February 26, 2013 3:29 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
There’s an interesting press release from CompTIA up on their website this morning, entitled “Healthcare Providers Expanding Use of Mobile Technologies…” Because I just blogged on this very topic for Windows Enterprise Desktop yesterday (see “Dell Latitude 10: Viable Healthcare Tablet Option?“), this report struck something of a chord with me. And when my old Novell buddy, Mickey Applebaum, commented to me on Facebook that Acer also has “…a dedicated medical care section and are even listed in the Medical Product Guide as a provider of technology products to healthcare professionals” and that he has “…hooked several doctors’ offices [up] with Acer Direct…” for such sales, something of a pattern started to emerge:
healthcare IT = EHR + mobile + hunger for innovation
An increasing number of medical professionals are turning to mobile devices on the job.
[Image Credit: Shutterstock 125225471]
(remember, EHR stands for “electronic health records,” and represents US government jargon for the phenomenon that’s currently revolutionizing medical data storage, as the vast majority of medical records make the transition from purely paper-based to entirely digital forms. Because the CompTIA press release lumps EHR with EMR below, I should also explain the EMR stands for “electronic medical records” as well).
Bingo! In that context, the CompTIA information comes as no surprise whatsover, and these eminently repeatable factoids from same make very good sense indeed (all of the following bullet points are verbatim quotes, somewhat abbreviated where ellipses appear, from the CompTIA press release cited above):
- healthcare providers are on the cusp of expanding their use of smart mobile devices from routine business activities, such as e-mail and scheduling, to more advanced, care-specific uses … examples include medication monitoring and management, remote access to health records[,] and assisting patients in managing insurance claims.
- while most healthcare providers are in the early stages of adopting and incorporating mobile health and other technologies into their workflow, the research points to high levels of interest and experimentation … a net three in four healthcare providers surveyed believe mobility is having a positive impact on healthcare.
- one in five physicians with a mobile device capable of supporting apps uses health- or medical-related apps on a daily basis … over the next 12 months, healthcare providers expect to increase their usage of medical apps to … where 62 percent are relying on these apps at least a few times per week.
- CompTIA data indicates that about six in ten healthcare providers have at least some elements of an EMR/EHR system in place.
- CompTIA research … points to a more positive attitude toward EMR/EHR among healthcare providers this year … a net satisfaction rate in the low 60s indicates acceptable performance, but leaves a sizable segment of users seeking improvement…
- Fewer than half of healthcare providers acknowledge being fully prepared for their transition to electronic health record[s].
Obviously, equipment makers, solution providers, and system integrators all smell big opportunities for mobile healthcare IT, for everything from acceptable devices to specialized applications and systems that target healthcare professionals who might use those devices. I hope it’s equally obvious that there’s HUGE certification, employment, and career advancement potential here as well, and that interested IT professionals should keep in mind that there’s lots of money in healthcare, where some of it inevitably trickles down and into IT.
To that end, interested readers might want to consult a pair of pieces I wrote for Tom’s IT Pro on the subject of healthcare-related IT certifications:
- Top 5 IT Certifications in Healthcare (March 20, 2012)
- Healthcare IT: The Lowdown on EHR and Stimulus Certifications (December 3, 2012)
There’s a LOT of opportunity for IT pros who are interested in working in or around healthcare, and there are lots of certifications designed to help them find their way into this field. If this appeals to you, be sure to check these things out.
February 25, 2013 4:26 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
4 completed items may be viewed on demand, 7 more queued up for future delivery.
In total keeping with the company’s recent emphasis on Data Center certifications for CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE, Cisco blitz on that burgeoning aspect of IT operations also includes numerous free weekly Webinars, past, present, and future. Here’s the current line-up, divided by what’s already out, what’s coming soon, and in the queue for future delivery (a Cisco learning registration/login ID is required to access any links provided below):
Preparing for your CCNA Data Center Cert Studies (slides, watch now)
Introduction to the Nexus 1000v (slides, watch now)
Introduction to Unified IO (slides, watch now)
Describe the Cisco WAAS Need and Advantages in the Data Center (slides, watch now)
NXOS Command Line Introduction (available soon, already recorded)
Introduction to Fibre Channel Concepts (available soon, already recorded)
Intro to Cisco ACE (available soon, already recorded)
Introduction to UCS (February 28, register)
Introduction to FCoE Protocols (March 7, register)
NXOS Advanced Features (vPC, FabricPath, OTV) (March 14, register)
Nexus 1000v Deep Dive (March 21, register)
SAN Zoning (March 28, registration link coming later this week)
FWIW, I see a pattern emerging here where Cisco keeps the queue about two months out, and updates its offerings every week. Thus, you’ll want to keep dropping into the Data Center Technical Webinars page to check out the latest and greatest offerings for future registration, and/or to view additional pre-recorded elements as they become available for download.
February 25, 2013 4:03 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
Over at “IT Certification Master” Mirek Burnejko strikes some interesting paydirt as he lays out a story on “10 of the Hardest IT Certifications to Get.” In that story, he provides brief profiles of his current choices for the hardest IT certifications to earn nowadays, among the 700-800 items available to IT professionals right now.
