Episode 89 – Puzzle Solving and Enjoying Your Development Work with Tim Warner
Tim Warner is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in Cloud and Datacenter Management based in Nashville. His professional specialties include Microsoft Azure, cross-platform PowerShell and all things Windows Server-related.
Tim is also a co-author and author of several books including Hacking Raspberry PI, The Ultimate Guide to Minecraft Server and Teach Yourself Windows PowerShell in 24 Hours.
(1.02) – So Tim, can I ask you to expand on some of those things and tell us a little bit about yourself? Since Tim was a boy he has had a fascination with all things tech. This is part of the reason he is now a generalist with a deep understanding of everything from the hardware to the software. Over the past couple of years, he has focused on the public cloud, in particular Microsoft Azure.
(1.50) – Phil asks Tim for a unique IT career tip. Tim explains that developing the ability to organize your thoughts and present them clearly is very important. Public speaking ensures that you learn and practice those critical skills.
(3.06) –Tim is asked to share his worst career moment by Phil. Fortunately, Tim’s worst IT career moment has a silver lining. Tim has always been a teacher as well as an IT professional. So, when he was in the running for an IT directorship in a local private High School he focused on securing that role. But, the school changed its mind and decided not to go in that direction. This was a big blow and very depressing. But, the experience taught him the need to keep the prospect of a future position in context. IT moves at the speed of light, so you need to take a flexible and agile approach to your career.
(6.00) – Phil asks Tim to tell everyone about his career highlight, his greatest success. That happened when Tim was speaking at a big conference about WireShark. The audience was a big one and they were eager. So, eager in fact that some of them were applying what he was telling them immediately. There was even a group of programmers from one company who were instant messaging his troubleshooting advice back to their datacenter. That experience demonstrated to Tim the importance and practical value of the technical education he was providing. It was great to see people developing their careers, live, right there in front of him.
(7.50) – Phil wants to know what excites Tim about the future of the IT industry and careers. Tim loves the fact that industry work can now be done from anywhere. There is no longer a need to spend ages in a car traveling to work at a data center. Cloud computing is definitely the future. Anyone involved in IT cannot avoid working with cloud computing. However, it is a little worrying that newcomers are not likely to be able to do any actual cabling. Tim’s experience of interfacing with the hardware has helped him to develop software-defined networks that work properly.
(9.00) – What first attracted you to a career in IT? Puzzle solving and the fact that you become a perpetual student, there is always something new to learn. Tim was inquisitive from an early age, so for him IT was the perfect fit.
(9.55) – What is the best career advice you have been given? Tim said his grandfather told him “if you’re doing work that you would do even if you weren’t getting paid for it, then you found your right career.” It was a good piece of advice and one of the reasons Tim continues to work in tech and information.
(11.38) – If you were to begin your IT career again, right now, what would you do? Tim says that is tricky because today’s IT industry is very different than when he started. He sometimes wishes he had majored in computer science. He advises someone entering the field today to survey as many different disciplines as possible. Then whittle down where their interests and aptitude lie.
(12.20) – Phil asks Tim what he is currently focusing on. Tim is still creating Microsoft Azure training and doing consultancy work when he wants to do so. Tim is also doing his best to give back to the IT community, by talking at workshops, mentoring, teaching and attending meetups.
(12.58) – What would you consider to be your most important non-technical skill? For Tim it is public speaking. There are plenty of ways to learn this skill and it is well worth taking the time to do so. Being confident and able to be concise and persuasive will help you with job interviews, pitching ideas and selling your case.
(14.03) – Phil asks Tim to share a few final words of career advice. Unless you enjoy the work, Tim advises considering another career. IT requires a lot of time and effort, so it is not something you want to be doing if you do not enjoy it.
(2.33) TIM – “The ability to organize your thoughts and present your thoughts clearly is going to carry your career.”
(4.46) TIM – “It’s important to be that flexible and agile in your approach to your career.”
(10.03) TIM – “If you’re doing work that you would do even if you weren’t getting paid for it, then you found your right career.” – Tim’s grandfather.”
(14.00) TIM – “You really can’t go wrong with by honing your public speaking skills.”
(14.09) TIM – “In information technology careers, you’re never going to be hunting for work.”
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