I spent a very interesting three-quarters of an hour on the phone earlier this week with Ken Rosen (the Lead Community and Evangelism Manager for Microsoft Learning) and Tjeerd Veninga (the Certified Trainer Community Lead also for Microsoft Learning), talking — and then, brainstorming — about the upcoming Microsoft Certified Career Conference (aka MCCC) to be held online on 11/18/2010. I learned a thing or two and also inflicted a few ideas on these gentlemen during the course of our call.
The real goal of the conference is to help people at all levels of career development and experience, from aspiring newbies to grizzled veterans, to improve on their career prospects and interests. In fact, where possible, Microsoft would like to lead IT workers into technical areas where opportunities are likely to remain bright even during dark economic times (like the doldrums in which we find ourselves enmeshed at present, for instance) and for the foreseeable future. This kind of rationale, it turns out, played a key role in the topics that were chosen for coverage in this upcoming conference, which will run for 24 hours straight on 11/18/2010. Drat! That reminds me that I forgot to ask them what time the affair will kick off in UCT or GMT timing, so the world can synch up on the actual start time (…firing off an e-mail to the Wag-Ed rep to see what I can find out…and sure enough a call-back informs me that the show begins at 12:00pm UCT 11/18/2010 ).
Interestingly, I learned that any student registered at an accredited institution of higher learning, or anybody with an MCP or higher-level Microsoft certification, qualifies for a 50% discount on the $55 registration cost for this event (MS has been kind enough to comp my registration fee, so I can report live on the conference while it’s underway). I also learned that any funds collected in delivering the conference will be “paid forward” into other MS Learning conferences and activities. In the words of Ken Rosen “it’s not a profit center or a money-making effort.”
As the event gets closer, I’ll be working with Misters Rosen and Veninga to target specific items for coverage and reporting. And who knows, I may even talk them into hosting a Q&A panel where I and other certification folks can field and answer questions from conference attendees. Stay tuned: I’ll be reporting weekly up to, through, and after the conference takes place.