Five Stages of Team Development: Tuckman Group Development’s Top 3 Software RecommendationsLet work for you.Start Free TrialWork smarter with Wrike.Try for FreeIncrease productivity with Smartsheet.Try Smartsheet for FreeEvery team goes through the five stages of team development. Here are some background details about team development. In 1965, Bruce Wayne Tuckman published the four initial stages of team development.
Based on his research on team dynamics, his theory, “Tuckman’s Stages”, was born. These stages are necessary for groups to work well together and produce high-quality results.
Mary Ann Jensen and Tuckman added a fifth stage to the four stages in 1977. The current project is over with the adjourning stage. They will join other teams to continue their work in the near future.
High-performing teams often feel disappointed when a project ends. They have become one and are now going on their own.
Software & Tools to Support Effective Team Development
Project management tools can be used to facilitate team collaboration and speed up the time it takes to complete tasks. If the software is well implemented, project management software can help teams collaborate, communicate, complete tasks faster, and more effectively. Here is a list of five project management tools that can help your team communicate and integrate better.
.errordiv padding:10px; margin:10px; border: 1px solid #555555;color: #000000;background-color: #f8f8f8; width:500px; #topframe visibility:visible;opacity:1;vertical-align:top;.ai-info-bottom-iframe position: fixed; z-index: 10000; bottom:0; left: 0; margin: 0px; text-align: center; width: 100%; background-color: #ff9999; padding-left: 5px;padding-bottom: 5px; border-top: 1px solid #aaa font-weight: bold;#ai-layer-div-topframe p height:100%;margin:0;padding:0Bruce Tuckman’s 5 stages of team development:
Stage 1: Formation
Stage 2: Storming
Stage 3: Norming
Stage 4: Performing
Stage 5: Adjournment
This article provides background information about each stage and shows an example of a team going through each one.
Stage 1: Formation
This is the stage where the team meets for their first time. This is when team members meet for the first time. They exchange information about their backgrounds, interests, and experience and form their first impressions. They learn about the project they will be working on and then discuss the goals/objectives of that project (using a project charter). They then begin to think about their roles in the project team. They are not working on a project. They are “feeling out one another” and trying to figure how to work together.
During the initial stages of team development, it is important that the team leader communicates clearly the project and the team goals. Team leaders should ensure that all members are involved in the setting of roles and responsibilities. He should also work with the group to establish “team norms” that will guide how they work together. They are responsible for leading them.
Stage 2: Storming

What happens during the “storming” stage? The team begins to work together and then they move on to “storming” stage of team development. This stage is crucial for any team, especially those who have never worked together before. This is where team members vie for status and acceptance. There can be conflict between team members because they have different opinions on what should be done and how it should occur. As

Five Simple Ways To Improve Time Management In Your Project

Benjamin Franklin once said that “Lost Time can never be found again.” Every project has time. Your chances of a successful project are greatly improved if your team has a better time management system. This article will show you 5 simple ways your project team can manage its time.
#1 Virtual meetings
Travel time can make face-to-face meetings expensive. This applies regardless of whether the meeting is held on campus or across the country. There is also an opportunity expense. This is the cost of what your staff could do instead of driving to and from meetings. Face-to-face meetings are great for team building and coaching. Virtual meetings are a great way for project team members to meet face-to–face while also reducing travel expenses. Virtually anyone can join your team via web-based video conference. Virtual meetings can be enhanced by using best practices, even though there are limitations.
#2 Automated time tracking
Time tracking is a requirement for many projects. Some projects require time data in order to bill for services. Some use the data for input in performance evaluations or coaching. Industry experts warn that time tracking can lead to productivity problems. Project team members may spend too much time managing the project instead of working on it. Software applications can automate time-tracking, which is a great thing. Software applications can automate time monitoring by monitoring the computer activities and members of the project team. Employee monitoring has its pros and cons. The project manager must decide if the potential productivity gains are worth the risks to the project.
#3 Shared calendars
Scheduling team meetings can be a time-consuming task that is often forgotten. It is easy to schedule meetings for local 9-to-5 employees. Think about the time conflicts that remote teams can face when working flexible hours. These problems can be overcome by technology solutions that allow project team members to see each other’s online schedules. Google Calendar is an example of such technology. It can be used either as a standalone application or as part of a full collaboration platform such as Slack and G Suite. Technology can make scheduling easier and more efficient for everyone.
#4 Shared knowledge
Your team should not make something that has already been done. This is what a project manager desires. To minimize time wasted, it is important to create a knowledge base within the organization. Many companies use technology to capture their internal knowledge. To document their knowledge, senior staff members can create wikis. Although this is inefficient and time-consuming, much of the knowledge is already in emails, documents and text messages. A better option is to use an integrated communication and collaboration platform. Slack, for instance, automates the archival, categorization, and categorization all communication contents within teams, regardless of format (email, text message, etc.). This technology not only saves your senior members of the team from tedious documentation tasks, but also allows others to gain their knowledge by querying previous communication exchanges.
#5 Training
Training is a great way to improve the time management skills of your team. It can be specific to a job such as learning new tools or how better to use existing ones.

