Posts Tagged ‘career’

I was interviewed for Scott Lowe’s Full Stack Journey podcast hosted by #packetpushers #vexpert

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Full Stack Journey tells personal stories about the ongoing quest to become a full stack engineer: an IT pro who can move among multiple silos and work across multiple layers of the modern data center.

Very cool to be asked, as I feel my personal IT transformation journey has only just begun.
I admire Scott greatly and his many vSphere books helped me get my first certifications.
His Blog is an amazing source of information, and his own shift toward cloud-native technologies is something I am very much hoping to emulate.
https://blog.scottlowe.org/

Robert and I talk about a few different topics during the episode:

  • The need for IT professionals to shift their mindset to become more of a facilitator, a mediator between silos

  • Embracing DevOps (it’s about more than a name change!)

  • Trying to find the balance between hands-on experience and broader architect-level knowledge

Listen to the podcast episode here:

Full Stack Journey 014: Robert Kloosterhuis

Timewasting Courseware

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Update: Post edited after reflecting on some much deservered critisim on my tact

So it seems now that every monday evening I am stuck in training.
I was doing 70–299 self-paced training and getting closer to that exam point,
but apparently my employer thinks its more usefull to know Exchange.

Dont mind Exchange at all, but the guys instructing us, though knowledgable, are not the most skilled at bringing across that knowledge, or reading the kind of audience they have, and how their information is being recieved on the other end.

Also, as usual, the Microsoft MOC (Official Corriculum) courseware sucks completely, I’ll take a self-paced training book from MSPress over these MOC’s anyday!

Feedback

# re: Timewasting Courseware

left by een Collega at 12/21/2005 11:16 PM Remove Comment 63831 Gravatar

Hoi Robert,

het feit dat je een klassikale cursus Exchange kan volgen tijdens een cursus traject waar je jezelf vrijwillig voor heb op gegeven, is geen belemering om daar buiten gewoon je 70-299 te halen.

daar naast is het misschien netjes om eerst je trainers aan te spreken over het niveau van de training. en om zulke uitspraken niet achter iemand zijn rug om te doen.

# re: Timewasting Courseware

left by Robert at 12/21/2005 11:16 PM Remove Comment 63832 Gravatar

Ik vind het niet erg om bekritiseerd te worden op mijn post, maar zet dan ten mindste neer wie je bent.

Wat betreft 70-299, het was bij mijn Personeels manager bekend dat ik daarmee bezig was, om dan alsnog exchange daarvoor in de plaats voorgeschoteld te krijgen is vervelend, het laat zien dat mijn persoonlijke voorkeur en situatie genegeerd wordt. Ik ben niet te enige die met een andere module bezig was trouwens.

Natuurlijk kan ik 70-299 erbij doen… kom laat ik heel MCSE ook s’avonds erbij doen, we hebben immers geen sociaal leven, toch?

Ik heb me trouwens niet vrijwillig opgegeven, dat heeft mijn PM voor me gedaan… niet dat ik dat in dit geval erg vind, overigens.

En wat betreft de kwaliteit van het presentatie; ze hoeven van mij niet zelf te horen dat ik het slecht vond, het was embarrasing genoeg dat zij, net zoals wij, onverwacht Exchange op hun bord kregen, en ik heb dan wel begrip voor het gebrek aan voorbereiding.

Maar dat haalt niet weg dat er grote gaten zitten in hun kennis van deze specifieke stof, er werdt gewoon rechstreeks voorgelezen van de MOC slides. Daarnaast heb ik, zoals ik in mijn post op iets mindere subtiele (maar wel grappige wijze) zei, grote twijfels over hun presentatie en uitleg techniek.

Ik ken ze allebij een klein beetje, en het zijn goede gasten.. maar uitleggen kunnen ze niet. En dat smaakt wrang als je net voor een redelijk groot bedrag heb getekend, dan verwacht je een zeker niveau van kwaliteit.

