Timing is Everything – A Programming Track Update

by Jason - Jun 29, 2017


A hearty summer greetings to you from your humble senior instructor. I have occasionally brought to you in this blog space some news about our new programming track. Well, it has officially started with last month’s release of the Introduction to Programming course, which is a course that focuses mainly on programming and design concepts.

Now, about the “timing is everything” part. In building this programming track, we were (or at least I was) trying to come up with a way to bridge the Introduction to Programming courses to some of the existing Microsoft MCSA Certifications, which are more geared for those with 1-2 years of experience in programming (or possess equivalent knowledge). And, a great percentage of you looking to explore this programming track are probably new to programming (hence the Intro to Programming course).

All that said, Microsoft is rolling out, over the next few months, four new MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certifications. They are:

  • Exam 98-381: Introduction to Programming using Python
  • Exam 98-382: Introduction to Programming using JavaScript
  • Exam 98-383: Introduction to Programming using HTML and CSS
  • Exam 98-388: Introduction to Programming using Java

These courses/certifications are the perfect gap between the Introduction to Programming course and the MCSA and other advanced courses we have for our programming track, which we are rolling out over the next several months. And, these courses fit in nicely with our three programming tracks: Web Development, Mobile Development, and General Languages. They mold so well, we even built a road map for you, which you will find a link to at the end of this blog.

Over the next several weeks, I will be posting blog entries for each of the courses in the programming track we are releasing this year.

You see, timing is everything.

Oh, that link: http://www.learnkey.com/careertracks/programming_and_development


Comments Off on Timing is Everything – A Programming Track Update Filed under: Insights, New/Upcoming Releases Tags: , , , , , ,

Time To Get Animated With Our Upcoming Adobe Animate CC Course

by Jason - Mar 16, 2017


How many of you remember when Macromedia Flash first became a big “thing” on the Internet? No? How about Adobe Flash? Maybe? How about this question: How many of you feel skunked when you tap to a website on your mobile device only to get the dreaded message, “Your browser does not support Flash”?

Well, you’re not alone if this has happened to you. And just as Flash was the big thing years ago, HTML5 is now. However, Flash and HTML5 did not really work well together, because, to export from Flash, you had to get a plug-in or tool or some kind of extension. It just wasn’t a smooth, seamless process.

Fortunately, those days are over. What was once known as Adobe Flash is now Adobe Animate, one of the newest additions to the Adobe suite of programs. In a nutshell, Adobe Animate is Flash plus the ability to easily create files for ActionScript (the native Flash format), HTML5, and WebGL (Web Graphics Library).

With a new program comes a brand new Adobe Animate course, due to launch late spring/early summer. This course is going to be a thorough, yet clear and concise, introduction to Adobe Animate and will serve two purposes: to improve your employability skills in the areas of web and graphic design as they relate to Adobe Animate, and to get you prepared to pass the Adobe Certified Associate in Multiplatform Animations using Adobe Animate CC exam and obtain your ACA in Animate.

How are we going to do this, you ask? First, we are going to cover animation terms and definitions and build a project in this course while focusing on these five major exam topics:

  • Setting Project Requirements
  • Understanding Rich Animated Media
  • Understanding Adobe Animate CC
  • Creating Rich Animated Media Content Using Animate CC
  • Testing, Publishing, and Evaluating Rich Animated Media Elements Using Animate CC

To cover these, we will have several (but not too many) hours of video training, pre-assessment and post-assessment tests, practice labs, and a project workbook full of practice exercises. All of these tools are here to, again, increase your employability prospects and help you obtain the Animate CC ACA certification.

Finally, for those of you wondering which version of Animate we will be covering, technically the course is going to be built for the latest certification offering, which is Animate CC 2015, but the course will work just as well for anyone trying to learn Animate CC 2017.


Comments Off on Time To Get Animated With Our Upcoming Adobe Animate CC Course Filed under: Insights, New/Upcoming Releases Tags: , , , , ,

Can You Become a QuickBooks Certified User Without Being a CPA? Absolutely!

by Jason - Mar 09, 2017


That question above was one of many questions I got when I used to teach QuickBooks in a classroom setting. I’m not a CPA and I’m a certified QuickBooks user, so you can become one too. What is QuickBooks, you ask? It’s an industry-leading accounting software program, geared toward helping businesses of all sizes organize and perform their accounting duties.

