How to build a successful IT career | Greg Hung | Skillshare

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How to build a successful IT career

teacher avatar Greg Hung, Travel Videographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

18 Lessons (1h 21m)
    • 1. IT Course 2021 Intro

    • 2. Why IT?

    • 3. What is IT?

    • 4. Building a Resume part 1

    • 5. Resume part 2

    • 6. Resume part 3

    • 7. How to ace the interview

    • 8. Technical support - Starting your IT career

    • 9. Network Administrator - Starting your career

    • 10. Senior administrator - How to Get This Role & Excel in it

    • 11. Network Manager - starting your career

    • 12. Network Manager - Building out a Strong Team

    • 13. Network Manager - Developing Soft Skills as a Manager

    • 14. Network Manager - Scheduling Effective Team Meetings with a Remote Team

    • 15. Network Manager - Tips for Terminating an Employee

    • 16. Network Manager - relationships with middle & upper management

    • 17. Network Manager - IT fashion

    • 18. IT Career Summary

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About This Class

Greg Hung SFU MBA built a successful 13 year IT career in Vancouver Canada working his way up from the helpdesk to IT manager and Business Team Lead. Learn from unique perspective of an IT manager with 6 years leadership experience as he shares the inside knowledge of how to build a successful career in IT. How to get your start and what do you need to be successful in roles such as Technical Support, Network Administrator, to Network/ IT Manager. He packs all this knowledge into this course

  • Sample resume analysis
  • Bonus: Analysis of the cover letter that landed me my dream job
  • Meeting agenda template
  • 22 lessons 90 minutes of valuable content
  • 6 Specific lessons in depth of IT Network Manager

Meet Your Teacher

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Greg Hung

Travel Videographer


Hi I'm Greg. I'm a South African Canadian Travel Videographer aka Global Citizen. I first got into video filming with a sharp camcorder in high school making my own short films and tennis video and editing on a VHS.  In 2011 in Simon Fraser University (Vancouver Canada) I rediscovered my love for video while filming an earthquake hiphop safety video for a Media Course. 

After I graduated from Simon Fraser University (BA Communications) in Vancouver Canada I went on to pursue a successful IT career working 13 years as an IT manager. I went onto to complete my MBA in Technology Management SFU and found my Entrepreneurial inspiration to start my own travel video business in 2011 during the DSLR video revolution. I sold my downtown Vancouver Apartment, bought an iMac, a Can... See full profile

