I'm off to The Training Camp to study for an MCAD

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by DaveB, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. DaveB

    DaveB Bit Poster

    The Training Camp run intensive, residential courses leading towards certification exams. For a number of reasons this seems like the best option for me - not the least one being that my employers have agreed to pay for it. This course runs for 7 days and in the best of all possible worlds :) enables you to leave with 3 MCPs (ie an MCAD) at the end of it.

    I'm under no illusions that it will be easy. It sounds like incredibly hard work (lectures and labs from 8am - 8pm plus reading to do afterwards according to some accounts), and I fully understand that it may not lead to all (or indeed any) qualifications for me.

    What I do fully expect however is to learn a lot, and that will be of huge value in itself. Knowing this is coming has already made me work harder than before and find study time where I thought I had none (and justify it to my family because there is a definite end point to it). The pre course reading material is wide ranging and of excellent quality, and for me, knowing that it will be backed up in the classroom and labs has allowed me to not get hung up on understanding every nuance of what is being said. Something that has held me back before.

    Sure I really want to get some qualifications at the end of it - and I'm sure my employers will be very disappointed with me should I fail one or more of the exams, but I will try to remember that fundamentally training is about learning, not about passing exams. Regardless of the certification outcome I am confident that I will benefit hugely from the experience.

    Anyway, I just thought I would post this and then update it when I get back to let anyone else who is considering this route see how I found it.
    Certifications: MCAD
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    Good luck at the training camp.

    If it is possible why not postpone the exams at the end of the course for a couple of weeks, this will give you the chance to digest more of the information you will have learnt and fine tune your skills further.

  3. DaveB

    DaveB Bit Poster

    thanks Simon. I don't think my employers would go for posponing the exams, and I do hope to get something when I'm there anyway :) ... and there's always resits.

    You never know though, if I'm floundering I'll bare it in mind.
    Certifications: MCAD
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    My only issue in learning a great deal of material so quickly is that even if you pass the exams at the end of a week, you will still need to retain all that information and the only way to do that is to continually use it.

    Good luck at the training camp and in sitting the exams.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Good luck Dave. Even if you don't pass all the exams you will have gained from the training and will be better off at your employers expense. :D
    I can't wait for someone to pay for me to learn :D
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  6. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Go for it, Dave. Good luck, and all the very best from CF :thumbleft
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  7. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    The truth is you may retain 20% of it at best
    the human mind is great at holding that information short term, but it doenst commit it to longterm memory quite as easily

    learn by doing does this, and even on an 8-8 schedule you wont learn it all

    however saying that, I know full well that IT is not about knowing everything, its about knowing whats needed to find out anything

    I dont know all the swiches to DSGET, DSMOD and DSQUERY, but when Fergal posted a question I knew the tool to use, and where to find the information on the switches, thats the key here, and a boot camp situation will expose you to enough that your mind will nudge you in the right direciton when you need to

    Good luck
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  8. DaveB

    DaveB Bit Poster

    thanks for all the feedback!

    I take on board what a lot of you are saying. I've no doubt that I will actually retain only a small percentage of any knowledge that I gain. I think that's true no matter how you study for a certification (or any other) exam. My friends who have MCSDs through self study don't remember much that they don't use on a regular basis. And you're right, this way of studying is probably even more prone to this. I do hope to increase my overall understanding of the .Net architecture though and as you said Phoenix, I should gain enough to be able to find my way to the answers to a lot of questions in the future.

    I do hope it will be a useful learning experience - although only time will tell. The bottom line here though is passing exams - I'm just trying not to put too much pressure on myself just yet, so regardless of what happens I'm sure that I will gain something :)

    I'm off tomorrow so I'll let you know how I got on when I get back ...... gulp
    Certifications: MCAD
  9. DaveB

    DaveB Bit Poster

    I was amazed when they agreed to pay for it... as a friend said "be careful what you wish for"
    Certifications: MCAD
  10. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    I sure agree with this. It seems to me that there ought to be courses taught in how to research things because this field is so vast, changes so rapidly, and such has depth, that no one person can ever retain it all. So, being good at research is something that seems to multiply your actual IT skills exponentially. You don't have to know everything, but you sure do have to know how to find information on just about anything that is IT related.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  11. DaveB

    DaveB Bit Poster

    I'm not sure that I really knew what to expect about The Training Camp, but I certainly didn't expect it to be as good as it was. That I managed to pass 3 exams in a week is extraordinary considering that I haven't even been able to do one in all the yaers that I've been trying to, but not only that, the whole experience was excellent.

    There was a really supportive atmosphere throughout the place that extended out of the classroom to the admin staff and even the chefs. It is totally geared to training and I though of little else for the whole week. Heythrop Hall where they held the course is in the grounds of an old stately home that is now a hotel and it feels completely isolated - there are no distractions.

    The teacher was excellent and my classmates were a really nice bunch - a wide range of ages, backgrounds and jobs.

    It remains to be seen how much of this stuff I will retain, but there are windows services and web services in the project I've been working on for what seems like a lifetime and perhaps I can do some front end work. I'll do what I can to build on at least some of the knowledge.

    The other thing is that there is a Microsoft offer on at the moment that gives a free resit for every exam that is booked before (I think) the end of August. I don't know if this is available for all certifications or only the developer ones but it might be worth looking into if anyone is thinking of taking an exam soon.

    I would recomment training with Training Camp to anyone who is considering the boot camp approach - they also offer a mentoring service for people who are considering taking a course where they will put you in touch with someone who has done it before.

    It is af course completely exhausting :)
    Certifications: MCAD

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