Friday, February 4, 2011

A look inside the USPJ Academy

Well first off, it’s only $497.00/mo.  If you add that up compared to other training, it sells itself, as far as training goes.  The last paid training I attended, I spent $4500 total – hotel, airfare, courses, meals, mileage… The whole 9.  If I divide that $4500 by $497, well you know where I’m going with that.  Most of the courses are 6 weeks, some are 5.  Some courses are easier than others, some actually make you do your research, and when you think you have the answers, you have to dig deeper.  This is my 3rd time in the DVWP course and would take it again in a heartbeat.  The jQuery course was good, but I need to take it again b/c my skills were completely beginner when I took it.  As a student, you have the option of taking up to 3 courses simultaneously.  This is great for students that want to learn as fast as possible.


The USPJA has many features…

Once you look at the costs, it should push you to do it, but if that’s not enough:

USPJA Library

Chocked full of downloadable resources, videos, books, how to’s…  The library has complete books on it’s shelves.  These books will be compatible with your mobile devices as well.  If you ever feel the need to open a SharePoint book on your Kindle, the USPJA has you covered.


At any given moment, students can login to the Academy and fire up a virtual machine of their choice.  That’s right!  Do you need to test some obscure setting that you would never attempt on your farm?  Feel free to use the labs to try that out.  There’s an option to make your lab persistent or you can reset it back to the original image after you are finished with it.  All of these labs are in the cloud via Amazon (24x7 availability!). 


The instructor of the class is paid to answer your q’s.  So, as long as it’s not too far off the wall, your questions will be answered by someone who’s been there, done that.  The current lineup, in my opinion, is the Dream Team of SharePoint:

  • Bjorn Furuknap
  • Marc D. Anderson
  • Ayman El-Hattab
  • Christina Wheeler
  • Mike Watson
  • Laura Docherty
  • John Keadle
  • Sahil Malik

There are courses for Administrators, Developers, and Business Users.  Plenty enough to wet your palate.  Current running courses include:

  • Data View Web Part Basics
  • Developing SharePoint Content Types
  • Beginning SharePoint 2010 Administration

The USPJA boasts forums that directly email all of the instructors above.  Each and every one of these experts, read your post(s), and give you advice on how to tackle the situation.  It’s always nice to know help is only a few clicks away.

USPJA opens doors…

If you have followed my writings, then you may know already; I’ve taken a position with Juniper-Strategy.  There would have been no way for me to have that opportunity if I didn’t attend the USPJA.  I’ve been able to learn at such an accelerated rate because all of the instructors are available to me.  I’m able to easily bounce ideas off of them and get top notch feedback.  I’m very grateful to be a part of the Academy and look forward to meeting any new students that may come along.

If you still have reservations, maybe Bjorn could set up a tour for you.

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