Passing the 70-339 exam and becoming an MCP

Back on October 20th, I received an email that I passed the exam 70-339! I am very excited and thankful that I passed the exam to begin with. This was a beta exam for SharePoint 2016 offered through the born to learn blog at Microsoft that I took advantage of back in late June of this year and tried my darndest to study up on the exam for about a period of three and a half weeks prior to taking the test. I highly recommend going to the Born to Learn site every now and again to keep up with certifications and new releases in general. Plus, they do offers on books and free training resources from time to time that are fantastic. 

Previously back during late July I took the 70-331 exam and did not do as well as I thought I would do on the test. So since I had previously failed this test, I had my doubts about how I was going to be able to perform on this beta exam since many of the topics were new and the product had not been out for long.

 

I used the same study methodology for this test that I did with the 331 test that I failed. I focused much of my studying on the core areas of study (you can review them here). I took much of this and reviewed many of the new PowerShell features and commands that had been added to this new version so I wouldn’t get tripped up in that aspect of the test.

 

One helpful area that I had recommended to me was the previous talks on taking the 70-331 and 70-332 exams from Ignite and other conferences over at MSDN channel 9. Many of these reviews were given by presenters that you can go and review now for free. You can find some from Ignite 2016 here. These were helpful to get an idea on how some of the questions for the exam are presented.

 

The combination of the videos and studying the core areas for the exams helped me score high enough that I passed and am now an official Microsoft Certified Professional!

 

This is a huge milestone for me personally and has always been one of my personal goals I wanted to achieve as a technical professional. It’s also given me the courage and drive to continue forward and look into working towards a second certification exam.

 

If you are hesitant at all about taking these tests, I would say to go for it because it forces you personally to check and make sure you have the proper knowledge and skills to accomplish what you need to going forward. For anyone out there looking at one good luck and I hope you are successful just as I was.

 

Now onto the next test for better or worse. 🙂

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MS Ignite 2016 Day 0

Today I had the pleasure of attending a pre-conference as part of the ignite conference here in Atlanta about SharePoint 2016 Upgrade and operations deep dive. It was an all-day look into the aspects of SharePoint 2016 and what you can do as a professional to prepare yourself for the new features and some best practices to follow once you get ready to head down the road of moving to the newest version of SharePoint.

It was given by some great speakers such as:

Archana Aditi

Bill Bear

Neil Hodgkinson

Bob Fox

Todd Klindt

Troy Starr

Spence Harbar

Each speaker did multiple sessions on different content and aspects of moving to SharePoint 2016.

The subject areas covered in the talk were architecture considerations, prerequisites of the product, topology planning, upgrade, Office Online Server, patching, and new features.

Probably the most exciting part of the day was the demo of zero downtime patching and a small announcement that will be sure to make big waves once it comes out.

Min Role is a big part of SharePoint 2016, and during the talk today we were allowed to know that there are improvements coming to min role that will allow businesses with smaller farms be able to have zero downtime patching just like the bigger farms of the world with more than eight SharePoint servers!

THIS IS GOING TO BE HUGE!!! This will be a game changer I think as patching goes. It will finally allow many smaller farms to have less downtime and interruptions from patching.

Plus from what many people in today’s session said that I didn’t realize is that the QA testing for 2016 has improved leaps and bounds over 2013 and 2010 patching.

 

I’m so excited for this and hope to be able to demo this as soon as it is released.

 

Stay tuned!

-BJ

SharePoint Survival Course

This past week I attended a SharePoint Admin survival course and it was a great training event to learn SharePoint and everything related to it.

The main reason I wanted to attend this training was to get familiar with the new content for SharePoint 2016 and to get familiar with what it takes to implement a hybrid environment for SharePoint.

The content of this class was excellent, but the best part of the course for me was actually going through and configuring a test environment on premises and in the cloud and connecting the two. This was something in the past I wasn’t sure how to replicate and it was a great learning experience in the class.

We covered other topics like Hybrid One Drive and Sites (more like site pages), Hybrid Search in 2016, Configuring a workflow server, setting up Office Online Server (formerly Office Web Apps), and many other areas that give a good foundation to be prepared for SharePoint 2016.

There’s so many different aspects of SharePoint that could be focused on in this course, but I felt like that this had something if you are a beginner or if you have a few years (and grey hairs on you like me), there is plenty of information to be absorbed.

I would even recommend this course to those people not on 2016 yet. 2013 has plenty of presence and discussion in this course because while Microsoft has improved many areas in the newest version, the foundation of much of the product is still rooted in the functionality of 2013.

Lastly what you take away from this course is confidence. Confidence that you are better prepared for all SharePoint has to offer. You also get a great pool of scripts, links, articles and reference material that will take me a long time to digest thoroughly. If you have a chance to take this training, jump at it.

-BJ

Thoughts after taking the 70-339

Recently I saw the following post online and thought I’d take a stab at trying my first MS cert exam:

https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/b/weblog/posts/beta-exam-for-70-339-managing-microsoft-sharepoint-server-2016-now-available

The overall test was difficult for me since I have had very limited exposure to the new 2016 SharePoint Server and Office 365. From that aspect, I think I didn’t do very well on this exam. But it was free with the code above and It’s given me a great understanding of how to prepare better.

On the other hand, since the bulk of my experience has been with SharePoint 2010 and 2013, I was able to answer several questions without too much difficulty. For several others, I was able to find the correct answer with my 2013 knowledge and review of topics from my notes.

Great breakdown on prep content can be found here:
https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/certification/p/wiki?es=sharePoint&ec=331

READ THE CASE STUDIES!!! Then, read your questions and then re-read the case study again! If you don’t get any other advice from this post, it’s that simply reading the business case related to a certain questions and comparing details of it to what you are being asked can help you find the correct answer by eliminating incorrect answers.

Of course I have to say I should have studied more and into a few topics more in depth for sure to better round out my knowledge for the test. I hope to use this information and knowledge I have now to prep and take the 70-331 and 70-332 exams and then if I didn’t pass, I will go for and retake the 70-339.

Hope this helps!