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1. IT Course 2021 Intro: Hi everyone. My name is Greg Kong. I'm from Vancouver, Canada. I had is successful 13-year IT career in Vancouver where I worked myself up from tax supports to help us to the IT manager position for a very successful private and public companies in Vancouver, Canada. I'm going to share the secrets of what it took to climb the corporate IT ladder. I'm going to share my views on education, on IT certifications and so on. That is taken all those certifications from a plus MCC and even taken my MBA at Simon Fraser University over here in Vancouver, Canada. I'm going to tell you all that you need to know. I'm also going to share some very practical things like resume building, interview skills and everything in between. I look forward to sharing my experience with you in the course so you can get your IT career started. 2. Why IT?: in this lesson, we're gonna be talking about why a career in I t. First off, I was a bit of a geek and growing up, I really enjoy computers. The thing about technology today is that it's really exciting. There's a lot of cool things happening, and technology is changing fast. Because of that, the career 19 means that it's not gonna be boring. It's gonna be exciting. There's gonna be things that are changing. New technologies are gonna be introduced. Some examples off technologies that I saw during my career that weren't around when I first started were virtualization. The idea that software could make a software version off a computer or a server, and that became a game changer. And because of that, I was able Teoh become somewhat of an expert on more opportunities were available to me because I decided Teoh become an expert with this new technology. Another new Technologies E that was introduced Waas, blackberries, Maybe not so new now, But at the time, the idea of carrying around this little device that could give you instant emails allowed you the freedom to work from anywhere. So in that sense, I'm sure there's gonna be many MAWR technologies that are introduced during your career, and because of that, it's never gonna be boring. The next one is that I t is a pretty solo career. There's a solid path that you could fall. Usually, you start off at a help desk on working your way up. You may move up to application or technical support after you've worked. Sometimes there you can move up Teoh, an I T administrator or a network administrator, where you begin to work with some of the systems that provide those applications. So behind the scenes or on a more enterprise level, if you want to move on beyond there, you become a senior specialist or senior administrator, and then the next step. Beyond that is a project manager or an I T managers, someone that looks after some staff and works with their director to make sure that the goals of the department or met managing a budget. Another reason that's good for I T. Is that you get to help people that feels really good when you sold people's problems and you get to meet a lot of people from other departments in a large company you're usually gonna have on H R department. You're gonna accounting vehicle, and then you have I t. So this is a good sign that most companies have a 90 department, which means a lot of career opportunities for you. And because you get to help people from across departments to get to know a lot of people at your company, you can Also, depending on the type of work you're doing, you could be a consultant where you're helping other I t. Stuff. So the nature of I t. Is that although you're working on computers, you're indirectly helping people or if you're on the help this you're directly helping people on. People appreciate that on you become really popular, and it feels good to help people. 3. What is IT?: in this lesson. We're gonna talk about what I t means in this course, So I t is information technology, but I take it mean a number of things I to reverse a broad umbrella off technologies, which could mean programming. Being a developer, maybe you're quoting or even providing PC or network support. In my experience, I help provide technical support or Windows PCs. I provided application support or crystal reports where I talked on the phone on help customers. And then I moved on to Windows, not working where I helped with providing network in a corporate environment, doing user accounts. I provided help with file servers and got into virtualization helping with the switches. And then I got into I t Management's where I had a team. I had to build a team to do interviews, work with other I t managers on my director and then started working on projects. So we're gonna be talking about I t management wrong, a Windows networking management perspective. Now I work with Max, but in my career I work with PCs. We're gonna be talking about project management. We're also gonna be talking about providing support from Windows and not working corporate environment. And then we're also gonna be talking about applications support on customer service skills . Let's talk about the salaries of 90 when you're first starting out and you're joining the help this in a technical support position and we're talking about Canadian dollars here. Generally, you're gonna be starting out on the annual salary of about 30 to $35,000 a year. You might even do, and arlie rate from 15 Teoh $20 an hour. And this is a good way to build up your customer service skills, where you're gonna be talking on the phone and you're gonna be helping people. Some of the skills that are important to be successful in this are listening to people on being an expert at the applications that your company uses. Once you move up, Thio more senior position. You might be helping create user accounts on supporting network, so this role falls under a network administrator. In this role, your salary is gonna bump up. You can usually expect around 50 to $60,000 a year and once become more of an expert at this level, you can move up to a senior network administrator on here. Your salary is gonna go up to about 65,000 to $70,000. I remember these salaries very depending on the size of the company, what country you're in and the type of industry that you're working in. I'm gonna give you a link to a website that will allow you to calculate this. Calculate the salaries, Uh, depending on what type of role, what type of industry, How many employees of the company small post that link in this lesson. Once you move up to a project manager or I t manager level, you're generally looking at 70 to $85,000 or even more, depending on the amount of experience, the size of the company, the size of the products. So I hope that gives you an overview off. What I see is in this course and the types of salaries you can expect if you're going to be getting into this field 4. Building a Resume part 1 : in this lesson, we're gonna be talking about resume and interviews, important parts of building your I t. Career, because if you don't get any interviews, you're not going to get any new job. So let's start with the resumes. I'm gonna go over a sample, resume one of mine and go over some of the key points that I think are important for your resume. But some basics on the resume When you start off your I T career, it's good to be conscious off the experience that you're building in your career so that you will be able to build a resume. That is something that you can fall back on on your career, and what I mean by that is you want to build a foundation. So the way you build foundation is you can stay at a company for a number of years or at least one year. And the reason why you want to do that is because if I'm looking at a resume as a 90 manager and I see that people are switching jobs every you know, two or three months, it's not a good sign. What that shows me is that you're someone who doesn't have any company loyalty, and you don't have much stability. Another important thing for your resume is to try to get some larger companies under your belts. Um, so during my career, I started off with revenue Canada and I also work with another company called Crystal Decisions or business objects, which they later became after they got acquired. So by having those big names, that really helps an I T manager to be comfortable with the experience that you got because they're familiar with that company. That goes a long way. If you don't have that luxury, it's important to be clear about the skills that you learn there and experience and the accomplishments that you did on your resume, and of course, you wanna have the references to back that up. 5. Resume part 2 : Hi. In this lesson, we're going to continue the talk about resume, but we're actually going to take a look at one of my resumes that I've modified for the