Drinking from the firehose without drowning

It’s easy to be overwhelmed in the sea of information and constant changes that come out every month when trying to keep up to date on Microsoft products, not just SharePoint and Office 365. Since changes to each facet of the service are being released on a monthly basis, I thought I would include some helpful resources that I use to keep from being overwhelmed by all the changes.

First off, the office 365 roadmap is a very helpful one to glance at least on a monthly basis. This way you can see what they have planned to release and try to get ahead of it.

One area that Microsoft has really gotten better at with O365 is training. If you are a new user and want to learn about Flow or PowerApps or Stream or some other part of the 365 service that you haven’t touched yet, I encourage you to look under your tenant (Office 365 admin) settings for training videos as well as going to some of the links on the main pages of these to see some great content they have put together.

Some of my personal resources that I have used and continue to use to learn more about Office 365 are below:

Pluralsight – If you can afford the subscription, get it! The authors on here produce great content and the system to measure progress and learning here is second to none!

EDX – MOOC with a lot of great content from Microsoft and many other places where you can also take college courses. I like that this site offers a way to be officially recognized for passing a course (even though it costs money).

MVA – Microsoft Virtual Academy has a great amount of content and has good O365 and developer content as well as learning paths you can follow to achieve a certain level of expertise if you want to.

MAPA– Microsoft Association of Practicing Architects is a little less known site, but offers a great way for anyone who signs up to deepen their knowledge in many different areas and a great way to connect with other experts for advice. They even offer discounts and practice materials if you know the right places to look and the correct people to ask.

Opsgility – Subscription based site that you have to pay for (but if you have an msdn subscription, you get freebies). Great site to help learn more about Azure and the platform for Microsoft cloud for both development and admin purposes

LinkedIn Learning – a newer site to me, but I see more and more content being published here from MS experts lately. I hope since they are owned by MS at some point these places get aggregated somewhere to make it easier for someone to get the most content from one source

Microsoft Tech Community – This I think is probably the next generation of TechNet from MS. For each of the past two Ignite conferences I have been to, this site has been extremely helpful! The people that run this site really strive to post content from the events here as well as keep active discussions going on with users about new topics. Can recommend this one enough.

As you can see there’s no shortage of places to go to get your learn on. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of information though, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. 🙂

If you know of any other great places to learn like the ones I have mentioned today, feel free to add them to the comment section below.

Thanks and I hope this has been helpful!

BJ

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Looking back…Looking forward

I know, I know.

Doing a year in review post when January is almost over seems kind of lame. Regardless, this post falls in line with a few of things I have done in 2010 and also ties into things that I want to do more in 2011. 2010 was a great year for me professionally. I was able to put my first SharePoint installation into production back in February 2010. It was a SharePoint Server 2007 instance with all the bells and whistles activated. This was the completion of work that started simply as research back in August of 2008. it was very satisfying to see this come to fruition.

The main reason I used the past tense with this is because the 2007 install didn’t last long. In August 2010, we upgraded all of our sites and our Business Intelligence rollout to a full blown SharePoint Server 2010 instance. I am still amazed at how much of an improvement that Microsoft has made in this new version from the 2007 version and I continue to learn new things about it every day.

In October and November I was fortunate enough to get enrolled at Dale Carnegie training at work. While in this I was able to meet a fantastic group of people and share many details about myself and learned that in order to communicate better, I needed t be myself more often. That may sound corny, but it worked and I was fortunate enough to be chosen by my peers to win the Dale Carnegie Excellence award.I was floored and very humbled to be chosen for it. I hear this award is the only thing that Warren Buffett has hung up in his office, so that makes it seem to me even more special.

So onto 2011. The year looks ripe with opportunities. I want to continue to make myself better each day so here are a few areas I want to improve on in 2011:

1. Blogging – yes, mainly why this post is so late. I want to write more in this new year to improve my communication skills. I also want to write more technically based articles and maybe even try to get published as well.

2. Speaking – I want to try and speak either at a user group or other technical gathering at least twice this year. I have one opportunity coming up soon and I hope to do another one as well this year. I would also like to make one of these engagements possibly a training event where I could train users on SharePoint or another topic I am familiar with.

3. Training/Certification – last year was good, but I did not meet my goal of trying for a certification and passing. So this year I want to not just go to training, but make it count by getting some more abbreviations to add to the end of my title… Smile

I think that’s a good place to start and are good solid specific goals that I can look back on and make sure that throughout this year I stick to.

So onward and upward…