We are currently working on our updated QuickBooks Certified User course, which we have completed filming and are in the process of fine-tuning. This course maps to the 10 domains on the QuickBooks Certified User certification exam. The 10 domains are:

  • QuickBooks Setup
  • QuickBooks Utilities and General Product Knowledge
  • List Management
  • Items
  • Sales
  • Purchases
  • Payroll
  • Reports
  • Basic Accounting
  • Customization and Shortcuts

Our new QuickBooks course covers these 10 domains in such a way to help you prepare to pass the QuickBooks Certified User exam (done through Certiport) and obtain your QuickBooks Certified User certification. We present the material in a very concise, easy-to-follow format, kind of like the QuickBooks program itself.

This course will have video training, pre-assessment and post-assessment tests, practice labs, and a project workbook, all geared toward solidifying your QuickBooks knowledge not only for the certification, but also to improve your employability prospects for any position requiring QuickBooks knowledge. Or you may have a small business of your own and want solid knowledge of QuickBooks, so you can let it do the major accounting work for you, leaving you to do what you do best—run your business.

So, back to the original question: Can you get the QuickBooks Certified User certification without being a CPA? Yes, indeed! And you can get this without being a financial planner or tax preparation expert or, well, you get the drift.

Stay tuned to this blog space for my update next week. I promise you, it will get “animated” at times!


Comments Off on Can You Become a QuickBooks Certified User Without Being a CPA? Absolutely! Filed under: Insights, New/Upcoming Releases Tags: , ,

Premiere Pro CC 2015 Test Prep Released!

by Brad - Feb 10, 2017


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Premiere Pro CC 2015 Test Prep course.

Premiere Pro CC 2015 Test Prep

LearnKey’s Premiere Pro CC 2015 Test Prep course is a complementary resource to go along with the Premiere Pro CC course, authored by Expert Ryan James. Although the Premiere Pro CC course readies you for the Premiere Pro CC exam, there are new objectives and types of test questions which are covered in the Premiere Pro CC 2015 Test Prep course. LearnKey Senior Instructor Jason Manibog takes you through these changes, so you will have the tools you need to confidently pass the Premiere Pro CC 2015 exam.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.


Comments Off on Premiere Pro CC 2015 Test Prep Released! Filed under: Insights, New/Upcoming Releases Tags: , , , , , , ,

MTA OS Fundamentals (98-349): Same Name, Same Exam Number, Not The Same Content

by Jason - Dec 12, 2016


Whenever I am asked to write an entry for this blog, I usually do the writing mid-week. But, last week our great crew was busy filming the course I get to tell you about today, and that is the updated version of the MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) Operating System Fundamentals course, which maps to MTA exam 98-349.

Most of the time, when we put together a new version of a course, it is for a new exam (specifically name or number). This time, though, the exam name and number are the same. What changed, then? Oh, about half of the test objectives as the exam has been updated to include Windows 10 content and remove content that just applied to Windows 7.

For example, exam topics such as Aero configurations, Windows Media Center, and Windows XP mode are all gone as they are not in Windows 10, but features such as Insider Preview, Current Branch, and Windows Store apps are exam topics. Furthermore, the wording of many exam topics has changed to “Configure….” rather than “Understand…”, placing a greater emphasis on knowing how to do operating system configurations in Windows 10, not just knowing what they are.

Now, the specifics: There are six domains on this exam:

  • Understanding operating system configurations
  • Installing and upgrading client systems
  • Managing applications
  • Managing files and folders
  • Managing devices
  • Understanding operating system maintenance

This course covers these domains thoroughly, through the video training (which we just completed filming), pre-assessment and post-assessment tests, practice labs, and a project workbook with plenty of practice exercises for configuring Windows 10. All of these tools will help you pass the 98-349 exam and increase your employability as, according to Microsoft, Windows 10 has been deployed to over 400 million devices in its first year of release. Thus, businesses which need desktop support technicians and computer repair shops definitely need people who are skilled in configuring Windows 10, which this course and certification will provide.


