Learn Along With Dave – your motivation to become a cloud computing expert

Your guided tour of the Microsoft Virtual Academy – one step at a time


As you know, my job is to “learn stuff & talk to people” – I get paid to learn!

My problem is that there’s just too much content available nowadays – where do I start?  We all know that you eat an elephant one bite at a time, but can we be bothered?

As a Microsoft employee I have to complete certain internal training activities as part of my job – they’re all relatively short online videos with a document or two that needs reading.  We all have to pass a short test to prove that we have learnt the material.  We can “cheat” and take the exam without doing the learning if we think we already know it.  Most of us do the training on (or close to) the deadline, as there is little motivation for us to bother (don’t tell my boss that I said that)!

We launched the Microsoft Virtual Academy a while ago now.  It has been getting better and better over the months, with more and more free training being added all the time.  It is very similar to our internal training; online videos, a document or two to read followed by a short test to demonstrate understanding.  The training is very good and covers loads of topics (from virtualisation to public and private clouds), but it’s still hard to find the motivation to bother..

I honestly think that we’d all benefit from taking all the training that’s available on the Microsoft Virtual Academy – but I also know that we won’t (we never prioritise training – there’s always something more important to do).

So, I’m introducing incentives to encourage you, free prizes to motivate you - along with a bit of recognition amongst your peers.

Every week between now and the Summer, I’ll be doing a prize draw from everyone who passes a particular exam.  Prizes won’t be all that great – every week I’ll give away a number of T-Shirts, books or memory keys (whatever I can find).  Once a month I’ll do a prize draw from everyone who has passed all the exams in that given month – prizes will be better (I’m thinking Windows Phones).  Get yourself into the Top Ten list for Ireland and you’ll win a TechNet subscription.

Unfortunately I can’t open this up to the world – you’ll have to give me an Irish address to claim your prize (North or South).


Interested in availing of some great online training?

Interested in the chance to win stuff?

Then register for the Microsoft Virtual Academy and start learning!

We’ll start at the bottom of the stack (virtualisation), so take this exam and email me a screenshot similar to this:


I’m looking for your name (top right), the course title and the fact that you’re 100% complete.

Seeing as this is the first one, I’ll draw out a number of winners at random at 9:00 on Monday 27th February.

I’ll announce the winners and the challenge for the following week, here on the blog and on twitter (I’m @ieitpro).

Here’s to the start of something great!


Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cheers Dave… as the others have said, sounds like a great idea.  As Dave/Nigel said as well, a programme roadmap would be good to get.

  2. declan says:

    Hey Dave,

    This sounds great , can you give us an idea of what course's you will be covering.

    Best regards,


  3. NigelPrice says:

    Ditto Declan's comment – a programme roadmap would be helpful.  Thanks.

  4. Denis says:

    Jumpstart  great initiative

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