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Stephen IbarakiIndustry AnalystFCIPS, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P, DFNPA, CNP, FGITCA, MVP
John Oxley suggested that I blog what myself and some other IT pros are doing here in Winnipeg, so here goes! First, the larger community:
WITPRO meets once a month at Red River College for technical presentations concerning various Microsoft products. Momentum seems to be building and the turnout is growing!
IT Lounge is our innovative attempt to put some fun into the IT community here in Winnipeg. The idea is for IT professionals of all job descriptions (admins, devs, consultants, even—eek!—vendors are welcome) to get together twice a month to hang out for beer and shoot the breeze about anything they want to talk about. We've had guys from MB Hydro, MTS, Northwest Company, Agriculture Canada, Monarch Industries, Frantic Films and Wawaneesa come out, and their expertise has ranged from Windows to UNIX to Oracle. It's been great, and we encourage other Canadian cities to try and get something similar going. We're even talking about running a golf tournament towards the summer, and maybe Microsoft will sponsor this with some prizes—hint hint ;-)
Now briefly concerning myself:
My big focus this year will be on the upcoming Windows Vista platform. First, I was honored to have been chosen by Microsoft Press to lead the author team for the upcoming Windows Vista Resource Kit, which will be the book for IT pros wanting to learn the ins and outs of deploying, managing, and troubleshooting Vista. As a lead up to this, I'm currently writing a series of articles on Vista features and technologies for two sites: O'Reilly's WindowsDevCenter.com and TechGenix's WindowsNetworking.com. I'll also be writing some articles for BizTechMagazine and for the Windows Vista Expert Zone once this gets going on Microsoft.com.
I also had opportunity last year to act as tech reviewer for a number of new titles from Microsoft Press, including two volumes of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit (the volumes on Group Policy and Performance Monitoring). Being a tech reviewer is a lot of fun as you get to mercilessly criticize others for their mistakes - and get paid for it!
Another great thing that happened to me last year was that I received a faculty appointment to Jones International University, the first fully online university that is also fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of the six regional accreditation bodies in the United States. That means a university student in the US can transfer credits between their traditional "bricks and mortar" university and JIU, both ways (probably in Canada too). Together with my wife Ingrid, we've developed the four-course Information Security Management (ISM) specialization for the MBA program at JIU, and I am currently teaching these courses to students online. Our courses cover the topics of securing organizations and networks, risk assessment (using the OCTAVE Approach), business continuity planning, incident response, and computer forensics. See here for more information on these courses, and if you're a middle management person in a large company and you're looking at getting your MBA, consider JIU as one of your options as they deliver quality education at a reasonable cost. Anyway, now that I'm "on faculty" with a university you may call me "Professor" if you like, heh!
Finally, one of the things I've tried to do as an author of computer books is help others break into the field, and I was happy to be able to hook up local MVP Rodney Buike (of LazyAdmin fame) with TechGenix and he's now writing two articles a month for MSExchange.org and providing a great resource for Exchange admins. I've had several opportunities to mentor others into writing and authoring, and am always on the lookout for writing and editing opportunities both for myself and others, so email me if you have any needs in this area.
For more about my writing and other work, see my website.
Cheers, Mitch TullochMVP Windows ServerWinnipeg, Manitoba