# re: Timewasting Courseware

left by Robert at 12/21/2005 11:22 PM Remove Comment 63833 Gravatar

Ik heb nog even nagedacht over je reactie, en ik zie dat ik wellicht kwetsent overkom met deze post. Ik heb dan ook mijn verwoording iets aangepast, alsmede een foto verwijderd.

Maar mijn mening blijft, ondanks deze realisatie over mijn tact (of gebrek daaraan), onveranderd.

# re: Timewasting Courseware

left by een andere collega at 12/23/2005 6:48 AM Remove Comment 63984 Gravatar

…Misschien moet je eerst eens een cursus Nederlands schrijven gaan volgen binnen ATP….

# re: Timewasting Courseware

left by nog een andere collega at 12/23/2005 7:31 AM Remove Comment 63987 Gravatar

70-299 is een prima certficaat, alleen geeft 70-284 je een veel vaker gevraagde kennis. Daarnaast lijkt het me echt geen probleem om 70-299 ernaast te doen.
Er zijn genoeg collega’s die zonder klagen nog veel meer vrije tijd besteden aan het verbeteren van hun kennis, omdat zij tenminste begrijpen waar ze het voor doen. Hopelijk valt dat kwartje bij jou ooit ook nog eens.
Ik en met mij vele anderen steken meer vrije tijd in hun werk dan dat van jou uberhaupt gevraagd wordt, om mensen zoals jou de mogelijkheid te geven kennis op te doen. En dan is het erg jammer dat daar zo negatief over gedacht wordt.

# re: Timewasting Courseware

left by Robert at 12/23/2005 12:04 PM Remove Comment 63995 Gravatar

Heren.. waarom nog steeds deze annonimiteit?

“een andere collega”,

Voeg eens wat nuttigs toe aan deze discussie.

“nog een andere collega”,

Begrijp me niet verkeerd, ik ben zeker niet -anti- ‘kennis opdoen’, als je door mijn blog history heenbladerd dan zie je dat wellicht. Nog beter, ik hecht zelfs zeer veel waarde aan -echte- kennis.. wie mij wel eens heeft gesproken weet hoe ik denk over de cultuur an ‘papieren MCSE-ers’… iets waarvan onze organisatie nogal eens last heeft, naar mijn mening.

En ik waardeer jullie -moeite- echt wel, maar zoals ik al zei, maandag avond was enigsinds terleurstellend, en ik, en anderen, gingen naar huis met het idee dat we er niet veel aan hadden gehad, en met enige twijfels over waar we nu aan waren begonnen…zie ook de opmerkingen op het internet forum.

Begrijp dat ik daar boos over was, en toen deze post heb gemaakt.

Het is nu enkele dagen later, en, hoewel mijn mening over Maandag niet is veranderd, heb ik -wel- besloten om in Januari volledig openminded het jaar in te gaan. Ik begrijp net zo goed dat een -eerste- impressie niet altijd de juiste is!

Was ik te bot met mijn mening in mijn post? Waarschijnlijk wel. Ik heb em dan ook aangepast,en dat kun je als een soortemet exuses ziet, maar ik ga niet mijn eigen mening uit de weg, zeker niet op mijn eigen blog.

Overigens ben ik het volledig met je eens dat 70-284 waardevolle en veelgevraagde kennis is, ik ben er zeker niet vies van.

Als laatste wil je jullie menig vragen over de indeling van het MOC materiaal. Zoals je zag ben ik er niet gecharmeerd van, bijvoorbeeld: Hoofstuk 2 gaat gelijk diep in op Clustering van Exchange, terwijl de basis concepten nog nauwlijks aan de order zijn geweest. MOC matriaal komt altijd gehaast op me over, en daardoor vind ik het van mindere waarde… wat vinden jullie?

