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This is a discussion on Making my mark within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Folks, I've recently taken a position where I feel I'm in a little over my head. I've transitioned from the


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Old 05-08-2014, 07:34 PM   #1
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Folks,
I've recently taken a position where I feel I'm in a little over my head. I've transitioned from the head of a retail computer store's service department to head the IT department at a small company.

Without a degree, and just a hardware certification beneath me, I feel like I'm a little behind in my tech knowledge. My colleagues are all software developers and testers. Often their questions and conversations sound like a different language. I'd like to ask your advice on rising to these challenges and really shining in my new role.

I'm prepared to learn anything and everything necessary. As it stands, I've already learned quite a bit in order to deal with the position. However, I still feel I have a lot of catching up to do. I find myself nodding along to talk of ARPtables, rsyncing, cronjobs, and other foreign concepts. I struggle to do things for hours that my colleagues can do in minutes.

So my questions for you can be expressed thusly:
- In all your expertise, what can you suggest to really shine in this position? What should I be focusing on in my learning? How should I be positioning myself within the company?
- Assuming I can bring myself up to speed and become the company's go-to guy as they would like, what's the next step? What should I be focusing on to improve my resume and make the next jump even bigger? What kind of experience and projects should I be chasing?

I appreciate any answers that can point me in the right direction.

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:05 AM   #2
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If you actually do programming then a degree in IT might help but in all honesty all I can say is read, read and do more reading.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenbrucelee View Post
If you actually do programming then a degree in IT might help but in all honesty all I can say is read, read and do more reading.
Yep, what he said. If you want to know about something, learn it by reading about it. Then... put it to practical application by doing it or seeing it in action.

Know what your best friend is? This site: link

Seriously, it is. I use it every single day to find new stuff, and I'm not exaggerating. Need to know about ARP tables? Go there. rsync? It's there too. cron jobs? Yep, that site can point you to the answers you seek.

Right now, I would recommend that you just set your focus on gaining experience where you're at. When it seems that you've mastered everything that they've got for you there, and there's no room for you to advance internally, then perhaps it's time to move on to something bigger. I'm not a big fan of chasing "the next big thing". My advice is to pursue the things that interest you... simple as that. :)

Real-world experience will improve your resume naturally. Certify on what you have experience doing (not on what you want to get experience doing). Certifications look great on a resume... IF you have relevant experience to back up the certs. Otherwise, you look like a "paper chaser"... someone who certifies to get a bunch of letters behind his or her name, but doesn't really understand the technology from a practical point of view. A combination of certifications AND experience looks spectacular.

Hope this helps. :)
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