Make it Happen No Matter What: A DevOps Story

Around a month ago, I had an idea. I was going to uproot my team’s way of work entirely. Grand plans for improving test environment creation, build pipelines, automated tests and software deployments were the objects of my DevOps dreams for months. Literally. I would come up with ideas for substantially improving the way we work in my sleep, see if it was possible to get them started to find out I would be trumped by fires. Talk about frustrating! I could see a substantially better way of doing things in my head while being forced by the whim of the culture and management to fix bugs, add common features and keep the developers at bay. The continuous delivery gods were shining the CD light; I could see it but was being held in the mud. Until this month. I’ve beaten the “beg for forgiveness than ask for permission” drum […]

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How to Find Fulfillment in an Job You Think You Hate

It’s difficult to find a job where you feel truly fulfilled. Most people don’t get up each morning ready to face the work day with a smile on their face. The daily work grind can be exhausting and not something you look forward to. As time progresses, some people begin to feel that sense of fulfillment dwindling. You no longer care about the work you are doing and just try to get through the day. It is important for IT employees to understand that you can find fulfillment in your job, even if you think that you hate it. Think about a typical day at work. Are you feeling fulfilled or do you not even care anymore? Do you just go to work and do the minimum amount possible? Do you find that every day you are waiting for five o’clock? When you get home, you are instantly happy and […]

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Shadow IT—The Result of a Failure of the IT Department

The term Shadow IT is used when individuals within a department of a company, not IT, take tech matters into their own hands. Within a company, technology services are needed. This is why an IT team exists. However, in many cases, IT can be less than easy to work with and can be known as not being able to complete tech projects on time. Instead of waiting for the IT team to assist, individuals might take tech matters into their own hands and complete what they need, hence Shadow IT, working in the shadows of the IT department. Why Does Shadow IT Exist? The HR department or sales might need a server or an application. Instead of waiting for the IT department to gain the necessary approvals and complete paperwork, an individual of the department might go ahead and provide the needed tech components. The project is completed without the […]

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Hate Your Job? Do Something About It!

I have recently returned from a vacation from my full-time job. Unfortunately, my vacation did not last as long as it was scheduled. You know how full-time jobs go, situations occur that you must deal with. So, I did not get much of a vacation but I’m not too down about it because I like my job. Yes, this does suck; I wish I was able to spend more time with my family and I had been able to enjoy the “vacation” that I was supposed to have. But, I had to do what I had to do and I don’t have too many hard feelings about it. When someone else hears about this situation, and they did not really enjoy their job, to begin with, then their response would be, “Ugh, oh God this is terrible. I requested a vacation that was approved, and I was going to have […]

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PowerShell as a Gateway Drug to Programming

Today, I would like to talk about drugs with those of you who have a desire to begin a career as a successful software developer or who has an interest in learning PowerShell. At this time, you may be questioning how drugs relate to an IT career and PowerShell advice. We all have heard that marijuana is said to be a gateway drug to more potent drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. It is said that marijuana is the drug people utilize that forms the habit of doing drugs, providing them with the desired effect. Eventually, however, marijuana is no longer potent enough to provide this wanted effect, which is when users move on to a stronger, more potent drug. I consider PowerShell to be a gateway drug. PowerShell is a gateway drug to individuals who want to learn software development. However, that is not to say that PowerShell itself […]

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Great Employees Have More Power Than You Think

When starting any job, there are going to be things that you like and dislike about a company. It is not uncommon for an employee to quickly see that there are policies of their employer that they are not happy with. For some people, it boils down to the decision to quit or change jobs. However, it doesn’t have to be a matter of quitting or moving on to a new position. Great employees actually have more power than you think. If you have worked with the company for some time and can bring value to the brand, then you have a certain level of power. You should be valued by your employer and any ideas or issues you have with company policy at least listened to. Read on to see how you can make changes within your company without having to quit or move on. Liking Your Job But […]

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How “Hitting Refresh” Skyrocketed my Career

I haven’t read Satya Nadella’s new book yet Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone but I did participate in a Microsoft MVP program where we wrote about our personal “Hit Refresh” moment. My article didn’t get chosen so I’ve decided to share it here. Enjoy! My hit refresh moment truly changed my life, but I didn’t realize what I was missing out on all those years. In 1998, I started my IT career. I was a student worker at a local university pulling cable in hot attics, sneaker netting software to install around campus and answering trouble tickets of all shapes and sizes. It was sometimes dull, yet fulfilling work because ever since I was a young boy, I knew I’d be in “computers” somehow. As time went on, I got more experience. Support work turned into project work which turned into […]

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You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks. I’m Living Proof

I started out scripting with batch files when I was about eight years old. As a kid, I preferred sitting on the computer with no internet connection to script things rather than go outside and play with friends. I’ve always had a passion for scripting and automation. Back then, we used to have autoexec.bat files. I’d create elaborate menus of how I wanted to boot it up and how much RAM that I wanted to set aside. 640k conventional memory was always good enough! I started working with batch files a long time ago. Then I went to school, and I lost interest afterward. I went back to my career in 1998. I got my first IT job in 1998/1999, and I started out with VBscript. I did everything in VBscript for over ten years and even built VBscript classes to show how hardcore a VBscript nerd I was. Along […]

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It’s Better to Beg for Forgiveness Than to Ask for Permission

Have you ever heard the term “It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission?” Probably. I have, and I love that quote. Today’s post is going to be about asking for forgiveness rather than permission. More specifically, it’s going to be about doing things that you know are right rather than waiting for someone else to tell you what to do. For example, a manager comes to you with a list of instructions on how to do your task and says, “We need you to do Project X. You have to deploy this piece of software and need to do it this way because I know what’s best.” In your experience, however, you’ve seen that following the instructions he gave doesn’t work, and there are more efficient ways to do it. Instead of asking for permission from him, you go ahead and do it your way. Management’s […]

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Too Many Squirrels: Which one do I Chase?

How do I deal with being interested in so many things at once? That’s a question I ask myself all the time. I love software development; I’m interested in code. I enjoy cloud automation stuff. I like productivity tools and on and on. I’m the type with the ADHD personality where I see a squirrel and go following it. I go after every single piece of new technology that I know and discover. I had a person recently ask me, “Where do I go from my career?” He didn’t say so directly, but from the context of his email, it seemed like he was at the beginning or the middle of his career. He wanted to know where to go. I have touched this on a previous post called What Makes a Great IT Professional. I also wanted to tell him and to tell you here is that if you […]

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