Monday, April 22, 2013

Mastering new Microsoft Technologies while doing what you love

A couple of weeks ago, I spent some nights at a boring hotel in the middle of Norway.
I was wrapping up on my work stuff, and had finally some time to dive into some of the new stuff that I have not had the time to, yet.
So to gain better understanding about PVLAN configuration, requirements and some of the news in DPM 2012 SP1, I headed over to the MS forums.
This is truly the best source of knowledge and experience an IT-pro working with Microsoft technologies can get.

Back in 2010 when I was working solely with virtualization and Hyper-V, I wanted to master the technology and get my certification. It was 3 exams back then to become MCITP: Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2. But guess what? There were no official preparation from Microsoft, like the usual books published by Microsoft Press.

How could I get the experience, the hands-on and so on to adopt the skills I needed?
I went to the MS learning overview of each certification to see what skills they was measuring during the exam. This was quite useful, so I could see the different categorization I needed to know.

Therefore, I had my own lab, some time off and decided to get it done. I participated so hard in the Hyper-V and Failover Cluster forums, that I actually was pinged from several forum users directly, for assistance.
It was a new and stimulated way of doing work. I solved real world problems and helped many users, customers and organizations out there through the community channels. One thing lead to another and I started my blog as well, to share knowledge directly from my experience.
The end of this story is that I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award, for helping the community.
And it felt good because I felt I had put some effort to achieve this.
However, it didn’t make me relax and jump away from the forums, because the forums is the channel that makes me continue to be sharp, having the experience before others and learning and teaching the wide world of community users.

Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn and other bits of the social media are all very useful to help the community, but nothing, and I mean nothing beats the forums. It’s the best way of doing community work (both for you and the community) and also to learn new technology and products. I strongly encourage you to participate, share your experience, tips & tricks, and join the communication in the forums of your expertise.

If you have a favorite Microsoft product, or maybe just a subset of some features, there might just be a forum for that as well. Explore it and join and you are suddenly hooked ;-)

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