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Showing posts with label Certification. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Certification. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Managing Successful Projects with Prince2 - AXELOS

Managing Successful Projects with Prince2
The Stationery Office Ltd
ISBN 978113315338
eISBN 9780113315352

I have been managing projects for a number of years now at work. And When I compared Project management institute PMI, and Prince2 I really felt that prince 2 better suited my style and the type of projects that I have run. I registered for a Prince2 course and was asked by my manager to get a book and do some extra preparation before the course. I picked up this book. Both the eBook edition and the physical print versions. I am normally an eBook kind of guy. But I have found out that the Practitioner Exam is open book and the only resource you are allowed is this physical book.

This book will teach you the Prince2 Methodology from top to bottom. I have read the eBook, and just finished a course where we used the physical book and a student guide and exercise guide. The instructor showed us a picture of his book with about 30 sticky note tabs sticking out from the top and one side, that he used the last time he wrote the exam. The book will prepare you for both the Foundations and Practitioner and exams. But it is also a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about this excellent Project Management Methodology. The book is full color and the sections are color coded with color tabs on the eds of the pages. The pages are thick stock. And glossy. The production of the book is of the highest quality. It is a beautiful book and excellent resource. I like the eBook because of quick search capabilities. But if you are taking it into the exam you need to have the physical copy. If you are preparing for the exams make sure you get the correct edition of the book. Currently the 2017 Edition.

This book is intended for anyone who is planning on taking the exams. Anyone looking to grow their knowledge of the method. But it could be a great resource for anyone who works on projects to help really understand the process and principals that drive Prince2. I recommend this for anyone who plays a major role in projects on a regular basis.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Fr Willie Doyle & World War I A Chaplain's Story - K.V. Turley

Fr Willie Doyle & World War I:
A Chaplain's Story
K.V. Turley
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860829062
eISBN 9781784694791


I started reading books about Catholic Military chaplains a few years ago, it started with a recommendation from a friend about Emil Kapaun, and has been a growing area of personal interest. But it has become more than just a passing interest, my son who is 10 has been saying for over three years now that he will be a priest when he grows up, after walking while I was watching a documentary on Vincent Capodanno he is now insistent that for over a year now he is saying he will be a military chaplain. And now we are reading books about chaplains together. And this book was an excellent little volume for us to read together.

The chapters in this volume are:

The Child
The Scholar
The Novice
The Jesuit
The Priest
The Hunter of Souls
The Penitent
The Military Chaplain
The Front
The Gas Attack
The Somme
The Casualty

With each book I read about military chaplains I am amazed by their service, courage and sacrifice. No matter the conflict, no matter the situation they are men who heeded the call to the priesthood, and the call to serve country. And Father Willie Doyle is an exemplary example of that. This book begins with words from Father Doyle himself, written in a letter home just 2 days before he died. Writing to his father he states:

"I have told you all my escapes, dearest Father, because I think what I have written will give you the same confidence which I feel, that my old armchair up in Heaven is not ready yet, and I do not want you to be uneasy about me. I am all the better for these couple of days' rest, and am quite on my fighting legs again. Leave will be possible very shortly, I think, so I shall only say au revoir in view of an early meeting. Heaps of love to every dear one. As ever, dearest Father, your loving son, Willie. 14/8/17."
Father Doyle was a man of service. He rushed into situations other were rushing away from. He rushed in to pull to safety those he could, to give the anointing of the sick, or last rights. Farther Doyle was one of many who was lost at the battle of Passchendaele. As a Canadian, Passchendaele, is seared in our national conscience.  In the prologue it is stated:
"Yet, this seeming annihilation of just another military chaplain stands contradicted by his unexpected return to the consciousness of our times. It is as though, in spite of the decades that have since passed, his life's witness has once more arisen from those now still battlefields. And in so doing, it has become a testament, in stark contrast, even rebuke, to this age of ease and infidelity. The 'war' today may no longer be of worldly empires, but his faithful witness in the spiritual battle that we, too, still face is like a long-forgotten reveille sounding anew its uncompromising call for nothing less than the martyrdom of self: sanctity."
And maybe that speaks to my own attraction to stories of heroic men of the cloth. For we can look at their heroism, such as Father Doyle's, and be challenged to live heroically in our day to day life. Father Doyle lived a life of sanctity; he sought God in all that he did. And his example to us is that we need to seek sanctity in our work, our homes, our play. And even though our circumstances are not nearly as dire as trench warfare during World War I. The spiritual reality is just as critical.

This book follows Father Doyle's life from his birth on March 3rd 1873 to his death in battle. Some of the incidents in this book are not easy to read about, walking through a trench filled with corpses, digging men out of collapsed fox holes while under bombardment, and more. But it is a book that will encourage, challenge and motivate.

