The Economy, Server 2008 and Network Infrastructure

Are you worried about the economy? Trying to figure out how it will affect your career in the IT field?

See what a Server 2008 certified expert, network infrastructure consultant and IT training instructor has to say about this.

Recently I got a chance to talk with Ed Liberman — the instructor for our newly released Network Infrastructure Training for Windows Server 2008.

We talked about the status of our economy and what’s new in Server 2008 as far as network infrastructure is concerned.

Ed also told me a little bit about himself, and shared some tips for all those wanting to take the Network Infrastructure 70-642 exam.

He’s an interesting guy and has more letters after his name than anyone I’ve ever met — here’s a list of Ed’s credentials: A+, Network+, Server+, MCP, MCSAx2, MCSEx3, MCDST, MCT, MCTSx5, MCITPx3 — boy that’s a lot of letters!

Meet the Server 2008 Expert: Ed Liberman

Ed LibermanKasia: Do you think this year’s economic meltdown has had an effect on the IT field?

Ed: Absolutely. Our current economic situation has had an impact on all fields. But I do believe that the IT field will survive the current economic meltdown better than many other fields.

The IT field has already had its turn to suffer at the turn of the century. The IT industry got a 1 2 3 punch with the fall of the .com, the Y2K hangover, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks all coming within a 2 year time period.

Many people felt that the IT industry would struggle to survive, but we not only survived, we managed to turn things back to a positive direction in a very short time.

Computers will be involved with all areas of business as far out as the eye can see. As long as there is a need for computers there will be a need for IT professionals.

Kasia: Do you think the economic crisis will have an effect on the success of your new training?

Ed: Yes. I have worked in a training capacity through good times and bad.

When the economy is poor, people look to "trim the fat" as much as possible. Companies tend to find that training is one of the easiest areas to justify a reduction in budget.

Video based training costs a mere fraction of what it would cost using other training methods. Good training is, and always will be necessary, so people will be looking to us for cost effective solutions.

Kasia: What do you think is the best improvement in the new Server 2008 as far as network infrastructure is concerned?

Ed: I would have to say that the improved interface and wizards would be the best improvement.

The general concepts of network infrastructure tend to stay primarily the same over time. Many of the networking components in Server 2008 work identical to how they worked in Server 2003 or even Windows 2000.

I think that most people will appreciate the fact that many of the tasks involved with managing a Server 2008 network infrastructure are now very intuitive.

Kasia: How long do you think Server 2008 will be around and when can we expect an upgrade?

Ed: Nobody can ever be quite sure what Microsoft will do or when they will release their next server operating system.

My best guess is that we will see a new server operating system in 2011 or 2012. Server 2008, however, will continue to be heavily used for at least another 3 or 4 years beyond that.

Operating systems tend to hold value for 2 generations out. A server operating system can occasionally continue to be used for 3 generations because of the high cost of upgrading.

For example, I know about companies who are still using Windows 2000 Server which was released in early 1999. I would expect to see history hold true for Windows Server 2008.

Kasia: What’s the hardest thing included on the Network Infrastructure 70-642 exam?

Ed: "Hard" is an interesting word when it comes to taking an exam.

As I explain in my certification video, an exam can be easy or hard based upon one’s willingness to learn the material and prepare for the exam.

I have heard many people talk about how easy the 70-642 exam is. I do not like hearing this because it sets other people up for failure.

Most of the people who are finding the exam easy are seasoned veterans who really know what they are doing. When someone new to the industry hears that a test is easy they don’t work as hard to prepare for the exam and then try to figure out why they heard it was so easy while looking at a failing score report.

I personally did not find any part of the exam to be either hard or easy. I made sure to prepare well and the result was that I passed without much difficulty.

Kasia: What advice would you give to someone studying for the Network Infrastructure 70-642 exam?

As I said before, being well prepared is the key — know the material! And you can do it by watching my certification video.

Kasia: What do you think people will like most about your new Network Infrastructure training?

Ed: Well that’s easy … ME of course. Okay, just kidding :)

I think people will like our hands on approach to learning. I have found over the years that people hate lecture and like labs.

This course gives people the opportunity to see how things are done, get their hands dirty, and try things for themselves instead of having to listen to someone lecture them on how something should be done.

Kasia: What makes your Network Infrastructure training different from all the others?

Ed: Ditto to the last question. Explaining a complex topic is good, but showing someone how to work through a complex problem in a real situation is much better.

Kasia: Do you have any advice for those who will be going through your training?

Ed: Have a lot of caffeine ready to go. I do my best to keep you watching, but network infrastructure stuff is not the most exciting material I have ever taught.

Kasia: What was your first certification and how did you become an expert on network infrastructure?

Ed: My first IT certification was "Microsoft Networking Essentials" back in the late 90’s.

Two of the first three courses that I was ever asked to teach were Microsoft’s Networking Essentials and CompTIA’s Network+. I taught these courses almost exclusively for over 2 years.

I was also a network administrator for the college I was teaching at simultaneously. Since then I have always participated in "real world" network administration for the training centers I was working for and/or as an independent consultant to small to medium size companies.

I currently assist with the network administration here at Train Signal.

Kasia: I know you’ve been teaching computer related courses for quite some time, how did you decide to start teaching?

Ed: Somewhat by accident. I had decided to make myself "official" and go to classes to get my IT certifications about 10 years ago.

When I was in my first class I found the material to be quite easy. I would finish my labs quickly and then walk around the room helping others since the instructor could not be everywhere at once.

One night after class my instructor pulled me aside and gave me a lecture on how he was responsible for the education of his students. I thought he was going to tell me to "sit down and shut up", but instead he asked me if I wanted to teach because he really liked how I was helping his students.

Since I had done training before and I really enjoy helping people I decided to give it a shot. I had a ton of fun in my first class and I have never looked back since.

Kasia: Besides your work here at Train Signal, what else do you do?

Ed: When I am not creating training courses I try to help out with computer networking needs in my local community.

I have 4 children and our education system is very important to me so the school district is one of my primary focuses.

When I am not helping someone out with their computer problems I enjoy tutoring grade school children in math.

Kasia: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Ed: Being a computer geek :) , golfing, and spending time with my wife and children.

Kasia: Thanks Ed! It was nice talking to you. Congratulations on the release of your new Network Infrastructure Training!

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