purpose of this course. And I've also got some comments on the right hand side. You can ignore that if you want. Those are just some talking points to make sure that I've covered everything I want to talk about in this resume, and it's very easy just to make those disappear. Okay, so let's start from the top. The first thing you want to do is to make sure that you have your name. You want to have it stand out, use a nice big font, and underneath you can leave your address and contact details. The next section is an area for your qualifications, and these are the highlights of your entire career, so you can do things like give the number of years of experience and the type of industries that you've worked in. And here I'm emphasizing my leadership skills, and I'm being specific by letting the person who is reading this know that it's six years of management experience and from that management experience, I lead up to 14 people across North America as a network manager for a top 30 private company in British Columbia. So I think it's really important to be very, very specific. The next section is education and ah, what I suggest is putting the most recent education at the top and that got the name of the school, the ah city it was in and the year that you graduated. If you're applying for ah technical job and it's important that you have certain certifications, I would also include your I T certifications in this area. In my case, I was applying to more leadership of managerial jobs where those certifications weren't as important. I wanted to emphasize my MBA, so I left that at the top. But you can make the changes based on what you're applying for. The next area is professional experience, and again here. I would put the most recent job at the top, and what you can do as a suggestion is to provide an introduction of what your company did just a brief two or three lines and then you can fold it up with another paragraph, just like the one over here. where you can explain what your will was and what you did in the department. And then you can move over to the bullet points and in the bullet points, I would recommend doing things like highlighting your accomplishments. If you did a big project or you did a major system upgrade, this is where you want to make sure that you include that. And, ah, don't forget about your day to day work. You also don't want to neglect that and be prepared to talk about any all of the bullet points during the interview as ah manager, often times you may not have time to read the resume before we actually got interviewed so many times a the manager me scan the resume and may just point out or ask something that that stands out Are that here she finds interesting, okay. And, ah, so then we move on to the Knicks role, and this is the managerial role. I've dedicated more space to writing about this. This is the meat of my resume. So depending on which role do you think is important to you, you can write more about it here. I've ah emphasized the type of role that it was and the type of company. And then I've just highlighted it by giving my accomplishments and giving some detail about my leadership experience. I led a technical team based in Canada, the U. S. And I let people know I recruited them. I provide directions and it was to 14 90 staff supporting 1200 employees. Okay, very good to be very specific and then that light onto the next role. So this is going from newest to oldest here. And so I got a area for the senior network administrator this waas a little bit shorter, but did include a major project which have included in there. And then I've got an area for the network Administrator. This was actually the same company, but it changed names while I was working there. So I've just reflected what the actual name was at the time and my role. And this is what I'm talking about with having some larger company names on here. Business objects is ah, well recognized company internationally And revenue Canada is everyone knows who who collects the taxes in Canada. So by having those familiar names, it helps take away some of that guesswork. If you're a manager looking to validate someone's experience Oh, they, ah, work for Revenue Canada. And they took care of the website, right? That that sounds pretty legit. I mean, everyone should know who the Tax Revenue Agency is, and ah, so that just really helps built some familiarity with the hiring manager. So this is the achievement skills on activities area. I've got my I T. Certifications here, and it puts on my training and my scuba diving certification and some of the sports that I like. It's up to you what you want to put in here. Sometimes this can become a good conversational area. You can finish scanning the resume, and then you come down. As a manager, you can come down to this part and see Oh, someone really likes rock climbing or scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef right? That can lead to a conversation, especially if you're a manager and you've I interviewed a lot of people and you don't want to talk about the job anymore. Sometimes you just want to have a casual conversation, and if you do have a similar interest with the manager, it can help you stand out from the crowd, so Ah, don't look like this area. It's ah, It's a good air to show who you are as a person and what you do outside of work. Okay, guys and gals, I hope that helps you with resume building. I am going to put a template off this resume in case you want to refer to it while you're building your resume. And I hope you found the section helpful. 6. Resume part 3 : Hi there. I've got some bonus material for the resume lesson. I've been able to uncover a cover letter from 2000 for that was responsible for getting me my interview for my network administrator position. That changed my nightie career. This was the role that really opened the doors and the opportunities for my career that I had been searching for over five years. So let's ah, let's go over this cover letter. I've changed some of the details, of course, but, um, you should be able to use a lot of this for your purposes. So up here we have the name address on your details, and it's important to put the dates. The name of the role sometimes is a competition number and the departments and the name of the company and I like to dress it to the human resources manager, right? Sometimes you don't know who is the person who's actually good to me receiving this. Usually it's HR department, okay, and I've started by expressing how excited I am to be able to have the opportunity to apply for the position. And then I explained what my situation is. I'm working at business objects as a network or technical support administrator. And then you position yourself. Why do you think you are a good fit for a network administrator? Right? And then I go on to create some bullet points. So it's really easy to figure out what are my qualifications for this job. So I started off with my education, and then I go on to talk about my certifications, and then I get a little bit more specific, and what I like to do is I like to read the job poster first and then I like to look at what are the education requirements, one or the particular skills or competencies? And then, after looking at those I tried to match these bullet points to what they're looking for in the job. If they don't spell it out in the job poster, what I'll do is I'll try to make some assumptions, right if it's a technical support job and, um, you're going to be helping people. Some skills that I might assume you're gonna need are good listening, good customer service skills and ah, good at solving problems, right? Just as an example, after listing out all the reasons why you think you should, um, be called for an interview? You could just finish up by saying, um if you like what you see here, please give me a call and then just end with regards or yours truly, but your name phone number. And you can add a nice touch if you have a certification just to put it below your signature, and that's it. And I hope that helps you figure out what to do for your cover letter. 