Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Passed another Exam

Today I passed Microsoft Exam 98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals. This wasn't a difficult test for me, this could be because I already have some experience with Windows server, but I'm pretty sure anyone could pass this if they have some basic hardware and software knowledge. Up next is Database Administration Fundamentals that exam seems a bit more challenging but I'm feeling confident that I'll be ready for it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Passed the Project+ Exam

I took the Project+ last week and barely passed. I wouldn't say that the test is really that hard, but the subject of project management is just so incredibly boring that it was hard to retain the information. I don't feel too bad about my mediocre score, because I'm not likely to be managing projects anytime soon and I really just want to move onto something more interesting.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Altoid Tins

Here's my small collection of Altoid Tins

I have a coworker who eats these things all the time. He doesn't use the empty tins, so he asked me if I wanted them for anything, I'm such a pack rat I couldn't resist the offer. A quick search on Google will show you a crazy variety of projects people have used Altoid tins for.

What have I done with mine? Absolutely nothing, besides taking a picture of them. Just something more to add to the list of things that I haven't gotten around to doing yet.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Comptia Project+

The first class I need to complete for my new term at Western Governors University is TPV1 Project Management. TPV1 is the course code and it makes absolutely no sense; none of their course codes make any sense. Which makes it confusing sometimes when their site just gives you a course code and you have to go and look it up all the time. I wish they would follow a logical code structure like just about every other school I've seen.

The thing I do like about this course is that it follows WGU's competency model and to prove competency in this subject I need to go and pass Comptia's Project+ exam. I've already read the Sybex study guide from front to back and feel pretty confident I can pass. So I requested an exam voucher code a few days ago. All I need to do now is find a seat at a nearby testing center. I'm hoping to find an opening Saturday morning next week but you never really know sometimes these testing centers can be booked solid.

I don't know how much milage I'll get out of being Project+ certified. I suspect it's really just going to be resume fodder, a nice bullet point on my list of certs but nothing that's going to open any doors. The exam is really just a primer for the more advanced PMP certification. Now that's a certification that does hold weight, but I'm not sure if I want to go down that road. The Project+ study guide was a little too dry for me, I prefer to focus on a subject that's more tech related.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Western Governors University

Today I start my second term at Western Governors University or WGU for short. The school is completely online. I'm enrolled in the Bachelors of Science in Information Technology degree, they offer other degrees with an emphasis in areas like networking and security, but I decided to stay with the basic BSIT degree so I could graduate faster.

The thing that makes WGU different from any other school I've ever seen before is the self paced nature of the curriculum. Most of the classes focus on preparing you for a certification exam. You pass the class when you take the exam and get certified. You're free to take the exam whenever you feel like you're ready, which means that if you're knowledgeable about the subject you can accelerate your advancement towards graduation.

A big incentive to graduating early is that it saves a lot of money. WGU charges a set tuition for the term and that covers as many classes as you can handle in a term. Theoretically you could complete your entire degree in one term, although you'd probably be doing nothing else during the six month term.

All of this sounds great so far, but the thing that had me sitting on the fence was the question of whether or not the degree itself would be worth anything. Would a 100% online school with a non-traditional program be accepted anywhere? Will employers look down their noses at this type of degree when they see it on a resume? I can't predict how an employer will feel about my degree. I suspect some traditionalists will consider it a garbage degree, those with a similar education background will support it, and the majority will be indifferent. For many places a degree is turning into a check box for HR, they want to see that you have one but after that they could care less. This is especially true with information technology where your experience and knowledge far outweigh the name of your school. That's a big reason for why certifications have always been so popular with the IT industry. The fact that you load up on certifications while attending WGU will probably go a long way towards getting your resume noticed.

What made me finally decide to go ahead with enrolling at WGU was their regional accreditation. They have the same level of accreditation that a brick and mortar university would hold. This means I can always take my degree to another school and they should accept it in transfer. I’m betting on the idea that I won’t have to unless I’m doing it to upgrade to a masters degree.