5 Rules to help you manage any project

A good project management team knows that despite any shortcomings, a project must be completed on time. It is the best use of time, knowledge, and resources to realize the full potential of a project. It’s not difficult to manage projects. It’s not about managing a team or meeting deadlines. This is a flawed approach to Project Management. Successful Project Managers understand that it is easy for them to plan, optimize and execute the resources.
If you are a good manager, and enjoy reading management books it is easy to see why everyone resorts to Six Sigma Management and Lean Management. These methods maximize output and optimize resources. We take all steps to ensure that the deadline does not get extended or missed.
These guidelines will help you manage your project effectively.
1. Great project plan
A great plan is key to success. Planning is crucial for managing resources and setting a time frame. If you want to be a successful project manager, you need a plan. It is enough to keep track and document all milestones. To ensure everyone meets the deadlines and timeframes, it is important to set realistic goals.
2. Take care of your Expectations
This is one of many key principles of project management that will ensure your success. By breaking down the listeddown steps into smaller pieces or setting milestones, you can meet everyone’s expectations. This will show your client you are committed to the project and are working hard. If you are able to manage expectations, your client will provide feedback so that you can promptly address their concerns.
3. Flexibility is key
This is the ultimate responsibility of the project manager. If you are agile, you can quickly respond to any threat or weakness. It is not a good idea for project managers to stick to the same old methods, as the trends change all the time. Old methods that are more formal can slow down the process.
4. Working together
Project management has many rules and expectations. One of the most important things is to work as a team. You must be a team player to ensure that your project is fun and productive. You must feel comfortable with your colleagues and establish a rapport with them. Only teamwork can help meet deadlines because everyone is on the same page.
5. Risk Management
If you do a market research, you will find examples of successful project management. This is what every project manager should do. A risk database should be maintained to monitor the project and allow your team members to report on any concerns. There are many risks you should be aware of, and you must take steps to reduce them.
These five rules will help you make a decision about how to manage your project. Three crucial factors are budget, time and quality. These three factors should be at the heart of your project management strategy.
Software for Project Management
If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at actively recommend the following:

Five Reasons Why You Need Project Management Software for Your Company’s Top 3 Software RecommendationsLet work for you.Start Free TrialWork smarter with Wrike.Try for FreeIncrease productivity with Smartsheet.Try Smartsheet for FreeLarge companies are constantly working on numerous projects. Each project is a team effort that involves many people but few leaders. It can be difficult for a large group of people to manage a project. It is important to manage many tasks in a well-organized manner. These are reasons to rely on project management tools to ensure your project is on schedule. We also have a list with the top 15 best project management websites to help you choose the right one for your project.
The Top 5
We have compiled the top 5 online tools for project management.

