Loading...

Well, it’s my first Monday being self-employed – Yay! I’m pretty excited, it feels like it’s a weekend. I wanted to do this post to go over what I’m feeling and what I’m going through.

If you’ve seen some of my previous tweets and blog posts about my journey to be self-employed, I talked about a lot of things but you never actually live it until you get to your first Monday. Your first scheduled day after you’ve been working a full-time job for most of your career and you go into your routine, you take a shower, you brush your teeth, you get ready. In my case, take my daughter to school and immediately go downstairs to my home office and get to work on my job. Now I don’t have to do that, it’s kind of a surreal feeling.

I’m still in that same kind of routine of doing the job thing. The first thing I thought of this morning was, “what’s going on at the company”? You have to tell yourself, “well, you don’t have to worry about that.” It’s a lot less stressful because you don’t have to worry about whatever happens at the office. Frankly, I don’t really care anymore because it’s not my responsibility and it feels like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders to some extent.

I’ve been balancing side business stuff and a full-time job forever. There was a year where I was independent but I still had 40 hours a week for this company that I needed to fulfill. So, this is the first time that I’ve actually felt like I don’t have to do this stuff. Technically I could go the whole week and not do anything at all and nobody would say a word. It would be completely fine, very surreal. You’ve had this habit for 20 years and then all of a sudden you don’t, it’s not scary by any means. It may be a little bit scary for some people, but at least right now I feel completely free.

Very Freeing Atmosphere

I feel free to do whatever I want to do and the great thing is, my idea factory in my head is constantly going. As of today, I’ve already written down like five different ideas of things I want to do. I’m finally able to get the time to focus on what I want to do and see where some of these ideas go, and really just see what I’m capable of.

I honestly think my entire career has been pretty successful. I love what I do in IT and I love automation and getting into DevOps. But, I honestly felt like, without having to be constrained in the job, I’ve always felt like I was somehow held back in the success I wanted to have in my career and my life. I guess that’s why personally I don’t feel any fear whatsoever. I know what I’m capable of, what I want to do. I know I’ve got way more ideas than I have time to do, and I know I have the motivation to do them, and it’s really exciting.

I’m pragmatic, I’m not going to say it’s all going to be ups and no downs. There’s going to be times where I’m going to fail but I’m okay with that because I get to fail on my own terms. One thing my wife told me yesterday, which was very interesting, but the way my mentality is, she said, “I’ve been noticing, whenever we become comfortable with our family finances, we have good insurance, all of a sudden you want to turn it on its head.” She was kind of right. It seems every time I want to make a big change in my life, like this one, is when I start to get comfortable. I’m the type of person that if I start to get comfortable, I could sit back and do nothing if I wanted to and still get paid the same. I don’t want to do it anymore.

I have to have a challenge, I have to feel fulfilled. That’s part of me, that’s part of who I am. Whenever I get comfortable in whatever, I start to feel like this is getting boring, this is just a waste of time. It’s taken a long time for me to realize that it’s not about the money whatsoever, it’s about who I am and how I think. It’s kind of a deep subject because I think it’s true. If I’m making a million dollars a year and there’s no sense of challenge, there’s nothing else to learn, I could sit back and do whatever I want and make a million dollars a year, I wouldn’t do it.

You have to have some sort of fulfillment. You have to be challenged in life to continually keep getting better even if you’re making so much money. If you’re happy that’s great, keep doing it. But in my case, I have to be kind of out on the edge usually. I have to feel like the work I’m doing it directly related to the compensation that it gets, the fulfillment that I get.

Success Equals Payment

I was making about a hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars a year and I get no overtime. In December I worked for 300 hours, it was crazy. The month afterward, the company had a shareholders meeting and we found out the project was not immediately profitable. It was one of those projects that the company deemed as profitable but not immediately and shareholders want a profit ASAP. So, the company scrapped the whole project and decided to lay off ten percent of the workforce. That was one of the catalysts that reminded me we’re all dispensable; I didn’t get laid off, fortunately, but we’re all dispersible.

Your outcome is not tied specifically to the work that you do. In that case, I worked 300 hours, I worked a ton and I still got paid the same, very well, but then the company decided to scrap the project. It was frustrating because I worked so much on this project and it was still there. It felt like a failure to me because I was able to still maintain that level of compensation and the whole project is gone. It’s not literally a fairness thing, I don’t know what it is. I feel that way.

I told my boss I would have rather my compensation be tied to the success of the program whether if it succeeds or fails. If it succeeds, I would get astronomically more money perhaps, if it fails I would get nothing. I would prefer that always over the fact that I could skate by and work whenever I want and make the project this mediocre success. My fulfillment comes from work directly tied to my success. It’s taken me a long to figure that out, but I really think that success or failure, pass or fail, the work has to be directly related to the success.

I think this journey, this self-employment journey, this entrepreneurial journey that I’m on now is by far away to be the best part of my life. I think that I’m going to be finally happy and I want to be able to achieve what I want to achieve.

This CarTalks was going to be about my reflection and what it feels like for my first Monday, maybe it gave you a few points to think about. If you’re thinking about quitting your job or if you’re working for yourself already, maybe you can give me some pointers but all you veterans out there that have been self-employed forever, by all means, I would love to have any kind of feedback and advice that you may want to give me from an entrepreneurial noob like myself.

This post was brought to you by yet another #CarTalks YouTube video. Be sure to check out all of the other #CarTalks videos and other video content on the Adam the Automator YouTube channel!

