Something to Talk About

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I’ve written in these pages about the powers of networking, the advantages of broadening your circle, the benefits inherent when you share tips and tricks, resources and solutions with your professional peers. You’ve read similar advice from our expert authors. You and I might even have traded e-mail on the subject.

But up to this point, I confess, I’ve been all talk and no action. Now, I’ve got a real resource to share with you, a real-world solution that will allow you to put the theoretical advice into profitable practice. Have a question? Want to share a solution? Need to blow off steam in a virtual setting with your virtual peers?

Welcome to Certification Magazine’s recently launched discussion forums. We created the CertMag.com Forums as a way for you to access information and connect with other certified IT experts for whatever reason—well, for almost any reason. The forums were launched in conjunction with our recent redesign of this magazine and CertMag.com, and the conversational threads are pulling together nicely, organized around 14 communities of practice.

Some of the conversations are on the professional advice side, like this note in the Security community:

“I think Social Engineering and uneducated employees are the biggest threat to Information Security and, I think, one of the least looked at. Every good Security Administrator should educate users about the issue of Social Engineering. It doesn’t take much to break into a secure network when an uneducated employee gives out crucial information to an attacker. Any thoughts?”

Some of the posts are seeking knowledge more than sharing it, like the person in the Career Development community who asked about how IT pros spend time between gigs. One good answer: “Usually packing and moving to the next job. I’ve noticed with IT there aren’t a whole lot of windows.”

Some of the posts are designed to get you thinking, like the “Credentials” community discussion on the value of certification.

Some are good for moral support, some might rap your knuckles when you need it. And some are just plain smile-inducing, like the Help Desk & Support community, where members have been sharing some amusing anecdotes about the IT expert who stole Christmas and other stories of irrational clients. Here’s my favorite, so far:

“A director’s laptop hard drive has crashed, irrevocably destroying most of the data. My boss sent it to me to perform a data recovery. The director wanted pictures of his daughter that he had saved on there, and didn’t have any other copies of. The only thing my manager had to say to get me motivated was, ‘His daughter is hot.’ ”

I won’t tell you whether he found the daughter’s pictures or not, but I do urge you to visit the CertMag Forums at www.certmag.com/forums. Every community needs a voice and I hope you make a regular habit of both eavesdropping on the chorus and diving into the waters of discussion.

Tim Sosbe, Editorial Director, tsosbe@certmag.com

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