7. How to ace the interview: Let's talk about interviews now. So you've sent in your application and you had a good resume, and now you've been invited to an interview. You definitely want to bring your a game and, uh, some things that you have under your control or the research planning your punctuality and how you dress. So the planning part, what you can do is at the very least, go to their website final. More about the company. When did they start? And what type of industry are they in? And what type of work does this company do? I'm amazed by how many people I interviewed that couldn't really tell me anything about the company that they wanted to interview for. They just wanted a job at least final who the CEO is. And if there is information on I T department, that's a bonus, right? If you know the name of the I T director or some of the managers, that really helps. So if you've got Google Maps, you can at least plan on your journey to the office, so you get there on time. You want it least get there 15 minutes before the interview starts. Bring some water make some notes and have a list of questions that you're going to ask in the interview. I'm amazed at how many people were late for the interview. It's really hard to erase that bad first impression that as an icy manager you get if someone is late for the interview. If there's an emergency, at least call ahead in advance toe. Let them know if your loss or you're having some trouble getting there because I T managers or people that interviewing they may be busy, right? They may have appointments after, and there's nothing more annoying that people that don't respect their time so be there on time. Uh, do your research and come dress for the occasion. And what I mean by that is to these stress professionally. Don't wear jeans where some business or gray pants or some doctors. And we're some dress shoes, the viewer street shoes and your sneakers at home and have a crisp, clean shirt on, and you don't need a tie, but at least something that's, uh, business attire. If you're a woman, don't wear a lot of heavy makeup and don't wear any short skirts or anything with high hills that looks like you're going to a club. You want to dress conservatively and dress like you're going to a business environment, not a nightclub. Let's go over some of the questions that you can ask. So some basic questions and you can ask are once is a typical day at your office. Like or what's a typical day on your team? Like by asking this question, you get some insight into, uh, water. Some of the responsibilities are gonna be in this job. Another question you could ask is, What's the culture of your team or what's the culture off the company, right? Maybe it's a company where they like to work, and then afterwards, to just like to go home. Or maybe it's, ah, company that they care about the environment and they want to do some community work, right? It's good to ask this question. It shows the manager that you care, and you've gone a little bit further than your typical person that's gonna be interviewing . Another Good question is what type of projects or challenges does your department had? This is a good question because it shows your interests in the team. You're gonna be working for and you get to learn a bit more about, uh, what's happening this year. And you know, this question could give you insight into some of the challenges that you're gonna tackle. Another good question is, can you tell me about some of the people on the team? Right. This is also gonna give you insight in the people you could be working with. And a good question to throw it back to the manager is what's your management style? Some managers might not be prepared for this, but this will be a really good question to figure out what type of manager you're gonna have. Is is someone who's more of a hands off manager Or are they that micromanager, right? You don't want to work with the micro managers. Okay, so I hope that helps you give you some tips for your resume and or success. In an interview 8. Technical support - Starting your IT career: in this lesson. We're gonna be talking about technical support. Help this. How do you get that opportunity? And what are some important things for you to try to accomplish? To be good at this role and to prepare you for the next step in the corporate ladder that might be a network administrator position or I t support. So how do you get this opportunity? Well, you really have to be flexible. This could be the hardest part for you to get your eye to curious started because you may not have any experience. You should at least have your diploma and has some certifications that should get you that foot in the door. And if you do all the things that I suggested in the interview and the resume lessons, you should be in a good position. Teoh on that job. So that being said, how did I get my first opportunity? Well, when I was, uh, working at the government as a web master, there wasn't any opportunities in the government for i t. So I had to leave. Very stable job actually had a job for life at the government. But in order to have that security. I had to accept the position as a tax collector, which is something that I didn't want to do. So, while I was doing this position, um, at Ravi in Canada, I would, uh, study my M CSC on any free time that I had. And it took me a couple years, and finally I got my certification. And then I had the confidence to start applying a positions outside off the government and I to put out a lot of resumes and applications. I think I must have put on over 100 before I had my first interview. So I did everything that I could to prepare when I was ready for that interview and it was a help desk position at a private company, and it ended up being something I didn't like. And the reason was the people that I work with, so I really wanted to get out, and I was lucky. I had a friend who was working at Crystal decisions, and he was able to get my resume to the human Resources Department, which gave me a contact. But that didn't lead to an interview right away. So what? I had to do is I have to follow up with this. A chart contact for, I think, months before I finally got an opportunity to interview and I was so happy the day that I found out that I got that job. It was my first job at, ah, private software company. It was one of these companies that had a room for a nap and had video games. And at Ping Pong tournaments, it was the fun technical support job, and I was supporting crystal reports, which is an application, and it was talking Teoh customers who are paying for support. So some things that were important for that job. They provided the training. They had all the documentation that you needed to become an expert. So I soaked up all that knowledge, and I practice during the time that I had to become good at it. I admit I wasn't really good at, uh, report design, which is one of the skills that you needed to be successful. But I tried the best that I could. Some important skills in a technical support position are you gotta be a good listener. You have to listen to what the problem that the customers having all right, you have to be empathetic. You have to make the customer feel that you care, and it's really easy to sense if someone is faking it. So another important point is to have good customer service skills, right to help that customer getting what they want and give him or if you can, it's good to set expectations. For example, if you're going to help someone with this, uh, problem, you couldn't let him know that I'm gonna talk to my resource. I'm going to find the answer. I'm gonna send you an email later tonight on Here's my contact and you can call me if this solution doesn't work for you on I will be happy to help you and you can contact me directly, right? That's going above and beyond. So customer service and good listening skills being empathetic, and I had another one in there. It's to be patient while you're in a technical support role. You also want to think ahead about the next step in your career. So for me, it waas. I wanted to look after the servers. I wanted to be a network administrator, and I knew that I needed to get Mawr experience looking after the servers, so I actually volunteered for an opportunity that came up at crystal decisions. And I ended up being a volunteer server administrator from my team and later on the Technical Support Department. I also put it out there that I was looking for a network administrator opportunity. And, um, I'll talk about this more in the next lesson, but that actually helped me to my next career opportunity. 