The post How I Feel on My First Monday of Self-Employment appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Today is my last day of employment and I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about it with you. Give people some insight on what it might feel like if you’re in this similar position, or frankly, just make fun of me if you want and think that I’m crazy. Some days it still feels crazy. This point has been coming for a long time and is a very big event for me because, like many of you who may be watching this, I’ve had a job forever.

I was independent for a year but I kind of cheated because I had a 40-hour a week contract I thought that was going to be my buffer if you will. It still felt like full-time employment, but not quite, I’m still independent. I’m not a W-2, I’m just a contractor now. But now, it’s different. I don’t have the net, I’m fending for myself at this point. That’s not to say that I’ve cut the cord without any plan. I’ve been planning this for months, and I’ve had a couple of years to build up my business, the various side hustles that I do, make connections, get clients, feel the waters, that sort of thing.

I’ve managed to get to the point where we definitely can make it, it’s just a little scary at first. That’s the biggest thing I’ve seen so far. I’m a big planner and I’ve found that I’m able to logically explain this move to myself but quitting a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year job, fully remote, all the flexibility in the world, awesome insurance, it’s more of an emotional thing at this point. Logically it’s fine because I’ve figured how much money our family spends on an average basis, I’ve seen how much money we have in savings. I even tested the waters with various clients and things to see if worse comes to worse, can I just pump out more articles or do more work and they said yes.

Logically it makes perfect sense. I know I want to do it, I know I have a very entrepreneurial spirit, and that’s just who I am. It’s just emotional at this point, it’s raw. I’m not quite as emotional my wife is about this scenario, but god bless her. She supports me and I very much appreciate that. But, I’m a little bit emotional, a little bit anxious because it’s the fear of the unknown. At some point in life, you need to just do it to be happy.

At this very early stage, being the very last day, it’s just more emotional. You’re anxious; you’re constantly going through those “what-if” scenarios in your head. As soon as you think “what if”, all the logic comes in and says that you’re being ridiculous. It’s that fight-or-flight response in your head from your amygdala. I have no regrets whatsoever now, I’m ecstatic to be able to be on my own and do my own thing. I’m getting a little anxious just thinking about it to be honest with you because it’s such a big life change for not only me but for my family.

To give you some background information, I’m the sole breadwinner in my family. My wife’s a stay-at-home mom and I have 2 kids. The financial burden is definitely there, so I think that the anxiety definitely has a reason to be there. That’s what I’m feeling now and my wife is feeling that way too. If you work for yourself, or you want to work for yourself and have a family and a wife that’s not like you, but supports you for everything you do, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for them. It’s been pretty difficult for my wife.

Every move that I’ve made in life has always been for the better of us, and we’ve always been better off for it, my track record is 100 percent. She knows how driven I am and she knows I can always make things happen, but it’s all about worrying what was given up.

Last time when I went independent, I was giving up a whole lot less. I gave up less than half of the salary that I’m making now. I enjoyed the work less than what I’m doing now, we had worse health insurance, worse benefits overall, it’s about what’s given up. That’s one thing that logically doesn’t make sense. You need to make that life change and you’re always worried about what you’re giving up when in reality, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t care if I’m giving up a billion dollars if I’m going to be happy I have to make that change.

It really doesn’t matter because, in your mind, you emotionally think “what if”. It’s just like Gary Vaynerchuk always says, “Would you rather have a BMW or a Toyota and be less happy?” It’s the same thing with this. I always felt like I was denying myself of my true potential, to be truly free to do what I want to do, choose my own projects, plan my life more, focus on what I love to do, feel fulfilled and to eventually make the money.

It’s been my experience that whenever I was solely focused on money, I would just hop jobs for five, ten thousand more a year. I did that for maybe four or five jobs, and I got to the point where I was making like thirty thousand more a year. I hated the last job, I absolutely hate it. Plus, I was only making an extra thirty thousand dollars a year. It wasn’t until I stepped outside my comfort zone and went completely independent contractor, to decide I’m going to make a big change in my life. That was the first time I’d went independent and I loved it.

My boss at the time wanted me to be on full-time and offered me a salary that I was at when I started, and it was awesome. I didn’t necessarily make that change for the money, sure the money was good but I wanted to be independent at the time. It made a huge change in more than my happiness. I’ve been much happier when I’ve been doing CarTalks, blogging, speaking and just getting involved more in the public light, and helping more people than what I’m used to.

I’ve been pursuing the things that I really love to do more, the money just naturally came.  A lot of people say that the money will naturally come, don’t ever solely focus on the money. When I was hopping jobs I never took the risk to truly have the potential to make money. It wasn’t until I did, that the ball began rolling. It was this mindset thing that gave me the courage to do what I’m doing now, this being my last day of work from the best job that I’ve ever had.

It’s more you get used to it in a sense. It’s that first step that’s really hard to do, but once you take that first step you realize, “I didn’t lose the house. We’re still fine as a family”. Actually, when I look back, we’re a whole lot better off than we were before. That logical sense of you seems to cut down on that gut emotional reaction that you have. That’s kind of how I’m feeling today.

I hope to do more CarTalks and perhaps document how I feel during this process. I know some people want to do something similar, and I’m really a big proponent of giving back and paying it forward on whatever my experiences are. I want to make all the mistakes first so everyone else doesn’t have to make them for themselves. So, that’s how it is, last day at work, little anxious, no regrets, looking forward to seeing what’s ahead. Thanks!

This post was brought to you by yet another #CarTalks YouTube video. Be sure to check out all of the other #CarTalks videos and other video content on the Adam the Automator YouTube channel!

