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  1. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Scheduled 70-336 for Wednesday

    We'll see how it goes... this the first "new" exam I have taken in five years (new, meaning for a product I have never been certified on any of the previous versions).

    Study materials:
    CBT Nuggets
    Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013
    Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Unleashed
    Microsoft Virtual Academy Lync Server 2013 JumpStart
    Lot's of TechNet
    Getting familiar with the product through Cutover and Hybrid migrations to Lync/SfB Online

    I have been putting this one off for at 2 years, now. When I took on my current job, I knew that I would need to become familiar with Lync and become our regional resource related to the product. I should have scheduled a bootcamp course for it early on and then maybe scheduled another week to just read a book or two cover to cover, but it has been piecemeal.

    To my benefit, many of the skills I have cultivated for Exchange will serve me well, particularly PowerShell, RBAC, etc. If I don't pass, I will give myself another week to review and retake with Second Shot.

    If all goes well, I need to try and knock out 70-417, just because that is the last piece to complete MCSE Messaging. Following that... 70-337, if I can get it in before the end of March. It would be truly great to get certified on this version as it is still relevant (one of my largest customers is in the middle of a Lync Server 2010 to 2013 upgrade right now) and it will be very useful to have these skills going into more SfB Online migrations or the SfB Server 2016 deployments that may await. Then, it is Microsoft Virtual Academy for re-certification.

    I have to say that I have really not been impressed with most of the certification centric material out there for Lync (CBT Nuggets, Microsoft Virtual Academy). And as a long-time Exchange engineer, I would have expected an "Inside Out" from Microsoft Press, but nothing. I am going to take the next couple of days to walk through a few of the topics in review.
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    2016 Attained: MCSA Windows Server 2012, MCSE Messaging, MCSE Communications, and MCSE Productivity
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  3. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #2
    I passed! Woot!

    I have been studying for this one on and off since early last year. I am convinced now that the Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013 book from Sybex is the book to use as a replacement for having no "Inside Out" book.

    I had some issues with the answers with drag and drop and selection drop-downs having the text all jumbled... I could read it, but it was difficult. I also had a multiple choice question where the same identical answer was listed twice... and I think it was the best option, so I commented on that. I re-read it about six or seven times to make sure that there was a small nuanced difference... but nope... they were identical. So which one was right in the system? Who knows.

    70-337 will be a biggie, I imagine and will probably nearly be the death of me. I am going to sign up for a class so that I can verify my student status again, since Second Shot is running out soon (about the same price, if taken twice with student discount). I will likely take it at the beginning of March, to give me enough time to study and retake before the deadline. I am probably going to cram for 417 to get it done before Second Shot is over. That way I will have my MCSA upgraded to 2012 and be MCSE Messaging for the third time .
    70-346 [ ] 70-347 [ ] 70-533 [ ] 70-743 [ ]
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  4. Senior Member
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by powerfool View Post
    I passed! Woot!

    I have been studying for this one on and off since early last year. I am convinced now that the Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013 book from Sybex is the book to use as a replacement for having no "Inside Out" book.

    I had some issues with the answers with drag and drop and selection drop-downs having the text all jumbled... I could read it, but it was difficult. I also had a multiple choice question where the same identical answer was listed twice... and I think it was the best option, so I commented on that. I re-read it about six or seven times to make sure that there was a small nuanced difference... but nope... they were identical. So which one was right in the system? Who knows.

    70-337 will be a biggie, I imagine and will probably nearly be the death of me. I am going to sign up for a class so that I can verify my student status again, since Second Shot is running out soon (about the same price, if taken twice with student discount). I will likely take it at the beginning of March, to give me enough time to study and retake before the deadline. I am probably going to cram for 417 to get it done before Second Shot is over. That way I will have my MCSA upgraded to 2012 and be MCSE Messaging for the third time .
    Congrats!

    I passed my first exchange exam a few weeks ago (70-341), hoping to have a go at / pass the 70-342 in the next 2-3 months.

    Good luck with your 70-337 - It will look good for you to have 2 MCSE's, both related as well!

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    #4
    I teach both 336 and 337 in bootcamp format and skills transfer. I have a "free" / no upsell site for my students to help prep. https://craigonlync.wordpress.com check it out. Also links to skype for biz and exchange are on site as well
    Last edited by zort2001; 02-16-2016 at 02:42 AM.
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  6. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #5
    I passed 337 yesterday by the skin on my teeth after reading and working Lync 2013 (Exchange On-Premise/Online UM, Lync Hybrid, Voice, etc) non-stop for the past few months. Honestly, the exam didn't seem horrible "deep". You have to know the material, that's for sure... I could have had a better understanding of it, but it doesn't require you to go leagues deep in the material.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by powerfool View Post
    I passed 337 yesterday by the skin on my teeth after reading and working Lync 2013 (Exchange On-Premise/Online UM, Lync Hybrid, Voice, etc) non-stop for the past few months. Honestly, the exam didn't seem horrible "deep". You have to know the material, that's for sure... I could have had a better understanding of it, but it doesn't require you to go leagues deep in the material.
    Congrats!