Five Reasons Why You Need Project Management Software for Your Company

1. Easy Planning
Planning a project can take a lot of time as you need to plan each step. Project management tools make it easy to quickly and efficiently create a hierarchy of tasks that can all be completed efficiently and effectively. It allows you to identify which tasks are dependent on one another and which steps are sequential. This makes it easier to get the work done by the team members. This saves time as the team leader can identify which steps are most important and then assign the tasks to the right person.
2. Task Management that is efficient
Each project has many tasks that you and your team must complete. It can be difficult to keep track, especially if you have ongoing projects that take a lot of time. This is where a project management tool can come in handy. It allows you assign tasks to employees and tracks their performance. This data simplifies project management. This data allows you to track who has which tasks and gives you access to that information. Better task management can help teams work together. This leads to amazing results for the company.
3. Workflow for teams that are seamless
It can be difficult for the whole team to come together. Project management tools can make it much easier. This software allows team leaders to see the tasks that his team is working on and the team members involved in each task.
There are tasks that require multiple people. These are the situations where team leaders can have multiple people working on larger tasks while others are working on smaller tasks simultaneously. It is important to have a seamless team workflow. This will ensure the company’s sustainability as well as build cohesion within the organization.
4. Contacts, Calendars and Shared Documents
Project management tools are extremely useful because they allow you to organize and store many documents. This is important because most projects have many documents. A central document storage plan makes it easier for everyone to edit and add more quickly. This feature is essential in situations when work is outsourced to another person/team. It is much easier to complete all tasks than to send thousands of emails that contain attachments that can quickly become complicated.
It is also convenient to have access to the calendars and contact information of other team members, as it is necessary to arrange a meeting between them. It makes it easier to coordinate. You can share a document with contact information for all members of the team. This will enable remote team members to communicate with one another.
5. Precise Project Tracking
Time spent tracking

Scope Creep: Five Reasons a Project Plan Can Be Ruined

Kudzu is a miracle in nature. This vine, weed, or whatever you want it to be called, can grow up to 12 inches per day!
This is a common problem in the southern United States. There are many ways to stop this raging vine. Some methods are more effective than others. This is an important consideration when dealing with landscaping problems.
Scope creep can also be compared to Kudzu. Scope creep is the gradual expansion of project work that was not planned in the original plan. It starts with a “wouldn’t it be nice,AP”, then moves to “we really should have,AP”, and ends with “it’s not that big of a deal just adding this one item to your project.” Soon, you will see that scope creep is a major problem in your project.
Scope creep can occur if there is a project plan
It is important to understand how scope creep could cause a project plan falling prey to scope creep. If everyone is on the same page, and there is a plan, then project expansion shouldn’t be a problem. Here are some ways that scope creep can occur.
1. Belief that “the customer is always right”
Many project managers succumb to the pressure of the customer always being right. It is a fact that customers will return products or services if they are not satisfied with them.
Scope creep can be a problem when a project budget is hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. A small change to a customer’s project plan can easily result in a company spending between $50,000 and $100,000 depending on how much it is changed. It is important to distinguish between a customer being right and a customer changing their mind. This distinction must be made clear to project managers so they can tell when to say “No” to clients.
2. You have something to prove
Scope creep can also enter a project plan through the mindset and mentality of the project manager. You might need to prove yourself. This may be a personal challenge. It will be possible to take the change back with your project team and have it implemented within your project with minimal impact on the timeline. Human ego can cause a lot of problems. Unintended consequences can occur when a project is extended beyond the original scope of the business environment. One example is when new functionality is introduced that later conflicts with functionality in another program.
3. Processes that are “Loosey Goosey”.
Another way scope creep can affect a project plan is by not having formal change control processes. Projects that are “on track”, if there is no formal process for reviewing and determining the impact of any changes to the plan on the project’s progress, can become sloppy. It is important to keep track of all changes to your plan so you can refer to them in the future. We often keep details of any changes to the project plan because our memories are so limited. People will be able recall which changes were made, who approved them, and why.
4. All the dots have to be connected
Sometimes the scope document is not complete enough to include all details. This forces the project team into a mid-flight effort to connect all the dots. Important information should not be overlooked

