Can You Beat the Most Validated Learner?
Self-testing is one of the most effective ways to improve learning and increase retention.
You can use Transcender practice exams, or you can supercharge your IT learning with in-video quizzes, which earn you Validated Minutes. Quiz questions appear every few minutes throughout our videos, every correct answer will earn you Validated Minutes that confirm you understand what you've watched.
Your Validated Minutes appear on the leaderboards, both for your team and on the leaderboard for all CBT Nuggets learners across the globe. Only the top 25 of over a 100,000 CBT Nuggets learners make it onto the global leaderboard. And only one makes it to the top.
Currently, the CBT Nuggets Most Validated Person (MVP) is Jannes Lecompte, an Infrastructure Engineer at Switchpoint, an MSP in Ghent, Belgium, which provides solutions for medium-to-large businesses, with a focus on security, networking, and data centers. In his role at Switchpoint, he works to install, provide documentation, and train others in a wide range of technologies. He has earned over 6,000 Validated Minutes since we launched quizzes in November 2016.
What makes a highly validated learner tick? How does he sustain a robust training pace, and stay motivated to train while managing a busy work week? We asked Jannes to share his experience with CBT Nuggets and the secrets to his training success.
Why did your company decide to invest in training with CBT Nuggets?
In the ever-changing world of IT, it's paramount to keep up with the latest products and technologies through extensive training. We're deploying a lot of new and innovative products, which is great to work with, but harder to sell.
Expertise is one of the things that our customers value a lot when making a decision. So, we get a lot of opportunities to train via different channels and are encouraged to get several certifications.
CBT Nuggets training fits right in, to help us get these required skills.
I actually recommended CBT Nuggets to my company. When I was looking for a job I started preparing my Cisco CCENT ICND1 exam with CBT Nuggets. The format, topics, and way of teaching were perfect for me. After one month in the company, I suggested a subscription and this was approved immediately.
How does CBT Nuggets training help you in your work?
I didn't finish university, so I had no degree to prove my IT training. I was working as a developer for two years but wanted something else. CBT Nuggets helped a lot with expanding my knowledge about topics like Cisco networking and UCS, VMware, and MicrosoftWindows Server.
When I started working for Switchpoint in April 2014, I had some very basic networking knowledge. Looking back at the last few years, I never thought it would go as fast as it did. My very first project was installing two WiFi access points as a PoC. Just 18 months later, I did a complete two-site data center project involving networking, servers, storage, backup, UPS, and monitoring tools.
What training goals are you currently working toward achieving?
My goal is to become a Cisco CCIE Data Center and get VMware VCDX certified when I'm 35 (in eight years). I set the bar high, considering they are two of the hardest certifications in the industry, but I like challenges. I don't know yet if I will make that goal, but the process to get there is rewarding in itself.
For this year, I plan to get my CCNA Data Center, VCAP in 2018, and so on. Training is the beginning of the journey. Hands-on experience with all the equipment and tools is what makes you able to successfully achieve those certifications, and that takes time.
Ed. Note: One of the easiest ways to get hands-on experience is with CBT Nuggets Virtual Labs.
Who is your favorite CBT Nuggets trainer? Why?
I don't think this is a surprise … it's Jeremy Cioara! My very first CBT Nuggets course was Cisco CCENT ICND1 100-101 and from the first video, I felt excited without knowing what would follow.
Jeremy's love for the material he's talking about is contagious. I never saw myself as a teacher, but Jeremy is right: Teaching someone else about something you love is awesome!
He has some memorable quotes that should go on a t-shirt, like "You are good at what you love and you will love what you're good at." Whenever you feel down, just go watch one of his videos. Honestly, all CBT Nuggets trainers are great. I've also taken courses by Keith Barker and Anthony Sequeira. They are an amazing duo as well!
Do you use the CBT Nuggets mobile apps for training and quizzes? If so, where do you train on the apps?
I use the apps a lot. Watching videos on my tablet is just more comfortable than a laptop/PC. It also depends on the course or specific topic. When I follow along with the labs, I use a second screen on my PC.
When I'm doing dishes, I watch on my tablet. I also use the offline feature when I'm on holiday or on the train.
When did you realize you had made it to the top of our global learner leaderboard and how did it feel?
Right from the start, I did some quizzes for courses that I had completed earlier. It was a great refresher and gives you a lot of validated minutes at the same time. I guess I was right up there from the beginning without specifically trying.
It's nice, but I don't lose sleep over it. I check it once in awhile to see if I'm still keeping up with the other students. It could change.
What motivates you to train and answer quiz questions?
I simply want to become an expert in what I'm doing. This is the major factor that drives me to train more. The quiz questions help me to be more focused while watching and retain the information for a longer time. Every few minutes you have to interact, so it keeps you engaged while watching and makes it easier to stay alert, even after a long day at work.
Sometimes I take quizzes before I watch videos to check if I already know the content. And then I watch the video anyway. I learned that even though I'm already quite familiar with some subjects, there are always tips and tricks I didn't know about.
How often do you train?
Almost daily. When I miss a few days, I try to catch up on the weekends. I completed my 500th video on New Year's Eve. I would like to get to 1,000 before the next fireworks.
What advice do you have for other learners looking to unseat you from the top of the leaderboard?
I hope their real goal is learning, that's what's most important about Validated Minutes.
I would pick a course (even an older one, without quizzes) that you think will interest you or that might help your career, and go from there. Do the labs, take your time to really understand what is said without rushing through it.
After you complete your first course, it's almost a guarantee you pick up the next and the next – it's addictive. And if you answer the questions you'll move up the leaderboard automatically.
Final thoughts from CBT Nuggets
We hope Jannes' positivity, great attitude, and his prowess for learning are contagious and that you'll join him on the leaderboard soon. Remember, if you're not already a subscriber, you can start your free week and start quizzes anytime.
Do you have what it takes to match him on the global leaderboard?