The post I Quit My Job. This Is Day 1 appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

As seen on the Ipswitch blog

When you need to get access to a command line console like PowerShell or Bash, where do you go? Chances are, if you’re on Windows, you fire up powershell.exe or nowadays even Bash on Windows. Likewise, if you’re on MacOS or Linux, you can bring up both consoles as well. But, what if you didn’t have to worry about the OS you’re on at all or even if you’re on your iPhone to get to CLI? It’s possible with Azure Cloud Shell.

Azure Cloud Shell is a service from Microsoft that allows you to have a PowerShell or Bash console right from within your browser. Because it’s browser-based, you don’t have to worry about having any local setup to run PowerShell or Bash. Azure Cloud Shell is truly what the cloud was created for. No need to worry about any of the underlying infrastructures if all you need is a console.

To use Azure Cloud Shell, you’ll need to have an Azure subscription and depending on what resources you use while logged in you may be charged. When you first sign up, you’ll need to have a resource group, storage account and Azure File Share associated with it.

You’ll need to have these resources to use the service because it needs a place to store some temporary information for your sessions. This is only a one-time setup and once setup, it will use the file share for all subsequent sessions.

You can have Azure Cloud Shell create all of these resources for you, but if you’d rather create them yourself, there’s an advanced option you can use to define everything the way you’d like.

When you get the storage setup, depending on the shell you choose, you’ll be dropped into either Bash or PowerShell. If using Bash, you’ll be dropped into the console with the Azure CLI immediately available.

If using PowerShell, it will drop you onto a Windows Server 2016 VM in the background where you have Windows PowerShell available. Notice from the screenshot above that you’ll have the Azure PowerShell modules already available. When you first start it up, you’ll be in the Azure drive. This allows you to browse all of your Azure resources just like a file system.

If using PowerShell, another cool feature of the Azure Cloud Shell is the ability to enter your Azure VMs with the Enter-AzureRmVm and Invoke-AzureRmVmCommand commands. These commands are built on top of PowerShell remoting and allow you to seamlessly run PowerShell remoting commands directly to any of your Azure Vms without having to worry about configuration or authenticating across the Internet. While you’re in the Azure Cloud Shell, you’ve already authenticated and can then easily run whatever commands you’d like on any of your Azure VMs.

The VMs that Azure Cloud Shell runs on also come with various tools pre-installed such as the Azure CLI, different package managers, Git, Pester and so on. If a tool you need doesn’t exist, you can always download it via Install-Module if on PowerShell or via the package manager of your choice if running Bash.

The one caveat I’ve found annoying with the Azure Cloud Shell is that it has a 20-minute timeout. If you’re like me, you’ve got a task to do in PowerShell and then get busy doing something else. You switch contexts and begin working on something else to then come back around to your session and continue on that task. If you’re in the Cloud Shell and 20 minutes has passed, you’ll have to start another session. If using PowerShell, this can take a minute or two which is a major inconvenience.

I’ve also seen that when copying and pasting multiple lines into the console, it will paste them in the wrong order. This appears to be a bug which I hope can be fixed at some time. Overall though, for a service that’s as new as the Cloud Shell, it’s proven super-useful and is my go-to resource when I need a quick PowerShell or Bash prompt.

The post Getting Started with Microsoft Azure’s Cloud Shell appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post using the code name of Project Scissors, I’m happy to finally announce it’s official name, TechSnips! And, it’s available to everyone June 5th, 2018!

TechSnips is a new e-learning platform using hundreds of short (1-10 minute) screencasts delivered by dozens of tech experts in their field. We currently have snips on subjects like PowerShell, Azure Virtual Machines, Visual Studio Code, Active Directory and more with new categories been blazed every week. This platform is the culmination of lots of hard work by myself and all of the initial contributors that made this launch happen.

This is a video platform that cuts through all of the fluff and gets right to what you want to know now. No slides, No fluff, Just results is the motto of TechSnips.

TechSnips is a service that will always be growing. We will always be accepting new contributors and we will always be posting new screencasts daily. If you’re interested in being part of the soft launch that will be released a week before the public unveiling and at a discount, please head over to techsnips.io to get signed up.

If you’re an IT guru and want to show what you can do and make some cash from it, check out my latest blog post on contributing. We’re always accepting new contributors.

The post Introducing TechSnips, A New IT Screencast Learning Platform! appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Technology professionals are a unique breed. We are smart, driven people that can bang out code, build servers, install software and think nothing of it. People not in tech think we’re magicians with the secret formula locked away in our heads but we simply dismiss them and think nothing of it. We fail to realize just how valuable that knowledge is to other people.

Imagine what kind of knowledge repository we could all build if each of us could somehow download that knowledge into some kind of form and upload it to a single place.

Think about being able to come to a place where you can find real solutions to real problems demonstrated by real professionals.

Now envision you, as a contributor to this knowledge repository, downloading your knowledge from your head in the form of short screencast demonstrations on the topic of your choosing. You’re getting publicity, showing people you know your stuff and getting paid every, single month from it.

This knowledge repository is TechSnips and is a project that’s long overdue.

Already sold? Skip to the contributor application.

What is TechSnips?

TechSnips is an online service providing short, how-to screencasts across a number of different topics. The screencasts aren’t all recorded by professional presenters or trainers; they are recorded by hundreds of every-day tech guys and gals.