    Which MCSE was hardest in your opinion? Exchange or Lync/Skype?
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  8. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by joeswfc View Post
    Congrats!

    Which MCSE was hardest in your opinion? Exchange or Lync/Skype?
    I am not sure I can give you a solid answer. They are both tough, that is sure. However, I have been working with Exchange since version 5.5 in the 90s and I have been previously certified on Exchange 2003 and 2010 and have been Exchange focused in large enterprise environments for the past 5 years. Lync is a new skillset for me, so I have had a steeper learning curve.
    Last edited by powerfool; 03-15-2016 at 07:48 PM.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by powerfool View Post
    I am not sure I can give you a solid answer. They are both tough, that is sure. However, I have been working with Exchange since version 5.5 in the 90s and I have been previously certified on Exchange 2003 and 2010 and have been Exchange focused in large enterprise environments for the past 5 years. Lync is a new skillset for me, so I have had a steeper learning curve.
    Currently Prepping for the 70-342, hoping to take the exam in the next couple of months.
    Trying to work out my next steps after, possibly looking at lync or sharepoint MCSE's
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  10. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by joeswfc View Post
    Currently Prepping for the 70-342, hoping to take the exam in the next couple of months.
    Trying to work out my next steps after, possibly looking at lync or sharepoint MCSE's
    I would say Lync/SfB is much more complementary to Exchange that would be Sharepoint. Sharepoint is such a different beast, but if you were looking to handle the full contingent of services that are part of the O365 suite, it would make sense. The Lync exams do have Exchange related questions in them... those that related to address book, conversation history, Exchange UM, presence, etc.
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by powerfool View Post
    I would say Lync/SfB is much more complementary to Exchange that would be Sharepoint. Sharepoint is such a different beast, but if you were looking to handle the full contingent of services that are part of the O365 suite, it would make sense. The Lync exams do have Exchange related questions in them... those that related to address book, conversation history, Exchange UM, presence, etc.
    My thoughts exactly, Lync is related to Exchange in a way.
    But, maybe it would be good to have knowledge in 2 completely different products. Therefore I could take 2 different routes in my career rather than just be set on Exchange, and it would open up more opportunities.

    I have however seen a few jobs for messaging administrator which require knowledge of both Exchange and Lync. So I will have to consider everything.
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  12. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #11
    I used to always follow the mantra of "jack of all trades, master of none; though oft time better than a master of one" but then I began specializing in Exchange and my career has definitely benefited from the specialization. That being said, for my personal growth to continue, I do need to branch out a bit more. I see Lync/SfB as the most appropriate place for that focus because it is "ancillary" but also has a good market for its skills when they stand alone. It improves my Exchange skills and provides me with more opportunities, at the same time.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by powerfool View Post
    I used to always follow the mantra of "jack of all trades, master of none; though oft time better than a master of one" but then I began specializing in Exchange and my career has definitely benefited from the specialization. That being said, for my personal growth to continue, I do need to branch out a bit more. I see Lync/SfB as the most appropriate place for that focus because it is "ancillary" but also has a good market for its skills when they stand alone. It improves my Exchange skills and provides me with more opportunities, at the same time.
    Yes I do agree that it is probably better to be a specialist in a particular area over knowing a bit of everything.

    If you look at job adverts, you can get a much higher wage for something like a messaging administrator over a system administrator/3rd line support
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  14. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by joeswfc View Post
    Yes I do agree that it is probably better to be a specialist in a particular area over knowing a bit of everything.

    If you look at job adverts, you can get a much higher wage for something like a messaging administrator over a system administrator/3rd line support
    Yep, at this point, I have about 50% higher pay than when I didn't specialize, and that was still a time when I had considerable (12+ years) experience in the industry.
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    #14
    What was your strategy for labbing Enterprise Voice and the hybrid Lync models? I'm an Exchange guy but getting pulled more and more into Lync/Skype for Business especially since the release of Cloud PBX in Office 365.

    Thanks!
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  16. Senior Member gncsmith's Avatar
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    Congrats! powerfool
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  17. Senior Member powerfool's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by meestaplunk View Post
    What was your strategy for labbing Enterprise Voice and the hybrid Lync models? I'm an Exchange guy but getting pulled more and more into Lync/Skype for Business especially since the release of Cloud PBX in Office 365.

    Thanks!
    So the Cloud PBX stuff is very different from EV in On-Premise. I work with some sharp Lync/SfB folks, so I asked for some documents that they put together to get familiar with it. Then, I have some customers that have Lync EV... I created some test SIP accounts (with their permission) and played with some things with those accounts, and then just reviewed their setup.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by powerfool View Post
    Yep, at this point, I have about 50% higher pay than when I didn't specialize, and that was still a time when I had considerable (12+ years) experience in the industry.
    I have plenty of time yet to decide which path I want to start going down, I have only been in IT for between 5 and 6 years, and been on second line for a year.

    I have become slightly more specialized since becoming second line, I am the main Microsoft guy and deal with a little bit of VMware. Obviously hoping to become specialized in a more specific area in the future.
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