9. Network Administrator - Starting your career: in this lesson, I'm going to talk about network administrator. How did I get this opportunity and what are some keys to success in this role and how to position yourself for the next step in your career? I got this opportunity. I talked about the volunteering experience that I did when I was in technical support. When I did this, I had the confidence and actually had experience off. Managing servers in a virtual environment also took responsibility for my teams file server . So I was starting to build up some experience I could actually out of my resume for Krystle decisions. Now it was at a particular department within tech support because this technical support department had about 300 people. But when you're putting it on your resume, it's gonna show up as I was server administrator for the technical support team. And, of course, when you're actually talking about this in your interview, you could be transparent and honest, uh, explaining that this was a volunteer position and you volunteered to look after the servers for the technical support team. The way that I got this opportunity was that I would talk with my colleagues, actress all decisions, and one of my colleagues knew that it was looking for a network administrator role. And so one day he afford me this email on Did it actually had a job poster for a network administrator position at a company called Terrorists and Utilities. And so I applied to it, and I ended up doing all the things that I spoke to you about on the resume lesson. And I remember that this was a really important interview for me. And there was a moment in the interview where I really explained that. You know, this is experience, that I had these air certifications that had gotten, and I really wanted to do this network administrator position for your company on. I will do anything that it takes to be successful. I think I really got the point across to that manager that not only that, I have the skills. Not only was I ready, but I was willing to do what it took, and I think by really putting that emotion in there that really helped me stand stand out from other people that were interviewing. So I ended up getting that position, and, um, I worked with the small network team. There was two other people senior guy and, uh, another network administrator. When I first got there, some of the things that helped me become successful was I just listened, and I took in all the information that I could. I wanted to learn how things worked, what type of computers that they use, how that they image them, what type of applications that they use in the environments. What was the anti virus that they use? What was the backup software that they use and slowly to build up trust with a senior administrator and the rest of the team? And sometimes this takes some time. You can't change things overnight, and as you become more familiar with the environment, you became well, I became more efficient. Another important thing to do is to learn who to contact for certain issues. Working in a network team, you can't do everything on your own. For example, we had different vendors to help with our network and, uh, was important to have those phone numbers. If we needed Teoh, contact them for something that was out of our control. Okay, It's also important Teoh have the information that you need to find you really quickly. If there is a particular, uh, account that needed to be re setted, it's important toe have access to that program, no one to do it. Or if you don't have access to how to do that, have out access to that knowledge base article so you can sold the problem really quickly. Another important thing to be successful in this job is Teoh. Organize your information. You're gonna get access to a lot of passwords, so you want to manage those passwords? Well, keep him safe. But also, don't forget passwords. That's an important skill. As a network administrator, you gotta learn how to manage passwords. You can do that in the password safe where you have an application that securely, uh, keeps the password safe, and you only need to remember one password. Another important tip to do well as a network administrator is to work with your team, work with your colleagues, have a good relationship, ask lots of questions because there's gonna be lots. There's a lot of processes that are specific to a company or a team that you're not going to know until you work more closely with your co workers and you make mistakes. Just try alert for those mistakes so you don't make him again. Another thing to be important as a network administrator, if you're allowed to, is to get into the server room. Once you're in the server room, you can learn how things are connected. How do the servers connect to each other on a physical level? And how does that look on a logical level? On a logical level, that's like the network map. So maybe you go into the server room and you can see all the servers in Iraq. But in the logical view, these servers have particular I P addresses, and they look different on a network map, right? And a network map is a map that allows you to understand the networking environments. It will have things like the server names, the I P addresses and how the servers are logically organized. For example, you may have set of servers that are part of a farm, citric servers, which have the same function, but they deliver the service together. Or you might have ah, file server and that stands alone Ward. It works with another file server to deliver the files. So by understanding this, it allows you to really start to understand environment and prepare you for the next step in your career, which is probably gonna be a senior network administrator. And another key to prepare you for this is to take on more responsibilities and take the initiative for any issues that you have. And you want to run this by your senior network administrator of his one or your manager. But by taking on more responsibilities, you're going to become someone of more value and be seen as someone who's not afraid to take on more than your job. 10. Senior administrator - How to Get This Role & Excel in it: in this lesson, I'm gonna be talking about the senior network administrator. How do you get that opportunity on How can you be good at it? This was actually a toughly to make. This is probably one of the toughest sleeps for you to make on your journey on your I t career. One of the tips to becoming successful at this stage, if you have an existing senior network administrator, is to have a good relationship with that senior guy or ago. The reason is because this person probably has access to the information you need. They may have had a hand in building the environments having, um, you know a lot of influence into some of the product choices. Right on. They may have the passwords. They have the information on the mawr that the senior now work administrator trust you, the more they're going to share with you. In my case, I was never administrator at the time on my senior network administrator left. Now we spent some time doing a knowledge transfer. But as I found out after he left, there was a ton of things that he didn't tell me on. So it was up to me to figure that on my own. And you know, I had the blessing off my manager who became the director. Teoh, do whatever I needed to do to figure out the environment. She essentially asked me to step up again, and so I would spend a lot of time outside of office hours after five o'clock, I would spend it in the server room. And what was I doing there? I was learning about the environments on. I was looking at server racks. I was documenting them. I waas understanding what their I P addresses were, how they talk to each other and really getting a deep dive into how everything worked. For example, if you're working in a Windows networked environment, usually your Windows server operating system is gonna be the foundation of the network. Right on the software level and in my environments, there was another layer that second layer was Citrix on. Citrix was responsible or delivering the applications. Teoh, stop because we had the servers located centrally and we had a lot of branch offices located through Canada and the U. S. So I had toe figure this out for myself. You know what a did. Aside from spending time in a server room, Waas, I would go through all the documentation I could find internally and also go out on the Internet to find all the information that I could on Citrix, right? A lot of information is out there that on Citrix, especially if it is, it's a product that is publicly available, right? The information is there. You just have to take the steps to learn it on your own. Some other things that I did waas I took the initiative right. There was a large project that consultant had put together, and it was about relocating our servers from a branch office to the data center. This also involved upgrading our we know server offering system at the time was that 2000. We had toe operate to 2003. I know, I know. It's looking back. It's it's a long time. It's older serve rocking system now, but the principles still apply. It was a risky upgrade, and no one wanted to do it because it was very risky. I was young at the time, probably a little bit foolish, but I said, Hey, I put my hand up and, well, my manager, I'm gonna do it. And I'm not doing it Executing the plan on Luckily, everything worked out on I'm oversimplifying that it wasn't very easy. But all that time at Spence out of officers have paid off on. I needed some luck, of course, on after everything worked