# re: Timewasting Courseware

left by dloko at 12/29/2005 5:16 PM Remove Comment 64393 Gravatar

Even een objectieve mening;

beetje triest, die anonimiteit. Het komt bij mij over dat er dus 3 collega’s stiekem een collega lopen af te hameren… en dan wordt er gepost dat je niet achter iemands rug om moet praten.

*cough*basisschool*cough*

# re: Timewasting Courseware

left by Drexciya at 6/22/2006 4:43 PM Remove Comment 82741 Gravatar

Tsja, leuk dat je voor een training opgegeven wordt, maar 2 dingen zijn verkeerd:
1) Exchange 2003 moet je niet volgen zonder eerst het Active Directory examen (70-294) te hebben gedaan, ook het Network Infrastructure examen (70-291) is verplichte voorkennis (lees: AD+DNS). Iemand zomaar er even tussen proppen zegt genoeg over het ontbreken van een intake of een goede voorbereiding. Strafpunten voor je werkgever wat mij betreft.
2) Avondtrajecten zijn in mijn ogen per definitie maatwerk. Als trainer ga je dan beslist niet uit de MOC voorlezen (nu val ik mijn collega’s af ;-))) ). Voor een recent traject heb ik dat heel anders aangepakt. VMWare omgeving als uitgangspunt, grote lijnen theorie alleen (voorzover mogelijk) aan het begin van de avond en voor de rest zoveel mogelijk doen. Je hebt hier wel “stevige” PC’s voor nodig; voor het ISA 2004 gedeelte heb ik een omgeving met 5 VM’s (2x Exchange, 2 clients en een in te richten ISA Server) gebruikt. Nu hadden zowel mijn cursisten als ondergetekende af en toe last van een inzinking, maar over het algemeen verliep de training naar volle tevredenheid.

Natuurlijk kan de docent het afschuiven op voorbereiding of wat dan ook, maar dat is te makkelijk. Sowieso weet je als trainer dat MOC’s alleen een basis/uitgangspunt zijn voor een reguliere klassikale training.

Ik ga zelf altijd verder dan de MOC, afhankelijk van de mogelijkheden en de wensen van de cursisten. Ik mag dan wel MCT zijn, maar ik ben geen MOC Certified Trainer. De meest recente revisie van de Exchange training (2400C) is wel sterk verbeterd trouwens.

Wat betreft je “collega’s” die je afzeiken; treurig dat je met dat soort mensen werkt, die snappen niets van de inspanning die met training volgen (of geven) gemoeid gaat.

Where do I go from here

Monday, January 31st, 2005

Today was the last day at the media company I was with. I was only there for 3 months, but I was kinda of saddened to leave, even though it had partly been my choice to go.

Its a real shame they where so far away from where I live. Well, far away is a real relative term in the Netherlands, where actual geographical distance seems tiny, until you factor in time spent in traffic jams, or trying to get connecting trains.. and the latter is still my case as I still don’t have a drivers licence.

If they had been any closer, I would have made the case to stay. But 4 hours of travel a day where really beginning to wear me out, not to mention my spare time basicly vanished, and I do so value my spare time.

One of the things I will especially remember about that place is the support I got from the boss, the guy in charge, ..  I hesitate to call him a manager, as he was far to technical for that term to come to (my) mind. In my world all managers are tech-illiterate and bad-news. This guys was neither. I felt somewhat intimidated by him at first, but you must bear in mind I am easily intimidated. But later on, and especially after we had kind of decided to go our separate ways, in as, I was going to be replaced, he really impressed me with his genuine support, and his heart-felt wish that I got into a kind of job that I could really thrive in.  The rest of those guys where also very pleasant to work with, some of course more than others, but on the whole a group of people that knew how to get things done. I seemed to get on best with a part of the team that where their own little mini department, with their own specialities, and not directly involved in what the rest of my own team did. But these guys where the real geeks of the department, and I suppose geeks bonding just seems to happen naturally 😉

What caused me to eventually leave was of course not just the travelling distance, though this played a large part. But I found myself doing exactly the kind of work I have been doing most off for the last 3 years; second line help desk. This more or less excluded me in scope, from getting to the real meat of the IT that they where managing. Sure I got to play a little with servers, and especially in the last two weeks, I tried to dig into some serious Windows server issues.. well “dig” is a very strong word to use.. “sniff at”, is more apt, as my main job responsibilities kept “getting in the way”.

