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Hello!!

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by comawhiteao, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. comawhiteao

    comawhiteao New Member

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    I would just like to say a very enthusiastic ‘Hello!’ to everyone!

    A friend of mine recommended this place, and after spending a little time lurking around the forum I can understand why :biggrin It seems to be stacked to the rafters with very knowledgeable and friendly people.

    A brief introduction… I have spent a number of years as an IT technician and a few years in IT support on a service desk (admittedly pretty basic stuff) then a year or so in Service Management. Due to large-scale redundancies etc over the past year I had to make do with a demotion. The good news is, I have an INSANE amount of free time on my hands now at work and I would like to get a lot more networking knowledge while I have the chance.

    I am now studying towards the 70-291. Although I have a long way to go (with very little hands on admin experience) I have already found a lot of very useful information here. Any hints and tips with home lab work would be most welcome!

    Hope to see some of you elsewhere in the forum!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, ITIL v3 Fdn, Prince2 Fdn
    WIP: 70-291 , MCSA 2003
  2. Trogdor

    Trogdor Kilobyte Poster Gold Member

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    Welcome aboard! Good luck with your studies.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Server+, PDI+, MCDST, HP APS Server, HP APS Desktop / Laptop
    WIP: ITIL, CCNA, MCSA, and BSc
  3. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Hi there and welcome to CF :)
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  4. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi & welcome to CF :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  5. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    Welcome!
     
  6. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    Welcome:D

    NB
     
    Certifications: 70-210, 70-215, A+,N+, Security+
    WIP: MCSA
  7. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Welcome!

    How little? The MCSA, which this exam is part of, is recommended for people with at least 6 months of experience administering servers in a real-world, multi-site, multi-server domain environment. If you don't have that much server admin experience yet, I'd recommend you take that free time and shadow your server admins as much as possible. Get them to show you real-world stuff. Figure out not just what they do, but why they do what they do.

    Hope this helps. And welcome again!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  8. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    Welcome!

    As BM says, if your lacking in server experience shadowing your server admins could be very beneficial to you. If nothing else it'll give you a chance to see some of the stuff your reading about being put into practice.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  9. comawhiteao

    comawhiteao New Member

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    Thanks for the support. Maybe I should be posting this in the 70-291 forum and I would be happy to re-post, but since you ask…

    My hands on experience consists of a few years of mostly your typical basic IT tech (stuff when I was a tech in a school) some basic server work (including simple account management and running daily back ups). I have practically no DNS experience, or complex routing (or demand dial or NAT). I know this amounts to nowhere near the depth expected before taking on 70-291.

    The service management job required just having the ability to understand the language when talking to engineers, department heads etc – it was mostly process management and customer account management.

    Even if I cannot manage to get to the standard to pass the exam the study will still be worthwhile. The aim is just to expand my knowledge (and if I am lucky and work hard enough maybe be ready to try for the cert one day!)

    I have spent a few months studying up (70-291 MS press book, CBTnuggets vids, test king vids and demos, Mike Myers MCSA passport, some MS books on security, AD and group policy and a lot on the 70-290 – which I know would have been better to sit first).

    Really the only option I have available is to set up my own labs, open up the books and play around.

    I have one powerful RAM filled base unit, 2 lap tops (able to squeeze in maybe 2 VM each) a 4 port wireless router and a pretty low spec desktop. I also have Server2003 enterprise and XP pro. And maybe another laptop.

    I am trying to work my through the MS press book labs – but since I don’t have a dial up modem this has added a few complications.

    & Thanks for reading al of that!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, ITIL v3 Fdn, Prince2 Fdn
    WIP: 70-291 , MCSA 2003
  10. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Then what do you expect the MCSA to do for you? Certification is designed to show an employer what you can ALREADY do, not what you WANT to be doing. Passing an exam won't automagically qualify you to do these things.

