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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How do I Get a Remote Job?

Remote work is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart you can immediately tell if you follow me on Twitter. Many companies still refuse to allow remote work or simply don’t understand it doesn’t mean these kinds of jobs aren’t possible! Web Resources for Remote Work I have been working 100% remotely for about three years now and mostly remote for nearly five years before that. To get in a position like this, there are a few ways that I can recommend – the first are websites. You can go to sites like flexjobs.com, weworkremotely.com or upwork.com. These sites have remote jobs, but a lot of those aren’t full-time jobs – most are contract work. It’s much easier to find remote jobs through contract work compared to full-time jobs. If you’re looking for remote contract work, your luck is going to be a lot better. But there are […]

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Falling on the Grenade for Your Team and Your Career

In your work environment, there’s typically always that legacy thing that no one wants to touch. It’s old, fragile and bound to break at any moment. Volunteer for Misery A problem crops up with this product and a junior staff member, who does not know about the history, comes around and says, “I can take this on; no problem!”. While the senior employees think he’s nuts, he goes in and amazingly fixes the problem with this legacy product with no downtime. What that junior guy didn’t know was that he’s now the proud owner. He can’t let it go even when he wants to. This junior staff might have impressed management, but now he’s at the level with the senior team. He’s bored with it and doesn’t want to own it anymore. One way or another, he fixed it last time, so he automatically knows everything there is to know […]

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To Script or Not To Script? That is the Question We Need to Answer

This blog post was created from the transcript of my YouTube #CarTalks video called To Script or Not To Script? That is the Question. Be check out the YouTube channel and subscribe! When to script and when not to script is our topic for today. I know myself and my audience; we’re all about scripting. We want to write PowerShell scripts for everything, but, unfortunately, it’s not always the best decision to do so. I know it sucks, but I’m here to hold your hand and tell you, “It’s okay! We’ll get past it.” Know Your Coworkers For example, you’re the PowerShell scripter guru extraordinaire at your small organization. You work with a handful of people that are in the same realm – helpdesk guys, other sysadmins, and network engineers. Say you build a script that is keeping some service alive on a server, e.g., some critical business service that […]

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Microsoft MVP Award: The Advantages and the Sacrifice Required By It

Today, we are going to talk about the Microsoft MVP program, more specifically how you can become a Microsoft MVP. If you’re not familiar with the Microsoft MVP program, it is a reward and a program that’s built around the reward that’s presented to IT professionals, software developers – different people from all walks of life, around Microsoft products. They’re especially focused on various categories in Microsoft. When I first was an MVP, I was a PowerShell MVP. Then, we all got moved to the Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP. There’s also MVPs for Microsoft Office programs, Office and Productivity Programs, Xbox, Azure, Cloud, and Datacenter Management. There are dozens of categories out there that you can become a Microsoft MVP in. It is awarded to community experts that provide value to the community for whatever category they’re doing. For me, I blog; I do Car Talks, YouTube videos, and […]

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How to Become a Microsoft MVP

Disclaimer: Before we get too far, let me say that there’s no exact checklist to follow to become a Microsoft MVP. If you’re looking for a list of tasks to follow to the T, you will not get it in this post. Being chosen to be an MVP is a fuzzy topic and one that’s ultimately up to Microsoft;, not me. I’ve just been lucky enough to become an MVP and know a lot of other MVPs and can speak to what I’ve gauged as being MVP-quality. Why Become a Microsoft MVP? What is the Microsoft MVP award anyway and why do you want one? According to Microsoft, the Microsoft MVP award is given to “exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others.” This mandate can be satisfied in some different ways. Thus there are lots of ways to get there but why […]

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Dealing with Workaholism and Anxiety

I just emailed Richard Siddaway and informed him I was not going to be attending the PowerShell Summit. The Summit is the conference I love going to every year but this year was different. I love meeting other people, talking tech and when I’ve finally made it up on stage presenting my ideas on how to make our careers better. But this year was not going to happen. Why? Because it was throwing me into a depression and my family was being affected. You might ask yourself, “Why would a conference talk have such an effect on somebody?” That’s a fair question. If all I had on my plate besides my full-time job was this conference talk, I might have been able to make it happen. After all, I did do my first conference talk at Techmentor in 2015, and it went great. I was nervous beforehand but not the […]

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Discipline: The Key to Going From Scripter to Developer

From SysAdmin to Developer Hi. I’m Adam, and I’m a developer. I never thought I’d say that because, for the longest time, I’ve been a system administrator and was proud of it. As you probably know, sysadmins and developers have historically not gotten along. There’s always been this binary “you’re with us, or you’re with them” mentality. That is…until DevOps. As a sysadmin, I was always the guy that knew how to script. I loved it! I’ve built some pretty advanced (ugly) batch files and more than my fair share of many-hundred-line-long VBscript scripts. Not because I had to but just because I enjoyed automating stuff. It seems like this is a common starting point for sysadmins that are slowly turning into code monkeys. Afterall, scripts are code. I found that I enjoyed writing the scripts much more than actually doing the job. I love automation and making processes more efficient. […]

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“Are you off work today?”

My daughter sometimes asks me this question but has ulterior motives. What she really means is “Daddy, will you play with me?”. Sometimes I tell her yes but sometimes I have to look into her deep brown eyes and tell her “Ella, Daddy has to do some work today so we can afford all of your Shopkins, hundreds of stuff animals and a house to live in.” She usually understands because she couldn’t live without her Shopkins. My wife and family sometimes ask me this question periodically as well but, for some reason, it bothers me. It bothers me because this kind of question is rooted in a 9-5 mentality and my career isn’t necessarily “normal”. Both sides of my family have always had your typical 9-5 jobs and considers a job as such. To them, “working” is binary. It’s either off or on; nothing in between. They can’t understand […]

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Sharing and Perfectionism

Have you ever had that fleeting thought after finishing up a really cool script, “I should blog/share/tweet/GitHub this thing. It’s very cool”? But then, your mind argues, “Well, it’s probably not good enough right now. It doesn’t have very good error control, documentation, I’m hacking together this and that just to get it to work and it probably won’t work until all circumstances depending on the environment it’s run in”. Sound familiar? Probably. I’m guilty as charged and am just as bad as everyone else. I take pride in my work but what it takes to get the job done in your environment is usually completely different than what it takes to make it publicly available to others. If you intend to share something, you do need to meet a few minimum requirements: At least comment-based help. Basic error control. Parameterizing anything that might change per environment. Possible commenting inline. […]

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