The insanity of my situation strikes me when I say that sentence out loud: “main job responcibilities kept getting in the way”.

There are two ways to approach the situation: 1. I have my priorities all fucked up and should shut up and just do whatever work they throw at me .. or 2. , which is my prefered choice, I should try to do the work I love doing and am very good at doing, no matter what anyone else says or thinks.   Basicly I have been consistantly put into the position of choice 1, and my employer, the IT services company I work for, doesnt seem to get the hint that when you stick a guy on a job he is totally bored with, and 4 times the customer sends him back with the message “this guys is too skilled and enthousaistic for this kinda boring-ass work” , that.. the guy is probably too skilled and enthousaistic for this kinda boring-ass work.

The aforementioned head of the IT department I am leaving, actually wrote an email to my employer which states in no uncertainy way “this guy is not a second line helpdesk support guy, and basicly positioned me as more of a consultant that anything else, though with the side note that I needed to work on my communications skills, and he is quite right.

So tomorrow, I have a talk with my HR manager.. again.. about this same issue, which we have in fact discussed before. No doubt she will accuse me of sabotaging my position at the customer, and I will call the company crazy for not making better use of my skills, knowledge and natural enthousiasm.

Now I am really, really scared of conflict.. with anyone. I am not one of these people that can just say ‘screw em’, how people percieve me us far, far too important for me, and often leads me to be trampled underfoot by people who can say ‘screw em’, or in that case’ screw him’. I believe it is for this reason, and this reason alone that I am still crosely underpaid and basicly exploited at every turn, cause I am basicly too chicked to stand up to them, scared shitless of any kind of consequence, or the prospect of ‘not being liked’.  Its a fucking stupid mind set, especially in the hard-ass business world of IT and IT services companies.

One thing I try to keep reminding me is that the worst they can do is fire me, and they would need a pretty good reason to do so here in the Netherlands. If they do, the basicly release me from the 4000 euro’s I owe them, and it would open up the prospect for me of finding work that at least payed better, even though it would probably be.. you guessed it.. helpdesk work.  As long as I dont have my MCSE, I dont stand that much of a chance of getting a good position anywhere.. and with good I mean interesting… I dont really care about the pay, besides, anywhere else, I would get more money that I get now (about 1200 euro net)!

Since I am basicly going to be roaming around between home and the office, where at least the proxy will let blogjet though, I will be posting more often again, so expect a post from me tomorrow or so.

Promoted, and the chaos of corperate politics.

Saturday, June 19th, 2004

Yesterday I had a long-due twice-annual talk with my personnel manager.
Somewhat to my surprise it was a very open and relaxed talk, and I think I can say with some certainty that my relationship with her is the best I have had when it comes to managers. We talked a bit about past jobs I have done for the company, and the difficulty I felt being motived when stuck on a job that is not an ideal-match for my interests and skills. In particular,  I am referring to being stuck on end-user support type jobs, while my heart is really in systems and network administration. We talked a bit about the trouble I have been having dealing with politics on a job, and how this would improve with time and experience, and I raised the point about account managers on the company not properly understanding the people and the technology culture the where dealing with, and for once I genuinely felt that my concerns where actually being listened to.

Now to place this in some kind of context; I have never felt that way about the company I work for. I have always felt that their first and foremost priority was writing hours, making the money, and keeping the customer happy in the shot-to-ultra-short term.  On the other hand the company had been going through a period, due to rapid growth, and the placement of a new management team, of placing the concerns and well-being of its employees a very distant last. I and many others at the company have come to expect that our wishes are usually ignored, and it sometimes seemed that all the company was interested in doing was screwing people.

