My “Lighting IT Up” Video for Microsoft

Back in May, I attended Microsoft Ignite – a week-long conference in Chicago, focusing on Microsoft’s existing and upcoming technologies.

While I was there, I decided to take the two exams that would qualify me as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) for Office 365. It was something I’d been meaning to do for a while (heck, I’d only been working with Exchange Online and Office 365 for about four years at that point) and the half-priced exams removed all excuses.

I’m insane, there’s no doubt about that – but as further proof, I decided that I’d take them back to back. Partly, I wanted to minimize the time I was taking away from the conference and partly I just wanted to get through it – it’s not like taking one, walking away for a day or two, then coming back for the second was really going to change what I knew.

Long story short (or did I just make a short story long?), I passed both exams.

On my way out of the testing center, Kenji from Microsoft Training & Certification approached me about doing an interview about my certification experience. They just published the video today. Their full blog post is here or watch the video below.

By the way, I LOVE the quote that the put in the banner above. I think I’ll print it out and frame it in my office. 😉


  1. Wow, so cocky and dripping with ego. Microsoft certifications don’t magically make you “know what youre talking about”. It’s a piece of paper that is meaningless in that context. Also BTW, Microsoft in general is a low bar of entry chock full of hand holding and ladders to get to the lowest “baby safe” fruit.


    1. I debated whether or not I should even publish the comment above. Why feed the trolls? But, the commenter raises some points I’d like to address.

      I’m sorry that you took it that way. It’s clear that we’ve never met. Apparently we won’t, since you used false information when you commented. You may never even read my reply. If we have met and I’ve come across that way, I sincerely apologize and invite you to have a conversation – sometimes we inadvertently appear differently than we intend.

      Short sound bites out of a longer interview never do justice to anything. In fact, going into this, I was under the impression that a bite or two of what I’d said would be integrated with several other IT pros – I had no idea I’d get my own video (honestly, I probably would’ve shied away from it, had I known that).

      The header image doesn’t help my case of not being pompous and cocky. I also had no idea this was being created. My coworkers and family think it’s humorous and I pull it out every once in a while as a joke in a conversation. Do I act like that on the whole? No, I hope not.

      You’re right, a piece of paper alone doesn’t mean that I know what I’m talking about. Combined with my experience with the product and my constant research about what’s new with the products, hopefully the package speaks for itself. I’m the first to admit that there are things that I don’t know – really, who can know/remember 100% of a product and everything it interacts with. We need to know how to find answers and solve problems, not just what’s on a test.

      Unfortunately, it’s very true that there’s a long history of people faking their way through Microsoft exams. I’ve personally known folks who solely rely on exam crams the day before and rarely work with the product. I’ve thought about that a lot when i consider my professional training and certifications. All I can say is “that’s not me.” I only go out for certifications on products that I use regularly. I don’t use question dumps or anything else to scam the exam. That does me no good. The piece of paper is meaningless with the knowledge to back it up.

      Quite honestly, I don’t take these exams for my employer, future employers, my coworkers, or anyone else. I take them to validate – for myself – that I’m on the right track.


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