Every day experts record a screencast, send it in and we take care of the rest. TechSnips has video editors on staff and people to care for each screencast from the time it comes into the time it gets published on the platform. The only thing you need to do is record a short screencast and repeat with no limit.

This is a project that allows every tech professional a platform to demonstrate their knowledge on the subject of their choice. It’s a project that then pays people for their time and knowledge in the form of monthly royalties. The more the service makes, the more the contributors make.

Why start TechSnips?

This project was started for four reasons:

  1. To encourage Joe IT guy to step outside his comfort zone and share his knowledge.
  2. To bring together the collective knowledge that so many technology professionals in one place.
  3. To pay people for their time and their knowledge
  4. To scratch the itch of its entrepreneurial founder

The amount of untapped knowledge out there in our heads not being shared with others astounds me. One of the primary reasons I believe this is because we’re not getting paid. We have a job already. Why should I blog, tweet, contribute to an open source project or speak at conferences when it pays nothing? Fair enough. We’ve all got other things to do.

But what if we all had the chance to capitalize on that knowledge by getting compensated? That changes things. Now we’d have the ability to make real money off of our work. At the same time, we’d begin getting publicity.

How Does it Work?

The process is purposefully simple. We’ve removed as many barriers as possible to allow everyone to contribute.

  1. Pick a screencast you’d like to record
  2. Propose the topic to use
  3. Get approved
  4. Record the screencast
  5. Submit the screencast
  6. Screencast is published
  7. Get paid
What’s in it for me?

If you haven’t guessed already, there’s a lot in it for you!

  • Promote yourself

Every snip will have a professional, custom intro animation added to it with the snip title, your name and your Twitter handle. An example of this intro animation can be found here. This recognition helps build your credibility and shows you know your stuff!

  • Improve your presentation skills

Since every snip published will go through an editing process and you may work with an editor (if any major problems), you’ll be able to spot your weaknesses in delivery and recording quality. This will help you become a better presenter. Once your screencast is published you’ll then be able to see what a polished version of it looks like.

  • Record once, get paid monthly forever

As a contributor, you will be paid for your knowledge over time with our royalty model. If you can come up with solutions for problems other technology professionals are having, can explain your answer in a clear, concise manner and can record it, you will be paid. How much you ask? Sign up and find out.

When’s it launching?

If you’re reading this after June 5th, 2018, it’s already here! If not, it’s launching on June 5th, 2018. It is our goal to source 500 or more screencasts for an initial batch of content at launch day. Once we get to that point, we will launch the official service to everyone.

It would behoove you to start contributing as much as you can ASAP to begin getting eyeballs on your videos from the get-go!

Get Started

If you’ve been considering sharing your knowledge with others, have already been contributing to your community and looking for some ways to monetize your content or just know a lot about tech and want to make some side money, sign up. Signing up costs you nothing and could be the beginning of a chapter in your career that you never knew existed.

The post TechSnips: Time to Make Some $$$ Off of Your Knowledge! appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Do you want to work for yourself, on your own remotely, doing remote work? People who have not worked a lot remotely, think that it sounds like work nirvana. They think they’re going to get so much done and it’s going to be so nice to have flexibility. You do have that, but at the same time, there are downfalls that people not working remotely for very long may not know yet. That’s the topic I want to talk about in this CarTalks.

I’ve been working remotely for almost 7-8 years, so I have quite a bit of experience in that. One of the biggest advantages of remote work is for the employer. I tend to get more things done because you don’t have that water-cooler talk, you don’t have the constant “Oh, while you’re here” sort of thing or your constant cube drive-by. That’s one of the great things for an employer and for an employee about remote work. You get a lot done, but at the same time, it depends on the type of person you are.

A person who loves what they do, even works during the nights and after hours, they feel a sense of fulfillment in their work and want to be a good team player, those are good people for remote work. But, if you’re in a position to where you don’t like your work, remote work is probably not for you because you’re not going to have the direction and motivation to actually do anything. You’ll find yourself watching TV in the middle of the day or working on something else when you shouldn’t, that sort of thing. You have to be into your job and enjoy it to get the most out of remote work.

The biggest problem with remote work is that stigma of “if you’re working from home, it means that you’re really not working, you’re slacking off”. I think that’s one thing that’s stopped a lot of companies from embracing remote work. They still have that same mentality and it’s not true. Sometimes it’s true but like I said, it all comes down to the particular person doing the work. If they love what they do, they’re going to naturally do the work and get what they need to be done regardless of if they’re in a home office or in a work environment.

Let’s shift toward some of the problems and the good things that you find by doing remote work. To give you a description of a bad thing that happens whenever you work at home, yesterday and today actually, we are getting a new floor put in our kitchen and the floor is tile. If you could imagine a jackhammer sounding like it’s going to go through your floor to get this tile up when your office is in the basement, that gives you a good indication of the sound level in my office yesterday.

Not only that, but if you have the commotion of a family there is constant talking, crying, falling down, and footsteps all across the floor when you’re trying to focus on something. It happens, that’s one of the bad things about remote work. Now, when I say remote work, you don’t have to necessarily work in a home office like I do. You could go to a Starbucks, library, or you can go anywhere really, your options are endless. As long as you have a connection to the internet and a good laptop, you can pretty much work anywhere you want. That’s one of the good things about the flexibility but you have all that sound stuff.

Another problem that some people run through when it comes to remote work is they can’t separate remote work from personal life. I hate that concept of work-life balance. To me it’s all just one thing, it all blends together. I technically work 7 days a week because life and work are just the same to me. I don’t really consider myself a workaholic because I’m just a lifeaholic. It’s part of my life, I enjoy what I do.