out shortly after I got promoted to senior network administrator . Now I'm going to talk about some cheese to be ineffective. Senior network administrator. Most likely you're gonna be directing your staff to help you. One of the ways that you can do that is to help teach your stuff. What I did is I would create documents how to Siri's, and these were set of repeatable tasks. Might be creating a user accounts on active directory and giving them access to a particular network share right or how to create network shares. So I would ladies on a document I would I would create the screenshots on by coaching my team on where these documents were on how to find him. They eventually figure out how to do things on their own, right? And so this, uh And so by doing this, I freed up time for me to focus on other things. Now, some of these other responsibilities may involve working on more projects, and you could be working with consultants. And the key to working with consultants is, you know, to have a good relationship with them going on lunches with them and coffees. You're gonna learn a lot of stuff that is not talked about in the office. You know something about just being casual? Eating helps you build a relationship, and a lot of good information is exchanged while you're doing those things. Another important thing to do is you're gonna be working with the budget. And, um, some keys are working with the budget are to know your numbers, know the cost of things, um, figure out support contracts. And ultimately, what you're trying to do is Teoh help your company save money with different vendors that provide you the products on services, right? And to figure out how much that is going to cost each year so that you could provide that too, your manager director, so they can allocate the budget for the following year. Okay, You're also gonna be doing recommendations. Maybe your environment. It's growing larger and you need mawr space, right? Need more this space for the company. So you have to project out how much space you're gonna need. It's for the network. Maybe you need to buy more switches, right? You should also be thinking about scalable solutions. So what I mean by that is that it, uh, the company grows and you need to Adam or this space. You don't want Teoh by a whole new server and install a salt server offering system. What we did is we use a storage area network on If we needed more space, we could just by a new sand array that would just scale up with the existing solution. So in the background there would just add more space on. We wouldn't have to make a whole lot of changes on the network side. We also had a scalable network switch backbone where we could just Adam or switches to add more capacity on network ports. You can also provide technology recommendations at this point 11. Network Manager - starting your career: in this lesson, I'm going to talk about the network manager, the I T manager. How did I got this opportunity? Well, this is a another pretty tough leap on the corporate ladder because there may be a lot of I T support positions or help desk positions. But there's usually only one senior network administrator and one not worker I T manager. That means it's really competitive on the way that I got. This opportunity is that I was a senior network administrator for a couple of years in these, and I have built up a lot of trusts and credibility with my manager just by being reliable , completing projects successfully and becoming someone that she could trust and rely on during meetings. I would let her know about my career path and my ambitions. Ana, I decided during one of the meetings, Teoh outline a role that I was interested in, and they didn't have this role. The time and the name of the rule was a network manager. I pulled out an article from A I T websites and listen out the role on the pay, and, uh, I didn't come into that meeting being too pushy But I just wanted to put it out there to let my director know that I was interested in being a network manager and this was what, the pay Waas. And so I put it out there, and at this time, the company was starting to grow a lot larger. The team was starting to grow a lot larger as well. And eventually there was a meeting, and it was announced that we were appointing three different managers, Um, in the I T department and I was one of those managers. Wow, that was, uh I was a very important step for me. Teoh become a manager. I was about 30 or 29 of time, so I was a young manager. And so that's how I got the opportunity. And, um, now, let's talk about some of the things that you needed to be effective at to be a good I T network manager. The first thing that I needed to be successful in this position Waas to train my team, all right. And I talked about knowledge transfer before creating the help to the how to documents. While I needed to find who were the really talented people on my team who could soak up all this knowledge, and there was one guy on my team and he was ready. He had the skills. Yet the ambition and that was able to pass on a lot of my knowledge to him and Hugh would offload a lot of the a lot of the work that I was doing with these enterprise level systems . And it's not an easy thing to do, because for a lot of technical people, by giving that up, you're giving up your value. It's that knowledge that you have inside your head. But if I didn't do that, it wouldn't have freed up a lot of mind time to do my managerial duties, which I'm going to talk more about. So, um, the knowledge transfer part is really important, and aside from the enterprise level applications, you have to make sure that the rest of your team that are doing the day to day responsibilities they have the documentation and the support that they need to be effective at their job. Another thing you need to be effective to be a manager is to define the type of rules that you need on your team, for example, on my team, I had a senior network administrator that was taking care of all the enterprise applications, and he would keep a closer eye on the help s in the day to day support. But I also had a network administrator that was focused more on the telecom side of things and procurement off blackberries and handsets, that type of thing. I also had help. That's guy. At the time, we actually didn't have a dedicated help. That's role. And, uh, we really needed that because we needed someone toe own the technical technical support mailbox. When the email you know, someone at support at abc dot com, You know that someone is actually checking that on a regular basis Another important role we needed. Waas, a male guy on exchange administrators, someone to look after the email, the spam and to take care of those complex email issues. Another rule that we had waas someone that was more of a technical application Project guy . This was someone who was a bit more advanced, not quite the senior guy, but he would take ownership of some of the projects. Some of the kind of gray area sort of stuff. And he was also more off a go to guy who would kind of take anything that no one else wouldn't right, So that those air some examples of the rules that you may need and what I would do is list out those rules and the responsibilities that each of those rules that on what that did help me with actually, is when we were interviewing for these roles, I would look for these types of qualities and knowledge from these people when it came time to interviewing. 12. Network Manager - Building out a Strong Team: in this lesson. I'm gonna continue talking about the network manager role. I didn't realize there's so much to talk about, So I'm gonna break this up into a couple of lessons. And the last lesson we talked about finding the roles and responsibilities, and this is gonna be important as you build the team. In my case, the team was growing, the company was growing and I needed to build the team. And to do that, I needed to take stock of what the existing team had. I had a senior network administrator, guy. I had someone on the helped us. He was really good, a customer service. I had someone who's looking after the mail server, a veteran who is looking after the telecom right, and I needed to define what the next role is. Where were the gaps? Did I need someone else to help with the day to day? Or that I need someone who was on application specialists? I remember we had a gap when it came to Citrix issues. Citrix was an important part off the company, but we didn't have a dedicated person to support that application. So an example of someone that we needed to fill the gap was Citrix administrator. So what I did is I would define that role, lists all the skills and expertise that they would need. And I'll trade that job post, sir, and I would use that based on my existing