Comments Off on MTA OS Fundamentals (98-349): Same Name, Same Exam Number, Not The Same Content Filed under: Insights, New/Upcoming Releases Tags: , , , , ,

Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep Series: Adobe Premiere and Some Adobe Exam Advice

by Jason - Dec 01, 2016


Hello again from your humble Senior Instructor. You may have noticed over the past several months a series of test prep courses we have released, all tied toward the new Adobe CC 2015 ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) exams. I wrote about the changes to the exams a while back, and, we have released test prep courses for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

The fifth and final test prep course, Adobe Premiere, will be out soon. Premiere is the digital video production program in the Adobe suite, and we recently completed filming the course. In this course, we cover the five main domains of the ACA exam for Adobe Premiere CC 2015:

  • Setting Project Requirements
  • Understanding Digital Video
  • Understanding Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015
  • Editing Digital Video using Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015
  • Exporting Video with Adobe Premiere Pro

Our test prep courses are different than a full-featured course in that we focus solely on what you need to know to pass the exam, not so much on full coverage on how to use the program. Why have we done that for Adobe CC 2015? The reason is simple: There really is not much difference between Adobe CC and Adobe CC 2015. And, we already have full courses for the Adobe CC suite, authored by highly talented Adobe specialists, including Chad Chelius (Dreamweaver and Photoshop), Lee Wiley (Illustrator), Linda Dickeson (InDesign), and Ryan James (Premiere).

The sole purpose of the test prep courses is to fill in the gaps for the new objectives for the Adobe CC 2015 tests, and provide a little review on basic concepts for these programs, as they relate to the exam objectives. We do have a pre-assessment, post-assessment, labs, and a project workbook to accompany each of these test prep courses, and these tools also map to the exam objectives.

Speaking of exam objectives, having re-certified this year in all five of the Adobe programs for which we have built these test prep courses, here are some general advice tips from me to you on how to best set yourself up to pass these exams and obtain these certifications:

  1. Study the objective list top to bottom. For all five exams, one domain covers project terms and definitions. Do not gloss over this! This is 20% or so of each exam.
  2. Put yourself in the shoes of a real-life professional for whatever exam you are taking. For example, if you are taking the Illustrator exam, you’re a graphic designer for the day. Many of the exam questions are scenario-based, meaning that you need to read about a situation and choose the correct answer accordingly. Yes, the test questions still map very well to the objectives, but the test is there to make sure you can identify what to do in a real-life situation.
  3. For whatever program you are studying, make sure you can do tasks different ways, especially through using the Tools panel and the icons on the panel. Do not count on being able to use keyboard shortcuts to answer test questions (many Mac users I know cringe at the very thought of this, but, that is reality).
  4. If you get stuck on a question, mark it for review, make your best guess, and move on. Being that the exam is about half simulation-based, it is easy to get trapped for several minutes on a question to where you are trying to remember how to do what is asked. Avoid that trap. Your time management on the exam will be better for it. And, remember that you can miss a few questions and still pass. I had a few “uh oh, what do I do” questions on these exams and still passed each one on the first try. If I can do it, so can you.

And with that, the best of luck to you in your pursuit of the Adobe ACA CC 2015 certifications!


Comments Off on Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep Series: Adobe Premiere and Some Adobe Exam Advice Filed under: Insights, Just For Fun Tags: , , , ,

Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2 Released!

by Brad - Nov 23, 2016


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2 (200-105) course.

Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2

In LearnKey’s Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2 (200-105) course, users will gain the skills necessary to prepare for and take the Cisco ICND2 exam (Exam 200-105). The main topics covered include LAN switching technologies such as STP and EtherChannel, routing technologies including OSPF and EIGRP, WAN technologies, infrastructure services such as cloud, QoS, and ACLs, and infrastructure maintenance, which includes SNMP, AAA, and network programmability. The 200-105 exam is the second exam needed to obtain the CCNA Routing and Switching certification.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.


Comments Off on Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 2 Released! Filed under: Insights, New/Upcoming Releases Tags: , , , , , ,

Microsoft Certifications – A Streamlined Process

by Jason - Nov 02, 2016


In my 15+ years of classroom training, and my now-nearly 1.5 years as LearnKey’s Senior Instructor (see the asymmetry in numbers there?), I have obtained many Microsoft certifications. What I always found challenging at times (besides the exams themselves) is having to figure out which test goes with which certification, and which tests I need to take (or can take as electives) in order to obtain a certain certification I have wanted or needed. While I was able to figure things out, it often took, well, more time than I wanted to spend reading a certification road map.

