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QA vs Firebrand

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by simonp83, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Speaking to work currently about paying for my training and going away and doing some courses to get my MCITP:SA certification and i'm just wondering what opinions you guys have on the above?

    With QA, we can get a good deal where it's circa £150 per day for any Microsoft course so we can buy 30 days in a year and use them around the department when someone wants training, however, looking at the courses, they tend to look like Microsoft Courses that will only cover 1 part of 1 exam, so for example, 70-640 has 3 courses that you can go through - MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration - Certifications and skills paths - QA.

    With Firebrand, it seems the courses are a lot more intensive, rushed?, so i can get a MCITP:SA cert from "nothing" in 7 days with an exam every couple of days or so. Will this gloss over a lot of the details to get all 3 exams out the way in 7 days?

    I have a lot of experience with using a lot of Server 2008, stuff like deployments, Active Directory, Group Policy and stuff like that but struggle, purely because i've never gone to indepth or touch at all, stuff like the Certificate Servers and the Lightweight Directory Servers and DNS - these are the points i failed on when going through the 70-640 book and doing the exam on my own. Is the Firebrand course designed for people like this who know the basics very well but need help on the more technical details or is it for people who generally just want to rush through everything as they already know pretty much everything already?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I can answer this as I have a fair amount of experience with Firebrand (I even blogged about my experiences when I did my MCITP EA\SA and EDA7).

    Whilst the Firebrand course is shorter in days it actually crams a lot of training into every day, it was pretty normal to start the lessons at 8am, have a couple of breaks through out the day (including lunch) and then finish in the classroom around 7pm, however that didn't mean the end of the day, we would more often than not have dinner and either go back to the classroom or do more self study in our rooms of a night.

    In the two weeks I was there I had more than one night where I didn't finish until closer to midnight, there were one or two days where it was later (I remember a couple of days when I finished at gone 2am).

    From a pupil perspective the mix of students varied from those who knew what was going on to those who didn't know what Active Directory was (perhaps not that bad but there were people who hadn't really played with the OS before). I was lucky that with the instructor we had (Rob B) he knew how to determine who needed the extra help and who understood the concepts and didn't need as much hand holding as others did.

    I would be concerned that with the amount of courses needed with QA to do the individual exams you may struggle to retain the required knowledge between courses (especially if you're not using the technology all of the time), at lease with a course like the bootcamp you know you're going to have all the required knowledge crammed into your brain and it's all the right knowledge to pass the exam.

    One really good thing about Firebrand is their stance on brain dumps, they stamp down on them, they don't allow them on their site and anyone found using them will be asked to remove them. They are keen to point out that you are there to study and pass the exam correctly instead of brain dumping.

    Finally there are always going to be people going on these courses who shouldn't do so, whether they are mis-sold the courses by over zealous salesmen or they just think that it's the right course for them when it's obviously not.

    Only you can tell whether the course is right for you, in my case it was and I was really glad to have done a bootcamp rather then stretch it out (at the time I was a contractor and any time out of work meant I wasn't earning so for me it was more costly).

    I would suggest having a chat with Duncan and asking him some questions if you have any, as far as salesmen go he is one of the best around (he has been at Firebrand (and The Training Camp who they traded as before the rebrand) for years).
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
    simonp83 likes this.
  3. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Thankyou for the detailed reply Simon, i'm not so bothered about the multiple courses through QI purely because a lot of it, such as Group Policy work, is second nature to me and i'd go through the videos and the Press Kit a long with it.

    From your experience, the people who did go in with little knowledge of Server 2008, did they really struggle at the Firebrand boot camp?
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  4. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    hmmmm....my reply is at the top of the page now...
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  5. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    QA and Firebrand tend to be different ways of learning with firebrand beign more intense/boot camp style over QAs relatively standard 9-5 type stuff.

    Neither is better than the other in general, it depends on the course and how you as an individual learn the best.

    I've attended numerous courses from both providers albeit not this specific one, in some instances the Firebrand way was best and in others QA was more suited.
     
    simonp83 likes this.
  6. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Thankyou for the replies, could someone give me a rough price on the server admin course for firebrand and also the price for the 12 days please for the course with the enterprise admin.

    I've asked for prices before from firebrand directly and started to get salesman phoning up asking questions.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  7. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    Just go on their website and plug in some false details to get the prices up.

    You should be able to get a good few quid off the list price as well.
     

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