AMA: A Plethora of Career Advice

Verne checks in with a bevy of questions:

1. What do you really think of Microsoft’s new direction? They’ve essentially told their loyal SysAds that there days are numbered and it’s all about the DEVS!

2. Have you yourself really switched to PowerShell 6 and or Visual Studio code? Or are you old school?

3. Your new job seems to have you doing more than just PowerShell and I see a new focus on your general writing skills. Is Don Jones branching out from PowerShell?

4. Do you worry about your career? I do mine and I still have a few years to go yet. PS I think a guy like you will be fine.

5. I saw your answer to the Exchange admin, I did Exchange for a while too but I diversified as a Sys Admin and tried to stay sharp in all of it, (Networking, WEB, Hardware, Database etc. .) are you saying I’m still screwed?

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! Visit here for info. And here’s the list of everything asked so far.

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AMA: What’s the DSC “Tipping Point?”

Jeremy writes:

I’m curious what the DSC “tipping point” is… I’m currently rebuilding / updating our Microsoft Server infrastructure, and am very interested in DSC. A few years ago I began working with Powershell very frequently, and DSC aligns much better with the way I think, and the way I want our infrastructure to look. I would much rather type “code” than click my way through wizards. I’m used to working with networking gear (mostly Cisco) and being able to “show running-config” and get the whole story is a major advantage.
I was going through the motions of learning how to “DSC-ify” my infrastructure. I picked up The DSC Book, and was struck by the statement under “Cattle, Not Pets” that “DSC is meant for scale. If you’re managing five servers, DSC is going to be irritating. DSC is useful when you need to manage a hundred servers”. Right now, I only have a five or ten servers, but that could grow to fifteen or twenty by the time we’re done with this update cycle. I’m sure we will need more as we continue to grow.
Clearly I don’t have the hundreds or thousands of servers mentioned in the book, and doubt I’ll ever manage hundreds at my current company. However, I would much rather make the DSC conversion now than have to redo this work later.
Finally, the question. In your expert opinion, am I actually going to be irritated with DSC if I do this now? Am I going to kick myself later for not jumping in now? Should I continue using Powershell and RSAT and keep my finger on the pulse of DSC in case it becomes necessary in the future?
I wish I had a crystal ball, but I haven’t found the module for that yet.

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! Visit here for info. And here’s the list of everything asked so far.

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AMA: Requiring a 4-year Degree on a Job Posting

An anonymous reader asks:

I don’t have a degree, and [potential employer] is pushing back on making me put down high school diploma as my only completed education since I don’t have a BS yet. So, What would you do if HR is pushing back on requiring a degree, but the job itself doesn’t require it?

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! And here’s the list of everything asked so far.

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A Book Status Update

I’ve been doing a lot of writing recently, and wanted to offer an update. As a reminder, if you’ve already grabbed one of my Leanpub books, Leanpub may not be notifying you of updates because you have to re-opt-in due to their GDPR compliance changes.

Links to most of these can be found at

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Free: Prove your Azure Mastery

One of the projects I’m involved with at Pluralsight is our Skill IQ program. Each Skill IQ test is a short, adaptive test driven by a pretty impressive set of under-the-hood algorithms. Adaptive testing is cool in that it lets the test engine ask you a pretty small number of questions (usually a couple dozen), from which it can infer a lot about your level of expertise.

A necessary part of that engine, however, is a “training” period, wherein we need a lot of folks to take the tests so that the engine can start drawing correlations, toss out “bad” questions, and so on. Thus, this blog post!

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AMA: How Can I Not Burn Out?

Anna writes:

My jobs has changed to just programming with PowerShell, basically automating mundane SQL server tasks. It has been a challenge automating and executing my job concurrently. I tried different ways to organize my day and it just frustrating. I work during the day and code at night. After 3 years of this I am burned to a crisp. Would love to hear your ideas/suggestions on how to manage a day in a contracting environment. I am looking for innovative way to organize my work time and start living again.

Have a question of your own? Please ask.

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