Opinion on Training Opportunity

So, I am a seasoned IT admin (A Senior Lead) with 15+ years of experience.   I work mostly in Windows and VMware, but am a jack of all trades.

There have been many changes here were I work, and for the first time in over 10 years, I may have a budget to get some travel/training.  So, if you had an opportunity for some training or even a conference (In the next 3-4 months), what would you try and do?

Right now I am thinking about VMware training, MS, or maybe some Cloud stuff.  Are there any conferences coming up?

I will add this.  The training I have had some 10+ years ago was with standard Windows Server Cert classes from MS, and I never found it very useful.
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I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I think it depends on how you learn personally, do you prefer online training, going away for 5 days in a room being trained, reading books, and forums - Training. Microsoft will be having more Tech Days (Free!).

Meeting and Networking, VMware and Microsoft are very strong socially, Microsoft has MVA, and later EDX, VMware has Hands on Labs...

What is beneficial to you personally, and your organisation (as they will be funding you!)

What makes you tick...

Do you prefer to attend Conferences, e.g. TechEd, Ignite which is in May in the US.

see here


VMworld which is both held in the US and Europe....(VMworld - oh, EE are sponsoring me to go!)

US - September 2015, Europe - October 2015.

Also if you are wanting to complete Certifications, you will need to undertake VMware Courses, not so with Microsoft.

Have you thought about Certifications....?

Personally, I would move outside of your comfort zone, and do something completely different, new skills....with training...

e,g. Development, DevOps, Scripting, Powershell.... and then you can do things with this to aide your Administration.

It's up to you to change, and alter your Career path.... don't carry on doing the same old boring Admin stuff!
Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
It really depends on what you are after.  Are you looking for education/certification to improve your skills? Then taking classes would be the way to go. That brings up what type of skill set are you wanting to improve/learn?

Are you looking to see what is happening in IT world like what new stuff is being released, what directions the major companies are looking at? The conferences would be the way to go.

A couple of good conferences coming up the end of April:



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"The training I have had some 10+ years ago was with standard Windows Server Cert classes from MS, and I never found it very useful."

I think you answered your question - no Microsoft training.  I'm a Windows NT Server era MCSE and I have no problem working on the 2003 and 2012 servers in our office.

I too, am a jack-of-all-trades, but I'm not a master at any of it. I'm going to ASS-U-ME that your company is using VMware and is contemplating, or have moved, services to "the Cloud".  Pick the one you think you'll get the most useful information from, which IMO, would be the VMware training.

If your company doesn't have any VMware or is not contemplating going to "the Cloud", I look at security training, like maybe CISSP.  Hacking is only going to get worse and no company appears to be paying attention to privacy issues.

Plus, you can take it with you anywhere.
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loftywormAuthor Commented:
I am less interested in and official cert, but training to help me in my day to day job as a windows/VMware admin would be nice.

Mostly though, as I think about it, I think that what pony10us said strikes a chord.  I think I would like to know what is out there and may be able to help our organization (Education).  More specifically, the cloud.

If I can be personal and honest for a moment, I hate the cloud.  Maybe I just hate change, but this is the weakest part of my/our portfolio, and I expect that it (and open stack) are going to be big coming in the future.  I kinda feel I need to ride the wave or get swept under.  Maybe this is where I should be looking.
Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
If I can be personal and honest for a moment, I hate the cloud

Couldn't agree more.  I have been working in the IT side of banking for almost 40 years.  With all the security regulations and need to keep personal information secure the thought of moving that to "the cloud" is scary.

Having said that, I don't know that it will be something that can be avoided much longer.  Adobe is a good example. They made the choice with their latest version of Creative Suite to only offer it through the cloud. Microsoft is another good example with Office 365. It was designed specifically with the cloud in mind.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Microsoft Server OS will always be around, and you will need to manage them, if you move to the Cloud, you'll not be managing a VMware or Openstack solution! (unless it's your Personal Cloud!)

Your Cloud Provider will be managing that, but you will need to interface, to the OS and Cloud from your Offices.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
I'm surprised that no one mentioned Experts-Exchange. Find some areas that you feel competent in or areas that you are weak in and follow the questions and answers or research your own answers. You will learn more in less time than a specialized course.  

For Vmware, look at Andy Hancock's articles here and follow his questions, he is a definite expert in Vmware in the mid to enterprise environment.  

The environment has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, some of the old stand-by fixes are no longer relevant, yet some things remain the same.

Biggest advice is to set up a lab environment to test things, and get familiar with the new offerings available
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would agree with @David Johnson, our Consultants, all have their own labs, we have our own labs, where we are always building and tearing down solutions for all technologies, VMware, Microsoft and Citrix.

Personally, we are not fans of courses, because they Follow a Syllabus designed to pass an exam.

We are often called on to provide valuable On-Site Training, based on real-world issues, and there are lots of Real-World issues here at EE..

(BTW.Thanks David for your kind words.)
Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
If you already have experience working with VMware and aren't already familiar then you might be interested in learning more about containers such as Docker , Vagrant, Puppet, or Chef.
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
since you have windows and vm, you want to brush up on your skills and add hyper v to the mix
loftywormAuthor Commented:
TY all for your input, it really helped a lot :)

I will reply with a minor note that I already participate in EE quite a bit.  And am starting to more now days.  I am always trying to stay on the edge, but it is getting harder, as I am sure you would all agree.   I already have a lab environment, and Hyper V is not in our future.  TY again, for all your input!
loftywormAuthor Commented:
Final choice will probably be Interop Conference
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