It’s been a tough year for those of us in IT who engineer, deploy, support & maintain Microsoft technology products.
First, Windows 8 happened, which, as I’ve written about before, sent me into a downward spiral of confusion and despair. Shortly after that but before Windows 8.1, Microsoft killed off Technet subscriptions in the summer of 2013, telling Technet fans they should get used to the idea of MSDN subscriptions. As the fall arrived, Windows 8.1 and 2012 R2 cured my Chrome fever just as Ballmer & Crew were heading out the door.
Next, Microsoft took Satya Nadella out of his office in the Azure-plex and sat him behind the big mahogany CEO desk at One Microsoft Way. I like Nadella, but his selection spelled more gloom for Microsoft Infrastructure IT guys; remember it was Nadella who told the New York Times that Microsoft’s on-prem infrastructure products are old & tired and don’t make money for Microsoft anymore.
And then, this spring…first at BUILD, then TechEd, Microsoft did the unthinkable. They invited the Linux & Open source guys into the tent, sat them in the front row next to the developers and handed them drinks and party favors, while more or less making us on-prrem Infrastructure guys feel like we were crashing the party.
No new products announced for us at BUILD or TechEd, ostensibly the event built for us. Instead, the TechEdders got Azured on until they were blue in the face, leading Ars’ @DrPizza to observe:
So basically, not a single on-prem announcement. I wonder what IT people think about that….
— Peter Bright (@DrPizza) May 12, 2014
We think it feels pretty shitty Dr. Pizza, that’s how. It feels like we’re about to be made obsolete, that we in the infrastructure side of the IT house are about to be disrupted out of existence by Jeffrey Snover’s cmdlets, Satya’s business sense and something menacingly named the Azure Pack.
And the guys who will replace us are all insufferable devs, Visual Studio jockeys who couldn’t tell you the difference between a spindle and a port-channel, even when threatened with a C#.
Which makes it hurt even more Dr. Pizza, if that is your real name.
But it also feels like a wake-up call and a challenge. A call to end the cynicism and embrace this cloud thing because it’s not going away. In fact, it’s only getting bigger, encroaching more and more each day into the DMZ and onto the LAN, forcing us to reckon with it.
The writing’s on the wall fellow Microsofties. BPOS uptime jokes were funny in 2011 and Azure doesn’t go down anymore because of expired certs. The stack is mature, scalable, and actually pretty awesome (even if they’re still using .vhd for VMs, which is crazy). It’s time we step up, adopt the language & manners of the dev, embrace the cloud vision, and take charge & ownership of our own futures.
I’d argue that learning Microsoft’s cloud is so urgent you should be exploring it and getting experienced with it even if your employer is cloud-shy and can’t commit.Don’t wait on them if that’s the case, do it yourself!
Because, if you don’t, you’ll get left behind. Think of the cloud as an operating system or technology platform and now imagine your resume in two, five, or seven years without any Office 365 or Azure experience on it. Now think of yourself actually scoring an interview, sitting down before the guy you want to work for in 2017 or 2018, and awkwardly telling him you have zero or very little experience in the cloud.
Would you hire that guy? I wouldn’t.
That guy will end up where all failed IT Pros end up: at Geek Squad, repairing consumer laptops & wifi routers and up-selling anti-virus subscriptions until he dies, sad, lonely & wondering where he went wrong.
Don’t be that guy. Aim for #InfrastructureGlory on-prem, hybrid, or in the cloud.
Over the coming days, I’ll show you how I did this on my own in a series of posts titled Cloud Praxis.
Link, On-prem/Hybrid/Cloud?, Notes
Cloud Praxis #2, On Prem, General guidance on building an AD lab to get started
Cloud Praxis #3, Cloud, Wherein I think about on-prem email and purchase an O365 E1 sub
Cloud Praxis #4, -,Forthcoming likely Dirsync focused
Cloud Praxis #5, Hybrid, Got 24 days & $100 in Azure credits + a wildcard SSL cert. Floor it!