Q: Any resolutions for the New Year?
A: Yeah, 4K. *rimshot*
With the passing of another year usually comes a new set of goals, expectations, and yes, resolutions to make and (likely) break. So what about your resolutions this year? We asked the hallowed SpiceWorks community to weigh in on their IT resolutions for 2015. Apart from the wiseguys who resolved to not make any resolutions at all, answers fell into four basic categories.
- Learning based goals, namely finishing a bachelor’s degree, or updating MCSA certification.
- Upgrading goals, namely server upgrades in light of the coming Windows Server 2003 expiration.
- Career or work goals, like earning more money and being more patient with users—each was mentioned more than once.
- Wellness goals, like eating more vegetables and getting more exercise.
Since keeping resolutions proves far more difficult than making them, we have assembled this list of resources geared toward making you a better IT professional and all-around human being this year. We’ll break items down goal by goal.
Upgrading Goals: 2015 is the year of the server. We tackled issues surrounding preparation for Microsoft Server 2003 end of life (set to take place July 14) in Microsoft Server 2003 End of Life: 5 Silver Linings. Here we make suggestions about hardware to check out for running up-to-date servers, and considerations for planning out deployment. If you’re thinking about whether to piece together a server yourself instead of buying one, we weigh the pros and cons here, in Servers: Build or Buy.
Learning Goals: For training users, lets look at couple handy resources. For general computing proficiency, we touch on this here: Computer Literacy: Do Not Assume, Test. For training users on security, we offer plenty of tips and tricks in this article: 10 Steps for Anti-Phishing Training.
Now for IT pros: more than one SpiceWorks respondent mentioned taking the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator) test for Microsoft Server licensing. A good recommendation for this is to check out the objectives listed on the Microsoft site, and start hands-on training by building your own lab environment. The Hyper-V environment in Windows 8 provides a useful starting point for working with a hypervisor layer. All you need is a single server machine with an i5 or i7 processor with room for several hard disk drives or one larger solid state drive (SSD). Keep in mind that virtual machines generally require 15-30 GB of disk space to operate.
Work Goals—patience with users: Just like getting a raise or promotion, making gains in having patience managing users must be earned. Virtues, specifically patience, come through deliberate practice in stress management. There are plenty of tools available for this. This USB stress ball transforms kinetic stress energy into digital catharsis—a squeeze will pulverize images, delete sarcastic e-mail replies before you send them, destroy documents, and more. Many workplace health efforts recommend stretching exercises to combat stress as well. Stowing a light yoga mat in the office aids in this, and can be a comfy platform for a quick power nap.
Wellness Goals: Perhaps this is the year to ditch vending machine snacks at work. Fruit, nuts, and other foods high in protein should take the place of traditional breakroom fare that’s full of sugar, salt, and preservatives. Consider a few of these tools for healthy snacking for the office kitchen. A juicers or extractor for making fresh fruit- and veggie-based drinks and smoothies; a steam cooker for fresh vegetables, and a filtered water dispenser to add an alternative to caffeinated or sugary beverages. Having the right items in the kitchen will encourage light food preparation at lunch time, and encourage healthier (and less expensive) eating habits at the office.
Simply stating a resolution is not good enough to bring it into fruition. Preparedness breeds success in these types of endeavors. We hope these items help you achieve a healthier and more goal-driven 2015.