So a week today, on March 16th 2009, we start three MCM Programs - all at the same time. It's a busy week this week getting it all ready. Here's what's going on... for my program at least...
Krishna our lab manager is provisioning all our servers and other pieces of equipment so everyone is ready to go a week today. Each student gets a server to him or herself. For Exchange these all have 32Gb of RAM and a shed load of disk. I'll admit I'm still using Windows 2003 and Virtual Server R2 for my labs, whereas some of the other guys use Hyper-V, but it works great for Exchange and given we need to rebuild for E14 six months from now, I'm leaving it as it is rather than spending the time changing it all now.
I'm busy making sure all last minute logistical pieces are in place, making sure everyone is ready to attend, instructors are prepared, their travel is booked, their hair is cut etc, but I'm also checking the lab environments out to make sure all is well. And it is, well, some 2008 VM's need re-activating but I know Krishna will help me out with that (the labs are isolated so he needs to go move some cables around). So we're all good there. Later this week I also need to focus on my materials a bit too, I teach CAS during week 1 and I just need to update some decks, roll in some new stuff (I have updates from last week to put in, to say this is hot off the press is an understatement) and make sure I can stand in front of the class for two days or so and talk about namespace planning, certificates, proxy, redirection, load balancing, Outlook Anywhere, ISA etc etc etc.
I have a class of 16 attending on Monday, that's unlikely to change this late in the day, and that's a great number to have. 9 of those are from partner companies or are independant consultants, 7 of those are from Microsoft itself. We have people from all over the world coming to take part in this 3 week Exchange brainwashing and love-in exercise.
If you are one of those 16 and are reading this now, a few last minute words of advice from me to you....;
- Get some sleep in now.
- Clear your current projects up, hand them over to someone else, close them off, you won't have time to work on anything else whilst you are here.
- Tell your boss and your co-workers that from Monday to Friday for the next 3 weeks you are offline and uncontactable. You won't be able to take calls, do IM's or respind to emails during class, make sure they know that.
- Arrive early, get here Saturday or early Sunday to give yourself time to settle in and relax a little.
- Contact me or the Program team if you have any questions.
- Turn up on Monday ready for an 8am sharp start. I'm not big on latecomers so make sure you are here at about 7.45. 🙂
- Open your mind and come in hungry to learn some stuff.
- Join in, speak up, the sooner you do and get involved the less intimidating it will seem. There will be some very bright people in the room, don't let that bother you, you are bright too, else you wouldn't be here....
(P.S. Added this later - it snowed today in Redmond. Bring something warm to wear and some good shoes too I suggest! 🙂 )