Posted by: Brien Posey
If you have been reading my blog lately, then you know that Windows 7 is just off the horizon, and that Microsoft recently released something called Windows Azure. On top of that, Service Pack 2 for Vista and for Windows Server 2008 is currently in beta testing. My point is that when it comes to Windows, things tend to change very quickly. So how can you keep up?
Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you what forks for me. Probably the most important thing that I do to stay on top of what is current is that I read everything that I can get my hands on. In fact, the various TechTarget newsletters are an excellent source of current information.
Microsoft also provides on demand Web casts that I use for training purposes. Not all of the Webcasts are relevant to what I do, so I have to pick and choose, but the Webcasts are definitely helpful, and you can play them at any time. You can find the most recent Webcasts at: http://www.microsoft.com/events/webcasts/ondemand.mspx
I also think that it is important to understand both the capabilities and the limitations of current Windows operating systems. Thoroughly understanding the current operating systems will help you to better understand why Microsoft is making certain changes to future operating systems. I personally like to read various guides to the certification exams. The reason why I use more than one is because each author presents the material in a slightly different way. Of course I am biased in that I like my own certification books too (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%22Brien+Posey%22).
While I am on the subject of training materials, I also like the training videos produced by a company called Train Signal (www.trainsignal.com). In my opinion, their training videos are first rate, and are often easier to follow than written text.
Finally, I try to go to quite a few IT conferences each year. Yes, traveling to a bunch of conferences is expensive, but conferences give you a first hand look at what’s going on in the IT industry. They also give you the opportunity to interact first hand with the people who are driving the industry.