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Thoughts on locking into one particular skill set or technology?

N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
I was wondering what the forum thought of locking into one particular skill set for a period of time ( 1 year ) for example and blocking out all the other noise. Or course with your position you are usually required to know multiple skill sets and to deliver on them, and that's fine. I am thinking more around the self studying aspects of learning. Focusing laser sharp on Powershell for example or a certain element of Cisco networking or Microsoft server. Scoping in to master not MS Server or Cisco but just a piece of it. Does this work, do people do this? I only ask because I begun to do this with VBA within Excel. Very scoped in, but I am noticing a major knowledge gain within this one niche piece. It's the first time I have taken this approach and scoped in with this much focus. I personally like it, just curious what others thought. Thanks in advance.

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    DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    That's my way of learning it all, I have been lucky at work to have over the years had projects on many areas of IT (networking focused but I am a fair hand in most areas ), and at the same time I have usually been lucky and only had one project on the go at once. So its been many short sharp focused study for each, maybe 2 weeks to a months. Amazing how much you can pick up about a topic from just a few weeks of dedicated study let along a year!

    The ones you are good at you find you end up spending more time in that area, and when you move jobs or postition you follow those areas. then you find your self starting to end up with 6month/1year projects and you have to really start to consider where you are going to focus.

    I think the early days are when you really get to explore what areas you might be interested in and want to follow. I would say dip your toe in to see if you like it, then if you do carry on digging, if you don't look for some thing you do. The top guys in any IT field, not only know a lot about what they do, they also like it an awful lot! I don't suggest any one spends to much time in an area they dont like, if IT is going to be a successfuly career you must enjoy it, and there are plenty of fields to chose from. Flip side of the coin is that those guys are successfully because they managed to find a field they both enjoyed and excelled in. so the sooner you start to focus on one filed the faster you will move in to the top end jobs. Think it very hard for one person to tell another person how to balance it.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks for the follow-up. Solid read.
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    Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    Very beneficial indeed. When I really need/want to learn something I apply this method and it works like a charm. However, I don't think it has gone on for more than a couple of months. When I do this, I really do it all the time and this speeds up the process.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
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    tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I need to do this as well, my problem is I read stuff you guys post or I see something on a tech blog and go "SQUIRREL" and lose track of what I was originally going to study....
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    DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    tpatt100 wrote: »
    I need to do this as well, my problem is I read stuff you guys post or I see something on a tech blog and go "SQUIRREL" and lose track of what I was originally going to study....

    I think a bit of squirreling is a good thing, it keeps you up to date with the latest technology outside of the filed you are focusing on. I set aside some time each week to concentrate on my main goals, but for the rest I don't make any plans and let my mind wander.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
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    dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Humans are bad at multi-tasking. When you try, you end up with mediocre results. Best to focus your attention to single topic.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Agreed Dave - I am going to block out the noise and continue on my narrow but interesting journey. The most convincing piece for me was I actually use this skill at work so it's not some random skill set I am picking up I perform it about 20% of my total day which helps as well. <Example for me> I use several toolsets at work to do my job Excel being number 1. Well I want to scope in so much just to learn the VBA portion of Excel because I like it and there is a solid need. Not to mention other position similar to mine really like for the employee to have a lot of skills in that area. So I thought why not deep dive into that one particular area and keep hammering at it for a year. Not 6 hours extra a day, but an hour here or there, type of study. But the main piece is not focusing on something else just that piece.
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    --chris----chris-- Member Posts: 1,518 ■■■■■□□□□□
    tpatt100 wrote: »
    I need to do this as well, my problem is I read stuff you guys post or I see something on a tech blog and go "SQUIRREL" and lose track of what I was originally going to study....

    This is me as well, I can only focus on one goal for 1.5-2 hours a day TOPS! Your quite a bit more senior than I am, so I imagine there are fewer SQUIRRELS! in your day to day reading than I have lol.
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    the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

    If you enjoy it, then do it. I tend to do this when it's required to get the job done and it always serves me well. I've had to do it with Powershell a number of times, concentrating on it for a week or so to get a script running. I tend to think that sometimes what you think is a niche, is something a lot of other people want.
    WIP:
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    IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Member Posts: 480 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Being in college I've done the "scoping" with Cisco. My BS is in IT, so they cover pretty much everything related to it, albeit at an entry-level. I focused on cisco networking. Once I have my CCNA ( hopefully friday ), I'll scale back my cisco follow up study to focus on my tougher college courses, which is a database analysis and design course, and network security and monitoring course. I'll most likely go into a months period of hardcore sql and database training, just to get ahead of everyone else, while also getting certs in areas I don't have to study as much, like the A+ and MCSA windows 7.

    Only going for those basic level certs because in my location it is a minimum requirement in almost all IT jobs. Especially when you are new, they don't trust a BS, because here in PR a lot of people can graduate and still be absolute scrubs in what they studied. So certs help separate the serious candidate from the mediocre.
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    krjaykrjay Member Posts: 290
    I found the opposite to be true during my college career, but my BS was business related not IT. All of the semesters were similar but my last semester I had business law, accounting, marketing, and MIS (basically learned sql and did other things in Oracle) classes. At any given time I had to learn a ton of different topics. When I graduated and started pursuing the CCENT I thought, wow this is so much easier than university. I can sit here and learn networking. I don't have to couple it with 5 other topics, I can just study networking.


    I consider studying Cisco to be scoped in compared to the type of studying I've had to do for the past 5 years.
    2014 Certification Goals: 70-410 [ ] CCNA:S [ ] Linux+ [ ]
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