The Rules of Business

I feel fortunate to have been pretty successful – by my family’s measure, if nobody else’s – in my career. I’m often asked if there was a secret to it all – and the answer is “yes.” My former business partner, Greg Shields, and I had three simple rules. These apply whether you’re independent, working for a company, or thinking about your customers.

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A Primer for Americans on HSAs

As our government ratchets through the process of doing “something” about healthcare, one term you’re going to see tossed around a lot is “Health Savings Account.” These HSAs are not new, but seem potentially poised to make a major comeback. It’s worth understanding – from a non-political perspective – what these are, so that you can have an informed opinion to take to your Congresspeople. You may be in favor of these, or you may not – but you should have some facts.

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A US Health Care System Primer for Non-US People

With the Affordable Healthcare Act (“Obamacare”) again featured in the news (this being a day ending in “y,” I think we’re required to have Obamacare in the news), a bunch of my foreign friends have been trying to figure out what the heck it all means. Here’s a primer, along with some comparative information for US folks. I’ll keep this as apolitical, and as base-factual, as possible.

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Stop Looking Forward

I talk, and write, a lot about how important it is to think about your career. To feed your career. To keep your career foremost in your vision.


There comes a time when your career is doing pretty well, and you’re comfortable resting for a moment and enjoying what it’s brought you. There may also come a time when you’ve gotten pretty far along in your career, and you start to think, “what’s next?”

Let me propose something.

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The PowerShell Scripting and Toolmaking Book: A New Collab w/@JeffHicks

Jeff Hicks and I are pleased to announce the first release of The PowerShell Scripting & Toolmaking Book, a new Agile-published book available now on We’ve released Part 1 of the book’s eventual 5 Parts, and set the pricing to $29.99 as an introductory rate. That price will rise as we publish additional Parts in the future. Because you’re essentially paying a one-time fee for a lifetime subscription, the final price will be around $60-$65. The first Part alone is 175 pages long, so we’re anticipating a pretty deep, involved book by the time we reach the end.

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What’s Your Suck Level?

In a recent Pluralsight “IT Ops News & Talk” podcast, I talked a bit about quantifying your level of suck.

That sounds horrible.

Here’s what I said, and why:

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My 2017 Conference Schedule

This year I’ll have a scaled-back conference schedule, so if you’re interested, I thought I’d share. Most notably, after around 13 years, I’ll no longer be attending TechMentor Events, or assisting with their content planning. This is in no way a falling out or anything bad; I still recommend the show, but it’s just a time commitment that, in addition to my full-time job, I’m no longer able to fulfill. I’ll miss working with everyone there.

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