experience with the applications. So for me, it wasn't that difficult to create a job poster. Now, once you have these job posters, you may have to do the interview yourself. The H R team can help you to find the talents. You may be responsible for screening the resumes, and, uh, you're gonna have to take ownership off doing the interviews. So during the interviews, you may have someone that comes with you. It may be the manager or someone else on your team, and that's a good idea, because sometimes during the interview, you may not have a lot of time to build all those questions. Or maybe you have some questions. But maybe it helps just to have a breather if you have someone else helping with the interview so you can think of these questions, okay, and just like as someone who's going to be interviewed, it's good to have as an interview were a list of questions that you want to ask, right? So some of my favorite questions were Why do you want to work for this company? All right. And some things that I wanted to hear our that I'm really interested in this industry or this company because A B and C or Ah, I'm really interested in this role, for example, of maybe a virtual ization specialist role, because virtualization is area that really interests me. I've being a server administrator, and I really want to learn VM ware and become in experts and learn how that works rights. So, uh, I would ask why someone's interested in the role on the company. I would also ask, uh, what are your strengths and weaknesses? Right. So I'd look for someone who understands their skills and themselves well and what they're not good at. And I'll be looking for someone to be honest with their weaknesses. If they have another thing, I would ask our, um, situational questions. Can you tell me about a time where you had ah, a problem with the project and how did you deal with it? Right. I'll be looking for some real life experience. And, uh, if someone was trying to make something up, it's very easy to see through that. So as an interviewer, it's important to come prepared to ask those questions and also ask if they've done their homework if they've done any research about that company and as an interviewer. Of course, you look for some other things, some intangible things or tangible things, but that are not directly related to the job. You want to look at things like their punctuality. Um, you know, do they look like someone, Or did they act like someone who you wanna work with, right? You also have to use that six cents. Do you get a good five about this person? Are they someone who's gonna fit in with the existing team and all those things help you make the decision and, uh, someone that brings the references? That's great. You want Teoh call of the references for sure and see that they get a good reference from their ex managers. That really helps you make a decision. At the end of the day, you want to make a short list of the best candidates, and then at the other day you want to choose one 13. Network Manager - Developing Soft Skills as a Manager: in this lesson. I want to continue to talk about the network manager. As you start transferring your knowledge to staff on your team, you're gonna find or you might find that you're gonna lose your technical skills. And that's OK, my manager. Help me work through this. Some of the skills you're gonna need to develop our coaching skills. You're gonna need to become a good listener. You're gonna have some staff that it come to you and talk about problems. Some of these problems might be technical issues. They might be problems that they're having a home or with their family. That might be issues with people are having on the team or other people in the I T department. Or maybe it's, ah, issue with someone else in another department. You're gonna have to deal with all these things that you didn't have to deal with before. So some tips for dealing with this is to become a good listener, right? And, uh, and you have to make some decisions about how to act on what they tell you, and there's no one right or wrong answer. The main thing is to really listen to the person on your team because these are the people that are supporting you and you have to support them as best you can. If there's anything that you don't know how to act on, you can always ask your manager. But by this time you should develop some confidence into the right decision to make. So skills are becoming, ah, good listener. And you know, someone has some common sense to make good decisions or not. 14. Network Manager - Scheduling Effective Team Meetings with a Remote Team: and this network manager lesson. I'm gonna talk about holding effective meetings and developing your leadership style. Holding meetings is something that I would do on ah, once a week basis with my team. And most of my team were at the same office as I Waas. But I also had some staff that were in three different locations in eastern Canada, southeastern U. S and Western U. S. So one of the keys to holding an effective meeting was to schedule a time that work for everyone in their time zone. And, uh, every meeting I came to, I had a prepared agenda. This is something that some staff of my team didn't enjoy doing. But I didn't wanna have a meeting where we just ended up having some loose conversation just to me. What would be a waste of time? So every meeting I would have said agenda Ah, routine where we would give everyone a chance to talk roundtable on duh to introduce any issues that I felt that everyone listening should have a chance. Teoh, talk about I would also use the meeting as an opportunity to communicate any expectations that I had on the team or to communicate anything that my director had given me. It was also, uh, an opportunity just to share any issues that the team was having. And um, something that you might encounter when having these meetings is that there might be conflict between members. So one of the skills that you have to learn and take responsibility for is diffusing any conflicts during the meeting and, if necessary, you could take the arguments or these situations out of the meeting and deal with it them. One of the things you may find with meetings is that's it runs off truck, right? And it's your responsibility to make sure that the meetings don't go over the schedule time and that they're effective and to end the meetings when they need to, because it's very likely that the meetings won't keep on running longer than they need to be. Okay, let's talk about leadership style. I think it's up to you to develop your own leadership style. I was always a more quiet individual, but over time I developed the leadership style that I adapted base on the person, the leadership style that I prefer to use on a regular basis was lead by example. If we needed to do something as a team, I would do it first and the others would follow suit. I didn't feel comfortable just ordering people around. Of course, if there was an issue that was time sensitive and and needed to be done right, I mean, I would just give the order and asked for them to do it right away on please, right? I wouldn't try to order people round. I would ask them to do something respectfully. In regards to leadership style, I developed a new adaptive type of approach. For example, if someone who was a little bit mawr needed a bit more direction, that would be more assertive with them. If it was someone that was mawr independence and needed more confidence, I would act more as, ah listener, right, someone that would listen to their issues just to confirm that what they were doing, I thought was right and, ah, you know, get out of their way right? They knew what they needed to do. They just needed someone to be a sounding board. If it was someone to needed some coaching, I would provide my vice based on my experience. So it was really adopting an adaptive leadership style based on the person on my team 15. Network Manager - Tips for Terminating an Employee: Hi guys. In this lesson, we're going to talk about firing, which is one of the unfortunate things that you may have to do as a manager on your team. I had the experience on my team off hiring someone that didn't work out. And ah, the reason I knew about this Waas that staff on my team would report some issues about this person and that they weren't doing their job properly and it would hear about this from other people in the department. I could also see myself when I was having meetings with them, they were making excuses and they were telling me lies that I could see through. So what was the next step? I hadn't fired anyone before, and I didn't really have much experience with this. So what I did is that I spoke with my manager first. I wanted to make sure that I was making the right decision and that I had her