I know you have your personal stuff and your work stuff. I still need some kind of distinction between the two because you have to get into that mode, that mentality, just like with anything. It’s the same thing that happens when you work remotely. You have to shift yourself into the work mentality versus the leisure mentality. Whenever I’m working on something, it feels a lot different than when I’m just sitting and watching Netflix for example.

When I’m watching Netflix, I feel like I have to go through a transition of “I’m watching Netflix, I don’t really feel like working right now”. Sometimes it’s easier than others but you have to have this mental shift in your head to where you shift from work mode to leisure mode. You need that sort of delineation between the two.

One good way to do this is to set up cues and routines. I’ve had a routine for a long time to where I will get up in the morning have my breakfast, take my daughter to school if it’s not during the summer, and then go immediately downstairs and go to work. It’s the routine, and then I work for however long I’m going to do. Normally because I have a full-time job, it’s 10 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, then I do a little bit of stuff for my side hustle, and then do nothing for the rest of the evening. It’s a routine, it’s a habit.

Especially if you work for yourself, you have to get into this routine of “I’m going to do this here, this here, this here” and it naturally goes together. If you think when working remotely you’ll just get stuff done at a random time and have leisure at a random time, if you find yourself doing that, you will do lots more leisure activity than work because you’ll find excuses not to. If you could, establish routines and cues. My work cue, for example, is when I get back from home from dropping off my daughter, I immediately going downstairs. I don’t even have to think about it anymore, I just go to work.

Another thing of being able to separate your work from your leisure it to have a separate physical location. I can’t tell you the difference when you have an office that you use only for work purposes, not for anything else, and you physically close the door. You don’t know the kind of mental shift that has if you’ve been going into an office for a long time. You need that kind of cue when you go into work mode when you work from home because if we don’t like I said, you’ll fall back into typical home life.

Working remote for such a long time, I have developed a lot of different cues, tips, and trick. If you want to know anything else about remote work life, if you’re thinking about doing it, or you’re doing it now and you want any kind of tips, just let me know, hit me up in the comments or follow me on Twitter if you’re not already @adbertram and reply to this topic. I’d really like to talk, hit me up, let me know, give me some feedback. Thanks!

This post was brought to you by yet another #CarTalks YouTube video. Be sure to check out all of the other #CarTalks videos and other video content on the Adam the Automator YouTube channel!

The post How I Live the Remote Work Life appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Have you ever heard of productivity porn? I like it, and if you continue to read, you’ll see that you like it too. If you don’t already know, productivity porn is a term coined by a productivity guru guy called Merlin Mann. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s the guy that came up with the concept of Inbox Zero and he sent a lot of talks about productivity. He’s one of those guys that I really look up to. He’s got a lot of great ideas and that term productivity porn is exactly what I constantly struggle with. I wanted to watch it and to do it without actually getting anything done.

Basically, productivity porn is your unable stick to one tool to get things done. You’re constantly messing around, you get excitement from a new app, a new way of organizing your tasks, a new way of setting goals, and you’re constantly fiddling around with your system when the true purpose of the system is to get things done. The reason I wanted to do the CarTalks today is that I’m back to the original task management I began with and to give you an idea of where I’ve been as far as trying to track my tasks and my personal projects.

I’ve been really interested in getting things done, productivity, squeezing every bit of efficiency out of my time and out of my myself and out of my body that I can. I’ve been this way fifteen years or so and I’ve read lots of books, subscribed to lots of different podcasts, and have opened up countless accounts on to-do services, task management services, personal project management services, and every time I start I get enthused about it. I’ve probably gone through six or seven different apps over the last 15 years that I’ve tried and I get all enthused and then a few months later I no longer think it’s exciting.

I go off and look for another way of organizing my tasks when at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re constantly fiddling around with your settings, that’s just another time drain that totally goes against why you started a task management system in the first place. I can’t count how many hours that I’ve spent playing around with these apps, playing around with new systems, reading a book that got me all inspired.

I even tried Notepad for a while because I got so frustrated because I didn’t want to give myself any chance to actually get in there and waste time by fiddling around with settings. I just wanted something extremely simple. Then it came to the point with Notepad to where I had to organize things. My brain has this need to categorize things and to put them in strict order. It has all these tendencies to want to categorize, fix, and tweak things just right so it looks good without actually doing the task.

I procrastinate constantly on tasks and it’s nice to feel that you checked one off. But, as soon as I go into some task management system I think how to better organize it. One of the things that I really struggle with is figuring out how to break out tasks because me, being the engineer mentality and left-brain thinker, I think is it a task or a task with subtasks? This is because many tasks have several steps involved before final completion. My brain is constantly breaking down all these things in my head and that’s how I get fiddling and getting engrossed in what I’m thinking. That’s a waste of time when I could just do the task.

I actually don’t know if it’s David Allen or not who says to use tasks as simple reminders cues to what you need to do. So, if you want to write a blog article on how to install IIS, the task could be “write an article – How to Install IIS”. I have written enough articles and know my writing style. I know how I think when I write and when I write I normally start from the top and just go all the way through. I don’t ever do an outline; some people are different and prefer an outline.

Let’s say I’m writing this article for a client and I have to submit it, so that is at the very top level of this task is – send article – How to Install IIS to the client. The very last step you want to do in this task is -get paid for writing article- How to Install IIS. Now if you know in your head that will always entail the same exact process every time, use that as a task. There’s only one single task in there, there is nothing else. The task is -get paid for the article- and you know in order to get paid, you have to write the article and submit the invoice, so there are three different subtasks in there.

