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Jumping Jacks for Your Brain

Trainer Shawn Powers in the Green Room at CBT Nuggets headquarters.










My oldest daughter is in 9th grade. Most evenings she has math homework, and most evenings I’m the guy that gets to help her with it. I might pretend to get frustrated with decrypting algebraic story problems, but the truth is, doing those mental gymnastics is exhilarating. I may not very often need to figure the acceleration curve of two trains traveling in opposite directions — but any time I have to work on a problem, or learn a new skill, I’m excited.

When it comes to IT training, I’m the exact same way. It’s no secret that I’m a Linux guy. If you cut me, I bleed penguin blood. (I’d prefer we not test that theory, but rather we just accept the hyperbole). In fact, my career in system administration and video training both revolve around my expertise in Linux, and partly in my expertise on OSX system administration. So when I’m perusing the CBT Nuggets site, what sort of videos do you think I watch? Quite honestly, I’m most interested in series like James Conrad’s Active Directory series.

That may come as a shock to most people, but I’m of the opinion you can never know too much. Maybe I’m just an information junkie, but while specialization is an awesome way to get a job, breadth of understanding is a great way to keep a job. Even though I have very little motivation to take the certification tests for Microsoft  products, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be able to do the work.

How about you? Have you ever considered learning about unfamiliar topics “just because you can”?

To put it in 9th grade math terms, if a Linux Nugget is traveling at 35 miles per hour from Oregon to New York, and a Microsoft Nugget is traveling west at 70 MPH from Delaware — wouldn’t you want to learn about both trains before they collide in Montana? If you have a streaming subscription, I urge you to look beyond the Nuggets you’re comfortable with. Who knows when you might need to install Linux, perhaps even on a train!


From Team Nuggets: Wondering what to watch? Check out our latest series:

Cisco CCIP BGP 642-661: Configuring BGP on Cisco Routers, with trainer Jeremy Cioara

Mastering VMware View 5 and Preparing for the VCP510-DT Exam, with trainer Greg Shields

Microsoft Programming .NET 4 Software Development Fundamentals 98-361, with trainer Garth Schulte

Scrum Certification, with trainer Steve Caseley


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