Meet Neil Tucker Special – Interview
Neil is a technical trainer, author, and consultant with expertise in operating system, Azure, and application deployment. “Meet the Author” who has sold over 30,000 courseware books in the past 7 years and find out why you should be excited about this opportunity with his latest course.
- Hi, Neil, tell us about yourself; who are you, what are your interests and why did you become a Community Courseware publisher?
Hi, thank you for this opportunity. I consider myself a “technology enthusiast” and have been fortunate to gain a lot of experience doing different types of IT jobs, but my courseware experience began when I became an MCT 18 years ago. Some of my jobs gave me the opportunity to write training material for Microsoft Learning Partners.
My first Community Course was done for students preparing to take the Windows 7 Desktop Support exam. The workload for creating and maintaining the course was challenging and increased when the material had to be updated to teach Windows 7, 8 & 10 (50331DC). This wasn’t a problem for me since studying new skills is something I like doing, and I enjoyed sharing what I was learning.
That routine has not changed with the 55224A courses. Because upgrades are constantly changing the Azure environment, multiple course updates were needed in the last few months. That pace will continue as updates continue to change Azure. As with my other courses, I see these changes as an opportunity to learn and share what I learn.
- What is important to know about your latest course updates?
We want the material to stay relevant, so trainers will find that the labs have been updated and all exercises will work in the current Azure environment.
Microsoft recently released a great new feature called Azure Cloud Shell, and this has been incorporated into the class. Instructors can now give students the option of doing exercises directly from a web browser. A virtual machine is no longer needed allowing labs to be done from any Internet-connected device.
In addition to the material for PowerShell, Azure CLI & Bash, we’ve now added scripts for Python. There is also a Python tutorial for trainers to help students new to programming.
- What is the value proposition of the 55224 courses? What problems are you solving for with these courses? What new knowledge and skills will the learner gain?
Training centers now have a course they can market to students preparing for Microsoft’s Big Data Analytics exam (70-475). It’s also an elective for the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certification.
We are committed to updating the course whenever necessary as we’ve proven over the last few months. One of the benefits of the Courseware Marketplace is that trainers have easy access to course changes. When Azure upgrades prevent old labs from working, instructors can simply go to the Marketplace portal and download the updated 55224 setup/trainer materials.
A good example of these updates is the new Azure Cloud Shell and Python material added to the course. Knowledge of these tools are not required for the exam, but for anyone doing data analytics with Azure, these skills are invaluable. Trainers can now teach these topics with the new scripts, labs and tutorials included, or simply offer them to students as after class material.
- Who is the target audience/role for your courseware? What will they be able to do when they return to their jobs?
Anyone who wants the “Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions” certification (exam 70-475) is encouraged to take the course. If certification is not their goal, but their job requires upskilling to learn how to use Azure data tools, the course will be beneficial for them.
Basically, anyone wanting to learn how to use Azure resources for real-time, automated or batch data processes will benefit from this course.
- How would you market these courses if you were a Microsoft Learning Partner?
In addition to helping 70-475 exam takers, the course material complements other Microsoft Azure and SQL Server courses. Specifically, 55224A will combine well with 40441AC, 40442AC, 20765AC, 20775AC or 20776AC.
For clients that need to learn an Azure skill while taking a different class, the 55224 design makes this easy to do. For example, someone taking a database class might want to learn how to incorporate real-time data into a BI process. The instructor would be able to add 55224-1 course material without doing any additional setup. A web browser and Internet connection are all the student would need. 55224-1 and 55224-2 can be taught separately and each course comes with a free Azure subscription.
- Is this course SATV eligible?
Yes. For eligible Microsoft Partners, the cost of the course will be covered.
- Is there something else that you would like to share?
Because there is a shortage of candidates with provable Big Data Analytics skills, now is a great time to pursue your certification. The 55224 courses will give you what you need to feel comfortable using Microsoft Azure, Python, and other data analysis tools, and as changes are made, we will keep the course updated to help you keep pace.