5 Thoughts on Staying Sharp and Relevant (Chicago)


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In this presentation, I share two thoughts on learning and three things I think you should be learning in order to stay sharp and relevant in today's fast-moving IT world.

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5 Thoughts on Staying Sharp and Relevant (Chicago)

  1. 1. Before we start• Get involved! Audience participation is encouraged and requested.• If you use Twitter, feel free to tweet about this session (use @ChicagoVMUG or hashtag #ChicagoVMUG)• I encourage you to take photos or videos of today’s session and share them online• This presentation will be made available online after the event
  2. 2. 5 Thoughts on StayingSharp and RelevantSome thoughts and ideas on learning andthinking for today’s IT pros Scott Lowe, VCDX 39 vExpert, Author, Blogger, Geek http://blog.scottlowe.org / Twitter: @scott_lowe
  3. 3. Agenda• Two thoughts or ideas about learning• Three things I think are worth learning•2 +3=5
  4. 4. “Man’s mind, once stretchedby a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1809-1894
  5. 5. Two thoughts or ideas aboutlearning• Metacognition: it’s useful to think about thinking (specifically with regard to how we learn)• Rapidpace of change within IT means that we are under constant pressure to learn• I’d like to share two thoughts or ideas on the learning process • First, an approach to assimilating new information • Second, some tools for managing information
  6. 6. “An VNI terminated on an NVE maylocally associate to one or more VAPs each of which may associated with one or more TESs.” - Taken from IETF document draft-mity-nvo3-use-case-00.txt
  7. 7. Assimilating new information• In education, there’s a “classical education” approach• Classical education has three major phases: • Grammar: focuses on facts, mechanics, vocabulary • Logic: focuses on the reasons behind the facts • Rhetoric: focuses on drawing conclusions, presenting information to others• Classical education is often repetitive, each iteration more in- depth than the previous
  8. 8. Assimilating new information(continued)• How can we, as IT pros, apply this to our situation? • When learning a new product or technology, first define the terminology. (grammar) • Onceyou’ve learned the vocabulary, then move to a deeper understanding of how it works. (logic) • After you understand how it works, find the relationships and connect it to something you already know. (rhetoric) • Lather, rinse, repeat!
  9. 9. Managing information• In 2008, I came across a web page that discussed something called “Q-tools”• You can find the original article at http:// www.davegrayinfo.com/2008/06/04/q-tools/• These are a set of proposed tools (questions) to help people manage information
  10. 10. Managing information(continued)• Prism: used to break information down into subgroups• Razor: used to divide information or for binary sorting• Generator: used to explore new territory or new ideas• Peeler: used to drive deeper and deeper into a subject• Flanker: used for lateral thinking and explore similar ideas• Splicer: used to build information structures by finding similarities• Pointer: used to gather information
  11. 11. Managing information(continued)• How can we, as IT pros, apply these tools to our situation? • You’re trying to learn a complex new technology with many different parts. (Prism: break it down) • You’re stuck on a problem and can’t seem to make headway. (Flanker: think laterally, or generator: new ideas) • Youwant to gain a better understanding of a particular solution. (Peeler: go deeper) • You want to link something youve learned back to existing knowledge. (Splicer: find similarities)
  12. 12. Three Four things to learn• Linux• Automation • PowerCLI, vCenter Orchestrator, scripting languages • Automation is a lever that multiplies your force• Configuration management • Think Puppet, Chef, or CFEngine • Your servers should not be snowflake servers! • See http://martinfowler.com/bliki/SnowflakeServer.html
  13. 13. Three Four things to learn(continued)•A foreign language • Studies show that learning a foreign language can provide a “cognitive boost” • See http://www2.uwstout.edu/content/lib/thesis/ 2008/2008boesen.pdf • Some studies indicate prolonged bilingualism is needed for the cognitive boost, other studies say merely the act of studying a foreign language is enough—no conclusive evidence either way
  14. 14. Questions &Answers
  15. 15. Thank you!Don’t forget to provide feedback and rate this session on the lastpage of your Program Guide.