Today, I am thrilled to share that I received my welcome pack commemorating 20 years as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). My journey began in 2004 when Bill Gates was at the helm of Microsoft. Over the years, I have proudly received certificates signed by Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and now Satya Nadella… Much has changed 😊

MCT Certfiications through the years

Throughout these two decades, I have achieved numerous certifications, including four MCSEs, four MCSAs, MCM, MCSM, and a multitude of professional exams in between. Yet, the one qualification that has remained a constant is the MCT… a qualification and title that seems to endure – technology changes, but the need and ability to train people correctly in those technologies does not.

The Evolution of MCT Certification
Back in 2004, qualifying as an MCT was no small feat. You had to be a full MCSE, which at the time required passing seven rigorous exams. Beyond that, you had to deliver a highly technical training session live, in front of a class of no less than 15 peers, for an hour. This session was then assessed, marked, and sent off to Germany for a final grade. Only those who demonstrated exceptional knowledge and teaching skills passed. Don’t think this was an easy task, the cohort and assessors were brutal! (At least in my humble opinion anyway!)

In those days, the MCT was the pinnacle of technical certification. Then came the Rangers and then Masters, but through it all, the MCT has endured as a symbol of excellence and dedication in the tech training community.

A Journey Through Time

To put this milestone into perspective, here are some significant technological advancements that did not exist in 2004:

The iPhone did not exist! The first iPhone was not released until 2007. In 2004, BlackBerry devices were popular among business users, but the concept of a modern smartphone was still in its infancy.
BPOS-D & O365 did not exist! Services like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform were non-existent. Businesses relied on on-premises servers and data centres. Windows 2000, 2003 & NTFS file shares were king!
Social Media Giants: Facebook was launched in 2004, but it was limited to Harvard students. Twitter (2006), Instagram (2010), and LinkedIn (2003, but not widely used) were either in their infancy or yet to be created, you had to make do with MySpace – and those profile songs 😊
Streaming Services did not exist: Netflix was still a DVD rental service, and YouTube was launched in 2005. The concept of streaming movies, TV shows, and music was not mainstream.
Tablets did not exist: The first iPad was not introduced until 2010. In 2004, tablets were bulky, expensive, and had limited functionality.
4G and 5G Networks did not exist: In 2004, most mobile networks operated on 2G or 3G. The high-speed 4G and 5G networks that we rely on today were still years away.
Virtual Assistants did not exist: AI-driven virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant had not been developed. Voice recognition technology was rudimentary at best.

Looking Ahead
As I reflect on the past 20 years, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities and experiences that being an MCT has provided. The technology landscape has changed dramatically, but the core principles of learning, teaching, and sharing knowledge have remained constant.

I look forward to continuing this journey, embracing new technologies, and helping the next generation of tech professionals achieve their goals.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of this incredible journey. Here’s to many more years of learning and growth!

Iraq 2006:

Kosovo 2007:

Texas 2016:

2024 – sensible haircut restored!

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