Microsoft to Retire AZ203, Release AZ204

Microsoft will soon retire its AZ203 exam and replace it by AZ204, Developing Solutions to Microsoft Azure. The new AZ204 exam is another step in the Microsoft Azure Developer certification program. It is not secret that the Microsoft Azure training program continues to evolve.
Microsoft has updated its certification program over the past two years to place emphasis on roles and not products, and raise its cloud credentials. Since replacing the 70-532 exam in March 2018 with the AZ-220 and AZ-01 exams, Microsoft has been rewriting Azure Developer program credentials on a near annual basis.
Let’s take a look at all the changes made to the Azure developer program and why Microsoft continues to improve its Azure-focused certifications.
AZ-200 & AZ-201: The First Major Reorganization
In 2018, Microsoft split its Azure developer curriculum into two new tracks. Exam AZ-200: Microsoft Azure developer Core Solutions tested developers’ ability to select the right cloud technology solution, develop cloud storage solutions, create Platform as a Service (PaaS), and secure cloud applications.
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The second exam was Start trainingExam AZ201: Microsoft Azure Developer Advanced Solutions. It validated that individuals can code for Azure cloud, select the appropriate cloud technology options, and integrate different cloud products.
Microsoft provided a seamless transition path for IT professionals who have the 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions certificate. They could only take the AZ-202: Microsoft Azure Developer Transition exam.
AZ-203: More changes made
In 2019, Microsoft made more changes to the Azure developer program. AZ-209: Developing Solutions for Azure has replaced the AZ-209 and AZ-2201 exams.
The AZ-203 certification focused on how to select the appropriate cloud technology solution for a project, how to allocate cloud storage, how to work with Platform-as-a-service solutions, and how to secure cloud data.
AZ-204: The Most Recent Exam
Microsoft is not stopping at changing its course. Although ink is still drying on AZ-203 exam. AZ-204 was launched on February 24. You have until May 31 to take the AZ-203 exam if you have been studying for it. The AZ-203 exam is set to be retired after that date.
The main takeaway from the new AZ204 exam is that the exam objectives were changed.
Azure Infrastructure as a Service Compute Solution
Create Azure Platform as a Service Compute Solution
Allocate Azure Storage
Implement Azure Security
Monitor, Troubleshoot and Optimize Solutions
Connect to Azure and third-party Services and use them

Compare them with the AZ203 exam objectives.
Azure Infrastructure as a Service Compute Solution
Azure Platform as a Service Compute Solution
Develop for Azure Storage
Implement Azure Security
Monitor, troubleshoot and optimize Azure solutions
Connect to Azure services and third-party apps and use them

There is a lot of overlap between these exams. However, as you dig deeper into the objectives and topics covered by each exam, the differences become more apparent.
What’s the Deal with Microsoft Azure Certs?
Why are there constant changes? Microsoft is the only one who knows. Cloud computing’s dynamic nature may be one reason. Traditional computing models had new releases in slow, steady, long-term patterns. Cloud operates at a faster pace, which may lead to the need for constant certification updates.
Microsoft has also been retooling its certification programs at the macro level. It has broken down degrees into Fundamentals, Associate and Expert. These categories are organized in a building block fashion.
Fundamentals is the name for entry-level IT professionals

Microsoft Office Tips to Make Your Work Life Easier Microsoft Office remains the most popular enterprise productivity suite. Simona Millham, SPOTO trainer, has compiled a list of tips to help you maximize your productivity with Office. You will be able to save time and complete tasks faster. Simona’s SPOTO training catalog has more Microsoft Office-related training. Microsoft Office Tech Tips Use “Tell me how you want to use” at the end your ribbon tabs. Even if you don’t know the name of the feature, you can still use the box. Enter “note” to access the Insert Comment command. You can keep up to 24 items on your clipboard at once. You can then copy any one of them whenever you like. Click the little button at the bottom of the clipboard.

To activate this functionality, click on the Home tab. You can also check out the Options at bottom of the Clipboard pane. It might be useful to export customizations for use on other computers. Right-click the ribbon and choose Customize the Ribbon. You’ll then see the Import/Export option. You might be able to locate an option that you used in Office but it no longer appears to exist. Go to File, Options and Quick Access Toolbar. In the “Choose commands form” dropdown, select “Commands not in the Ribbon”. Click on the command you are looking for and click Add. This will display the command in the toolbar at top left of your screen. Hurray! Get security training from SPOTO Start. Have you ever sent a Word file to a customer with comments, track changes and hidden tracks? Do you remember deleting PowerPoint speaker notes one slide at time? Check out the Document Inspector within Office applications. To save time and avoid embarrassment, go File, Info, then Check for Issues. You may be familiar with the Compress Pictures button located on the Picture Tools ribbon. This allows you to delete any cropped areas in a photo. Did you know that the Document Inspector can also be used to crop a picture?

