20 Things I've Learned from 20 Years in IT

Veteran technician and project manager, Scott Matteson, shares tips and insights from his 2+ decades in the IT field.

IT Career Tips Advice

Working in the field of Information Technology means more than fixing computers or troubleshooting email issues. Thriving in this career requires you to sort out an intricate tangle of problems, priorities and people on a daily basis. Keeping your technical skills relevant and up-to-date is always a challenge, but one that’s well within reach if you train on the job, enjoy learning new things, and keep your thumb on the pulse of the tech community.

However, it’s harder to figure out how to deal with “back end” tasks like juggling priorities, managing stress and developing positive working relationships with peers, customers and managers. In fact, handling interpersonal relationships can be more challenging (and rewarding) than managing the tech itself – and it’s essential since the technology goes hand in hand with the people who use it.

IT roles are changing; support may be located remotely, systems might be off site, and some jobs will disappear entirely. However, there will always be pain points, pressure and personalities in the field. I've worked in the IT space since 1994, primarily in the realm of support and implementation. Along the way I've made a few observations with accompanying advice which I want to share with you. Many of these apply to my role as the “go-to” guy who can get things running, but I think they are universally relevant to any role where you're seen as a resource or a decision-maker on which other people depend to do their jobs.

So without further ado, here are 20 things I've learned in my 20 years in IT:

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IT Certification Path for Network Administrators

Darril Gibson, certified technical trainer and best-selling author of IT study guides, lays out a rock-solid IT certification path to begin or advance your career as a network administrator.

it networking certification path

Aspiring IT professionals frequently ask me questions like “How can I get into an IT job?” and “What is the best IT certification path for a network administrator?” Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer because there are so many variables, such as how much knowledge you start with and what type of jobs are available where you live.

However, if you are focused on landing an IT job and you‘re willing to take the time to master the materials, you can earn several certifications that will make you highly desirable as a network administrator, one of the industry’s most essential and opportunity-rich positions. Learn the material, earn the certifications, and you’ll have an opportunity to shine at network administration job interviews.

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Darril Gibson

RE:2008 R2 or 2012?

Hi Reggie. Your plan is solid. If your company is using 2008 R2, than that it is appropriate. There isn't a one-size fits all path... Read More
Sunday, 05 May 2013 09:45
Darril Gibson

RE:CompTIA = wasted resources

Hi Justan. One of the challenges with IT personnel is they don't always know what knowledge they have and what knowledge they're m... Read More
Saturday, 04 May 2013 16:55
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What’s New in Cisco’s CCNA 2013 Certification Exam

Cisco has redesigned its CCNA certification to better align with next-gen IT job roles. This article looks at major updates to the new CCNA Routing & Switching credential, plus the key facts you should know to stay ahead of the curve.

Whats New CCNA Certification

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is Cisco’s most popular certification, and one of the IT industry’s most marketable and prolific career credentials. CCNA certification demonstrates competence as a network professional, and proves that a certified pro can install, configure, operate and troubleshoot routed & switched networks.

As technology advances and networks become increasingly sophisticated, the job roles of network professionals evolve in turn. Cisco’s revamp of its flagship credential improves CCNA training and certification curricula by incorporating the skills IT professionals need to manage the networks of today -- and tomorrow.

Important changes re new CCNA Routing & Switching

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How to Practice Configuring Routers and Switches

For concert pianists and network administrators alike, practice makes perfect. Certified Cisco Instructor, Mark Sabo, explores the best ways to hone your routing & switching skills.

Ways to Configure Routers and Switches

One of the most common questions my students ask is, “What can I do to get more practice configuring routers and switches?” The best thing you can do is to go out and get some real equipment and build your own lab environment. Nothing beats having real equipment to touch, smell and practice with. You can find cheap routers and switches on the internet; eBay is the most popular place where people go to unload their old equipment for dirt cheap instead of trashing it. You don’t need new, expensive equipment for a home practice lab, and this presents the best opportunity. For those of us who don’t want to spend money on a practice lab, or want the flexibility of playing with routers wherever we are, there's GNS3.

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