Need to find a career path...Windows Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008

I noticed a lot of technical analyst positions that require experience with Windows Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008.

I work in a help desk environment and support proprietary applications or company's software product suite for about 2 years. I don't have a lot of technical skills to get hired by another company because they want people with experience in these standard technologies: SQL Server, Windows Server. My current work place doesn't have these stuff for me to play around with unless I remote into the client's windows server to troubleshoot (but still not enough hands on exp).

What is the correct path to study Windows Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008? Can I buy a book and learn them on my own? How long did it take you to write the final exam? I've seen a lot of Microsoft exams but not sure what is the right path.

Comments

  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I was in about the same position as you a few years ago, working for an ISP with no server skills and all. You need to get yourself certified and find a helpdesk/desktop support/jr. system admin position that would let do some kind of work on servers. Before I got my current role, I worked in Desktop Support at the same company and one fine day the WSUS workstation admin says he doesnt want to it anymore - it being too darn boring for him. Being the kind of guy I am, I put my hand up immediately for the role. Not the most glamorous of things you'd want to be dong, but nevertheless good server experience for someone with NO server experience at all. This also turned out to be one of two reasons why I was moved into the Server team, the other reason was me having earned me MCSA.

    I'd suggest you download a free fully functional copy of Windows Server 2008 R2 from download.microsoft.com and some kind of virtualisation software, VMware/VirtualBox/VirtualPC. Any of them works just fine and there is a plethora of tutorials and step-by-step videos on youtube to get a lab up and running. Dont think about the exams just yet, learn as much as you can and keep looking for a role that would let you do some server work, even if it's just resetting passwords and archiving people's accounts.
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  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,740Mod Mod
    Essendon wrote: »
    I was in about the same position as you a few years ago, working for an ISP with no server skills and all. You need to get yourself certified and find a helpdesk/desktop support/jr. system admin position that would let do some kind of work on servers. Before I got my current role, I worked in Desktop Support at the same company and one fine day the WSUS workstation admin says he doesnt want to it anymore - it being too darn boring for him. Being the kind of guy I am, I put my hand up immediately for the role. Not the most glamorous of things you'd want to be dong, but nevertheless good server experience for someone with NO server experience at all. This also turned out to be one of two reasons why I was moved into the Server team, the other reason was me having earned me MCSA.

    I'd suggest you download a free fully functional copy of Windows Server 2008 R2 from download.microsoft.com and some kind of virtualisation software, VMware/VirtualBox/VirtualPC. Any of them works just fine and there is a plethora of tutorials and step-by-step videos on youtube to get a lab up and running. Dont think about the exams just yet, learn as much as you can and keep looking for a role that would let you do some server work, even if it's just resetting passwords and archiving people's accounts.

    That is golden advice right there. Your best bet will be a small shop where theres more work to do than the people in the team can handle. When things get busy in the server/network area, Helpdesk is the first place where the senior engineers will look. Pick up those mundane tasks that everybody hates such as inventory and cable management. Show disposition. When someone leaves or gets promoted most likely you will be considered. In the meanwhile work on those certs and use and abuse you home lab. Although this doesn't count as formal experience you can leverage it when interviewing. My old company was on server 2003 and Win XP but thanks to my certs and lab experience I was able to succesfully interview for a position requiring 2008 experience.
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