Hi! I am Jamie, one of two I.T Bods on the site. I have recently changed jobs, which can often seem the “norm” in the I.T industry, with plenty of jobs going out as contracts and a lot of I.T professionals being contractors. I have never been wanted to be known as a person who frequently moves jobs, but sometimes a career change can be a healthy move.
I have had a mixed experience since starting my career in the industry around 5 years ago, from being a one-man band Sys-Admin to working for a small MSP (Managed Service Provider) that eventually got purchased by a managed-print company wanting to get into the more I.T Managed Service space.
Working for MSPs can introduce you to a healthy work/life balance, but this can often change with more clients being on-boarded, new tech and sometimes, even less staff to provide the service. This is exactly what happened at my previous place of employment.
If you browse the Sysadmin Sub-Reddit as often as I do (It can be a great place to learn some new stuff or even find a solution to a problem), you will come across posts relating to job burnout, striking a healthy lifestyle and the stress that can come with working for an MSP.
I think that I have a good healthy work & Life style balance, I tend to have a few hobbies that don’t relate to IT or even technology, such as playing sports, but I feel I had controlled the other hobbies such as gaming and even learning new technical skills, until the past couple of months.
Training for Certs
For the past year or so I have took a major interest in the Cloud space, as it one of the common buzz words of the current I.T world. I had gained my AWS Solution Architect Associate certification in November 2017, and to be honest I have rarely looked at anything AWS since, until we launched this site with the help of Amazon Lightsail.
Since then I have been motivated to get going with Microsoft Azure and their offerings in the cloud space, which had encouraged me to get certified in Azure, with the Azure Administrator Associate badge. Since then, I have been a keen outsider looking in on the latest Azure updates & the whole Azure community that is on Twitter & LinkedIn. I am considering joining an local Azure group which are based out of Manchester City Centre.
These groups can often be a great insight into how other IT professionals are using Azure in their day to day work. People such as Gregor Suttie (now a Microsoft MVP) and Richard Hooper (also a Microsoft MVP), Aka Pixel Robots provide some great websites to help you with getting up to date with Azure.
The new position
My recent change in career has made me move away from the MSP world and into a small IT team with the sole purpose of providing support to one company. Sure I may not touch on different environments as I did working for a MSP, but I will be more focused on improving one environment than dealing with the stress of constant phone calls, tickets and micro-management from the Big Bods above.
Thankfully, there is room to use Microsoft Azure in my new role, with a few large scale projects to migrate their workload to the cloud, such as VMs, Azure Active Directory and more. The Azure certification got my foot in the interview room, so I was thankful for all the learning I had to undertake to get the certification.
The next step in training
I have some sort of plan in place for my personal development in the 6 to 12 months. Here are the certifications I hope to gain:
- Azure Security Engineer Associate – Requires the completion of the AZ-500 Exam (currently in beta). Azure Security Engineers implement security controls and threat protection, manage identity and access, and protect data, applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments as part of end-to-end infrastructure.
- Azure Solutions Architect Expert – Requires the completion of both AZ-300 and AZ-301. Microsoft Azure Solutions Architects must have expertise in compute, network, storage, and security so that they can design solutions that run on Azure.
For more information on the latest Azure certifications, check out Iain Fieldings blog post on the latest routes to get certified