Now of late, I have become somewhat more informed of where these problems stem from, and its somewhat down to a top-level management that doesn’t really know how to deal with techies, and dint seem to be in tune with the attitude that many of now have toward the company, in particular the feeling if involvement with company matters and the level of expectancy toward the management keeping its promises. Now they are slowly starting to work out how to best navigate the employee base they have, and after some talks with them personally, I am pretty convinced they at least mean well.

The middle management on the other hand are the actual cause of a lot of the relationship problem. Apart from the usual individuals that are megalomaniacs went it comes to managing people, it seems that overall they still don’t really have their act together. It seems particularly hard for them to communicate the wishes of top level management in a way that doesn’t offend just about everyone. They seem to be conditioned into being extra hard on people, and that has resulted in some pretty hefty disputed about pay, leased cars, etc. And when it comes to administration on their side, they seem to be so overworked that nothing gets taken care of, the pcprive project being a prime example of corporate ineptitude in getting the ‘job done’.

Now within this mess of this company I have been trying to build a name for myself, but at the same time, have tried to avoid being stuck on jobs that I really didn’t find interesting. Since I have been with them I have been a Support-technician on paper, and personally my salary has not been more than a few dozen euros about minimum wage. I have been stuck with that label for 3 years now, and though my skills have certainly surpassed the level of a ‘support-medewerker’, they (the managers), don’t seem to have caught on. How could they? They are not technical after all, they don’t understand what it takes to set up a network and all the services it needs, and then to document it all as well (a lost skill if ever there was one). However, the last few months I have been on jobs that have afforded me the opportunity to ‘show my stuff’, and in the presence of influential people no less. Now these influential people I speak off are the top-brass of the company. They are the kind of employees that score very well with the management, because they have that very high salesmen enthusiasm, and a are very very good at speaking manager-speak.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know how to talk to most managers.. I have learned to use words like ‘Fixed-price’, ‘Total Cost of Ownership’, ‘Economies of scale’, and ‘Synergy’ in everyday conversation likes its a fucking religion. But these guys, they are just experts at this, and sometimes at a cost to their technical skills, I have found.

But like I said, these guys are influential within the company, and what they say matters. The last few jobs I have done have been noticed, and when it was time  for my personal manager to look at my record with the company, and talk to people I have worked with, the impression I have made with some of these guys bore fruits.

So now I have been promoted to Assistant Systems administrator, this despite the fact that I don’t yet have even MCSA certification, which is supposed to be a pre-requisite.

Now personally, I, and some others round me, are of the belief that I am at least of Network-specialist/Consultant standard. But to me being raised officially above the level of a support guy, is an acknowledgment of the fact that I am technically more profishient than when they hired me. Its a sign of respect, and that is very very rare in this company, very rare indeed.

On top of this, she mentioned the fact that I was possibly due for a raise.  Now this had to due with the fact that years ago, i signed a study-agreement to get certified on 2000, and would receive and additional 20-odd euros per certification I would receive. Now I had never actually finished my study, and I never pursued the matter when I recently got my first 2003 certification, as I felt I had lost my right to it because I had not fulfilled my side of the agreement in getting certified within a certain Timeframe,e. So it was rather surprising when she mentioned this. especially if you consider the fact that we as employees are not accustomed to getting any breaks from our management, if anything, we where used to being screwed whenever they could get away with it. Perhaps my salary now, and for now, as in that there is a salary freeze, is an example of how people like me are screwed, my bruto salary is 1340 euros, I have been made to understand that is lower even than most cleaners earns.

But dispite my salary being a pretty dark cloud overall, I left that conversation beeling somewhat better, and, seeing that the pcprive thing is now actually up and running, I am beginning to feel more positive about the company as a whole.