Knowledge is power..

I’ve recently had some discussions with my colleagues about certifications, experience, knowledge etc. and was asked to share information on how I got to where I am today and what I use to keep furthering up.

While I had given those colleagues a direct answer and had thought about writing an email to several of them with some basic information, I thought sharing this information with a larger audience would be handy…. That way I can simply update the information and point to my site if there’s a change.

So without further ado..

While always being keen on learning, I was particularly triggered by 2 quotes made by Don Jones [Pluralsight and PowerShell guru] which I think are essential mindsets that should help you progress:

If you’re not willing to invest in your career, why should anyone else?


Your career is your career, not your company’s. You should be focusing on the technologies and techniques that you know are important to the industry, whether your company needs you to, wants you to, or pays for you to or not

I could easily copy more quotes from him that I find interesting, but instead I’ll just refer to 2 posts made on his site which I would highly recommend reading:

Less talk, more do..

Besides just theory and articles, here are some resources which I recommend using when trying to further your career [focused on Microsoft curriculum]. Also know that furthering your career means certifications, theory and experience… so don’t just focus on one and not the other.

  • Microsoft Virtual Academy Microsoft’s counterpart to Pluralsight, only this one is free, but restricted to purely Microsoft products
  • Microsoft TechNet Virtual Labs
    In case you need some hands-on access to a lab for a specific subject.
  • Microsoft Channel 9 More access to video training, seminars and other activities such as Build, Summits etc.
  • Pluralsight Awesome access to video training. Not free [except for trial period], but personally I think worth every penny.
  • Microsoft Press Store Official Microsoft books which can be handy for your certifications. Be aware on the lookout for offers which can easily provide up to 40% discount.
  • Manning
    Awesome technical books to expand your knowledge.
    While these don’t usually focus on certifications, they tend to have a lot of actual real-world subjects.
    Not to mention their MEAP [Manning Early Access Program], which allows for access to books while they are still being written and the fact that buying a physical book automatically gives you access to the e-book version [why don’t other publishers do this…].
  • Test exams for Microsoft can be done through either of the following companies: Measure-Up , Transcender of Kaplan Selftest.

Try and find user groups relating your field of interest near to you. Networking can really help you get in touch with like minded people and this will further your chain of knowledge at lightning speeds]. For The Netherlands here are some resources to known User Groups [UG’s]:

  • DuPSUG Dutch PowerShell User Group
  • WMUG Windows Management User Group in The Netherlands [also SCCM UG]
  • NLVMUG NL VMWare User Group

Besides User Groups, you also have Facebook Groups and of course Twitter feeds. On my New to PowerShell post you can find some PowerShell related Twitter feeds that might be interesting.

All in all

Be willing to spend time to grow.. While I’m sure some people will tell me I’ll never grow any further, I’m sure they meant my physical stature… right @365Dude? 😉

Don’t let others keep you down, but it takes effort even stay afloat in IT. If you’re the lazy type or don’t like learning, learn efficiently.

If that still doesn’t do it for you, IT might not be the branch for you. In which case, don’t be surprised if you get automated in the near future 🙂