Friday 10 July 2020

Constantly learning to improve oneself

Experience under review
When I tell people in my professional circle that I have been working with Microsoft System Management Server (SMS) since 1996 with version 1.1, it is neither to intimidate nor to show off, but I hope it comes with a sense of authority that I have an idea of what I am talking about. This knowledge has defined the majority of my professional career.
Experience is a good thing and the SMS we knew then has gone through many name changes and version iterations, features added on, deprecated, evolving and maybe even transmogrifying into a monster of client, user, device, application, and data management proportions.
It became System Center Configuration Manager which we termed SCCM that the professionals called ConfigMgr, then last year, the name changed to Endpoint Configuration Manager, but we have the acronym MEMCM to play with. No questions to that apart from the fact that our Microsoft development and support backchannels prefer it that way and on Twitter, that is the hashtag they will respond too. [Wikipedia: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager]
Exchanging ideas for improvement
We have a large and active community of administrators and architects who not only share ideas, solutions, and tips, we are also the best innovation resource for getting features implemented in the product, some of which I have contributed to going back over 15 years.
That I know how the product works does not mean I am the apostle of product functionality or technology, I am constantly looking for new ideas and perspectives, scenarios others have encountered that they have applied novel solutions to and shared with our community.
I have a test lab at home running on an extensive setup of virtual machines on which I try out ideas and gain conversance with the new features. Nothing works as good as having an issue at work and me logging on to my home network to check things out either to affirm or dispute issues.
Going back to the roots
Yet, more pertinently is the need for someone with my experience to find time to go back over the fundamentals and the essentials. It is important to never assume that the primers or introductions cannot contain new and useful information to help reinforce or finally, debunk a premise that was getting the prominence of gospel truth until the times and changes obviated that assertion.
For my weekend reading, I found a 346-page manual of how to setup MEMCM from scratch, I know a lot of it, and I and still learn much more, I am open to new knowledge that would give my expertise more heft. The job of learning never ends and like I sometimes say, that is a good thing.