Test Lab Guides as a key element of Learning Roadmaps

Learning Roadmaps are a new content type that step new-to-technology or experienced IT Pros through the set of published text or multimedia resources to build prerequisite, introductory (Level 100), intermediate (Level 200), advanced (Level 300), and expert (Level 400) knowledge and experience for a technology, feature, product, or solution. They are designed to reduce technical ramp-up time by providing a focused, customized, self-study-based learning plan.

Learning Roadmaps answer the following questions:  

  • “How do I get started learning about a technology, feature, product, or solution?”  If you are new to the topic of the Learning Roadmap, you can start with the prerequisites.
  • “How do I build advanced and expert-level expertise in a technology, feature, product, or solution?”   If you already have some experience, you can scan through the Learning Roadmap to quickly locate your current level and then proceed with the steps that you need to build additional knowledge and experience.

One of the key elements of building expertise is through hands-on configuration and testing. Reading and viewing of videos will only take you so far. At some point, you have to get your hands dirty. This is where Test Lab Guides (TLGs) come in, providing the hands-on experience with setting up a feature, technology, or solution in a controlled and standardized test lab environment to demonstrate key functionality prior to detailed deployment planning and implementation. To this end, key resources highlighted by a Learning Roadmap for a feature, technology, or solution are its corresponding TLGs, typically referenced in the intermediate (Level 200) section.

TLGs round out the learning experience by providing that essential hands-on experience to demonstrate the core functionality and to act as a long-term, ultimately customizable learning environment to experiment with advanced configurations and learn troubleshooting skills. Learning Roadmaps without references to TLGs (or perhaps to TechNet Virtual Labs) are missing the point.

I encourage you to investigate Learning Roadmaps as a way of building your expertise or the expertise of your staff. Start with our Learning Roadmaps portal page on the TechNet Wiki.



Joe Davies
Principal Writer
Windows Server Information Experience


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