On that note, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you good news: Microsoft has revamped and streamlined the process and requirements for their certifications. I don’t quite remember how many certification paths there were before, but now there are only five. They are:

Mobility – Focuses on Windows 10 installation and configuration and configuring Windows devices.

Cloud Platform and Infrastructure – Focuses mainly on Windows Server 2012 and Server 2016 (which has exams in beta as I write this), and Microsoft Azure.

Productivity Path – Similar to Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, but swap Microsoft Azure for Office 365.

Data Management and Analytics Path – Focuses on SQL Server, SQL Server, and…you can guess the third one (hint: SQL Server).

App Builder Path – The path for programmers and aspiring programmers, as it covers web development, C#, and mobile apps, just to name a few.

Now, getting down to five certification paths is, well, really nice. But there is more to this streamlining process. Each certification path has a set of two or three exams to earn an MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate). The Mobility path has just one MCSA (for Windows 10) while the others have multiple MCSA possibilities.

Once an MCSA is obtained, you will need to take a single elective exam (and most of these paths have multiple choices) to then obtain your MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) or, as is the case with the App Builder path, an MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer). And, here is the big catch: to keep your MCSE/MCSD current, you need to pass one elective exam each year. This helps keep people current with these certifications.

So, to summarize: five certification paths, a handful of exams for each to reach MCSA status, an additional elective exam to move up to MCSE/MCSD status, and then passing an elective exam each year holds your MCSE/MCSD status. Streamlining indeed! And, we at LearnKey are going to be “freshening up” our Microsoft certification offerings over the next several months to best align our courseware with these new paths.

Finally, here is a link to the details of what I’ve discussed in this blog: https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/b/weblog/posts/microsoft-streamlines-technical-certifications.

Next week, I will bring you some news regarding Microsoft certifications and earning badges with certain certifications. Yes, these are badges you can use to broadcast your certifications all over social media. In the meantime, best of luck in your certification studies!


Comments Off on Microsoft Certifications – A Streamlined Process Filed under: Certification News, Insights Tags: , , , ,

Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and Cisco ICND Exams

by Brad - Oct 18, 2016


Back in May, our resident LearnKey expert Jason Manibog wrote about some changes that were coming to the Cisco certification exams. These changes necessitated the creation of new courses to cover the updated content, and later this week we will be releasing the first of those new courses, Cisco Routing and Switching Fundamentals Part 1. I recently caught up with Jason to ask him a few questions about this new course and its second half, set for release next month.

  1. What tests do the Routing and Switching Fundamentals courses cover? These two courses cover the two new Cisco Routing and Switching Fundamentals exams. The part one course is mapped to the Cisco Interconnecting Network Devices (ICND) part one exam, exam 100-105. The part two course is mapped to the Cisco Interconnecting Network Devices (ICND) part two exam, exam 200-105.
  2. What advice would you someone taking the Cisco ICND exams for the first time? Be ready for a lot of “real-life” troubleshooting questions. The most important skill in that is to be able to read the output of a show command, interpret what is going on, and use that to answer test questions. There are a lot of “Configure, Verify, Troubleshoot” topics in the exam objectives. Don’t just learn the configuring part. Spend time on the verify and troubleshoot parts as well. And, for exam objectives which start with the word “Describe,” know the terms, definitions, and concepts on those topics. And, make sure to get some hands-on practice. I know, most of you will not have Cisco equipment lying around to use. That is no problem, as there are a lot of simulation tools out there to help you get some practice. We highly recommend the Boson NetSim simulation tool, and we feature it prominently in the course.
  3. What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating this course? Basically, a student who is interested in learning about Cisco routers and switches and how to use them in a network, and students interested in getting their Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certification or, at the very least, the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) certification, which one gets upon passing the 100-105 exam.
  4. If a student has very little experience with computer networking, how would you recommend they start using our training? I would start with the Network+ course, as that course lays a very good foundation for all things networking. Some of that knowledge will carry over to the Routing and Switching Fundamentals courses. To put this another way, it’s kind of like learning about cars in general (the Network+ course) and then learning about particular models (the Routing and Switching Fundamentals courses). Funny that I would make that comparison when I can’t even find a dip stick in a car (but that’s a separate issue, obviously).
  5. What are some of the major changes between the new ICND exams and the previous versions? I’ve outlined those changes in a previous blog, The new Cisco ICND Series: Some More Details. And I’ve got labs up with some information and interactive exercises on our resources page.
  6. How do the ICND exams differ from the Cisco IINS exam? The ICND exams are general exams for Cisco routers and switches while the IINS exam focuses primarily on one topic: Security.
  7. What was your favorite thing about filming this course? That there are a lot of simulation tools out there to make it easier for people to get some good, hands-on, practice, and that we are able to use Boson NetSim, which is an excellent simulation tool.