This is different for some people. You have to figure it out for yourself but it’s all about only documenting the tasks that are cues for what you want to do and for tasks that can’t be done all at one time. In this instance of writing an article you wouldn’t just put – Get Paid for an Article – because you’re not going to write the article, submit the article, and get paid all in one shot. You need a way track these tasks over time and so in that instance, I would probably have that in four tasks, – write an article, submit an article, submit an invoice, waiting for cash -.  You always need some kind of tickler system to where they’ll come up a week, two weeks, or whenever you want to follow up with them to make sure you actually did get paid for it.

If this was any other situation, for the writing task you could actually break it down – write an outline for the article – write an article – submit an article.  You could probably put – submit to the client at this email address – if you don’t know that stuff at the top of your head. If you have to reference that in any other way, it’s much better to put everything you can in the task itself.

I’ve been thinking about doing a series of blog posts or something on the concept of productivity porn and figuring out the best ways to organize your brain in a way that helps you accomplish more things but not get engrossed in the process to where it’s diminishing returns. You could try and try, and you’ll just fiddle around with your systems all day, something I have got a lot of experience with, unfortunately.

If you get anything out of this CarTalks, start a task management system if you don’t have one already, start a personal project system, some kind of app, either it is notepad, a print journal, anything like that, start some kind of system. Then when you do start it, don’t fiddle around with it forever. Remember that the whole goal of that is to get more things done, be better at time management, and achieving your goals of what you want to do. Don’t get caught up in fiddling with settings constantly because take it from me, someone that has wasted countless hours of doing this over the years, it’s just not worth it.

This post was brought to you by yet another #CarTalks YouTube video. Be sure to check out all of the other #CarTalks videos and other video content on the Adam the Automator YouTube channel!

The post Productivity Porn and How to Stop Fiddling and Start Doing appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Do you have a kiss-ass boss, a political boss, or a boss that should have stayed an engineer? Let’s find out.

As part of me going out on my own and taking a look at part of my career and the many jobs that I’ve had as an IT, I want to reflect back to some of the bosses that I’ve had. I would like to see which boss would be similar to some of the bosses you had to figure out if you see any of these characteristics in the boss that you had in the past or present.

In the Beginning

I started out in IT in 1998, at that time, I had a boss that was crass, very blunt, non-political, hated the system, but was a hell of a worker. He was a pretty good leader, he allowed us to do what we needed to do with some good direction and was generally one of those bosses that not a lot of people outside of our little sphere liked. He didn’t put up with any shit. He didn’t put up with anybody’s frivolous things of politics, he hated all that stuff and that’s what I really liked about him. When you get to know him personally, you found out he was a really good guy. That was my first boss.

Second Boss Experience

My second boss was the political boss. He was the kind of boss that did everything, he looked up constantly at his superiors. There would be times where he would tell us we needed to do something because somebody above him said too. We would balk at some of the things he’d say because he’d let stuff trickle down. He did everything that the boss told him to do, he would never question it. He would never do anything, he played the political game like a champ, like a chess game. He was always looking for the next strategic move. We would say this isn’t the right thing to do. We need to configure the server this way, we need to put anti-virus on these servers. “No, no, no, my boss says the anti-virus causes problems and we can’t put it on there.” Obvious stuff that management doesn’t have any idea about but wants to go ahead and do it anyways.

One Boss Who Shouldn’t Have Been

Another boss that I’ve had in my career is the brilliant engineer. He should have never had a management position in his life. What I mean by that is, there’s a key difference between a great technical person and a great leader. An engineer has a very left brain, logical, usually not an introvert, not really a whole lot of social skills but a brilliant engineer, problem solver. You give him a problem with anything, he would be able to come up with a solution in no time. Very forward thinking, was able to solve problems before they even came up. He was the engineer that wouldn’t tolerate anybody that wasn’t as intelligent as he was. Wouldn’t solve a problem the same way, he was very black-and-white. You would get something done and for all intents and purposes, it was fine. It fixed the problem but he didn’t think it was that way so he would go on a tirade on you. There would be times this guy would rail on me so much about the stupidest little details.

For example, in the data center, he noticed that one of the hard drives in a Raider was failing on one of the servers. He approached me about it and asked if I saw the failing hard drive. I said yes, I was in the datacenter and I saw it. He gave me a “are you stupid” kind of look and shrugged his shoulders asking me what I did about it. He railed on forever about this. I still remember to this day, that was the only time in my career that I almost cried because I was proud of what I was doing. I didn’t have much self-confidence and self-esteem as what I should have had. I was a pretty good tech and he would put you down constantly because you’re not up to his skill level. That’s the engineer guy that shouldn’t have been a leader.

More Types of Leaders

The next manager guy was a shrugging his shoulders motto. He didn’t care about anything, and you could tell he didn’t care about his job, he just wanted to go home. He was just getting by on the absolute minimum amount of work he could do. He was the kind of guy that did not lead whatsoever. The only time you would hear from him is when his boss would be on him and he would just let shit go downhill. Normally good leaders would filter what they would get from their managers and lead and provide some kind of direction. He treated you as a peer and that’s good in some sense, but you don’t want your boss to constantly pass the buck. “He’s on my ass again, will you just do this for me?” But, if he was not getting anything specifically told to him, you could do whatever you wanted.

