TechEd Europe Day 0

This years TechEd Europe is in Amsterdam so for me it feels like home 😉 So this year it’s a perfect opportunity to attend my first TechEd conference!

And today my TechEd experience got started! I arrived at Amsterdam this afternoon and after going to my hotel I checked in with TechEd through self registration. The Amsterdam RAI itself is really nice. It’s way bigger then I expected but everything went smoothly and after looking around a little I attended the only session of today.

Certification 101

The talk was quite interesting. It started with an overview of why certification matters. In short, certifications can help your own personal development by differentiating you from others. But it can also help your company by beecoming a Microsoft partner.

But Microsoft keeps evaluating the certifications and the last couple of months they made some changes. The key reasons behind these changes are to make sure that the certifications stays up to date with all new developments (especially cloud) and to make the certification paths easier to understand.

The certifications now have three levels. You can start with MCSA. This is a basic level that requires around 6 months of experience with a technology. After that you can go for a more advanced certification, MCSE and after that for a Masters level.

The new certification program should make it easier to go from one level to another and Microsoft hopes that more people will reach the Master level. This also means that the basic certifications have higher requirements.

After discussing they why and the what, the rest of the talk was about what you can expect on an exam. New types of questions like ‘pick the best answer’ and ‘case study’ where explained and some basic tips for how to prepare where discussed. Microsoft keeps developing new types of questions to protect against piracy (the brain dumps that people make of exams) but also to make the exams more enjoyable.

The only thing I found a little disappointing was that almost nothing about the developer certifications was discussed. Most of the talk was about the IT certifications and although there is a lot of similarity between IT and Developer certification there are also some important differences. For example, in the powerpoint slides they showed that the developer certifications don´t have an MCSA level.  However, Erica told us to stay tuned for updates on developer certification somewhere in July! 

All in all, it was an interesting first session and I’m looking forward to speaking with people from Microsoft Learning to see how we as developers are affected by this new certifications.

So, that´s it for today. Tomorrow my agenda will probably be something like this

  • Application Lifecycle Management: It’s a Team Sport
  • Modern Application Design – Cloud Patterns for Application Architects
  • Azure Open Discussion
  • Implementing Scrum Using Team Foundation Server 2012
  • LINQ, Take Two – Realizing the LINQ to Everything Dream
I’m still having some trouble choosing but ok.. I think this will be my session list for tomorrow 😉 If you have any tips I would love to hear them.

I´m really looking forward to the next couple of days. I will try to post updates on my blog and twitter.

Wouter de Kort works as a lead architect and consultant. He helps organizations stay on the cutting edge of software development. Wouter focuses on DevOps. He loves solving complex problems and helping other developers to grow. Wouter authored the book DevOps on the Microsoft stack and a couple of other books. Wouter is a Microsoft MVP and an ALM Ranger. You can find him on Twitter (@wouterdekort), on his blog at and at the various conferences where Wouter speaks.


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