are.) Besides, I swore that my present to myself, for passing CCNA, would be Routing TCP/IP. Yup, I'm hopeless.

    Now, speaking of books. I wanted to get some opinions from people that might actually know. I'm going to be doing 70-284, and probably 70-285, just to get a real handle on Exchange 2003 for the new job. I'll be starting, slowly but steadily, on doing 70-293, then 70-298, then I'll decide if I want to shoot straight into 70-299 before I do 70-294, or the other way around. In the meantime, though, I'll need a good reference book for Exchange 2007, as I'm not planning on digging into the MCTS/MCITP certs until I've put the MCSE and its electives to bed. So, I've been getting some feedback from the resident geeks I know around here, but I wanted ask you guys as well. These two books seem to be the most in-depth on Exchange 2007, and I was thinking about picking up one of the two, to start with:

    Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unleashed
    or
    Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Administrator's Companion

    Eventually, when it's time for the test, I'll pick up a copy of MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-236): Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and see if I can convince the new employer to shell out for the CBT Nuggets as well. In the meantime, though, I want to have a general admin book on Exchange 2007. I'm sure I'll be working with it sooner than later.

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    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    Slowhand, I really like the "How to **** and Configuring Exchange Server 2007" as well as "Mastering Exchange Server 2007." I read the first book front to cover, but have used the second book more as a reference. I've also read a lot of the Technet documentation as well as watched the entire 24-part Webcast series. For the 70-236 exam, there is a lot of powershell. I would spend a few days doing nothing but reading Powershell articles (not how to script but cmdlets for Exchange) as well as go through the get-help and look at all the commands and their switches. What sucks is, I've already forgotten a lot of the Powershell stuff but at least I know what needs to be done and know where to look for the cmdlets when I need to do that sort of work.

    Good luck!
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945
    I have the How to **** book for Exchange 2007 and it is a great place to start. Also there is the 24 Hours of Exchange technet series.
    Andy

    2017 Goals: 1 of 5 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    Very cool, thanks for the tip on those books, and I'll definitely check out the webcasts. As for PowerShell, I've already gotten my hands on Microsoft Windows PowerShell(TM) Step By Step, which is a really very good. I sat down at the bookstore with a large cup of coffee and went through six or seven books, looking at what I could really get out of them as well as how easy they were to read, and that was the one that worked best for me. Of course, I fell in love with PowerShell as soon as I tried it out, so I'm hoping that I'll have a good handle on it long before I even touch on doing the Exchange 2007 exam(s).

    I've read the "Mastering. . ." series before, and I have the one for Windows 2000 Server, to this day. I'd definitely agree that any one of the books in the series is more of a reference book, which is really what I'm looking for, so I'll have to trek into San Francisco and check out one of the larger book stores, to see if I can hunt down the one on Exchange 2007.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
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