Accelerating Your IT Career——加速你的IT人生

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Your career isn’t win or lose anymore, it is win or die. The days ofguaranteed work, pensions, and sticking with one company for fifty years aregone. Success has returned to something Cro-Magnon man would recognize: ifyou’re good at what you do, you get to eat.


I recently spoke to university graduates about their future as newMicrosoft engineers. For the first time, that meant organizing my beliefs. Itdistills four simple pillars: discipline, technical powerhouse, communication,and legacy. In the tradition of Eric Brechner and in honor of Labor Day, I’d like to share myphilosophy.

我最近给大学毕业生谈关于他们作为新的微软工程师的未来。第一次,那意味着组织我的信仰。它提炼出了四个简单而重要的道理:discipline、technical powerhouse、communication和legacy。在传统的Eric Brechner和为了纪念劳动节,我很乐意分享我的哲学。


Learn constantly, not just when life is forcing you. Read every trustworthy article you can get your hands on,before you need to know it; the time to learn AD replication is not whenits failure blocks your schema upgrade. Understanding architecture is the keyto deploying and troubleshooting any complex system. If you get nothing elsefrom this post, remember that statement - it can alter your life. For DirectoryServices, start here.


Don’t be good at one thing - be amazing at a few things, andgood at the rest. We all know someone who'sthe expert on X. He guards X jealously, making sure he is "indispensable.”Notice how he’s always in a lousy mood: he's not allowing anyone to relieve hisboredom and he lives in fear that if anyone does, he'll be replaced. Learnseveral components inside and out. When you get jaded, move on to a few moreand give someone else a turn. You'll still be the expert while they learn andif things get gnarly, you can still save the day. Over time, you becomeremarkable in many areas. Keep your skills up on the rest so that you can pinchhit when needed. Surround yourself with smart people and absorb their knowledge.



 Admit your mistakes. The only thingworse than making a mistake is trying to cover it up. Eventually, everyone iscaught or falls under a career-limiting cloud of suspicion. Now colleagues willremember times they trusted you, and won’t make that "mistake" again.Plead guilty and start serving community service, where you help the team fixthe glitch.

承认你的错误。 唯一比犯错更糟糕的是试图掩饰错误。最终所有人都陷入一团疑云。现在的同事会记住他们信任你的时刻,并且不再犯那样的错。认错并开始为社区服务,您能够帮助团队修复故障。

Get a grip. It's never as bad as youthink. Losing your composure costs you concentration and brainpower. Remainingemotional and depressed makes you a poor engineer, and a lousy person to bearound to boot. Learn how to relax so you canget back to business.



Never surrender. Your career pathis a 45-degree angle leading up to infinity, not an arc - arcs come back down!Keep learning, keep practicing, keep refreshing, keep growing. Keep a journalof "I don't know" topics, and then revisit it weekly to see what you'velearned. IT makes this easy: it's the most dynamic industry ever created. In myexperience, the PeterPrinciple is usually a self-inducedcondition and not the true limit of the individual.


Technical Powerhouse

Figure out what makes you remember long term. There is a heck-of-a-lot to know when dealing with complex distributedsystems - you can't always stop to look things up. Find a recalltechnique that works for you andpractice it religiously. You’re not cramming for a test; you’rebuilding a library in your brain to serve you for fifty years. No amount oflearning will help if you can’t put it to good use.


Be able to repro anything. When Ifirst came to Microsoft, people had fifteen computers at their desk. Thanks to free virtualization, thatnonsense is over and you can run as many test environments as you need, all onone PC. "Oh, but Ned, those virtual machines will cost a fortune!" Gimme a break, it’swalking-around money. A lab pays for itself a thousand times every year, thanksto the rewards of your knowledge and time. It's the best investment you canmake. Study and memory are powered by experience.


Know your dependencies. What does theFile Replication Service need to work? DNS, LDAP, Kerberos, RPC. What about ADreplication? DNS, LDAP, Kerberos, RPC. Interactive user logon? DNS, LDAP,Kerberos, RPC. Windows developers tend to stick with trusted protocols. If youlearn the common building blocks of one component, you become good at manyother components. That means you can troubleshoot, design, teach, andrecognize risks to them all.