A Different, Difficult and Demanding Top 10 Certs List to Ponder…
Here’s his Top 10 list, delivered Letterman-style in reverse numerical order:
10. Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE)
9. CCIE Data Center
8. Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
7. VMware Certified Design Expert — Datacenter Virtualization (VCDX)
6. Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE)
5. Oracle Certified Master (OCM) DBA 11g
4. GIAC Security Expert (GSE)
3. ITIL V3 Master
2. Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) Windows Server: Directory
1. Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr)
I really can’t quibble with any of his choices, though I would add some additional observations:
- Any of the CCIE credentials could appear in place 10 (or elsewhere in the list) because of their level of difficulty, expense, and time commitment required to earn one.
- The SAP Consulting certifications are also pretty expensive, demanding, difficult, and scarce, and might be worth a place in a future such list, if not the present list.
- Architect-level certs rightfully make a couple of appearances on this list, and there are numerous other such credentials from which one can choose. See my stories “Senior-level Certification: IT Architect Credentials Can Open Career Doors” and Bredemeyer Consulting’s excellent bibliography/overview piece “Architect Role and Skills” for more information on this fascinating and demanding IT specialization.
- The placement of these certs in the order depends on some interesting and subjective assessments from Mr. Burnejko. I don’t always agree with those assessments, but again these are quibbles. Thus, for example, I’m not sure that the MCA deserves to be so close to the top (I’d switch places between it and the GSE, for example, because of the sheer amount of work and ongoing cert maintenance required to keep up that pinnacle GIAC certification).
All in all this is a great story that highlights some interesting and sometimes perversely difficult IT certifications. It does lay out some “supreme goals” for the super-Type-As among the IT professionals out there, and should be enough to keep most readers busy for several lifetimes!
February 25, 2013 3:22 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
MS Offers Live Online Cloud Career Training and Counseling
Those interested in exploring or better understanding IT opportunities in the cloud — especially as such things intersect with Microsoft products and technologies — should jump right up to the Microsoft Certified Career Day Web page that focuses on “Get in the Cloud” and register for the free broadcast scheduled for March 12, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 12:35 PM Pacific Time (-08:00 UCT). That day’s agenda features the following items:
- 09:00 – 10:15 Live Industry Panel on cloud-based career opportunities features various MS heavyweights, an MVP and college instructor, and Paul Thurrott, all interacting and dispensing insight and advice for virtual attendees.
- 10:15 – 10:30 A brief but surely interesting interview with Windows guru and MS Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich on the ins and outs involved in helping organizations transition into cloud computing.
- 10:30 – 11:30 A Windows Server 2012 live product session with MS senior technical evangelists Rick Claus and Joey Snow, with an overview on training opportunities to learn cloud-related technologies in and around the Windows Server 2012 platform.
- 11:35-12:35 A SQL Server 2012 live product sessions with senior technical product manager Dandy Weyn, and senior product marketing manager Jennifer Moser, as they discuss business intelligence support scenarios that SQL Server 2012 brings to organizations, and MS training and technology offerings designed to support use of such tools and technologies.
This promises to be an interesting and informative educational encounter for those who want to explore Microsoft’s support for cloud-based platforms, tools, and technologies, and to get a sense of what kind of training and certifications Microsoft has built around such things. Be sure to register soon if this includes you: the live session is bound to fill up quickly (though a recorded version will surely be available about one month after the live delivery date, you’ll have to move quickly to get in on the initial delivery).
February 18, 2013 4:24 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
In many ways, this free MS Press e-book first signaled Microsoft’s seriousness about promoting Win8 apps; a revision re-emphasizes that commitment.
A free e-book is good, a free user-driven revision is even better.
I have to re-emphasize my opinion that Windows is putting extraordinary resources behind the tools and resources it’s giving away to persuade and cajole developers to jump on the Windows Store App bandwagon. It was already pretty obvious that the company is doing a lot to stimulate such interest and uptake: this latest announcement just takes that premise a little further, and makes it even more blatant that they want to feed the development work necessary to provide apps to increase user interest and buy-in into Windows 8 itself.
February 15, 2013 4:53 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
In just under two weeks, on February 27, Cisco will be hosting an online Webinar to discuss its recently-introduced raft of Data Center certifications. The time for this online event is from 8:00 to 9:30 AM Pacific Time (UCT -08:00) and registration is free.
Learn more about the CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE Data Center certs at this webinar.
In case it’s eluded you, Cisco has created a more or less complete set of Data Center certifications that includes the following elements:
Whew! That’s a major hunk of Design Center certifications right there: 3 from their standard associate-professional-expert cert ladder, and another 10 specialist credentials as well. No wonder they need a 90-minute webinar to walk attendees through this whole matrix. It should be an interesting encounter, and certainly speaks eloquently to Cisco’s major commitment to data center platforms, tools, and technologies going forward. If you’re of a mind to work in a data center environment, it should be worth checking out.
