Out-of-Band Post

Why should you have a mobile-first workforce?

In the last several months, many organizations have shut down, at a minimum, significantly slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic placed a strain on many industries, even the sectors that are essential. The company I work for is in the construction industry. We are lucky enough to be able to continue our work during a pandemic, as electricity is crucial to our nation to continue operating.

However, I am by no means an electrician. I hardly trust myself replacing a light switch or outlet in my own home. How could I continue working when I do not perform the essential work? Additionally, I have complex health conditions that make the COVID-19 pandemic significantly more dangerous for me. 

Well, I am lucky to have worked in technology my entire professional career, with a fair amount of travel for work. I am very comfortable working outside of a typical office setting. Comfort in your work environment is critical for productivity. If there are too many distractions, uncomfortable seating, poor lighting, all of these can drastically affect your productiveness. These are all things as an employer you cannot control; however, you can educate your employees on how to establish an ideal work environment at home. 

Life Update

This blog has been quite dead for a while now. Never fear I am still around! Life has been busy, work has been busy, and I took a step back from being on the computer 24×7.

I took a new job back in 2015, which lead me to believe I would have tons of free time – not the case, but not exactly a bad thing. Being out of consulting did free up a lot of my schedule and let me focus more on my social life and personal health. In-fact after settling into my new job (About 6 months!), I decided to put a significant focus on my weight. I had gotten up to 245-250 lbs. I had low energy, it was tough for me to do anything due to weight in combination with my Muscular Dystrophy and enough was enough. I started exercising using a manual chair around the house in late January of 2016 – I took a serious focus on my diet in early March of 2016. I am happy to say I am down to 185 lbs. Since December of last year, I have had a hard time losing weight, and I am going to be putting a big focus into dropping another 20 lbs.

Now that my health is in better shape, I am spending tons of time with friends and exercising semi-regularly. With the weight loss, I am not having nearly as much of an issue with my muscle weakness from my Muscular Dystrophy. I am even walking around the house/neighborhood and shopping some!

Last time I tried kick-starting this blog was with the HoloLens – it was a fun experience. Still, it quickly died off due to the learning curve to get into programming and trying to balance my health, social & work life. Keep in mind that this blog is entirely outside of my work life and tends to consume other parts of life so that I can dedicate some time to it.

I am not going to commit to regular updates on this blog. I do have some stuff I’ve been working on recently that I am going to be posting in the coming weeks. So please keep tuned to this blog!

Reflecting on Ignite 2015 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I know I am late to the game, Ignite ended over a week ago! I would just like to share my perspective on how the week went, as it was quite different than I am used to. This year I went to Ignite as Staff, I’ve never worked a conference, let alone one the size of Ignite.

Note: I thought it would be a good idea to shave - not doing this again for a long time!
Note: I thought it would be a good idea to shave – not doing this again for a long time!

My week of Ignite actually started quite early, I arrived Friday May 1st in the evening to Chicago. My first thought it holy cow I’m going to hate Chicago, they had the NFL Draft going, and traffic was crazy. I’ve been to Chicago before but did not remember how much traffic there was! After missing a turn and adding an additional 20 minutes to my 2 1/2 hour drive from Indianapolis I was ready to unwind in the hotel. Check-in was fairly easy, aside from the long wait to check in.

Long Absence, but I’m back!

It has been nearly 8 months since my last blog post. For that I’d like to apologize, as I really would love to have been posting all of this time; it just hasn’t been realistic for me. Let me recap what has happened in that time.

  • October 2014: Made an offer on my first house
  • November 2014: Moved into my first house
  • December 2014: Holiday madness and still settling in the house
  • January 2015: Working on new Training videos for Pearson
  • February 2015: Still working on the training videos
  • March 2015: Wrapping up training videos for Pearson, trying to have a bit of a life.
  • April 2015: Company I work for was sold, started looking at new career opportunities
  • May 2015: Attended Microsoft Ignite 2015, started a new job!

I started looking at houses around September of last year, and fell in love with one of the houses I looked at. I made an offer on the house and within a months time I was moving it. I wasn’t expecting it to happen so fast, but I am glad it did. I’ve been here since November of last year and it provided a great private recording studio for me!

ShowCover

The new videos I’ve been working on are about to come out! It is a video series focused on helping you pass the 70-346 exam. You can take a look at it for when it will be coming out later this month! On InformIT, or if you have a Safari Books Online Subscription you can see it there.

April 1st was quite an interesting day for me. That is the day that the buy-out of the company I work for was announced. I had been at Apparatus for nearly 4 years, and in all honesty we were like a family. I am still very close with a lot of people at the company and I wish them the best. I just thought that after that announcement was made it was a hint that it was time for me to move on; after-all working in IT at the same company for 4 years is quite amazing for a millennial. My last day at Apparatus was May 1st, and the I left work and headed for Microsoft Ignite 2015.

Microsoft Ignite, was quite an experience – in fact you will be seeing a detailed write-up about that later this week. Let’s just say it is a much bigger event and there are still all of the great opportunities you had available to you at TechEd.

Upon my return from Microsoft Ignite 2015, I started my new job as the Systems Architect at Gaylor Electric, Inc. This is quite a change from what I’ve done for the last 4 years. I will now own my very own infrastructure, and be able to make the decisions on what I think is best for the company and the environment. My first week has been completed and I’ve already put the wheels in motion for some sweeping changes to bring this company to the latest and greatest Microsoft Technologies. I really look forward to the opportunity this is going to give me to go deeper into specific technologies that I’ll be sharing on this blog!

Overall you are going to see me becoming much more social, I am going to be as active as humanly possible on Social Networks and keeping this blog as active as possible. I look forward to feedback and hearing about topics that everyone is interested in hearing more about!

Considerations When an IT Employee Leaves

Recently I’ve helped clients and even off-boarded IT employees from our own team. There are quite a few considerations you must make when someone in IT leaves a company or even just moves to another team within the same company. This article is going to focus heavily on the employee leaving the company; but you will run into some of the same obstacles with them moving to a new area in the company. The “normal” HR off-boarding or cross-boarding doesn’t usually cover the amount of access that these employees have, and the IT staff themselves must make many additional considerations to make things as smooth as possible.

At a high level you have to consider the following:

  • How many accounts do they have?
  • Are these accounts tied to any applications?
  • Which devices use a¬†shared password they know?
  • What access rosters are they on?
  • What knowledge will be lost when they leave?
  • Who is going to take over ownership of their current tasks?

Let’s dive into these questions in more depth and explore some possible solutions to them.