The next boss I call a leader. I’ve only had maybe two of these kinds of bosses in my entire career. These bosses are technical enough to get down into code with you and to understand the technical problems to a degree where you can make good decisions and ask good questions of you and get some insight from you. They also had the leadership skills to build the direction of where the team needs to go, the strategical goals. They weren’t just fighting the fires kind leader, they would produce. Every week they would have these meetings. Normally I hate meetings, but when you have a meeting with a leader it’s different because you get inspired and motivated. They have fulfillment in your career, and these leaders are the kinds that have the technical expertise, leadership skills, social skills, they are typically respected.

I respected them because not only did they provide great leadership, they were stern, they were able to straddle that line between stern and an asshole. When you respect somebody and they say, “we got to get this done like now” you’ll drop everything to do it. The leader hasn’t been told what to do, he’s coming up with his own way. The leader would never say even if his superior told him that he needed to do something, he would never actually tell us “the engineers” that his boss told him to do something. Instead, he would make it sound like this is a business thing that needs to be done and we just need to get it done, and how can we do it? He also asked a lot of questions. He would ask what you think it’s going to take to get it done, and when you could have it done by? Really inquisitive, asking lots and lots of questions.

Do you see your boss in any of these situations? If you do, I want to let you know to always look for that leadership boss, look for somebody that’s inspiring, somebody to ask questions rather than barks commands. Think twice if your boss says, “well my boss told me to do this, you have to do this”. Ask for a leader, be happy about your career because when you are, you’ll be much happier and fulfilled with your work.

This post was brought to you by yet another #CarTalks YouTube video. Be sure to check out all of the other #CarTalks videos and other video content on the Adam the Automator YouTube channel!

The post Which of These 4 Types of Bosses Do You Have? appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Technology professionals are a unique breed. We are smart, driven people that can bang out code, build servers, install software and think nothing of it. People not in tech think we’re magicians with the secret formula locked away in our heads but we simply dismiss them and think nothing of it. We fail to realize just how valuable that knowledge is to other people.

Imagine what kind of knowledge repository we could all build if each of us could somehow download that knowledge into some kind of form and upload it to a single place.

Think about being able to come to a place where you can find real solutions to real problems demonstrated by real professionals.

Now envision you, as a contributor to this knowledge repository, downloading your knowledge from your head in the form of short screencast demonstrations on the topic of your choosing. You’re getting publicity, showing people you know your stuff and getting paid every, single month from it.

This knowledge repository is Project Scissors (for now) and is a project that’s long overdue.

Already sold? Skip to the contributor application.

What is Project Scissors?

Project Scissors is a code name for an unreleased online service providing short, how-to screencasts across a number of different topics. The screencasts aren’t all recorded by professional presenters or trainers; they are recorded by hundreds of every-day tech guys and gals.

Every day experts record a screencast, send it in and we take care of the rest. Project Scissors has video editors on staff and people to care for each screencast from the time it comes in to the time it gets published on the platform. The only thing you need to do is record a short screencast and repeat with no limit.

This is a project that allows every tech professional a platform to demonstrate their knowledge on the subject of their choice. It’s a project that then pays people for their time and knowledge in the form of monthly royalties. The more the service makes, the more the contributors make.

Why start Project Scissors?

This project was started for four reasons:

  1. To encourage Joe IT guy to step outside his comfort zone and share his knowledge.
  2. To bring together the collective knowledge that so many technology professionals in one place.
  3. To pay people for their time and their knowledge
  4. To scratch the itch of its entrepreneurial founder

The amount of untapped knowledge out there in our heads not being shared with others astounds me. One of the primary reasons I believe this is because we’re not getting paid. We have a job already. Why should I blog, tweet, contribute to an open source project or speak at conferences when it pays nothing? Fair enough. We’ve all got other things to do.

But what if we all had the chance to capitalize on that knowledge by getting compensated? That changes things. Now we’d have the ability to make real money off of our work. At the same time, we’d begin getting publicity.

How Does it Work?

The process is purposefully simple. We’ve removed as many barriers as possible to allow everyone to contribute.

  1. Pick a screencast you’d like to record
  2. Propose the topic to use
  3. Get approved
  4. Record the screencast
  5. Submit the screencast
  6. Screencast is published
  7. Get paid
What’s in it for me?

If you haven’t guessed already, there’s a lot in it for you!

  • Promote yourself

Every snip will have a professional, custom intro animation added to it with the snip title, your name and your Twitter handle. An example of this intro animation can be found here. This recognition helps build your credibility and shows you know your stuff!

  • Improve your presentation skills

Since every snip published will go through an editing process and you may work with an editor (if any major problems), you’ll be able to spot your weaknesses in delivery and recording quality. This will help you become a better presenter. Once your screencast is published you’ll then be able to see what a polished version of it looks like.

  • Record once, get paid monthly forever

As a contributor, you will be paid for your knowledge over time with our royalty model. If you can come up with solutions for problems other technology professionals are having, can explain your answer in a clear, concise manner and can record it, you will be paid. How much you ask? Sign up and find out.

When’s it launching?

As I alluded to earlier, Project Scissors is the pre-launch name for this new service. It is our goal to source 100 or more screencasts for an initial batch of content at launch day. Once we get to that point, we will launch the official service to everyone. The current timeline is late May/early June for a complete rollout.

It would behoove you to start contributing as much as you can ASAP to begin getting eyeballs on your videos from the get-go!

Get Started

If you’ve been considering sharing your knowledge with others, have already been contributing to your community and looking for some ways to monetize your content or just know a lot about tech and want to make some side money, sign up. Signing up costs you nothing and could be the beginning of a chapter in your career that you never knew existed.

