Online Training Endeavor –

I’m no stranger to leading training at this point in my life. Having taught a couple of courses at Harper College, and I’m looking forward to teaching more there in the coming months and years. However between my 6 week course-runs, I find myself itching to continue the teaching and sharing of knowledge while growing my own skills.

For reference, my bookmarks of IT blogs is a fairly sizable list. I like to work through the new posts on these to stay current on technology and related news.

Phew! We made it through the list. While there’s not always a new post on each of the above, I often right-click my bookmark folder and open all and browse anyways. There’s always something interesting to read about, some new PowerShell script or event to learn about, etc. I would love to contribute similarly, but alas… blogging is not my strong suit.

Introducing TechSnips

Reading Adam Bertram’s blog one day from that above list, and I noted that he has begun working on a new company called TechSnips. He left his day job and has begun founding a community of IT professionals that aim to share knowledge and training materials with the world. He has been a blogger and PowerShell contributor that I’ve followed for a while, and now I have officially joined his ranks as a TechSnips Contributor in his new company. (Tip, you can too!)

Unlike Adam, this isn’t my day job. Sharing knowledge, helping train the next generation, and the feeling of giving back to the IT community are my desire with this new program. It’s a fairly open ended contribution style with a flexible scheduling and quite a few of in-demand skills to build content around (PowerShell, Azure, AWS, Windows Server, etc). Sure there are some deadlines once you submit an idea to film, but again it’s flexible and all content is Contributor driven, just communicate when necessary and all should be well!

With TechSnips I’m now able to connect with like-minded IT Pros in a multitude of fields and from around the world. Together we are collaborating and working on new Snips (5-15 minute concise tutorials), as well and putting together full courses for partnered learning platforms online such as Packt and Pluralsight. We also hang out in a fun and welcoming Slack, and the and water-cooler video chats on a weekly basis to stay in touch. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I look forward to filming and creating a lot of new material in the coming months!

I’ll be keeping tally of my course and snip creations, and look forward to sharing with everyone. Keep an eye out for more, as my first snip should be getting published soon!



From Student to Instructor in ~ 3 years

Earlier this year Harper College of Illinois approached me with the opportunity to teach the CompTIA A+ Certification preparation course. This was the first certification that I had earned in my IT career about 4 years ago, and now I was being given the chance to lead new students through it. I did not expect a huge turnout for the course, but boy was I in for a surprise. Not only did the class have enough students to run, but there was also going to be a new Apprenticeship program beginning for CyberSecurity apprentices from local companies. There were 9 students in total.

This fledgling SysAdmin, whose only experience teaching was setting up some Lunch and Learns for technical staff and leading some Model United Nations simulations in college, jumped in the deep end with this new pursuit. Over the last 6 weeks (6 week course, two 4-hour classes per week), I have spent long hours preparing for edge-case questions, building scenarios to use the knowledge, and apply my own experiences to the materials to give real-world business case situations for its use. In this process I’ve taught myself some new material, learned about different teaching styles to keep people from yawning, and discovered that while normally I’m quite introverted this process of teaching is very fulfilling and brings out a more talkative side.

Using both materials provided by the college and my own home lab excess materials, we have dug into the entire list of objectives for the 901 and 902 CompTIA A+ exams. I hope that I have set up my students and apprentices for success, and built some relationships in the meantime as a guide into a career in IT. It is my hope that the students will lean on what we have covered, and if needed reach out to me as a sounding board in the future.

The Continuing Education department has invited me to teach the spring semester as well. I am immensely looking forward to a batch of new faces to the A+ class. With a little more time to plan, we’re hopeful to make the next round even more fun for everyone involved.

This next course run, I plan on blogging at least once a week about topics covered, stories of use cases, and digging a little deeper than the base objectives along the way.