Episodes

EP015: Mini Coaching with Willie Moore – WGU degree options

One thing we do a LOT around Angle Free IT and online on forums is giving advice.  It’s kinda my ‘thing’ because I couldn’t find a non-anonymous way to get tech career advice online.  At the same time, people want and have asked for personalized coaching sessions to get them pointed in the right direction.  I wanted to let you listen in on one of the first mini-coaching sessions we did a few months ago with a longtime friend and listener Willie Moore.  It focuses on WGU degree options for technology folks.  I think you’ll enjoy it, especially if you’re on the fence about WGU, or what degree options you are looking into.

02:00 Intro.

05:00 ISA degree vs Networking degree.

12:00 Why WGU worked for me.

16:00 Willie discussing which ones worked.

20:00 Doing vs Telling and why they’re different things.

30:00 Programming skills and why they’re key in the future.

EP014: Neil Moore 8X CCIE, CCDE, RHCE and all the other E’s on InterOp being what makes his career (and yours too).

Yes, this interview is with THE Neil Moore – the guy who is tied with only one other human on the planet for having every Expert level cert from Cisco – All CCIE’s and the CCDE.  I first found out about Neil through a YouTube channel he had when he was at HP doing some interop stuff with their switches.  The funny thing is, THAT EXACT CONCEPT is how Neil Views his success.  Listen in on this amazing interview, there is so much wisdom in it!

00:00 Neil Moore – Who he is started with the computer lab at Panamerican University, and a Highschool job doing PC stuff.
07:00 Refinement of the CCIE study process – from the guy who has them all.
09:00 INE and IP expert (RIP IPX [the training company and the protocol!])
13:00 Combining technologies as a superpower.
17:00 It’s not about the money for Neil. It’s about something he’s passionate about AND something he likes to do.
21:00 Making sure your training process isn’t too old, and not boxing yourself in to learning methods.
24:00 Unbidden, it’s Pillar 6!
25:00 Certs are structured learning – and Neil’s take.
28:00 Software has become like sampling songs – learning everything that you think is cool tends to pop up again and again.
30:00 Choosing a technology based on what you LIKE – so that you keep interest
32:30 Code RGV and how Neil Gives back to the next wave of tech workers
34:30 Mentoring – You can’t get off the couch and run a marathon. You have to train yourself up – Neil times zero to hero in 18 months. Pillar 1 and Pillar 6 aplenty.
41:00 Social media and showcasing your work.
44:30 Neil on moving in front of automation and commonality.
48:00 What Neil’s doing now -> Technology hop vs job hopping.
52:00 The importance of knowing people inside your company or outside who can think about a problem with you.
54:30 Neil Moore’s dedicated learning time – 1 to 2 hours per day, 7 days a week.
59:00 Min/Maxing your study time and time boxing stuff that is frustrating.

Find Neil online at LinkedIn (HERE), and on Twitter (HERE).

More can be found about Neil’s methodology about CCIE study on the How To Network blog entry (HERE).

 

EP013: Cisco NetDevOps Evangelist Hank Preston on smart people learning new things (even when it’s scary).

 

I never do quite know when I will stumble across someone who I think “I must have this person on my podcast”.  A Cisco Network Automation webinar was one such place, when I met Hank Preston, the NetDevOps Evangelist for Cisco Networks.  He had a HUGE amount of great knowledge to share with us on this episode.  Tackling Pillar 4, Explaining Automation, and talking about why people screw themselves up by not listening.

00:00 Intro for Hank Preston.
10:00 Network Programmability Basics Course (here)
15:00 What is CI/CD and Network Pipelining
17:30 Network Configuration Pipeline
24:00 MEETUP!
29:00 Deep Learning vs Wide Learning – Don’t look for unicorns.
31:00 Developer.cisco.com discussions.
36:00 Discussion on certs and their value.
41:00 SE Jobs and how listening and not snap judgment is the key.
50:00 Everyone’s favorite buzzword – IoT.

You can find Hank online at @hfpreston and @ciscodevnet. He also gives killer webinars about using programmability to automate your network.

EP012: Jason Abbott – Dropout to Director with a bunch of barriers.

Episode 12 on deck!  One of the coolest things I get to do is catch up with people I’ve fanboy’d over.  Jason Abbott probably had very little idea how much he inspired or helped me along in my career when we worked together, probably because I was fairly aloof and terrible at troubleshooting when he first met me.  Nevertheless, he took me under his wing, even when I wasn’t ‘his guy’ and taught me a lot of invaluable skills (which he had been taught from Strata Chalup – Episode 8). We talked about his willingness to just put himself out there and attempt stuff when no one else would, and how that’s propelled him along in his career.

Recently Jason Abbott moved into a Director of IT position – and I can’t commend his CIO highly enough for his selection.  He will do amazing there, I’m sure, and I’m very happy for my friend!

00:00 Intro – Chicago to Atlanta for 10-Base-2 ??
04:30 The moment that could’ve held Jason down.
08:00 WGU and mention of a secret episode I haven’t released as of this episode!
15:00 The Strata Chalup connection from LISA.
18:00 The origins of the ‘SNMP’ framework (at LISA, in fact).
24:00 Jason’s lateral move, and the Lippizaner Philosophy.
30:30 Honesty and frankness with a new role.
32:00 PILLAR 1 ABIDES.
34:00 A new OSI model mnemonic for you all!
37:00 Abandoning old for the new – maybe not ALWAYS the best solution.
41:30 EXPECT scripting and the Israeli bet agains Jason and Preston.
44:30 Why putting yourself out there is worth it.
48:00 Understanding how a crazy person thinks and getting a diversity of thought, and Pillar 6.
52:00 Unbidden – Jason brings up my favorite internet spot – meetup, and one I hadn’t thought about – Toastmasters.
55:30 Pillar 1 – AGAIN!
56:40 The Strata Chalup Episode – related to Jason.

EP011: Jeff Snyder on why coaching is not ‘Crazy Hippie’ stuff.

 

I met Jeff Snyder many years ago when I did my own pivot into Network Security from a straight networking position. I was really ‘stuck’ in making progress moving from one discipline (networking and plumbing of the network) to another discipline (security policy and implementation). Jeff gave me tips – unpaid and unbidden – that helped me shift my mindset and land my first consulting job that spanned what I knew (networking and VoIP) with what I wanted to do (Network Security). In the years that have passed since we first connected on LinkedIn, Jeff’s coaching practice has matured, and now he even has famous clients such as the producer of the Angle Free IT podcast. This episode is chock full of actionable changes we can make in our careers – defintely a must listen.

00:00 Intro to Jeff Snyder and Jeff’s Origin Story
04:30 The double sided coin of getting into security.
07:00 Phone interview skills and prep.
10:00 The ‘one’ trick for listening and answering a question without screwing yourself out of a good answer.
12:00 In person interview tricks (get a pen, pause to take notes – see 10:00 …)
17:00 Seek to ‘learn’ before you begin to ‘tell’.
20:00 Counteroffer advice.
27:00 What is a coach and how to find a good one.
34:00 Becoming a ‘Trusted Advisor’ vs ‘The Smartest Person in the Room’.
39:00 StrengthsFinder and why it might matter.
56:00 Coaching vs Motivation.

You can find Jeff at his website HERE.  I work with him and highly recommend him.  I know I have surveyed my audience and one common theme that came up again and again from more seior level people was : What now??  Jeff can help you with that.  I probably can too, but if you’re in his hyperniche of Sr -> Director or Director -> CxO, he’s your guy.

EP010: AI and MVI talk with Patrick Barnard from sites such as gamersloot.net

Hey there Navigators!  I had the absolute fortune to catch Patrick Barnard at an internet cafe between his two latest sojourn trips to the Philipines.  Patrick is a fearless entrepreneur who has made some pretty phenomenal companies throughout the years.  I will say, the time we connected the audio was a bit funky with background noise – BUT – the interview was SO GREAT.  Bonus points to anyone who DM’s me the funniest background outbreak!  We talked about Artificial Intelligence (AI) skills, the automation displacement crisis that is looming, and talk about things such as minimum viable income for those displaced by the AI revolution.

00:00 Who is Patrick Barnard?

08:00 Why Patrick created Gamersloot, the largest distributor of World of Warcraft at one point – including countries such as Antarctica and Moldova.

10:00 Outsourcing game leveling in Romania, and cultural backlash.

14:00 AI as the next ‘Internet’.

17:00 What if AI could hire people versus a human?  Patrick sees the Pros vs Cons.

20:00 Job candidate differentiators from a guy who is a potential sensor, vs HR manager.

26:00 Why you should be eager to learn, and not limiting yourself.

30:00 Having an Idea, Having a Partner in business, and trusting others with the execution of said idea.

34:00 Facing fears, and why Patrick calls himself fearless.

41:00 What MBO can do, and how you have to look for quality when you use it (fiverr as an example).

44:00 Minimum Guaranteed Income and other ideas that Patrick thing ‘are not crazy at all’.

50:00 Bonus internet cafe background craziness.

EP009: Jim Manico – Trainer from Manicode.com, Developer, and OWASP speaker on secure coding.

Jim Manico and I connected a few years ago through some of the OWASP meetings he presented at in Denver.  He was talking about cross-site scripting prevention, and in the brief training, I knew that Jim would be a great person to know if I ever needed to educate people.  Fast forward a few years, and here we are talking about secure coding and how to train the world of developers that they’re security engineers first now.  Jim and I talked about Manicode and his journey of owning his own business, and what that process has been like for him.

00:00 Intro.
04:00 Going solo and Pillar 4 makes an appearance.
07:00 How to code.
10:00 How to talk to your security folks if you’re a developer.
22:00 Software development is a team sport.
24:00 Jim’s career goals.
30:00 Times Jim’s made a pivot successfully.
33:00 Mentorship and PIllar 6.
37:00 Handling burnout.
39:00 Jim loves LEMUR – The certificate orchestration suite from Netflix.

Tools that Jim touched on: OWASP ASVs, OWASP Cheat Sheet Series, and last but certainly not least Jim’s Training website, Manicode.com.  If you need any coding training done – I can’t recommend Jim highly enough.  Fidelity is measured by small steps over many years, and Jim is who he is today because he’s the same guy I met years ago, only better.

EP008: Small Goat Farm to Massive Server Farms with Storied Developer, Author, Blogger, and Speaker Strata Chalup.

Ep-008-Strata-Chalup-Author-Blogger-Superstar-and-Speaker

 

Today on this episode of Angle Free IT I got together with Strata Chalup, who is a Developer, Author, Blogger, and Speaker from many conferences, including the LISA conference.  Strata has been an influential person in my career because of her framework on troubleshooting.  I got it from a friend who saw her speech at LISA and have gone over it many times with people.  If you’re interested, I have a link to it below the show notes.  We touch on Interview Strategies, Solopreneuring, and Strata’s dynamic career pivots.

01:00: Intro with Strata.
04:30: When to go solo consulting versus employee.
06:00: How to skill build by learning frameworks.
07:45: Strata’s how to troubleshoot presentation and what impact it had on Preston’s career. Logic vs knowledge.
10:30: Diversity and inclusion – today versus yesterday – and what still needs to change.  Talk about Pillar 1 as well.
16:30: Imposter sydrome and battling it.
19:45: Joining IT when you’re not fresh out of school.
21:00: ‘Just’ is not just a phrase. It’s a nightmare.
23:00: Conduit – the race to the bottom price and how it affects Tech. Your job is to find out what is going “to be tires” in a few years and stay away from that.
24:30: Mentorship discussions, talk about Pillar 6.
27:00: Building a brand via values.
29:00: Things to avoid when looking to interview – ‘You should be able to explain a technical answer on a subway if you have one stop’.
31:00: Thoughts on pivots, and how Strata has accomplished pivots. PM-ing vs hands on.
34:30: Guest turnover – things Strata Loves: Arduino, and Adafruit. Also – super cool book Vehicles

You can find the latest book Strata Co-Authored Here.

Later on, we talked about Arduino programming – and I found a great starter set for people interested here.  For small Arduino parts, I love the Colorado company Spark Fun, which can be found at http://www.sparkfun.com.

As well, we touched on a cool robotics book from MIT that Strata was talking about can be found here.

EP007: Jeff Bowdin – Director, Dad of Daughters, and Dynamo of the 80%.

In episode 007 of the Angle Free IT podcast, I sat down to get a lesson in priorities and reality from IT Director Jeff Bowden. Jeff is very saged with his experience in technology and we met online in a few forums in which we both help people out with career questions.  We talked about a lot of things, but my highlights were diversity and inclusion, Prioritization and the 80% rule that Jeff runs his shop with. I know that I am better for having met Jeff and having gained some of his wisdom, and I am sure you will be too.

00:00 Intro

03:00 Cyclical nature in computing.

07:00 How remote skills are key.

10:00 Degree vs No Degree thoughts.

13:00 Skills Jeff sees as declining and losing their relevance.

22:00 Customer Service is what we end up doing.

29:00 Interview skills for noobs.

31:00 how to clarify your priorities.

38:00 Branching out to determine who the important people in the company are – get outside of technology (mention workplace poker).

40:30 Who some of the most important people in the company are – it’s not who you think it is.

43:30 How Jeff finds mentorship.

47:00 Pivoting and making the jump with both feet.

50:30 The 80% rule explained. Balance and Prioiritzation.

53:00 Jeff gives Preston an unexpected huge compliment.

That cool website Jeff Mentioned is HERE.

EP006: UX Design with disruptor and trainer Tiffany Eaton – Why does UX even matter?

Sometimes, actually – let me rephrase that, a lot of times I know I want to talk to a guest but I have no idea what I’ll gain from them – a lot like UX.  What is UX?  User Experience within a piece of software.  It’s something companies spend A LOT of time on, or don’t – and then fail.  In this episode, we are lucky enough to snag a few cycles of brain time with Tiffany Eaton, UX designer, Medium Author, and upcoming grad/disruptor in the UX field.  Tiffany tells us what the main challenges UX attempts to fix, and how the goals of a UX designer flow.  Come join us for this great conversation – especially if you’ve ever used an app – so all of us, really.

3:00: What is UX?
4:00: Tiffany’s Interning experience, and talking about networking to get the first one.
7:00: Real world projects versus constraints within school – the shock of reality.
11:00: ‘Do I Belong’ game
12:00: Tools of the trade
17:45: Interview prep, and deep researching tips for prep from Tiffany
19:00: STAR method (this was new to Preston – it’s a cool method).
https://www.vawizard.org/wiz-pdf/STAR_Method_Interviews.pdf
22:00: Tiffany educates me on why she feels design doesn’t have nearly as many curmudgeonly folks – it’s just their nature of designing new stuff all the time.
24:00: Millennials don’t care about work that doesn’t matter.
26:00: UX market entry tips. Design of everything book. side projects.
29:00: Deep dive into how UX and programmers actually work.
32:30: Tiffany’s mantra of ‘Not holding users accountable because they don’t think like we do’.
34:00: GAMING TIME! Tiffany’s game and arcade experience, and the specific game she is an aficionado about.

If you’d like to find Tiffany online, go find her online at the following locations:

http://skl.sh/2nal9ZT (Tiffany’s class on UX research)
http://tiffanyeaton.com/asian-sterotype-story-game (Tiffany’s stereotype story game)
https://medium.com/@tiffanyeaton (Tiffany’s Medium account)
http://tiffanyeaton.com (Tiffany’s website)