Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Koenig Experience in New Delhi Sept - Nov 2011

Koenig Solutions Private Ltd is a Training Provider. In their words:
Koenig is "world's #1 in offshore IT training and certification. Offshore training provides significant advantages: (1) World class quality (2) Affordable cost (3) Small batch size (<=5) (4) Distraction free environment (5) Opportunity to visit Incredible India.
Koenig is the Best Place to Work 2010 and 2011 in the Education and Training industry.
Koenig is the Winner of Microsoft Citizenship Partner of the Year award for 2009 and Microsoft Learning Partner of the Year Finalist for 2008."

So I took their word for it, registered for some SharePoint and .NET Exam Certification Courses and decided to see if they are as impressive as they sound. You will see my weekly summary and recommendations on this Blog. Please note I'm comparing them to the Training Courses that I have taken in the past from US based Training providers.

Week 1 at Koenig Delhi
In New Delhi since 1 day. Plane trip was great..landed 3 am, immigration and customs was no hassle, new airport is excellent, Koenig guys were there to receive me. The temperature is about 80...but humidity is high. Picked up my training material from the Office yesterday, training starts Monday. Not sure yet what to do all day tomorrow.
Apartment has basics, caretaker is friendly and helpful, but some issues with A/C unit not working properly, plaster coming off the wall (huge area on 1 wall ) and previous roomer said shower heater has leaking electric ugh. Requested changing Room ASAP...hope the replacement room is nicer. WiFi is strong and electricity is stable and so far power is great. Food and drinking water arrangements are satisfactory at the Apartment. Will also have to find a place to workout like an indoor gym.

The certs that I have signed up for are listed:
SharePoint Administrator (Exams 70-667 & 70-668) fast track
SharePoint Developer (Exams 70-573 & 70-576) regular track
.NETFramework 4.0 (Exam 70-515) fast track

Total Cost: US $4,800 (includes boarding, lodging, travel to lab)
Total Time: approx 5 weeks

Week 2-5 at Koenig
So I'm back with updates from the past few courses that I completed here.  The first two courses (shown above) were for SharePoint 2010 Administration and Configuration (70-667 and 70-668) on a "Fast Track".  The Course Instructor Rajesh was very impressive and had a really solid understanding of the Networking, ADS and Security that's a core part of these courses.  I enjoyed the mode of instruction and learned a few new things.  Most of it was a refresh of my past years of experience but my burning questions as well as gaps in knowledge were answered.  After the completion of the two I reviewed the material and labs from the study guide and passed the first certification, yay!  I plan to start working towards the second certification next week, hopefully.

After this course I took the courses for the 70-515 ASP.NET 4.0 Web Development.  To my surprise there were 3 MOC's (Microsoft Official Curriculum) and six study guides.  Wow!  That's a load of work for one exam.  The first course was dedicated to C# fundamentals, the second to ASP.NET basics and the last one on MVC 2.0.  It's a lot of labs, demos, instruction and code.  I registered for this on the "Fast Track" as well, so it kept me really busy for two weeks.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to study for the exam as of yet because the following two courses began the day after this one ended.  Bad idea for anyone trying to get certified!  Always leave at least 2 days for exam study.  I'll come back to this one at the end of my courses.

The next set of courses was for SharePoint 2010 Application Development (70-573 and 70-576).  The instructor was available in Shimla Koenig Training Center, so I took the train the following day.  Shimla is a hill station dating back to the 1800's and is quite a peacefull and quiet location.  What will also impact a visitor is the honesty and simplicity of the local people.  You will find many temples to visit, places to hike, a Europe style mall with lots of local crafts as well as grocery supplies, restaurants and coffee houses.  But this is a slow paced city.  Be prepared for bands of monkeys which for the most part are well settled in the valley.  Be prepared for daily hikes to get to the mall area and cool weather.  But if you like a serene scenic location at 5,000 ft, this is your ideal place for study.

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