--文件拷贝服务需要什么才能工作?DNS,LDAP,Kerberos,RPC。AD 拷贝呢?DNS,LDAP,Kerberos,RPC。交互式用户登录吗?DNS,LDAP,Kerberos,RPC。Windows 开发人员往往坚持使用受信任的协议。如果您了解一个组件的常见的构造块,你讲精通许多其它组件。这意味着您能够对进行它排除故障、设计、 教学和识别风险。

Understand network captures. It's hardto find an IT system talking only to itself. Notepad, maybe (until you save a fileto a network share). There are many free network capture tools outthere, and they all have their place. Network analysis is often the only way toknow how something works between computers, especially when logging and errormessages stink - and they usually do. I'd estimate that network analysis solvesa quarter of cases worked in my group. Learn by exploring controlled, workingscenarios; the differences become simple to spot in failure captures. Yourlab is the key.

Learn at least one scripting language. PowerShell, CMD, VBS, KiXtart, Perl, Python, WinBatch, etc. – any isfine. Show me an IT pro who cannot script and I'll show you one that grinds toomany hours and doesn't get the bonus. Besides making your life easier,scripting may save your business someday and therefore, your career. An introductory programming course often helps, as they teach fundamental computer science and logic thatapplies to all languages. This also makes dependencies easier to grasp.

Learn how to search and more importantly, how to judge the results. You can't know everything, and that means looking forhelp. Most people on the Internet are spewing uninformed nonsense, and you mustfigure out how to filter them. A vendor is probably trustworthy, but only whentalking about their own product. TechNet and KB trump random blogs. Stayskeptical with un-moderated message boards and "enthusiast" websites.Naturally, search results from AskDS are to be trusted implicitly. ;-P


Learn how to converse. I don’t meantalk, I mean converse. This is thetrickiest of all my advice: how to be both interesting and interested. Thehermit geek in the boiler room - that guy does not get promotions, bonuses, orinteresting projects. He doesn't gel with a team. He can't explain his plans orconvince anyone to proceed with them. He can't even fill the dead air ofwaiting… and IT troubleshooting is a lot of waiting. Introverts don’t get theopportunities of extroverts. If I could learn to suppress my fear of heights, you can learn to chat.

Get comfortable teaching. IT iseducation. You’re instructing business units in the benefits and behavior ofsoftware. You're schooling upper management why they should buy new systems orwhat you did to fix a broken one. You're coaching your colleagues on networkconfiguration, especially if you don’t want to be stuck maintaining themforever. If you can learn to teach effortlessly and likably, a new aspect to your career opens up. Moreover, there's a tremendousside effect: teaching forces you to learn.

Learn to like an audience. As yourise in IT, the more often you find yourself speaking to larger groups. Overtime they become upper management or experienced peers; an intimidating mix. Ifyou let anxiety or poor skills get in the way, your career will stall. Arm yourself with technique and get out in front of people often. It's easier with practice.Do you think Mark Russinovich gets that fat paycheck for his immaculate hair?

Project positive. Confidence ishighly contagious. When the bullets are flying, people want to follow the guywith the plan and the grin. Even if deep down he's quivering with fear, itdoesn’t show and he charges forward, knowing that everyone is behind him.People want to be alongside him when the general hands out medals. Self-assurance spreadsthroughout an organization and you'll be rewarded for it your whole career.Often by managers who "just can't put their finger" on why they likeyou.

Be dominant without domineering. One of the hardest things to teach new employees in Microsoft Support ishow to control a conference call. You’re on the phone with a half dozen scaredcustomers, bad ideas are flying everywhere, and managers are interrupting for“status updates”. You can’t be rude; you have to herd the cats gently butdecisively. Concentration and firmness are paramount. Not backing down comes withconfidence. Steering the useless off to harmless tasks lets you focus (makingthem think the task is important is the sign of an artist). There's noreason to yell or demand; if you sound decisive and have a plan, everyone willget out of the way. They crave your leadership.


Share everything. Remember"the expert?" He's on a desert island but doesn’t signal passingships. Share what you learn with your colleagues. Start your own internal company knowledgebase then fill it. Have gab sessions, where you go over interesting topics youlearned that week. Talk shop at lunch. Find a reason to hang out with otherteams. Set up triages where everyone takes turn teaching the IT department. Notonly do you grow relationships, you're leading and following; everyone isimproving, and the team is stronger. A tight team won't crumble under pressurelater, and that's good for you.

Did you ever exist? Invent something.Create documentation, construct training, write scripts, and design newdistributed systems. Don’t just consume and maintain - build. When the fiftyyears have passed, leave some proof that you were on this earth. If a projectcomes down the pipe, volunteer - then go beyond its vision. If no projects arecoming, conceive them yourself and push them through. The world is waiting foryou to make your mark.

I used many synonyms in this post, but not once did I say “job.” Jobs endat quitting time. A career is something that wakes you up at midnight with asolution. I can’t guarantee success with these approaches, but they've kept mehappy with my IT career for 15 years. I hope they help with yours.


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