Even for IT Pros who are really great at absorbing new information, the last few weeks has felt less like a stream of new stuff and more like a tsunami.
In the last months or so on the IT Pro side of the fence, Microsoft has released Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Server 2012, Exchange Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, Lync 2013 as well as new revision of the Office suite. Keeping track is challenging and I’ve probably missed something else that’s important – and it’s my job to kinda keep this stuff in my head. That’s how many products have been released. (See also, "The Upgrade Dilemmas").
In the past decade there has usually been a bit of a break between the release of major products. This break has been useful because it allows IT Pros that might work with these products a chance to “skill up”. Many were able to get up to speed on Windows Server 2008 before having to deal with other products used in their environment like SharePoint and Exchange 2010.
Although in large organizations people wear fewer hats, in small to medium sized organizations, IT Pros are responsible for multiple server products. One person might manage AD, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL. While Microsoft evangelists and product teams are very specialized on their own product, most IT pros have to be knowledgeable about multiple products. Most (not all) organizations would rather employ two people that know about AD, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL than four people, each of which is knowledgeable across a single product.
I’ve been talking to a few IT Pros over the last few weeks and many of them are simply feeling “overwhelmed” by the amount of new stuff that they have to learn. They have time in their schedules to get up to speed with one product every few months, but, other than taking sabbatical, don’t feel that they have the time to get up to speed with all the new products just released.
I’m not sure how this will play out, but a few IT Pros I know have already discussed simply skipping over the release of some products because they don’t feel that they’ll be able to get up to speed with them given the number of other things that they’ve got to learn about products released at the same time.
While it’s true that IT Pros are employed to stay up to date with continuously evolving products, there’s a difference between keeping up with a stream of updated products and a tsunami of them.
Read more from Orin Thomas at "Hyperbole, Embellishment, and Systems Administration Blog."