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Learning the lingo and the hardware....

This is a discussion on Learning the lingo and the hardware.... within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have been in IT sales for the past 5 years. Mostly PCs, tablets, etc. Recently I was hired as


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Old 08-20-2014, 08:21 PM   #1
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I have been in IT sales for the past 5 years. Mostly PCs, tablets, etc. Recently I was hired as a consultant for a IT reseller. I find myself dealing with server, switches, cabling, firewalls, VOIPs, UPS, KMVs,....most which I'm not totally familiar with. I am tasked to help build an IT infrastructure for a medium sized company with 20 staff. I sit in a meeting with two of my engineers and it was like I was sitting in a classroom full of Chinese. I couldn't understand nothing they were saying.

Then I realize, I don't know this side of the business like these guys. They've been in it their whole lives. They were talking DIDs, Patch panels, 48 port switch, cabling....I understood maybe 10% of their conversation. Now they don't know that. They assume I know..because I was nodding my head in agreement. I just feel overwhelmed.

SO I come to you guys to see how I can learn without spending years in school. Is there an online class somewhere that explains these things? Servers, switches, VOIPs, etc. From the PCs on up, I need to learn. I have a feeling one of these days someone is going to call me out and I'm going to look like a complete idiot.

What do you suggest?

thx
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:29 PM   #2
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You could purchase the books for the A+ and Network+ courses and at least skim them. However, it's hard to really "learn the lingo" unless you have spent some time in study and in the field. This is why it's pretty easy to tell if someone on the Internet is faking being in the military or civilian services. Also, if you are not sure of what they are talking about, ask -- management is not expected to know everything, unless you are, say, the captain of a submarine.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:26 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, you've been tasked with something that you don't have any experience doing. It's like asking a car salesman to design a car without knowing what all the parts inside the car do.

MPR's advice to study the A+ and Network+ books is a good one. That will certainly help you understand more of what the techs are saying. But, as MPR correctly states, you're likely going to need to reach out for assistance to get the project done well.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:59 PM   #4
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Well I think it's too late in the 3rd quarter to ask what these things mean. I have to learn it. I took an A+ class but that was almost 10 years ago. Perhaps they have something on Youtube I can look at.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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Video instruction has its place but is slower than reading. Take for example the evening news -- you can obtain all the relevant news from a thirty minute news program in less than five minutes if you read the articles at the agency's online website.

If you have a background in IT but only need to broaden it in specific areas, my recommendation would be to find an online course outline and then delve into only on those areas that you are unfamiliar with. Using this method should save you considerable time.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:01 AM   #6
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Is there any way you could spend a day or two shadowing the engineers you work with? Hands-on stuff like that is a really great way to get a different perspective on the same general job or industry. Something else you'll find as you work with different companies, especially if they're different industries, is that the individual IT departments often use slightly different terms for the same equipment. Sure plenty of stuff is the same across the board, but specific companies (or even from department to department) won't use the exact same terminology.
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