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so much to know, I have to start somewhere.

By XnavyDK ·
I need some suggestions on what to study. I have the attention span of a flea. I have been reading everything from basic server 03 to server 08. Security, group policy, (now scripting //sigh) I am jumping from subject to subject but I am afraid I don't know enough and if something happens that I don't know how to fix, it will be too late. So I am planning to buy some MCSE books, any ideas suggestions which ones would be good for someone who is not completely clueless, but has holes in knowledge.
I more of a hands on learner, but pop up pictures are nice.

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Have you looked for online resources?

by Tig2 In reply to so much to know, I have ...

Or CDs of study material?

I SOOOOO understand the whole "attention span of a flea" thing. That would perfectly describe me. I find that I am able to concentrate better on something on the screen than on the book on my lap.

I think that I am hearing some fear here. I hate to break it to you but there is just no way that you can reasonably know everything that there is to know about stuff. Certainly, study and learn. You have a good plan there. But realize that a problem will come up one day that you won't have the answer for. That's when you login to TR and put out a distress call.

Tell us what level of competency you are aiming for. I'll bet that the folks will be able to give you a hand building a road map.

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I have to get away from it

by XnavyDK In reply to Have you looked for onlin ...

The comp is a major distraction for me. for example I have 18 browser windows/tabs open right this moment. I need a book so I can walk away and focus. My immediate goal I think should be MCSE, server/network related.

I know online is a good resource, I use it all the time, its just a distraction also.

I am not exactly afraid, I think its more apprehension, because you and I know, something is bound to hit the fan.

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I sure understand that!

by Tig2 In reply to I have to get away from i ...

My partner was at his job for 30 years. He grew with the company to the role of Application Architect, designed the production systems in use, was the "go-to" for much of manufacturing support. He's been out of there since September. I know that the Holidays is not when companies start looking for people but it will be interesting to see if the market opens up any come January.

The MS PR books that Kjell recommends are good ones. Any book that provides you with practice tests is going to be a good one. You might want to look for a general volume on routing also- try Cisco Press for stuff like that.

Palmetto and JD are both Network guys. I know that JD is generally open to receiving peer mail if he doesn't respond in this thread. They both generally have good input. And Kjell is another one of the good guys.

From someone else with a limited attention span (ADHD here) I would recommend that you set yourself study goals daily or weekly that you can do in an hour. If you're familiar with the SAMs books, that is generally how they structure. Do an hour of study then go do something else. You can go back to study after at least 30 minutes of other activity. Don't exceed the hour though. You'll find that it is easier to stay focused on what you are doing and you will tend to retain more of it.

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by XnavyDK In reply to I sure understand that!

Thanks Tigger! Great advice I will try the hour thing. I was so burnt out yesterday by the time I got home I crashed and burned.

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Study goals

by Tig2 In reply to O,O!!

I tend to set study goals by the week. That way when the inevitable "something" comes up, I have flexibility and can still make the goal.

Burning out is a no-no. You won't retain anything if you are wiped. Trust me.

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My recommendation

by Kjell_Andorsen In reply to so much to know, I have ...

if you want to get the MCSE go with the MS PRess "Self paced training kits" for each individual exam. I've found these books to be the best overall study guides. They also come with plenty of lab exercises and Measureup practice exams so you get a lot of value for your money.

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Thanks, very nice.

by XnavyDK In reply to My recommendation

I am going to buy this one I think.
MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-290, 70-2**, 70-293, 70-294): Microsoft? Windows Server? 2003 Core Requirements, Second Edition.

I wonder if I should get my boss to buy it... lol

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Your profile says you're a manager

by CharlieSpencer In reply to so much to know, I have ...

I assume that means you have subordinates. Look at the skills required for their jobs and pick the one you know the least about. As a manager you aren't expected to know those skills in detail, but you should be able to discuss them intelligently with those subordinates.

On the other hand, if the title implies management of non-human resources, make a list of the technologies you deal with on a daily basis. Again, pick the area where you feel your lack of knowledge would have the greatest impact if there was a problem.

Still don't have anything you like? Make a list of skills needed to do whatever you'd like to do for your next job. Again, prioritize them.

In order to minimize the distractions, configure an older, slower system to use when you're trying examples, testing procedures, etc. Choose one fast enough to get the job done, but slow enough that web surfing, games, etc are too painful to bother with. Stick in a low-end video card; you don't need 256 million colors at 80,000 x 60,000 resolution for studying and admin work. Don't load any entertainment or media applications beyond what's necessary to access web-based tutorials.

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manager of many, just not people

by XnavyDK In reply to Your profile says you're ...

I have no subordinates, but the machines, they blink at me. I'm responsible for everything that plugs into or looks like a computer or has the word electronic in it. Even the laser guided scissors one of the secretaries has. I think my main concern is the fundamentals of how things work and WHY they are.

your right, I need to prioritize. I think I should start from the basics and gain a better understanding of the workings of things like DNS, NAT, routing, firewalls, DHCP. The tech support side I am in good shape, not I can fix or repair. Its the networking side I need. I'm also doing OK with the servers mostly, not much kicking me in the teeth as far as operation and performance is concerned.

I believe that I am losing valuable info somewhere being self taught I think its time to use that GI bill money.

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I'd start with a basic TCP/IP tutorial

by CharlieSpencer In reply to manager of many, just not ...

That would be like learning the alphabet, something you have to do before you can learn to read. There are plenty of good on-line tutorials, and I believe there's a 'TCP/IP for Dummies' you can probably get used on Amazon. Bury it in the budget under 'Office Supplies'

Hey, there's a 'for Dummies' for almost everything. They're good starter material, although I wouldn't hire someone if those are the only reference books they've got. On the other hand the O'Reilly books are first-rate professional references, but some of them assume a level of knowledge beyond that of a raw beginner. They do have few entry level books.

I like to read tech manuals and magazines over lunch, although it will get you some strange looks from co-workers. Once a QA manager walked by and said, "That looks like work!" I gave the only possible response: "How would you know?"

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