How do I find what my options are of area to specialise in?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Juelz, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    My IT background is help-desk/desktop support, what I really struggle with is having a plan to get out of it as I have no idea what my options are. What are specialist areas in IT that aren't programming? not really sure how it all works or how people find or even get into specialist areas..is there like a standard list of specialist areas that I can look into? I just don't really know what I'm supposed to be looking for here.
     
  2. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Byte Poster

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    Step 1 is to look around where you are. Every large(ish) servicedesk has at least a few sort of specialists. There's often the SQL guy, almost always at least one messaging bloke. Often there's an automation specialist who does everybody's scripting. And There's probably a virtualisation guy who does all their trickier VMware jobs, and by now anywhere that lacks a Cloud guy is far behind the curve. And of course, anywhere that lacks project management is probably a bit of a mess. In a smaller company, there is probably an overworked sysadmin who does about 10 of those things, in which case he will cheerfully let you have whichever hat you want from the rack.

    All of those dudes are going to leave and become real full time specialists sooner or later. I have previously bailed on network specialisation, and then on messaging specialism because I got bored of both, but when I did those roles I never refused to teach someone the tools instead of just doing a task for them. The likelihood is your available specialists will take the same attitude if you show an interest in their job.

    If nobody in your current organisation has an interesting looking role, then perhaps there is one waiting to be carved out if something like the above is missing. Otherwise, that may not be the right company.

    Security is a good default starting place while you ruminate. Nobody wants a cloud specialist who makes their buckets public, or a messaging specialist who whitelists phishing emails. Security is therefore a special sauce you can apply to all dishes.
     
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
  3. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    See here’s the thing, I am interested in the cloud and have done work with Azure but wouldn’t I need to dig down deeper and find a specialist area within that? When I think of cloud I think Azure and AWS which again are massive subjects in their own right..
     
  4. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Byte Poster

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    A cloud environment is other people's computers, all abstracted with API access, with some sort of web front end slapped on top. That's why it's common to see job specs and ads mention a cloud as if they are all the same. If you can get to grips with one of them, you are ready for the next.

    Most of the specialisms in cloud land are jut normal ones with cloud in their name. A Cloud Network Engineer is a networks guy like any other, who makes and configures virtual load balancers and firewalls and so on, but is more likely to use API calls to do that. Same applies to "data engineering" and cloud security. It's a preexisting condition with alarming new symptoms.

    I guess we could say that devops/SRE are sort of particularly cloud specialised set, and the main tools are all for clouds. But another guy would call them uppity Linux sysadmins locked in a codependent relationship with bearded javascript gurus. Many of their tools work fine against standard VMs, some are even useful in quite traditional Windows networks. So cloud is arguably just an add on there as well.

    I tried looking at Microsoft's cert options to see if they cater adequatelty for all of this. Perhaps they do, but it made no sense to me at all. Google gets it https://cloud.google.com/certification/ as does AWS https://aws.amazon.com/training/learning-paths/
    Any specialisation they point to there works equally well for Azure too. And DigitalOcean, Rackspace, IBM and many others.
     
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013

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