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ACSP105

I remember way back, long ago, before the iPad, and before the iPhone, Apple had official certification training for OS X Server. I think I got my first certification around 10.3. Over time, additional courses appeared. There was an Xsan course, there was an OS X Server course, and there were plans for more. At the height of the Apple certification program, you could get the following for a full on systems administration plethora of acronyms, including ACDT, ACTC, ACSA, and ACMA:

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  • Mac OS X Support Essentials v10.6: Prometric #9L0-403, removed on May 31, 2012
  • Mac OS X Server Essentials v10.6: Prometric #9L0-510, removed on May 31, 2012
  • Mac OS X Directory Services v10.6 Prometric #9L0-624, removed on May 31, 2012
  • Mac OS X Deployment v10.6: Prometric #9L0-623, removed on May 31, 2012
  • Mac OS X Security & Mobility v10.6: Prometric #9L0-625, removed on May 31, 2012
  • Xsan 2 Administration: Prometric #9L0-622, removed on May 31, 2012
  • Final Cut Pro Level One: Prometric #9L0-827
  • Macintosh Service Certification Exam
  • OS X Yosemite Troubleshooting Exam

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You could also go further and get an Apple Certified Trainer designation (ACT) and be able to teach these classes. Certifications aren’t everything, so it was certainly possible to get certified without having the skills, or to get l33t without getting the certs. However, they were a good guidepost for me when hiring and there were certain activities I engaged in with Apple that having the certifications was either required or extremely helpful.

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But over time, Apple shifted its focus elsewhere. After the release of the iPad (and subsequent gangbuster sales of the product), the number of services and the viability of using some of those services in large environments (e.g. due to the death of the Xserve and Xserve RAID), have both decreased sharply. Meanwhile, the ease of use of the services has sharply increased. A simpler product required less training, so the ACSA went away. Additionally, Final Cut Server as a product was removed from Apple’s portfolio and so the ACMA certification disappeared. By 10.10, there were two courses for OS X and OS X Server (ACTC) and another for hardware that’s much more specific to hardware repair.

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But as with the Highlander, for 10.11, there can be only one. OS X Server no longer has a course. So today, I’ll say adios, Server certs. I spent a lot of time on you. I will miss you. Or notsomuch. TBD. It’s a different world…

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The book for the OS X Server 10.11/Server 5 course is still being made. I’ve heard it should be out in January. And I’ll keep writing articles and books about this stuff for as long as it’s viable. So there’s content. And I’m sure (like really sure) that there will be a third party that introduces a certification for OS X Server. So stay tuned for more on that! And be assured that the end of one era usually represents the beginning of a new era. Those on that boat to the new era usually do well!

November 10th, 2015

Posted In: certifications, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

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Arek Dreyer and Ben Greisler have been at it again. The latest editions of the Apple Training Series books are now out, providing a guide to getting certified with OS X Server. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but I suspect that the book, as with the previous books, will be excellent.

To quote the book description:

The only Apple-certified book on OS X Server on Mountain Lion, this comprehensive reference takes support technicians and ardent Mac users deep inside the server for the latest operating system, covering everything from networking technologies to service administration, customizing users and groups, and more. Aligned to the learning objectives of the Apple Certified Technical Coordinator certification exam, the lessons in this self-paced volume serves as a perfect supplement to Apple’s own training class and a first-rate primer for computer support personnel who need to support and maintain OS X Server on Mountain Lion as part of their jobs. Step-by-step exercises reinforce the concepts taught through practical application. Quizzes summarize and reinforce acquired knowledge. The Newest version of OS X is more business-friendly than ever, making it simple to get a network up and running quickly, and IT professionals will need Server Essentials to integrate Macs into their organizations.

The Apple Pro Training Series serves as both a self-paced learning tool and the official curriculum for the OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Server on Mountain Lion certification programs.

The Apple Support Essentials book is out as well (thanks, Mr. White!). Its description is as follows:

The only Apple-certified book on OS X Mountain Lion, this revised best-seller will take you deep inside the latest big-cat operating system–covering everything from installation and configuration, customizing the operating system, supporting applications, setting up peripherals, and more. Whether you’re a support technician or simply an ardent Mac user, you’ll quickly learn and master the new features in OS X Mountain Lion. Following the learning objectives of the Apple Certified Support Professional exam, this self-paced book is a perfect guide for Apple’s training and a first-rate primer for computer support personnel who need to troubleshoot and optimize OS X Mountain Lion as part of their jobs. Step-by-step exercises reinforce the concepts taught through practical application. Chapter review sections and quizzes summarize and reinforce acquired knowledge.

The Apple Pro Training Series serves as both a self-paced learning tool and the official curriculum for OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Mountain Lion Server certification programs.

January 8th, 2013

Posted In: certifications, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

The Tiger Apple Certified Systems Administrator (ACSA) track allowed certification candidates to accomplish the ACSA by getting an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) and then obtaining 7 points. Points were obtained by taking a variety of exams whose point values were based on the number of days of the corresponding class.

Apple has now posted the ACSA requirements for 10.5. There is no longer a point system, which was a unique approach in the IT industry for achieving certifications. Instead, for the Leopard ACSA, Apple has now trimmed down the number of courses that are provided and require that all exams be completed to accomplish the ACSA. For now, the certificates listed include:
Mac OS X Server Essentials v10.5
Directory Services v10.5
Deployment v10.5
Advanced Administration v10.5

Notice that there are no workstation oriented exams listed. The Support Essentials exam is all that is required to achieve an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist (ACHDS) for Tiger. The ACHDS certification has been retired and replaced with the Apple Certified Support Professional for Leopard, which replaces the ACHDS and only requires the Support Essentials exam.

More information on the new certification program can be found here:
http://training.apple.com/certification/macosx

October 22nd, 2007

Posted In: Consulting, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

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