Orin Thomas

IT Pro textbook author, Pluralsight author, Microsoft MVP & RD

Melbourne (VIC, Australia)

Orin Thomas is an MVP, a Microsoft Regional Director, an MCT, and has a string of Microsoft MCSE and MCITP certifications. He has written more than 3 dozen books for Microsoft Press on topics including Windows Server, Windows Client, Azure, System Center, Exchange Server, Security, and SQL Server. He is an author at PluralSight and is a candidate in the Doctor of Information Technology program at Charles Sturt University. He is a "Gooroo in residence at Gooroo".

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Articles by Orin

  1. The most important IT skill?

    Every year people publish lists of the hottest most in-demand IT skills. Some years it is new technologies like virtualization or containers, other years it’s understanding processes like ITIL or how to decipher compliance regulations.But there is a more important skill for IT Pros that transcends the hot technology of the moment or whatever the latest soft skills fad is.Do you know what it is?It’s the skill of being able to reliably solve complex problems.The trick to understand about reliably solving...
  2. Why is there never a recruiter around when you need one?

    A friend of mine recently complained that when he was looking to leave his previous job, he couldn’t get the attention of a recruiter. But that when he landed his current job at a well known prestigious company, he was overwhelmed with unsolicited recruiter interest trying to lure him away.It’s not that my friend suddenly developed an amazingly more comprehensive skill set in those short period of months. I have friends who have fantastic skillsets and who aren’t contacted at all by recruiters. I...
  3. Best way to force yourself to study for a certification exam is to schedule one

    Procrastination is the one of the biggest enemies of accomplishment. When it comes to scheduling and taking certification exams, I know people who have constantly let procrastination get the better of them.A ton of people have asked me for career advice over the year. I’ve mentioned that a good place to start to get traction is picking up a few certifications as a way of attesting to the skills they already have or to gain some structure when it comes to achieving skills they want.Many of these people...
  4. Grow your career by getting involved in user groups

    One of the things that I’ve noticed about successful people in the technology industry is that almost all of them in some way have been or are involved in their local user groups. A user groups is a collection of people that meet on a regular basis to hear lectures and swap information about a particular technology or platform.Not just enthusiasts, but fellow professionalsOne misconception that many people have is that user groups are just enthusiastic amateurs talking about technically simple topics....
  5. Why IT people are ambivalent about recruiters

    When I ask colleagues in the IT industry what they think about recruiters, responses range from studied ambivalence to outright contempt. Everyone seems to have at least one story about recruiters. It could be that they are hounded by unsolicited offers for jobs that have nothing to do with their skillset on LinkedIn, unrealistic position descriptions posted on job search sites, through to bad fit candidates put forward for positions that the recruiter has been asked to fill.Recruiters are in a challenging...
  6. What’s your next career milestone?

    Do you know what the next milestone in your career will be?For most of us, it’s a difficult question to answer. Unless you’ve got a great idea of where you are and where you are going, it can be challenging to figure out what the next significant event in your career will be.Milestones are clearer in hindsightWhen thinking about milestones, it’s easier to figure out what the future might hold by looking back at the significant events in your career to date. Events that are significant in our career...
  7. Dealing with career setbacks.

    Not every job takes us forward in a career path. All careers involve short cuts, detours, loops, and roundabouts. Just as some job candidates misrepresent their experience on their resume, some employers misrepresent what the job they are offering actually involves. By the time you realize that the job isn’t all it is cracked up to be, you’ve left your old position and you’re fully committed to your new one.Realize that things aren’t working outThe first point you need to reach is the one where you...
  8. Are skills becoming obsolete more quickly?

    Spend long enough working in the information technology industry and you start to wonder if the shelf life of skills is decreasing. Often it seems as though just as soon as we reach mastery of a particular skill, the technology that the skill depends on becomes deprecated or no longer relevant to the industry.Treadmill fatiguePart of this feeling is treadmill fatigue. Anyone working in IT needs to be constantly learning. At some point keeping up the pace can be overwhelming just because you’ve been...
  9. Share what you learn at an IT conference with your colleagues

    Most organizations send their full time IT staff to technical conferences at some point during their tenure. At the places I’ve worked, each person in the team got sent to important conferences like Ignite or TechEd. They didn’t get to go every year, but everyone got their turn.An investment in the staffOrganization’s that send their full time IT staff to conferences do so for a couple of reasons. For many it’s an investment in their staff. They send the IT worker to the conference in part as a reward...
  10. Fear of Obsolescence

    When I first started out in the tech industry, I didn’t pay much attention to the persistent whispers about people reaching a certain age and being shown the door. Back in the 90’s, when I was in my mid 20’s and read my first Slashdot thread about people in their mid 40’s being eased out of the industry I rationalized it by thinking “well everything is so new” and “those people losing their jobs probably just didn’t keep their skills up to date”.When you are in first stage of your tech career, career...
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