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The GOAT Doctrine: Always Move Forward

Level 13

Let's normalize what GOAT stands for. In this instance, it stands for the greatest of all time. The GOAT Doctrine states that IT professionals, regardless of experience and expertise, should always be moving forward. Such a concise, vague, and all-encompassing statement, yet so profound in its meaning for a true professional.

The only constant in IT and technology is change. That change sometimes seems circular as old technology morphs into new technology that transforms back into a reincarnation of old technology. Other times, this change is reflected as people flow in and out of our professional purview. This change flows in with more velocity, volume, and variety. What can you do to survive and thrive in your IT career?

Simple. Aim to be the GOAT you. GOATs continue to adapt, evolve, and most importantly, move forward. They move forward to gain new experience and expertise while leveraging the best of what they already have. To be a GOAT, you have to beat the GOAT. That GOAT is the past you. So take up that challenge in this New Year and become the better GOAT version of yourself.

In the comment section below, share your GOAT stories as you power leveled yourself and became a better GOAT you.

Level 17



   well said


Nice write up

That which does not grow, does not progress, stagnates and dies.

At home, one of my hobbies is fishing.  And I've learned to always change techniques, to try new ideas, and keep abreast of new technologies.  Towards that end I've recently been improving my understanding of Automatic Charging Relays and how they differ from Isolators, with regards to charging and using multiple 12 volt batteries in the boat.  Having reliable power for bow trolling motors, for large and new heavy-draining electronics, while maintaining reliable power levels for the main motor's starter battery--that's what it's about now for me.

At work, I'm continually trying to find new ways to bring more use from Solarwinds product into other silo'd teams, and thus improve our cost of ownership and return on investment.

Just about everything in I.T. in a hospital environment revolves around learning and growing and changing.  From the first "router on a stick" I built, to leveraging BGP and MPLS and multiple ISP's and WAN providers, to moving into SD-WAN and EaaS (Everything As A Service)--it's always something new.  There's always some renegade person or team that wants to do things their own way, that has no concept of security or of whether their product can scale to an environment of a hundred hospitals and clinics--bringing them into some semblance of a cohesive whole makes herding cats seem simple.

Business computing 1984

Learning VisiCalc ][e Extended on an Apple ][e to fix a simple problem.  How to keep a General Ledger without handwriting numbers on a large piece of paper.

Amateur Radio 1986 to 1993

Used a Commodore 64 to decode Morse Code and AX.25 Packet Radio transmissions with an AEA PK-64.  Build Packet Radio switched networks by cutting up commercial radios, burning and erasing EPROMS, editing EEPROM images in shifted ASCII and HEX, climbing antenna towers and mounting equipment. 

Computer work as a career 1993 to 1995

Started as a Sales Assistant and quickly earned my CNE, Master CNE, and Compaq ASE.  Completed major migrations from older Netware 2.x and 3.x versions to NDS and Netware 4.11.  Cleaned up security issues and backups.

Computer Engineering 1995 to 1998

Worked for a premier Value Added Reseller migrating systems, designing corporate environments and finding root causes for issues.  Worked on a wide variety of systems.  Certified MCSE, IBM PSE, and many more Netware certifications.   Cleaned up security issues and backups.

Corporate Systems Engineering 1998 - 2015

Continued above and added Cisco CLI experience, VMware, SAN technology, PKI, DNS, Securing internet-facing systems.  VMware certified VCP5. Cleaned up security issues.

Corporate Security Engineering 2015 - today

Focus primarily on Security Engineering, risk-related activities, and risk mitigation.  Earned CISSP and Cloud Security certifications.

Why let your skills get stale?  Keep learning!



I've moved forward in time all my life without even trying. The GOAT is a fairly stubborn character, I prefer the monkey, irrepressible spirit. Calm the chaos, put it into order but remember it always exists just a step away. Embrace that chaos and carry on. Moving forward isn't always what you want, sometimes moving backwards and taking your time, moving sideways and re-evaluating, moving upwards to look down from an ivory tower, and moving downwards to see how bad things can get is the only way forward. Moving forward is vague, too vague for me. Move anywhere, or stay still. Sometimes stillness is the only way.

Level 14

You should never stop learning and should always try to be the best you can be.  Every day you should be better than you were yesterday (learn something new no matter how small) and therefore will always be the GOAT version of yourself. 

Level 13

la Bamba

Level 20

The Goat abides!goat.jpg

Level 20

The CISSP is nice feather in your cap these days.  Having that on your resume goes a long way... it sure is a racket though!

Level 14

My dad always stressed to be and do your very best. It was never lost on me.

Every day is a a learning experience and a chance to learn and master something.

sqlrockstar​   TB12 !!!!

Level 13

Image result for tom brady hater

This is the second reference to Goats I have heard from folks out of Austin. 

The first was last week at the Pheonix SWUG (Best SWUG Ever [GOAT Qualified] that folks in Austin were doing Yoga with Goats.  Now Kong, is mentioning Goats here.  Does Solarwinds intend to adopt a goat as its mascot shortly? 

Level 15

Take the adage:  "All tasks have two things in common, they must be done and they must be done right"  Apply that against 34 years of professional IT Experience.  I started out as a computer programmer, followed into electrical engineering, back to computer networking.  Along the way, picked up skills that were needed today but useful to have.  DBA, SQL programming, Web Page Development, Got a ton of alphabet soup certifications.  Keep adding more certs, keep enhancing the skill sets, keep moving forward

Last month, the CISSP has moved to an adaptive test format.  No more 250 question, 6 hour brain melting slog of a test.  Now it is set for adaptive from 100 to 150 questions and a max of four hours.

Depending on one's ability to learn a vast amount of security related information and apply the information to various scenarios, it is still achievable.

The hardest part of this type of test is that many times all answers are correct and the person is being tested to find the best answer given the scenario.


Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) - Acclaim

Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) - Acclaim

Level 20

I did the 250 question one when it was still proctored!  I wonder how the new test compares with the old format?  Even the old format had those all answers are correct but which one is most correct... not by common sense but by the CISSP way "most correct!"


in other words

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming


Always learning and developing. If you aren't doing this in the IT world you will be left behind and eventually replaced. On the bright side most IT people are in it for the challenge and growing and learning is just part of who we are.

Level 13

Try Try again......

GOAT can be an interesting title. There's nowhere to go but down when you are the GOAT...

Are you to be the GOAT in a technology? Or are you to be the GOAT in being reliable and "getting things done?" Each come with their fair share of drawbacks.

     ​Heavy is the head that wears the crown!

The test requires critical thinking.  I have taken many form and adaptive tests.  I feel that adaptive testing is a very good gauge of a candidate without beating them up.


Image result for the dude abides

Level 13


Level 21

The secret to my "power leveling" as been always being willing to point out and do the stuff that nobody else is.   Umm, that sounded better in my head but I am rolling with it anyway. 

Essentially, there are no sacred cows (or goats); be willing to call attention and tackles issues that others are not.  Be willing to think outside of the box and propose solutions that others may not.  Lastly, no work is beneath you; be willing to get your hands dirty when you need to.


I relate with the GOAT Doctrine, but I would rather be an EAGLE!



I think I should have read your comment a second time yesterday ... I totally agree... my father always said... if you are going to be an engineer, be the best engineer, if you are going to be a janitor, be the best janitor,... what ever you do, do it well, and do it to the best of your abilities.... that covers a lot of territory, but I have lived by those words.  The facilities management folks (janitors) are just as important to me as the Director of 911. 

I do to others as I would have them do to me!!!!   is this where I do hashtag me too???!!!! Kidding!!!!

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