Now He’s Gone and Done It.

I was holding off as long as I dared but alas, the cat has been let out of the bag.  Microsoft Learning's former developer certification Product Planner, Howard Dierking, took the opportunity to work with MSDN magazine as Editor-in-Chief.  Congratulations to Howard on a great position with a great magazine.

If you follow his blog, you will likely know by now, that his replacement in the Product Planner role has been selected. That person is me.  I will transition to that role starting Monday, Oct. 22, 2007.

I have been working with Microsoft Learning for over 2 years now as a Technologist supporting primarlily the developer and SQL curriculum for instructor-led training, eLearning courseware, Microsoft Press books and of course, the Assessment and Certifications Exams team.  I have also supported the IT Pro and Information Worker curriculums as well.  That role provided me with the opportunity to become more familiar with MSL, the products we produce and people we serve.  Not only that, but it has given me the opportunity to work with and get to know many more of our Microsoft Certified Trainers, an extremely passionate and elite group of people from around the world, only about 12,000 worldwide, who deliver Microsoft Official Curriculum.

So, what qualifies me for this position?  Good question.  I'm not sure if this counts but....

Before coming to Microsoft I worked as a Network Administrator, IT Support technician, Software Developer, and Consultant.  I have also spent many years as an educator in the IT world teaching at post secondary institutions such as CompuCollege and ITI Information Technology Institute in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.   I also worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer at a Microsoft Certified Partner for Learning Solutions (CPLS) center in Moncton as well, teaching almost the entire Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) on Windows 2000, Windows XP, SQL Server 2000 and Visual Basic, VBA and VBScript.  While in Moncton, I also co-ran the New Brunswick .NET Developer's User Group with Derek Hatchard.  This group is now known as Dev East under the leadership of Dan LeClair and Derek Hatchard.  I really miss you guys but I plan to be home at Christmas this year.

Being a part of that user group along with authoring various books on developer and IT pro topics for Sams, Que and WROX Press, exam questions for SelfTest Software practice tests and various articles in trade magazines earned me a Microsoft MVP award for two years in a row.

Current certifications I hold:

MCDBA (SQL 2000)
MCSD (Visual Basic 6.0)

MCSE (2003)
MCAS (Outlook 2007, Word 2007, Access 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007)
CompTIA A+
CompTIA iNet+ - Doesn't exist anymore but I have the certificate..........   LoL
CompTIA Net+
Novell CNA

Certifications I am currently working on:

.NET 2.0 for Web, Windows and Distributed in both the MCTS and MCPD.  Yes, I can take the upgrade exams but I want to ensure I see what all our current exams are like to help me better understand how they perform.

Cisco CCNA - someday that is.  I have the books, two routers and a network switch, now all I need is the time to prep.

CISSP - The jury is still out on this one, but I have placed it as a "nice to have"

So, I think that's enough blogging for tonight.  My son wants me to work with him on finding the remaining skulls on Halo 3 so we can complete the "Ninja like" armor for our characters.  If you are a Halo 3 fanatic like he and I and want to get in some game play on XBOX Live, my gamertag is Kam Lung Kempo and his is EMM360.  Look us up, send a friend req.  I'm always happy to get the crap beat out of me on the game.  I'm getting old and the reflexes are slowing.

Have a great weekend all!


Comments (10)

  1. David says:

    Congratulations, Gerry! Is this the developer cert position with Linsky or a differerent position? Regardless, congrats.

  2. Hi Gerry-I’m looking forward to reading your posts, especially when I’m in Moncton (I’m headed at the end of the month to visit a long-time AS/400 customer).  I visited Hartland once-it’s like Moncton but without the excitement.



  3. Hi David.

    Yes they are one and the same.

    Thank you.


  4. Hi Reeve!

    That’s great.  I’m sure you will enjoy the trip.  Hartland is one place that I have been to only once in all my years living in NB.  Longest covered bridge and all, it is a pretty cool place.

    Long before I became an IT type person full time, I was an HVAC/R technician and spent a fair bit of time travelling the province servicing ice rinks.  I would start in Edmonston and work my way all the way down that side of the province and back to Moncton.

    It’s been 2 years since I was back in Moncton so when we head home this Christmas, I’m looking forward seeing what has changed.  Moncton is growing from what I hear.

    BTW, who is you customer there?  I can only think of Aliant, Blue Cross or Assomption Vie as the large companies there that may be using AS/400s.


  5. erf says:

    Hi Gerry-

    It’s Armour Transport (you can see their testimonial video at  The AS/400 is popular among Canadian transport companies: Midland and Day & Ross are other Maritimes business running AS/400.  But I’m promoting ASP.NET as the UI technology to replace the default easy-to-code, hard-to-look-at green screen.

    It’s been several years since I’ve been to Moncton, and the last time I flew up from the east coast.  So, I’m looking forward to a couple of days of misery until the jet lag abates.


  6. Theodore says:

    Just saw Trika’s reference to your blog – congrats on coming over to the product planner role.

    And, I have to say – I already like the fact that you’re going to go about taking the MCTS exams themselves instead of the upgrades.  Just rubs me the right way. 🙂

  7. Thanks Theodore.

    I just think it makes more sense for me to see the exams in the way our customers will when they are new to certification or don’t qualify for the upgrade exams.


  8. jtb says:

    congratulations and welcome aboard!  with folks like you around, we’re bound to see the quality of the product (i.e., MS training) remain high! (a prime requirement for our employers to help with the tuition)

  9. Alice says:

    Psst, most of your cert links aren’t pointing to the correct pages. 😉

    Also, I’d like to clarify the status of the CompTIA I-Net+ certification. It will always exist, it isn’t disappearing – same situation as MCSE et al. They will just stop offering the exam for new people to earn it after December 31, 2007.

  10. Thanks Alice.

    I will check the links and fix them after the holidays.  They worked at the time I added them so some may have changed since then.

    The story around what "retiring" a certification really means needs to be properyl communicated by MSL and we will present the correct story once we finalize on a decision that all support.

    It may mean that you can no longer achieve that certification.  


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