The Industry is Changing – Make Sure Your Skills Keep Pace

Cloud Ready

The last year has been a merry go round for the information worker. At least that’s what i have noticed visiting many clients. Not only did many companies switched to Windows 7 but at the same time the next logical step was taken and that is upgrading to Office 2010. I could not applaud them more. For me personally this means being as up to date as i possible can.

Information Workers (IW) make the jump to the cloud
Many IW i meet find the Office 2010 suite a great improvement in comparison to the old situation. Some of them use office 2010 in combination with office 365. This often leads to more questions besides the new excitement. How do i store my documents in this SharePoint thing and how to get it back again. This led me to think that many IT Pros are ready for the Cloud and prepare for the future. But what about the Information Workers, are they ready for the future? As a headstart some of them used their SkyDrive to learn about Cloud computing and find it very convenient. Not only do they get an enormous amount of free storage but they also get to know the office suite in the cloud.

Now for the SharePoint part
It is a pleasure to see that many IW are so enthousiastic about the cloud. The workplace offers SharePoint as a collaboration platform. How does this SharePoint stuff work and where can i learn about it. Some of the questions i regularly here during my consultancy hours. First we talk about what the IW already knows about SharePoint and the cloud. During the conversations it’s often the IT guy that should have given the answers. Instead he presents the user with a [site] – because that is what they asked for. The information worker now faces a dilemma. Great I have a site and i can do what ever i like with it within the given boundries. It doesn’t take long before the enthousiasme is killed because of the lack of knowledge.

Where to start
My advice for Informaton Workers who want to know more about SharePoint and cloud is to start of with a end user course. I found this one very useful:
Course 50575A: SharePoint 2010 End User
I had a couple of IW who found this a good starting point for getting ready for some serious cloud computing. No i’m not only talking about SharePoint but also things like web apps, InfoPath, Excel Webservices, PowerPivot and much more. But we have to start somewhere. If they want the next step i suggest the follwing: Course 50469B: SharePoint 2010 End User – Level II. The great advantage of following these classes is that they now know what to ask the IT guy. Another advantage is that the IT guy understands the question the IW posted 😉

Get certified
As a trainer/consultant I often have to discuss the learning plans with the decision makers from various companies. What’s in it for the company and how do we get a good return on investment. When i talk about certification they are interested because now they a tool to measure their investment. Not only that but also a goal for their employees. I like taking the path which leads to certification but i do not choose the easy path. I do encourage to take the path with the hands on experience. In my opinion the only right path. So what path to take for the information Worker when we want them to certify without them pushing them into an IT Pro certification path? My advice would be to guide the IW to the following exam:

This exam leads to [Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS): SharePoint 2010] a well deserved credit for your employee. It doesn’t take years to achieve and it will lead to employees who know what they are talking about. Furthermore they will have the capabilities to work cloud efficient and that’s what we are striving for in the future right?

For me it is of studying for the 70-667 exam because i have to keep up myself as well. It’s all hands on for me now! Some PowerShell anyone?

Happy Clouding 🙂

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