    Further, it is curious that you would start out with 70-291. The 70-291 exam is called "The Beast" for a reason. Why wouldn't you pursue the MCDST first, then work through 70-270 and 70-290 before going after 70-291?

    Yes, the study would be worthwhile.

    If you're using this, then you're using something called braindumps - illegal collections of questions and answers stolen from the live exam. Using them can get you decertified along with a lifetime ban on any future certifications. Avoid at all costs.

    To be completely honest, it's insane to do 70-291 without first having done 70-290.

    Not the only option. You also have the option to shadow your server admins there, like I recommended earlier. If that's not possible, you have yet another option of making a lateral move to another employer... one that WILL allow you to shadow them or, better yet, do server administration on your own while you build up the relevant experience.

    Although setting up a lab to learn 70-291 topics is worth doing so you can learn, it doesn't count as experience. And that's what employers look for... not just certifications.

    I wholeheartedly believe in certifications. If I didn't, I wouldn't be in a career where I write practice exams for IT certifications. Certifications can certainly help you look more attractive to employers. But I would be negligent if I didn't tell you that certifications without the proper amount of real-world experience won't likely be very useful to you. Take things one logical step at a time. Jumping straight to 70-291 isn't the next logical step.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  11. comawhiteao

    comawhiteao New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it

    Sorry, I said Test King when I really meant to say Test Out – big difference! No, I don’t plan on using brain dumps of any sort.

    My aim is to get as much knowledge as possible while I have the free time by playing around with labs. I can set them up at work and play around all day, and I hope to get some solid understanding of the concepts before I do apply for work that would give me REAL experience. I may not get to a standard to be able pass the exam and it’s always a good idea to set some kind of target. I hope this kinda makes sense…

    So far, the only really challenging part seems to be DNS – I really hope to learn as much as I can about this via labs – if possible.

    Would it really be a good idea to focus on the 70-290? Would I still be able to learn a lot (or even enough for that exam) via lab work?

    I hope I don’t come across as some one going for the ‘paper cert’ route. The qualification is not the main aim for me. I just wish to better myself while I have this free time available. Using the MCSA as a long time goal helps to give a sense of structure to my plan.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, ITIL v3 Fdn, Prince2 Fdn
    WIP: 70-291 , MCSA 2003
  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Ultimately, the choice is yours... but I would do 70-290 before 70-291... and I'd do 70-270 before 70-290... and I'd do 70-271 and 70-272 before 70-270.

    If it is not your intention to become "paper certified", why would you try to become "paper certified"? ;)

    You can certainly take this time to improve yourself... and it's great to have the MCSA as a longer-term goal. But to me, it sounds like you're rushing it a bit, putting the cart before the horse, by going for 70-291 first. That's like building the roof of a house before you put up the walls or foundation.

    But if that is what you want to do, by all means, don't let me stop you. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  13. comawhiteao

    comawhiteao New Member

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    Hmm…. I do think you are right. Although I have enjoyed learning about the dirty details of DHCP, DNS and remote access I think I may be extending myself too far with the 291.

    I really hoped to avoid focusing on the customer support aspect of the 271/272, and focus more on networking. It is simply more interesting to me. However, it would seem that the 70-270 is a better starting point – or maybe the 290? I may go that way instead. Even if I don’t aim for the cert, I am sure I pick up a lot on the way.

    Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
    Certifications: A+, N+, ITIL v3 Fdn, Prince2 Fdn
    WIP: 70-291 , MCSA 2003
  14. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Two things:

    1. You can learn without certifying. Learning is always useful. If you find it interesting, keep learning it.

    2. Certification isn't designed to help you learn something new, nor is it designed to show an employer what you WANT to be doing... it's designed to show an employer what you ALREADY have experience doing.

    There's less "customer support" on 271 and 272 than what you probably think. As I remember it, it was more focused on troubleshooting standalone and workgroup-based workstations. You could likely knock them out in short order, and you'll have another certification to your name!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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