Microsoft Office Certifications – Are They Worth It

Microsoft has some of the most well-known tech products in the world. Although many users may not be familiar with Azure or Microsoft Server, SQL Server, and SQL Server, they are likely to be familiar with Windows and the apps within the Microsoft Office suite. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other applications are so familiar that they are almost taken as a given.
Each Microsoft product comes with a professional certification. Office is no exception — it actually has three. Microsoft Office certifications can be controversial as Office is a basic technical competency for most office jobs. Why should you get certified for something so common?
We’ll be exploring this question. We’ll examine what these certificates cover and who should get them.
Microsoft Office Certifications and Exams
There are three Microsoft Office certifications available: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), MOS Expert and MOS Master. They can demonstrate greater proficiency in one or more of five major Office apps: Word Excel, PowerPoint PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, and Excel.
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Start training These certifications are about using Office apps, not installing them or administering them.
Although we used the term “increasing proficiency levels”, it might be better to say “increasing breadth and proficiency”. Specialist level exams are also used at each level, aside from Expert level Excel and Word exams. As you climb the ladder, you will need to pass more. The current certification exams are available for Office apps 2016, which can also be accessed via Office 365’s cloud.
There are no prerequisites to any MOS certification level. Microsoft recommends that you have specific skills in Microsoft Office or previous levels of certification.
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS).
You can become a MOS specialist in any of the five Office apps that we mentioned. There are no prerequisites. You just need to pass the exam(s).
Word 2016 (Exam 777-725),
Excel 2016 (Exam 777-727),
PowerPoint 2016 (Exam 777-729).
Access 2016 (Exam 777-730), Or
Outlook 2016 Exam 77-731

These exams prove that you are an expert user of the application. It doesn’t tell you if the app can be installed or administered.
Third-party Certiport Authorized Testing Centers administer MOS exams. Each exam costs $100 USD for an individual purchaser. Certiport may offer special pricing to schools, corporate purchasers, and testing centers.
Each exam is weighted in four to five different categories that are related to the application used. The following categories are included in the Word 2016 exam:
Create and manage documents (25-30%)
Format Text, Paragraphs and Sections (25-30%)
Create tables and lists (20-25%)
Create and manage references (5-10%)
Insert and Format Graphic Elements (20-25%)
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS Expert)

The MOS Expert certification is limited to two applications.
By passing the appropriate expert-level exam(s), you can become a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Expert in either one or both of these apps.
Word 2016 Expert (Exams 77-726)
Excel 2016 Expert (Exams 77-728)

Although there are no prerequisites, proficiency in Excel or Word is recommended. You don’t have to pass the Specialist exam in order to take the Expert exam.
The Expert exams are administered at Certiport Authorized Testing Centers, just like the Specialist exams. Individual purchasers pay $100 USD for each exam.
The app use category is the basis of both exams. The Excel 2016 Expert

Microsoft Now Offers SQL Server for Linux. But Should You Use It.