The post Project Scissors: Time to Make Some $$$ Off of Your Knowledge! appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

My resignation letter is created and sent. My HR exit interview is scheduled and I will be officially on my own by May 4th. Talk about a scary, yet exciting experience. I am finally going out on my own and I hope it’s for good this time. I hope that I am able to withstand the lure of a “secure job” and some good money.

To give you a brief history, I was out on my own once already. I was on my own for a year when I had an opportunity. My main source of income was a 40-hour a week contract, so essentially, I had guaranteed 40 hours a week of work every week and I loved it. I loved every bit of it, I loved the freedom, the independence, being able to define my own schedule. But the company that I worked for at the time, which I’ve now put in my notice for, had offered me a full-time job. I said I wasn’t going to do it but they offered me the job. The salary was well over twice what I was making before I went on contract, full-time remote, flexible schedule, all this stuff and I gave in and said okay.

I guess you can say I’ve been denying really who I am for a very long time. Look at the culture, you get a good paying job and you stay there. That’s kind of old-fashioned mentality. I’ve never been one to be really loyal to a company, I’m very independent. I really think that you should take control of your own career, but I think that American culture is about you get a job and do your 9-5, go home, and you have a personal life. There’s always this belief of people want to separate their work from personal. They talk about work-life balance, why can’t it all be life?

In this digital day and age with everything being online, we don’t have to go into offices anymore. We don’t have to work with the physical product. I’m in software, all I need is a VPN connection and a laptop to make my living. Why should you have to separate work from life? I really didn’t have any predefined topic of this. I have written a blog post about quitting my job and being an entrepreneur but I really feel that a lot of people are stuck in a position that I was in the golden handcuffs.

If you’re lucky enough to be stuck in the golden handcuffs position like I was it’s kind of a mixed blessing. At one point when I got the job, I was so excited. Doubled my salary, got excellent benefits, 100% remote, extremely flexible schedule, come and go as I please, do what I want as long as I get those 40 hours a week. I was thinking this is the greatest thing ever but as I progressed there was always this feeling inside of me that there’s something not right. You’re not fulfilled.

I’ve had some kind of side business for over a decade now. I love all my side business stuff, I feel like nothing can stop me. You have all the control in the world and can come up with great ideas and try them out and see what happens. You don’t have to get approval from anybody. You won’t have to go to meetings, do all the fluff that happens with a full-time job, I absolutely loved it. I’ve never met somebody that loves the office politics and loves meeting after meeting. As part of a full-time position, you have to have a different kind of mentality. You kind of have to put your blinders on sometimes and at some point, you get so frustrated with this, you get so fed up. A lot of people just deal with it for their entire life because they feel like there’s no other way.

My parents had a job and just dealt with it, they gripe and complain but they dealt with it. My grandparents, my great-grandma Sarah had a job, my friends all have a job. Logically, they probably know they could go out on their own but what about the “what ifs”. You start thinking about this pressure from everyone else, the general culture of having a job. You have a job, deal with it. That’s part of life and that’s one thing that I stand against. I stand against people that don’t think outside the box. They don’t think outside of themselves. You can do something better with your life, you don’t have to adhere to everyone else’s mode of thinking. I know firsthand, it’s extremely easy to get stuck in that rut.

I know from experience, that the societal pressure of having that job and providing for your family, not taking risks, it’s not something that everybody wants. There’s a lot of people that would love to have their own business. I think eventually you get to a breaking point where you decide if your job is worth dealing with all the shit, not feeling fulfilled in life, not feeling like you’re accomplishing something. You have to realize that life’s too short to just get by and be idle. I know it sounds kind of Tony Robbinish, but I truly feel this way. There are so many people that are just like me, that have a family and have this financial burden on top of them, but I think I made that choice years ago.

I was able to build up a financial buffer and plan this whole kind of process years ago. Quitting my hundred and fifty thousand a year job was not an overnight decision by any mean whatsoever. It was a process of years and years, and I don’t want to persuade everyone to quit their jobs right now. My suggestion is If you truly want to do something on your own, you need to put a plan in place. This plan is six months to a year or more, it depends. Have a financial buffer in place, have enough money set aside to be able to support you and your family for six months, something like that. Once you have that buffer you need to make strategic risks. Going on your own is always going to be a risk but you have to be strategic about it. You have to have that buffer, a plan, search for benefits, health insurance, dental insurance, all this sort of stuff.

Once you do that, you diversify as much as you can. If you’re focusing on business, one client or one source, and that dries up for some reason, you’re screwed. It’s not for everyone by any means, and if you are thinking about going out on your own, please let me know, I would be glad to help. Like I said, I’ve been thinking about this for years and years. If you’re thinking about going on your own, maybe you’re just considering another job, just considering a big life change, there’s a lot of things that you have to really take into consideration before you make the leap. I don’t want people to just change immediately because the watched my CarTalks video without having any plan. It’s dumb to make decisions on a whim like that. You have to be strategic about things.

I’m on Twitter @adbertram, let me know what you got going on and I’ll see if I can help. In three weeks I’ll be on my own!

This post was brought to you by yet another #CarTalks YouTube video. Be sure to check out all of the other #CarTalks videos and other video content on the Adam the Automator YouTube channel!

The post Work Fulfillment Wanted – Job Not Necessary, Apply Within appeared first on Adam the Automator - DevOps, Automation, PowerShell.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview