Pillar 6

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).

 

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.

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.

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)

EP004: Career Blogger Mike McRitchie on telling your story in an Interview

Today, we sit down with Career Blogger Mike McRitchie.  Mike McRitchie works with people who’ve progressed in their technical or managerial career but who are feeling stuck.

He performs a “Career Checkup” where he helps them uncover their accomplishments, unique gifts and cool stories, and then performs a “Brand Alignment” – translating that into a résumé and LinkedIn profile that gets noticed.

00:00 Intro.

07:00 Skills discussions and where to build skills.

10:00 Networking Discussions in tech.

11:30 Preston ask the degree question.

18:30 Mike talks about pivoting into a new career, and how he’s helped people to do this.

21:00 The question that torpedo’s people in tech interviews ‘Tell Me About Yourself’- without bragging.

29:00 Pillar 6 – Being the dumbest person in the room, whenever possible.

30:30 (Loosely Paraphrased) You do you man… you do you.

37:00 Talking introversion and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

40:30 Two passionate side gigger’s talk side gig.

44:00 How Mike helps people market themselves.

To find Mike McRitchie on the web:

1: Go here for Mike McRitchie‘s resume and LinkedIn profile writing services.

2: You can also get Mike‘s free report about the One Thing you need on your resume that you otherwise risk NOT getting called for an interview.

Episode 001: Lifelong Learning with Julian Rodriguez 5x CCIE, CCDE and Master of Alphabet Soup.

In this Episode, I talk with Julian Rodriguez, a friend from many years back.  We talk through his expanding arsenal of certifications, currently including 5 CCIE’s, a CCDE, VCIX-NV, CISSP, Masters Degree, Undergrad and many others.  I circle back through our decade of knowing each other, and I get to fanboy a little bit.

00:00: Intro.

02:00: Julian’s Origin Story.

06:00: Julian’s Main Philosophy.

08:00: Julian Answer ‘WHY’.

17:00: Dealing with Failure (a lot).

28:30: H1B Immigration rough ride.

33:00: An edge for those wanting to immigrate.

36:00: When to Pivot.

41:00: Julian proves he’s a consultant and gives me ‘It depends’.

47:00: When Julian studies/time philosophy.

51:00: What’s next, and programming skills.

54:00: Pillar 6 showing up in Study Groups.

Episode 000: What drives an ultra-high-performer in tech?

Welcome to The Angle Free IT podcast.

Hey, I’m glad you’re here!  In this Episode, we explore all of the ins and outs of having a position within Tech throughout all different types of industries.  The focus of what we do is “How is it that some people get so much further ahead in their careers, and how do I do that too?”.  In this episode I explore the following:

00:00 : My motivation for starting the show.

05:20 : My Hypothesis.

08:45 : I’d Love your feedback.

10:00 : I’m ruining your misconceptions, but giving you the power to build them better.

11:30 : What ‘Angle Free’ means to me.

16:00 : Do what I do, not what I DID.

21:00 : You are Awesome – thanks!

Pillar 6: Make sure you surround yourself with smarter people.

6: Make sure you surround yourself with smarter people.

This pillar, #6 extends outside of work as well as inside.  Make sure you are constantly surrounded by high-quality people.  So how do you go about this at work?  First off, say you’ve got like 10 people in your department.  Find the 3 smartest people and see if you can be put on projects with them, or accompany them.  Go eat lunch with them.  See what things they’re reading and working on – are they things that would benefit you as well?

Now I’m not saying you need to BE them, just be around them.  It’s a weird, but the universal truth that when you hang out with high performers, you perform better.  When you hang out with the slackers, you start to let your productivity drop and work ‘dumber’ instead of ‘smarter’.  For more information on slacker and Debbie Downers, see pillar 5, because 99.98% of the time they’re the ‘actively disengaged’ employees that are NOT the people you want to emulate in your career.

Maybe you work solo or have work with what I would off the cuff dub ‘the actively disengaged’ employee. Even President Camacho from Idiocracy understood this concept, so if he gets it – we should too!  Make sure you are AROUND people you want to be around all the time, and act the way you want to be, or grow into career-wise.

Hey – I think you’re awesome and you should think you’re awesome too! But in reality, I had the fortunate event of marrying my wife Emily incredibly young. We were poor as church mice when we first started out and my wife picked up some sales training videos from a phenomenal trainer named Zig Ziglar. Zig had this amazing quote “We tend to become the people we hang around the most“. So here is my point about this pillar – be intentional with your relationships!

I never-ever-ever purposefully spend time with people who are toxically trying to bring me down.

 

If I did I would most likely be level 1 helpdesk-ticket-taker-mcgee.

I actively survey my colleagues to see who are the best – and hang out with them.  I do this at clients and friends as well, and so should you!