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Microsoft announced in 2016 that SQL Server would be available on Linux. Everyone was shocked. It was a surprise. Microsoft wanted to not only own the football but also the stadium, players and league. They suddenly became kinder, more gentle, and more open to all.
SQL Server 2017 has been out for a year now, and you might be wondering if SQL Server Linux is available for your organization. You can’t go wrong when Microsoft is involved in this fusion. SQL Server for Linux works exactly as you expect.
Your organization should now be using SQL Server for Linux. Here’s why.
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Get trainingBlame it on Cloud
Microsoft’s willingness to work with Linux was a natural outcome. Microsoft has been investing more time, money, technology in its cloud platform, Azure. Linux has been a viable alternative to Microsoft Azure in the cloud environment.
Microsoft had to accept the fact that exclusivity will not win them any favors if they were to get serious about this area. They can still make Azure revenue by offering a Linux-based SQL Server. That’s a win for them.
They’re doing it. SQL Server on Linux is Microsoft’s most downloaded product. It claims that it has been downloaded more than seven million times. This is a good example of the typical download volume for Microsoft server products. They are often in the hundreds of thousands.
Microsoft doesn’t need to be a big player with this new product. Microsoft is a dominant player in both the server market and the technology market. Their revenue isn’t declining, and their popularity makes it worth trying in the Linux-compatible universe.
Case Studies Look Good
The initial release of SQL Server for Linux was done on a case by case basis. There have been many successes.
Humantech, an ergonomics consulting company that began as an in-person consultation, was one of their biggest successes. But they moved into a business model of software-as-a-service. This type of transition requires a complete IT overhaul. They were fortunate that SQL Server for Linux was available at the time. Their company used Microsoft SQL Server on Windows Server to run the production and development environments. The rest of the environment was on Linux operating systems. The cost and time required to run these processes in two different environments was prohibitive and time-consuming. There had to be a compromise.
Instead of learning a new Linux-compatible database like Oracle from scratch, they chose to stick with the database they were familiar with. Humantech wanted something durable and flexible, so they looked into SQL Server for Linux. It was easy to upgrade to SQL Server 2017 by using the backup and restore procedure for their SQL Server 2008.
The result? Humantech saw a 50% reduction in support and maintenance expenses. They also saved time by not having to learn on a new database. They also increased their security and reliability.

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Integration with SQL: The Power of Integration
Two challenges faced by Microsoft in making SQL Server available for Linux was the real challenge. SQL Server users who have been using it for years expect specific functionality, familiarity, and appearance. The application cannot be static. It must be dynamic.

Microsoft MCSE Certification Guide

Microsoft technical certifications are designed to validate the skills, knowledge, and abilities IT professionals have acquired on-the-job. They also prepare IT professionals for new technologies. IT certifications are highly sought after by companies because they demonstrate proficiency.
This Roadmap to Success explains how to prepare yourself to earn Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). This guide contains information about the certification, career prospects and salary guidance as well as how to prepare for the exam.
What is the MCSE certificate?
Microsoft certifications are organized in a pyramid structure. Each level of certification leads to more advanced, specialized, and complex certifications. The MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) is the foundation of IT professionals’ knowledge. The MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate), and MCSD [Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer] are the next levels. These certifications include many of the most popular IT certificates offered by Microsoft such as Server 2012, Office 365 and Azure. The MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solution Expert), the highest level of Microsoft certification, allows learners to specialize in MCSA-level content.
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Microsoft calls it Start training. The new MCSE and MCSD certificates (MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure; MCSE Data Management and Analytics; MCSE Productivity; MCSE : Productivity; MCSE : Productivity) are aligned with Centers of Excellence. These are used by the Microsoft Partner Network by identifying technical competencies that are easily recognized by both Microsoft customers and partners. These credentials don’t have a requirement to be recertified. Instead, the achievement date indicates how you keep up to date with technological changes.
The MCSE is the most popular credential for IT professionals who specialize in Microsoft server technologies. The MCSE exam title tests knowledge with Microsoft Servers. These include Windows, SQL Server and Exchange Server. Sharepoint is also included. System Center (SCCM) is another option. MCSE certified professionals are able demonstrate their ability to design, implement and manage business solutions.
You have the option to renew your MCSE certification each year by passing an exam from our list of electives. This will show that you have made an investment in your ability to expand or deepen your skills in a Center of Excellence. Every time you earn a certification, an entry is added to the transcript. This replaces the current recertification requirement to take a specific recertification test every two years (MCSD), or every three years, (MCSE), to keep your certification active. Learn more about the new Microsoft certification structure.
What is the difference between MCSA & MCSE?
Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), and MCSE certifications, are two of the most trusted and well-respected cert levels from Microsoft. MCSA is an associate or entry-level certificate, while MCSE is an expert level certification. MCSA certification is a prerequisite for sitting for MCSE exams.
MCSA certifications are usually focused on servers, operating system, and web apps, while MCSE covers business insight, private cloud computing, infrastructure, and data platform knowledge.
What is the difference between MCSE and CCNA?
Many IT professionals are unsure whether to pursue their MCSE or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), as they move forward in their certification journey. Both certifications are highly respected by IT professionals, but each path requires specific knowledge that should be considered.
The second exam in the Cisco CCNA series is the Cisco ICND2.