General Hickie write to Father Doyle's family sated:

"I could not say too much about your son. He was loved and reverenced by us all; his gallantry, self-sacrifice, and devotion to duty were all so well known and recognized. I think that his was the most wonderful character that I have ever known."
And that testament is captured in this book. Another incredible book from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Reviews of other books about Military Chaplains:
The Miracle of Father Kapaun: Priest, Soldier and Korean War Hero - Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying
A Shepherd in Combat Boots: Chaplain Emil Kapaun of the 1st Cavalry Division - William Maher
The Grunt Padre: Father Vincent Robert Capodanno Vietnam 1966-1967 - Daniel L. Mode
The Priest Barracks Dachau 1938-1945 - Guillaume Zeller
Blessings from the Battlefield - Edited by Thomas R. O'Brien

Heroic Catholic Chaplains: Stories of the Brave and Holy Men Who Dodged Bullets While Saving Souls
Fr Willie Doyle & World War I: A Chaplain's Story - K.V. Turley
Armed with Faith The Life of Father Vincent R. Capodanno, MM - Stephen M. Digiovanni

For all reviews and articles about Military Chaplains click here.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

ActiveBatch Advance Course from Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc.

ActiveBatch Advance Course
Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc.
Instructor Kathryn Ossandon

It has been a few years since I have taken part in a Live Virtual Classroom course offering. Over that time I have done a lot of self-paced online study. But there is always something about instructor led courses and labs that build that I get excited about. As someone who spent 20 years as a student in post-secondary education, and since then had done hundreds of IT courses, through CBT Nuggets, TrainSignal, Pluralsight, and more. One of the advantages of self-paced is not needing to wait on any stragglers. But the biggest advantage of instructor led is the interaction, sometimes with other participants, or as in this case just the instructor.

In this particular course the instructor was one of the best features. Kathryn Ossandon, she comes from technical support for ActiveBatch, and now focuses on being a Product Trainer. And she leads an excellent course offering. I believe this was the first course I have ever taken where time was not lost at some point as the instructor helped someone with their labs. The pace that the course was taught at was perfect. Of the 9 of us taking the course we had a range of experience with the products and a range of roles, from operations, administration to developer. And this course is designed in such a way as to teach what is needed to all three camps. 

The contents for the Advanced Course are:

It seems like a lot for a three day course spanning 24 hours. But the instructor had the labs open before class on days 2 and 3, and after class on days 1 and two. The instructor also closed out the labs during the teaching time, so students are required to focus on the teaching and not just keep ploughing through labs. The days were well structured and for the most part we really kept to the schedule that was communicated at the beginning.

Now I am on the operations or administration side of the house. I switched jobs about 18 months ago and have now been exposed to ActiveBatch. It is very different than the previous tool I used. But I really appreciate the design, functionality, and ease of use with this product.

For me this course was great because I have been support ActiveBatch for over a year. I have migrated a number of machines with Job Queues from one domain to another during an Active Directory collapse. During that project I had to remediate individual servers and a few hundred jobs. This course would have been very beneficial prior to that project. But even with that being said this course covers a lot of excellent material.

When I looked at the lab manual and saw 36 labs for 3 days I wondered how in the world we would get through it all. But the knowledge for the most part so nicely builds upon each other, block by block, and before I knew it the third day was done.

As a side not it is recommended that this course be completed with at least 2 computer screens. One for the Lab computer and one for the lab manual, alt-tab would just be too inconvenient, and you would likely fall behind.

Overall I would state that this is one of the best courses I have taken since working full time in IT. This offering has great material, excellent schedule, and an amazing instructor. And I look forward to learning more as I support this product in the years to come.

(Prepared to start the final day of the course with a Coffee, Tea, fresh juice, and water. Because of the course time zone I did remote training from home.)

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

From Islam to Christ One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God - Derya Little

From Islam to Christ: 
One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God
Derya Little
Ignatius Press

ISBN 9781621641124

This was the third book by Derya I have read in the last month. The other two were her fiction series, and as much as I loved those stories. This story is incredible and proves yet again that real life is stranger than fiction. This is a powerful story, and I am very thankful to have read it. This book is an easy read from a reading level, but at parts is very hard to read about what Derya went through on her journey to Christ, and then into Catholicism. For an academic this book is very accessible. In fact, in many ways it reminded me of reading C.S. Lewis's religious writings.

