Microsoft Virtual Academy: For Beginners

Technology is advancing and expanding at an incredibly rapid speed. Every day, more and more breakthroughs are being reached in all fields and industries: science, medicine, business, education, art, and others. The IT industry, of course, is no exception. In fact, the information technology (IT) industry is the one of the industries which is driving those aforementioned industries.

Career changes are not uncommon

Career changes are not uncommon

These days, people are changing careers more frequently. They are no longer under the impression that they must have one specific job, for life. People want to experiment, they want to stay active, and most of all – they yearn for financial and vocational freedom. One way in which this can be achieved is through IT studies and certifications. Whether you are in your 40’s and considering a career change, or in your late teens/early 20’s looking for your place in the job market – IT studies are something which can be picked up at any stage in life, which is a wonderful advantage.

At Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA), “For Beginners” courses in the field of IT have been available since 2012. There are over 40 courses, covering a wide range of topics, all having to do with the fundamentals of the IT industry. There are introductory courses on popular programming languages. There are courses on the basics of operating systems, Office 365, network security, and more.

The top courses in MVA’s beginner’s section are C# Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners, Networking Fundamentals, Database Fundamentals, and Visual Basic Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners.

Course Review: Software Development Fundamentals

One of the most popular courses is Software Development Fundamentals, instructed by Gerry O'Brien and Paul Pardi. This course is meant for those who wish to get an overview of software development, object-oriented programming, web and desktop applications, and other core topics of the field. This course is meant as a prep course for those who are about to sit for Microsoft certification examination. Software Development Fundamentals corresponds with exam 98-361, which goes by the very same name. It is an exam which is related to Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification.

Instructor Gerry O'Brien

Instructor Gerry O'Brien

The topics covered in this course are:

  • General Software Development
  • Core Programming
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Web Applications
  • Desktop Applications
  • Understand Databases
  • Is This for Me?
  • Recommended Resources & Next
Instructor Paul Pardi

Instructor Paul Pardi

There are no prerequisites for taking this course. Anyone who is interested in software development, whether as a career or a hobby, will enjoy this course. It is worth 66 points, and runs about five hours in length. It includes eight modules, assessment exams, as well as slide presentations. Because it is an introductory level course, it has been given a Level 100 status. It is rated a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.

O’Brien is a technical content development manager for Microsoft, with 20 years of experience in the industry. O’Brien focuses on developer and database platforms. He is an author, trainer, and consultant.

Pardi is a content development lead for Microsoft, with a focus on software development technologies. He is a technical trainer and author, who has managed teams working on Internet Explorer and Windows 8.

Course Review: Windows Phone 8.1 Development for Absolute Beginners

Another very popular course is Windows Phone 8.1 Development for Absolute Beginners, instructed by Bob Tabor. This course is meant for those interested in grasping the core concepts of Windows Phone app and UI development. Throughout the course, students build five apps. This is meant to provide the students with the foundation for additional mobile app studies.

Windows Phone

Windows Phone

The topics covered in this course are:

  • XAML overview
  • Exercise: Writing your First Windows Phone 8.App
  • Introduction to XAML
  • Understanding XAML Layout and Events
  • Overview of the Common XAML Controls
  • Styling Apps using XAML
  • Understanding the Navigation Model
  • Working with the package.appxmanifest
  • Exercise: Tip Calculator
  • Exercise: Tip Calculator as a Universal App
  • Working with the Windows Phone 8.Emulator
  • Understanding the App’s Lifecycle and Managing State
  • Working with the Web View App Template
  • Exercise: Whack-a-Bob App
  • Understanding the Hub App Template Overview and Navigation
  • Understanding the Hub App Template’s Sample Data Model
  • Understanding Data Binding, Data Sources and Data Contexts
  • Understanding Model View View Model (MVVM): ObservableCollection and INotifyPropertyChanged
  • Understanding async and Awaitable Tasks
  • Playing Video and Audio in a MediaElement Control
  • Exercise: I Love Cupcakes App
  • Storing and Retrieving Serialized Data
  • Working with the Command Bar
  • Binding to Commands and CommandParameters
  • Advanced Binding with Value Converters
  • Exercise: The Daily Rituals App
  • Working with the Map Control and the Geolocation and GeoPosition Classes
  • Working with Animations in XAML
  • Exercise: The Map Notes App
  • Series Conclusion
  • Recommended Resources and Next Steps

There are no prerequisites for enrolling in this course. It is worth 208 points, and runs over 10 hours in length. It is an extensive and in-depth intro of mobile app development. This course has 31 modules, and 27 assessment examinations. This courses is rated 5 out of 5 stars, and is a Level 100 course.

Building a solid foundation of knowledge and experience can be tricky, and MVA has Bob Tabor as an instructor in this particular course. Tabor is a .NET and C# developer, Channel9 / MVA contributor, and the founder of LearnVisualStudio.NET. He is an author and entrepreneur, with a 12-year history of experience and proven success. He is a coach, mentor, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).

If you are interested in getting your foot in the door, and start planting the seeds of your future success, take the time to enroll in some of these IT intro courses, and find out if a career in IT is for you! Whether it is app development, web development, server administration, security, databases – MVA has it all in one place.

For those interested in a career in technology, Microsoft is THE place to start. The MVA’s experts are some of the best teachers in the industry, and enrolling in these courses is the first step towards a newer and more empowered you. With so many courses to choose from, and so many different directions to take, anyone can find what he or she are looking for.

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