February 13, 2013 3:25 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
Header info from the 70-482 registration page.
On Monday, the MS Born to Learn blog announced a third and final free Jump Start for the MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5 certification. MS Technical Evangelists and instructors Michael Palermo and Jeremy Foster have already taught (and recorded) Jump Starts for exams:
- 70-481 Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps
The next Jump Start will occur on February 23, 2013, and runs from 9 AM to 5 PM Pacific Standard Time (UCT -08:00). If you visit the Registration Page, you can not only sign up for this class, you can also read a detailed course description for the content and coverage to be delivered that day. But don’t worry if you can’t make it to the live version: MS Learning will post a recording of this class within a month of its initial delivery, if history (and the prior two Jump Starts) are any guide.
This is a great set of offerings, and shows how deadly serious Microsoft is about encouraging developers to build apps for the Windows Store/Modern UI (or TIFKAM — The Interface Formerly Known as Metro — as I like to call it). They’re essentially giving a great deal of training away to try to persuade Microsoft-savvy developers that building Windows Store apps is THE thing to do. Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, it’s hard to argue with free training. Be sure to check it out!
February 11, 2013 4:10 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
VS 2010 gains some added certification life.
Until last week, Microsoft had slated the entire collection of its Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework exams for retirement in mid-summer of this year, on July 31, 2013. But in response to what must have been a large number of requests from developers in process to certs based on those exams, MS made the following statement in a Born to Learn blog post dated February 8 entitled Update on Visual Studio 2010 Exam Retirement Dates: “The following Visual Studio 2010 exams that were previously slated to retire on July 31, 2013 will now remain available for all candidates until further notice. No new retirement date has been set.” (The emphasis is Microsoft’s, not mine.) Here’s the list of exams that have been called out of pending retirement:
- 70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-513: TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-518: Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-519: Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
In a way, I’m glad to see this because MS has traditionally supported both the current and immediately preceding versions of Visual Studio in its developer credentials. Sure, I can understand why they want to propel developers forward into the new VS 2012 based MCSD credential. But with some development efforts (particularly the kind of in-house custom development that Visual Studio often seeks to enable and support) bound to lag behind new product introductions, it makes sense to keep the prior VS version (and its associated .NET Framework version as well) alive until the next VS and Framework versions hit the streets, probably in 2015 or thereabouts.
February 8, 2013 3:17 PM
Posted by: Ed Tittel
In an announcement released last Tuesday (“CCIE Storage Networking Certification Retirement” 2/5/2013), Cisco provides scheduled retirement dates for the two exam for the CCIE Storage Networking credential:
- Final availability date for the written exam (350-040 CCIE Storage Networking exam) is April 30, 2013. As of May 1, 2013, that exam will no longer be offered.
- Final availability date for the lab exam (CCIE Storage Networking lab exam) is June 30, 2013. As of July 1, 2013, that exam will no longer be offered, either.
As of 7/1/2013, no more CCIE Storage Networking certs will be issued.
Here’s what the announcement says about the reasons for this planned retirement:
The CCIE Storage Networking certification is being retired because of its increasingly narrow focus within IT networking and the broader scope now available with the Data Center training and certification programs. While the job roles of professionals working in the storage networking area remain important for a company’s success, Cisco is concentrating its focus on the broader solutions that exist for the data center as a whole.
For more information on the suggested replacement credential visit the CCIE Data Center page in the Cisco Learning Network. To me, it’s interesting that Cisco would do away with a CCIE that was originally announced in October 2004, and that went public in March 2005 with the release of the first written exam for that credential. Given the amount of time, expense, and effort required to define a senior credential like this one, and the concomitant costs involved in walking away from such a substantial investment, this speaks strongly about the pace of change and upheaval in the networking biz.
Brian McGahan, himself a CCIE and a long-time developer of CCIE training courses and materials, has this to say about what’s up with the topics and technologies covered on the CCIE Storage Networking credential:
While many of the SAN switching topics overlap between CCIE Storage Networking and CCIE Data Center, such as VSANs, Basic & Enhanced Zoning, SAN Trunking & Port Channeling, iSCSI, and San [Sic: SAN] Extension with FCIP, many features covered in CCIE SAN are not being carried over to CCIE DC, such as FICON, Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR), Storage Media Encryption (SME), and Data Mobility Manager (DMM). Instead, the SAN section of CCIE Data Center focuses more on storage features of the modern data center such as Unified I/O, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), N-Port Virtualization (NPV), and N Port Identifier Virtualization (NPIV).
The large-scale changeover in tools and technologies (what’s going out, and what’s coming in to replace that content as it relates to SAN) provides some interesting details to back up my contention that ample technology ferment and change is responsible for the retirement of the CCIE SAN, and the refocusing on Data Center. And now, at long last, we also know why Cisco didn’t push down the storage certs into CCNA and CCNP flavors, as they’ve already done with Data Center, but also with Security, Wireless, service provider stuff, Voice, and Wireless.