The stories of the people God brought into her life. And the path she traveled to become a person of faith is incredible. I also appreciate her little weavings of her love of fiction into her story as examples. Such as early on she says:
"Most importantly, that Turkish young woman did not want anything to do with God, yet I was filled with gratitude and hope at the sight of a crucifix in a garage. Little by little, I had traveled far, not only physically but also spiritually. Thankfully, as wise Gandalf says in The Lord of the Rings, "Not all who wander are lost.""
Or later when she exclaims:
"I was a new creation, and I could not wait to learn all about my new life. When my journey began, I was a reluctant traveler like Bilbo Baggins, who was jostled and annoyed by uninvited guests in his house. That evening I made the same discovery eventually made by Bilbo-that I was being led on a thrilling, life-changing adventure."
For much like Bilbo her life has been an incredible journey. Both spiritually and physically. She travelled from a culturally Islamic family in Turkey. To England for grad studies, where she became Roman Catholic. And finally, on to the United States to become a wife, a mother and author. She first became a Christian through the influence of evangelical Christians. Later when a friend from those circles became Catholic she decided to study Catholicism to refute his positions. But few people begin their study with the theology of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. Finding it a stretch she returned to Mark Shea's 'By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition' She states:
"To be honest, after reading Shea's book, I was not suddenly convinced of the Catholic Church's authority over all Christians, but I found a giant hole in my arguments against all things Catholic."
And thus, began her study in earnest. She had to convince the staff at a Catholic church in Turkey that she was serious. Her persistence eventually led to a pivotal turning point.

Later she says:
"I would love to hop into TARDIS and travel back in time to have a chat with my twenty-year-old self, telling her that in seventeen years she would be Catholic, married to an American, raising four children, and writing on the side. She would not believe it. She would more readily believe in a time machine and an alien race with two hearts than in the version of herself that I have become."
And I wonder how many of us would like the chance to go back and tell our younger selves something. And she concludes the book with these words:
"It occurs to me that little by little, I traveled far.It occurs to me that God is forever faithful.It occurs to me that I was lost, but now I am found."
Now this story is not all sunshine and roses. Derya came from a very dysfunctional family. Her parents were divorced at a time and place where that was not the norm. Her mother checked out, and her father focused his time, attention and money on his new wife. She experienced years of rejection and rebellion in her own life, and those choices had consequences. Some that would bother her for years. But God proved to be with her always guiding and leading her.

This book is a powerful read, but it is not all rainbows and candy. I found that my own faith was inspired and encouraged by Derya's story. And my prayers for my own children has redoubled. I highly recommend you give this book a try. And if you love a good fiction story check out her Kayan Kronicles!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Derya Little:

From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God

First Editions Kayan Kronicles:

The Manual Beyond
The Ambit Above

Second Editions Two Fallen Words Kayan Kronicles:

Author profile and interview with Derya Little.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Inner Geek Updated - April 2017

Inner Geek Updated - April 2017

It has been a few year's since I updated this thread. I have now changed roles again and am in my third corporate It role. I am on a SysOps team with some great guys at an excellent organisation. With three young children my time to study and certify has changed radically. But I still love learning. I have done courses on Dell hardware, Oracle Software, VMWare VCP and more. So the journey continues. But a lot of courses and exams have taken place over the last 10 years. 

The certification's I have earned are:

Exams Written:
Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure - Exam 70-414
Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure - Exam 70-413
Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8 - Exam 70-689
Upgrading your MCSA to Windows Server 2012 - Exam 70-417
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator - Exam 9L0-510
Apple Certified Support Professional - Exam 9L0-403
Mac Integration Basics - Exam 9L0-263
MCITP - Windows 7 Desktop Administrator - Exam 070-686
Pro: MS SQL Server 2008 Design, Optimize and Maintain - Exam 070-450
MCITP - Windows Server 2008 Server Administrator - Exam 072-646
MCITP Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Administrator - 070-647
CompTIA Security+ - Exam JKO-015
MCITP Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician - EXAM 071-685
MCTS Windows 7 Configuration - Exam 070-680
Implementing Security in MS Win Server 2003 - Exam 70-299
MCTS System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Configuration - Exam 70-403
MCTS Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Implementation & Maintenance - Exam 70-431
MCTS Upgrading MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008- Exam 70-649
MCTS Deploying & Maintaining Vista Client Office System - Exam 070-624
Microsoft PowerPoint - Exam 810
Microsoft Outlook - Exam 813
Microsoft Access - Exam 807
Microsoft Excel - Exam 804
Microsoft Word - Exam 801

For the last few years my focus has been training for job skills and not really writing exams. Currently I am working through the Pluralsight PowerShell training path. Also I am working on self study for LPI-1 Linux Certification.

Articles in this Series:

These exams were written either at a Prometric Testing Center or at a Certiport Testing Center for the Office exams. The Exams names that have links link to reviews of the books I used to prepare for those exams. These exams are a mix of CompTIAMicrosoft Exams and Apple certification exams.