Archive for the ‘Sharon’ Category

Azure 70-532: Failure is Always an Option

Failure Is Always An Option

My failure…and learning experience

I have always loved Mythbusters, right from day one! I took my son to see them in Toronto a few years ago, and I might have been more excited about the show than he was. One of the things that makes the Mythbusters team so appealing is that they stress that failure is not a bad thing; we learn from our mistakes and, as a result, we grow.

I learned this lesson well a few weeks ago when I wrote the Azure 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam.

As most of you know, I’ve been working my way through the Microsoft Azure certifications since Christmas. To date, I have completed 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions and 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. Those were the only 2 of the 3 Azure exams that I had planned to write, as the 3rd exam is a Dev exam, and I can’t program my way out of a box. At Microsoft Ignite in May, it was announced that the 3 exams would make up a new MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect and I decided to give 70-532 a shot. I studied, had all the “book” knowledge, some basic Azure PowerShell, and after a few weeks of studying I figured it was time to take the exam. How hard could it be? After all, I have written 19 Microsoft exams and a number of other industry certifications. I have the studying procedure down to a fine art…or at least I thought I did.

Exam 70-532 was an education. This was not an exam that I could just study for, and my mark proved that. In this case, failure was my only option and I knew that about 30 minutes in. As someone who comes from an infrastructure background with little to no dev experience, I should have spent more time with the hands-on studying. The exam was like being in a foreign country and only being able to understand snippets of the language.

Was it a learning experience? Absolutely! Failure indicates where you are weak and where you need to improve. This does not only apply to exams, but to most of what we do.

After the exam, I wanted nothing to do with it ever again! I had no intentions of rewriting it, as the learning curve was too great…and I really did not enjoy studying for this exam. Now that I have had a few weeks to think about it and review the material, I am going to give it another try, knowing full well that I may fail again. (Aiming for later this week.)

As a parent, I need to set a good example and show my kids that we all fail and more importantly it’s OK to fail. I also need to show them that we need to learn from our failures. Whether that may be studying better for a test, improving on a skill, or testing our comfort zone, failing makes us stronger. It gives us the drive to try harder next time. Without our failures we would not grow. And without growing, we would all become very stagnant very quickly. If you have been putting something off because you are scared of failing, ask yourself “What’s the worse that could happen?” You fail and you learn and you grow…how bad is that?

Categories: Sharon Tags: ,

The Rules According to Sharon

Warning: This is not a technical post. After dealing with tech day in and day out (for example yesterday was all Azure) it can be hard to write about tech in my “free” time and sometimes I just need to do something different. Come back tomorrow for a riveting technical post on Storages Spaces in Server 2012 R2!!!

So far the year of 2014 has been the year of transitions.  I’ve had to make some changes and look at the way I live my life (how cliché is that?) I was thrown a curve ball last year and I could either bury myself in a hole or I could pick myself up to grow. As I’m not one too easily give up I chose to take advantage of a difficult situation and face it head on. During that process I have come up with my rules to live by.

  1. It is what it is, but if you don’t like it then you can change it.
  2. Get out of the box and push your boundaries, but remember you can go back into the box if it gets too overwhelming and you need to catch your breath.
  3. Always look for the upside! Yes, it’s raining but I don’t have to shovel it.
  4. Listen to music that makes you feel good. That may even include Nickleback (guilty pleasure).
  5. I’m not responsible for anyone else’s happiness (except my kids) but I am responsible to not hurt others.
  6. It’s ok to dance with the shopping cart in the grocery store.
  7. Take a break!
  8. Put your head in the right space.
  9. Don’t be scared of your feelings but keep them in check.
  10. Never grow up but be responsible.
  11. Never stop learning.
  12. Read something other than a manual once in a while.
  13. There’s more to life than work.
  14. Take a nap.
  15. Take a calculated risk.
  16. Ask others for help and allow them to help when they offer.
  17. Appreciate all the good in everything and everyone.
  18. Follow your heart but listen to your gut.
  19. Don’t let people get under your skin.
  20. Face your fears (worms and heights) and stand up for yourself.
  21. Have fun and be yourself.
  22. Write more.
  23. Get more sleep.
  24. Enjoy the little things.
  25. Drive fast (within reason and safely), play it loud and sing.

Life is too damn short to be miserable so enjoy every day and come up with your own list that makes you and the others around you happy.






Categories: Sharon

Missing my slippers…but loving the heels

Please forgive my lack of updates lately, it’s been a crazy few weeks. As most of you know, I am working with Microsoft Canada and it’s been a great ride. I have the opportunity to learn about new server technologies at a relaxed pace, instead of the “a client needs this done right now” scenario.

I love meeting new people and basically being able to “geek out” all day. Okay, I don’t get to geek out too much at the office, but I do when I’m working with partners and distributors. I’m still trying to find my way, both in the position and around the building. I have only gotten lost once, but I do tend to end up in a cubby I didn’t expect to be in. I only realized my manager in on a different floor than me last week when I went looking for someone else.

I do miss my jammies and my mid-afternoon nap, but it’s so worth it.

Thanks for forgiving my delay, and now that I have gotten back into the swing of full-time employment, I will get back into posting on a more regular basis.

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