Microsoft Offers Free E-Learning Promotion

Microsoft Learning is currently offering free e-learning programs prior to the upcoming release of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. The company has several online courses that deal with various features and functions, as well as skills assessments, available for both products on the Microsoft Learning Web site.

“It’s really about readiness,” said Lori Dennis, group product manager of e-learning at Microsoft Learning. “It’s focused on getting customers ready to do early deployments as soon as the products release. We want customers to get comfortable in their understanding of how the products are going to work before it launches.”

The courses also serve as a resource for those planning to pursue certifications for SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005, which will be released on Nov. 7. These two certifications will be the first of Microsoft’s next-generation certification program, which will be restructured to cover separate technologies horizontally, and deal with different job roles and levels of expertise vertically.

“It does map into certification in terms of providing a solid foundation of the content that’s required,” Dennis said. “The next stage is going into a new certification path like the Technical Specialist or the Professional Developer credentials. We definitely want to make sure that all the content we’re developing is mapping to certification. This provides a great foundation as you move into the next layer in preparation for your technical exams.”

The e-learning programs are presently based on the second beta versions of these products,…



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