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Technology has changed – have you?

Level 13

The speed of technology change is increasing at an alarming rate. Startups can fund, build & deploy software in a shorter timeframes and consumers can install and adopt that quickly and easily. Gone are the days of years between major versions as software vendors roll out updates without relying on shipping out CDs.

So how do IT professionals keep up with it all? How do you find the time to do your job and upskill and understand the latest threat or IT trend being talked about in the news?

Of course, the Thwack community is a great place to discuss announcements and new trends amongst your peers. But how else do you keep pace with technology changes? Here are a few of my favourite tools and sources:

Cloud Business Blueprint podcast http://www.cloudbusinessblueprint.com/category/podcast/ - The latest announcements in Cloud computing and tips for running a successful IT services business.

Microsoft’s Channel 9 https://channel9.msdn.com/ - Microsoft event presentations including Build and Ignite. Don’t be put off by the msdn tag – there’s a ton on information on performance, security, migrations & upgrades too. They’ve also just released an iOS app http://t.co/VKZC6m1cMn

Microsoft Partner Network Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/auspartners/ - Subscribe via email so you don’t miss an announcement, but you can read & delete the ones that aren’t relevant to you.

Twitter heroes: Find the engaging, knowledgeable people in your field. My favorites include @Edbott @troyhunt @mkasanm @shanselman @WinObs @maryjofoley @cfiessinger @tomwarren

Pluralsight http://www.pluralsight.com/ - The content in the IT administrator track is outstanding & will leave you wondering when you're going to fit your real work in.

Pocket https://getpocket.com/ - I’ve heard people rave about this great ‘read later’ app. I have a great ‘read later’ folder in my Inbox but now it’s not so little. The app is on my to-do list to check out. Any fans of it out there?

OneNote https://www.onenote.com/ or EverNote https://evernote.com/ - Pick one of these ‘digital scrapbooks’ for saving handy URLs, webinar screenshots & course notes.

While it’s important to have an awareness of the changes in tech, you also need to have a filter. Watching the Microsoft Build keynote highlights, I got excited about Docker and the containerization of apps and I’m not a developer! But I can see the potential. I’ve also seen product announcements where I think “that’s great but I don’t have time for it right now”. Be aware of it, but don’t go deep diving into technologies that aren’t on your radar currently or in the near future or you’ll end up with Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.

Just as importantly though, how are you using the software and tools that you have in your hands right now? Have you taken the time to check out their latest features and apply then to how you work? How has the latest version of X made your more efficient/improved your day/helped you get a better result? Take time this week to investigate one software feature you didn’t know existed. Because if you’re still using Office like you did in 1997, what’s the point in upgrading?

Let me know your favorite blogs, podcasts and websites? How do you manage your information sources?

26 Comments
jkump
Level 15

I will have to check out the listing items you provided.  Thanks!

cahunt
Level 17

Keeping up with all the new 'apps' is hard to do... or maybe that was breaking up. The idea of me breaking up from whatever piece of technology or rather, lack thereof that is my old way for doing things. Maybe I do need an app for that.

After all my list of bookmarks are off the charts, and even after sorting i have long lists of multiple foldered topics of interest. I'll get to them one day.

Jfrazier
Level 18

Nice post...bookmarking so that if I find some free time I can go back and reference the resources listed.

clubjuggle
Level 13

Same here. Great list of resources.

mr.e
Level 14

Wow, I was not aware of those sites.  I will definitely check them out.  Thanks!

rodgarlington
Level 8

Thanks for the site list!

mcam
Level 14

yep - bookmarked for when we get out of this current craziness

scuff
Level 13

You're welcome! Do you have any good ones that I've missed?

scuff
Level 13

That's the challenge, isn't it, finding the time? And not being drowned in all the new things. It's little wonder that most people stick to what they know and what is already working for them.

scuff
Level 13

Any tips on how to find that elusive 'free time'? After some business coaching, I used to set aside Friday mornings for this kind of thing, barring any fire fighting, but it's not easy to stick to when you have a busy workload.

scuff
Level 13

Thanks, I'm glad you liked them.

scuff
Level 13

A lot of them I have picked up on social media, especially twitter. Do you have any you would add?

scuff
Level 13

My pleasure. Hope you find something useful in there. Come back and tell me what you liked in particular.

scuff
Level 13

lol does that ever happen? Good luck with your workload!

superfly99
Level 17

Bookmarked this as well. Like others, the biggest issue I have in keeping up, is finding the time to read all this stuff. One day!

scuff
Level 13

If only we could solve that problem! That's why I think it's more important than ever that you have some trusted information sources you can skim regularly for announcements, then know what to deep dive into when you need to.

superfly99
Level 17

Totally agree and thank you for putting this information up.

pzjones
Level 9

I've recently returned to networking from systems after a 10 year hiatus and girl, have things changed! I've adjusted my hours by coming in 1/2 hour later and staying 1/2 hour later. Because most users start gearing up around 4:30 to leave work at 5:00 (let's be real here...) I find most days I can use that last hour to do some studying...Won't work for everyone but I've been reasonably successful...

pzjones
Level 9

Thank you! My issue was knowing where to go. When I first got into computers and networking, everything was hard copy...I know, I'm showing my age!

jkump
Level 15

I used to something similar when I was a lone wolf IT department for a company.  I would arrive 1 hour early and research the items for the week or the latest industry ideas and then I would skate out just before everyone else did.  I was able to keep up to date then but now it is a 24/7 environment and no chance to research. 

scuff
Level 13

Hey, when I became a Lotus Domino Systems Administrator it was all Yellow manuals for learning & IBM Red Books for best practices. I hear ya!

superfly99
Level 17

Same here! When I did my CNE, the internet was still not heard of. And a 40Mb hard drive was huuuuuuge!

scuff
Level 13

Yes! I started with mainframe controllers with 8"floppy disks that held all the software, 286 & 386 PCs. Then, years later, my first USB stick was 4Mb. Now I'm feeling old!

superfly99
Level 17

My first job was building XT (8086 & 8088) computers

scuff
Level 13

You win! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

superfly99
Level 17

I wouldn't call it a win