blessing with this decision because I didn't feel comfortable with letting go. Someone that was relying on this job to support their family the same time they weren't helping the company in the business, and this is something that needed to be done. So after talk with my manager, I had to talk with the HR department just to let him know about my decision on there was some things that we needed to do in terms of administration and to get their guidance. And after that, we ended up scheduling a meeting with H R. Uh, this other person. And, um, during that meeting, I essentially told him that we have to let him go and why and when on, uh, some other things that you need to know is that you need to make other arrangements with the I t. Team to revoke their access because we had some systems that you could still access out of the office. We have to make sure that we disabled all their accounts so they couldn't do any damage from the outside. They couldn't log in with any other accounts, and we had to change all the passwords. Eso That's something that often doesn't get discussed. But you have to make these arrangements and think about the security just in case of a worst case situation. And of course, the important thing was to communicate the news to your team and explain why. And, uh, the team will understand if it was, you know, for a good, good reason. So not an easy topic. But I hope that understand helps you, Um I understand how to fire someone and how that would work if you were in a situation where you had to do it. 16. Network Manager - relationships with middle & upper management: in this lesson, we're gonna talk about relationships with fellow I T managers and your director or your boss when you're working with I t managers, other I t managers for different areas. It's a little bit different because you're not working with your staff, your talking about other managers that have their own teams, and in some cases you may have to work really closely together. One example with another I t manager. It was the business applications manager. I looked after the network team and the infrastructure, but he looked after the applications that use that infrastructure. And so our teams work really closely together and in my time is Ah, I t manager. We, ah, had to work closely because our teams had Teoh use or share resources. And there were also some conflicts between members of our team. So some ways that I worked closely with this other manager was just to have regular ah, meetings, not formal meetings. But our meeting rooms or our offices were right beside each other. So we just have casual walking conversations and ah, you know, we would just share any feedback that need we heard or receive from our stuff, and I heard a lot of things about, you know, staff from his team from staff on my team. And it was important just to keep open communication and share everything. And ah, we're both good that way and that help us get through a lot of those issues. Also, another tip is just too go for lunch. Lunch takes you out of that office environment, and you can just get to know someone a lot better and again, just like working with consultants and other people are a lot of good stuff comes out of just having lunch. It doesn't always have to be about work, but sometimes that relationship that you pulled outside of the office helps you inside the office when it comes to working with your manager or your boss. An important thing is Teoh keep open communication again. I want to mean by this is toe have regular meetings. I found that as our company got larger and we had more managers, I found it harder and harder to get time with my manager so I would schedule regular meetings with her and when I had meetings, I came prepared with things that I want to just talk about and the things I would talk about were challenges that the team was having. Russell shared, Ah, issues that, you know, I needed sounding board or some advice on with my stuff because I felt like I could share anything with her. Whereas I didn't feel comfortable sharing issues from my staff with someone on another person on my team or other eyes, he managers I just felt it was appropriate to share everything with her on by doing that, you built trusts and you build just, um, or open relationship. And that really helped me with ah, working in a department and in this position. So I hope that helps you deal with some of the relationships that you may have. If you get to a managerial level, it's important to keep good relationships because these are the people that are on the management team. You're going to be working with them. They face similar challenges, so chances are ah, lot of the issues and challenges are things that they may be facing as well 17. Network Manager - IT fashion: Hey, guys, in this lesson, you may notice that I'm dressed a little differently. I'm wearing a blazer over shirt because I wanted toe cover. Lighter topic. Once you get Teoh senior or managerial level, it doesn't hurt Teoh up your game in terms off your business fashion. It's hard to change how people think of you, um, on their first impressions. So if you dress a little bit nicer, that can only help you to, um, building impression with other people that this person cares about their appearance, their professional well groomed, and it just gives you Matmour credibility. So what can you do to improve your I T. Fashion? Well, if you're a guy, you can get nicer shirts, and it doesn't have to be expensive. You can get close from sure companies based in Asia, but they will make shirts for North Americans, and the company is called Maxwell Clothiers, and these shirts cost about the same as they would for sure from Banana Republic. But what you get is so much more, you get to customize the patterns on the shirts, pick them out and the shirt fits really well. You can pick things out like the caller a pattern on the, uh under the sleeve and, um yeah, just fits greats. You can get a monogram on the cuff, and people will be asking you where you get the shirt from The soul let you stand out above most of other people in I T. And it can only help. And it's always nice to peer up a nice shirt with a blazer like this that you can get from places like Banana Republic or Club Monaco or Zara and ah just gives you a little bit more of a dress. He look business dress you look and it's great for after work as well. You can use the same outfit if you ah, paired with some jeans, and it's just a fun business, casual outfit that you can use for work or for after work. All right, so, uh, hope you enjoyed some of those fashion tips and hope that something a little bit different , a little bit different flavor that helps you with your I T career 18. IT Career Summary: Hey, guys and gals, you made it to the end of the course. Congratulations. I find it really amazing that it's 2015. I'm able to make my own course and shared with you guys over the Internet. That's amazing. I was always in love with technology, even as a kid. I used Teoh play games on a PC, and I used to play this game called Decathlon on my dad's all of etc. Computer was just, uh, orange on became a green screen and then 16 colors and 32 colors. And then we got super V G. A. And look at what we have today. The colors are just so realistic. If you're gonna get in the technology, I think it's so important that you love it. It's gonna make you come the work, and you're gonna look forward. Teoh playing with technology and helping people that just don't have the same type of skill that you have with technology. Next thing I would say is that it's important to have those technical skills you should put in your time. Read those magazines. Go to those conventions. Take those certifications, build your own lab, go into the server room and become the experts at what's important for your role. Map out your career and figure out what is the position or role that you want to get to in I t make sure you're learning and building a foundation so you can get to the next step of your career. I would also say to put it out there, black people know what rule that you're interested in. Of course, you should be loyal and spend enough time in the current role that you're in. But there's gonna come a time where you're gonna need to move on. So don't be shy. Let people know that you're looking and sometimes they will help you. It's important to stay persistence. It does take time to move up the ladder and get the opportunity that you want. But if you work hard and you have those good relationships with your colleagues and your boss and you let people know what job you're looking for, people are gonna look out for you and they're gonna have your back. So guys and gals, Thanks for taking the course. I hope you found helpful and good luck on your I T career.