Comments Off on Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and Cisco ICND Exams Filed under: Insights Tags: , , , , , ,

Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep

by Brad - Oct 05, 2016


A couple of months ago, we began releasing a series of Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 test prep courses. These courses are one session each and serve as supplemental material to our full Creative Cloud courses. I recently caught up with our resident expert, Jason Manibog, to ask him a few questions about these courses.

  1. What is the purpose of the Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep courses? The purpose of these courses is simple: To get students ready to pass the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exams for the 2015 version of these programs. We decided to do test prep courses rather than full-length courses because the programs and test objectives have not changed much from the 2013 to the 2015 versions of these programs. What has changed, however, is how the tests themselves are delivered. Now, one can expect several scenario-based question per exam. In these, a real-life scenario is presented and then several questions are based on that scenario.
  2. How many courses will there be? Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere…that’s five if I’m counting correctly :D. For Adobe Animate we are going to do a brand new course since that program, in effect, replaces Flash.
  3. What are some of the new features in CC 2015? In a nutshell:
    • Photoshop – Work can now be done with artboards (previously, only Illustrator had that). The Brush features and image export features have been enhanced as well. And, glyphs are now available.
    • Illustrator – If Illustrator crashes, there is now a good change your work can be recovered. Plus (and I have been waiting for this for a while), the Pencil tool now allows for auto-closing a shape (meaning you can draw a shape and have it actually behave like a shape). The Shapebuilder and Curvature tools have also been enhanced.
    • InDesign – Graphics can now be inserted directly into tables. Shading and borders can be added to paragraphs. And it is easier to publish online now than it was in previous versions.
    • Dreamweaver – Multiple tags can now be selected in the Document Object Model (DOM) panel, making it easier to move multiple tags around on a page. Plus, tags, classes, and IDs can be added and changed through the DOM panel. The Visual Media Query feature has also been enhanced to make it easier to change measurements on objects. And, similar to Illustrator, should the program crash, there is a good chance your work will be recovered.
    • Premiere – Native support for QuickTime files is now available. Plus, several new workflows are available, including a Virtual Reality (VR) video workflow, which allows one to edit and create a VR-type experience. And many editing enhancements have been made (such as several new keyboard shortcuts).
  4. What advice would you give to a new user of Adobe products? Go the speed limit when learning and be conceptual in learning. For example, in learning Photoshop, it is fine to learn all of the tools and effects and filters and other options (as they can be quite nice to work with), but, knowing what the these tools do and when one would use them is just as important. Just as an example: You wouldn’t use dodge and burn when trying to change a color effect on a picture as dodge and burn lightens or darkens overall exposure (and people who develop pictures the old-fashioned way, in a darkroom, will use these tricks by hand). On the flipside, if you are used to doing things manually and know of photo or design concepts, you will have fun finding these tools in these Adobe programs.
  5. What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating these courses? Basically, a student trying to learn valuable job-ready skills in Adobe products and also looking to gain one ACA certification or maybe multiple ACA certifications.
  6. If a student has very little experience using Adobe, how would you recommend they study for the exam? I would start with the CC version of the courses of study. For example, if one is trying to learn Photoshop, start with the Photoshop CC course, go through all of the pre-assessment and post-assessment tests for each session, and do the projects in the project workbook. Anyone can get a 30-day trial of any Adobe program, so there is no reason to not practice these concepts. And then, do the same for the 2015 test prep course to gain further knowledge of these Adobe programs. And, have fun!

Comments Off on Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep Filed under: Insights Tags: , , , , ,
Page 1 of 912345...Last »