5 Thoughts on Staying Sharp and Relevant (Boston)

5 Thoughts on Staying Sharp and Relevant (Boston)

This presentation contains some thoughts and ideas about how we learn & how we manage information in today's fast-changing IT industry.

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Scott Lowe

June 19, 2013
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Transcript

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    5 Thoughts on Staying Sharp and Relevant Some thoughts and

    ideas on learning and thinking for today’s IT pros Scott Lowe, VCDX 39 vExpert, Author, Blogger, Geek http://blog.scottlowe.org / Twitter: @scott_lowe
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    Before we start • Get involved! Audience participation is encouraged

    and requested. • If you use Twitter, feel free to tweet about this session (use @BostonVMUG or hashtag #BOVMUG) • I encourage you to take photos or videos of today’s session and share them online • This presentation will be made available online after the event
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    • Two thoughts or ideas about learning • Three things

    I think are worth learning • 2 + 3 = 5 Agenda
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    • Metacognition: it’s useful to think about thinking (specifically with

    regard to how we learn) • Rapid pace of change within IT means that we are under constant pressure to learn • I’d like to share two thoughts or ideas on the learning process • First, an approach to assimilating new information • Second, some tools for managing information Two thoughts or ideas about learning
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    “An VNI terminated on an NVE may locally associate to

    one or more VAPs each of which may associated with one or more TESs.” - Taken from IETF document draft-mity-nvo3-use-case-00.txt
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    “Storage connectivity using Fibre Channel, iSCSI, SVD, and FCoE is

    supported with VMware vMSC configurations.” - Taken from VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster Case Study
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    • In education, there’s a “classical education” approach • Classical

    education has three major phases: • Grammar: focuses on facts, mechanics, vocabulary • Logic: focuses on the reasons behind the facts • Rhetoric: focuses on drawing conclusions, presenting information to others • Classical education is often repetitive, each iteration more in- depth than the previous Assimilating new information
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    • How can we, as IT pros, apply this to

    our situation? • When learning a new product or technology, first define the terminology. (grammar) • Once you’ve learned the vocabulary, then move to a deeper understanding of how it works. (logic) • After you understand how it works, find the relationships and connect it to something you already know. (rhetoric) • Lather, rinse, repeat! Assimilating new information (continued)
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    • In 2008, I came across a web page that

    discussed something called “Q-tools” • You can find the original article at http:// www.davegrayinfo.com/2008/06/04/q-tools/ • These are a set of proposed tools (questions) to help people manage information Managing information
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    • Prism: used to break information down into subgroups •

    Razor: used to divide information or for binary sorting • Generator: used to explore new territory or new ideas • Peeler: used to drive deeper and deeper into a subject • Flanker: used for lateral thinking and explore similar ideas • Splicer: used to build information structures by finding similarities • Pointer: used to gather information Managing information (continued)
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    • How can we, as IT pros, apply these tools

    to our situation? • You’re trying to learn a complex new technology with many different parts. (Prism: break it down) • You’re stuck on a problem and can’t seem to make headway. (Flanker: think laterally, or generator: new ideas) • You want to gain a better understanding of a particular solution. (Peeler: go deeper) • You want to link something you've learned back to existing knowledge. (Splicer: find similarities) Managing information (continued)
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    “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains

    its original dimensions.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1809-1894
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    • Linux • Automation • PowerCLI, vCenter Orchestrator, scripting languages

    • Automation is a lever that multiplies your force • Configuration management • Think Puppet, Chef, or CFEngine • Your servers should not be snowflake servers! • See http://martinfowler.com/bliki/SnowflakeServer.html Three Four things to learn
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    Three Four things to learn (continued) • A foreign language

    • Studies show that learning a foreign language can provide a “cognitive boost” • See http://www2.uwstout.edu/content/lib/thesis/ 2008/2008boesen.pdf • Some studies indicate prolonged bilingualism is needed for the cognitive boost, other studies say merely the act of studying a foreign language is enough—no conclusive evidence either way
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    Thank you! Don’t forget to provide feedback and rate this

    session on the last page of your Program Guide.