Possessor of many skills, master of none – the IT generalist

The one single piece of technology I have spent the most time learning and exploring it is PowerShell. Since I began using it years ago, I quickly understood how awesome and useful it was to do my job, which is a Windows systems admin/engineer. More than anything else I do, I love building tools and automating things in IT operations. I find it extremely fulfilling. There is no greater feeling than taking a monotonous task and making it easily repeatable, to the point where you no longer have to worry about it because PowerShell just does it. It is fitting that my most coveted IT skill is in something that having deep knowledge and expertise in it alone, can’t really get you a job because it is simply the method to use other technologies like Active Directory, Sharepoint, Exchange and many others.

I have always been most interested in understanding the gist of things and focusing on the breadth and not depth of a given technology. I have found that this usually does not bode well in job interviews. Inevitably, the interviewer will ask what key technologies I know and I always have a crappy answer, because I do not consider myself an “expert” in any one technology, outside of a language that is not used to create applications. Sure, I know Windows. I am a VCP so I am familiar with VMware. I dabble in Linux, but I probably can’t talk in depth with professionals who use these exclusively or extensively.

I have written some code in Python. I have created algorithms to use with big data. I can troubleshoot Outlook issues. I can deploy a simple Exchange environment. I have worked with Sharepoint. I can write a simple bash script. I have done desktop support. I can troubleshoot and replace hardware. I can write an SQL query. I can write some HTML. I can setup a SAN. I took a class in PHP. I have deployed Puppet and Ansible. I know a bit of Cisco.

I love learning new technologies and playing with them, but most of the time that is where it stops.

So I am the possessor of many skills and the master of none. The IT generalist.

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