Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just signed publishing deals for two books!

I'm very excited right now.  I have just signed two publishing deals with Fair Trade Digital Exchange, a new publisher of technical books created by three veterans of the technical publishing business.  The two books are The Accidental Administrator:  Fundamentals of Computer Networking and an update of The Compassionate Geek:  Mastering Customer Service for I.T. Professionals.  Both books should be out within the next four months.  More details as they become available.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Customer Service: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

My wife and I recently had a glass of wine with a woman who is a sys admin for a small company here in Seattle.  I asked her what systems she supported and her reply was refreshing.  She said, "Whatever my users need to do their jobs.  For some, it's a Mac, for others it's Windows."  Contrast that with my friend Jim who told me last night how his company's I.T. department dictates what tools will be used without understanding the business needs of the individual worker.  I realize, of course, that in the enterprise, it can be difficult to support multiple platforms and practical considerations sometimes dictate a single platform for all (or most) users.  After all, that's why both Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines standardize on the Boeing 737.  Makes it easier to train cockpit crew and mechanics and you only need to stock parts for a single platform.  Still, if our jobs in I.T. are about helping our users work more creatively, productively, and efficiently, doesn't it make sense to choose the right tool for the job instead of applying a universal solution to everyone?
Shouldn't we spend some time each week listening to our users to learn more about how they work and what their needs are?  That way, we can craft technological solutions that will help them work more creatively, productively, and efficiently.  If you're already doing this, please send me an email telling me your story.  It just might end up in the next edition of The Compassionate Geek!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

4 Ways to Prevent Domain Name Hijacking

Excellent article on the prevention of domain hijacking.  The four tips are practical and, frankly, a lot of common sense.  Of course, to quote George Harris, "If common sense was so common, no one would smoke."