Vol. 19, #13 - March 31, 2014 - Issue #973

Image

Does the IT Profession need to be Regulated?

  1. Editor's Corner
    • From the Archive
    • Does the IT Profession need to be Regulated?
    • Tip of the Week: Windows PowerShell Errors
    • Recommended for Learning
    • Microsoft Virtual Academy
    • Quote of the Week
  2. Admin Toolbox
    • Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. Events Calendar
    • Americas
    • Europe
    • Asia Pacific
  4. Webcast Calendar
    • WindowsNetworking.com Webinar: Information Governance - What IT Pros Need to Know
    • Register for Webcasts
  5. Tech Briefing
    • Enterprise IT
    • Cloud Computing
    • Windows Server
    • Security
  6. Windows Server News
    • Cloud benefits demand fine-tuned orchestration
    • Considerations for virtual desktop patch management
    • Server admins: Don't ignore SDN, but tread carefully
    • Open source graphics editor GIMP is a good Photoshop alternative
  7. WServerNews FAVE Links
    • Unbelievable Bus Shelter
    • Genki Sudo - World Order - 'Have A Nice Day'
    • How Dogs React To Magic
    • Personal Metamorphosis
    • Firestone Pick-Up
  8. WServerNews - Product of the Week
    • Simplify Office 365 & Active Directory with Admin Assistant 2.7

 

Simplify Office 365 & Active Directory with Admin Assistant 2.7

Office 365 combines several Microsoft enterprise technologies into one unified platform. These unified technologies make Office 365 attractive to customers considering cloud as a part of their IT strategy. But like all cloud platforms, Office 365 management offers lower visibility and fewer administrative capabilities over on-premises product. This difference means problems slip by, costs go up and admin efficiency drops. Cayosoft Admin Assistantís architecture improves visibility and streamlines administration of on-premises, cloud and hybrid systems including Office 365 and Active Directory. Simple and affordable, Admin Assistant requires no awkward components or complex and unreliable scripting.

Start a free trial today

 

Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter is all about whether or not the IT profession needs to be regulated along the lines of how engineering as a profession is regulated. In other words, should an individual need a license from an accredited professional body in order to be able to call themselves an IT pro similar to how a professional engineer (P.Eng.) does? Or should anybody with a laptop and a screwdriver be allowed to call themselves an IT pro?

I know that talking about this matter is likely to ruffle a few features especially with the older crowd who have been playing this IT game a long time. But a recent news item about a major IT project failing made me think this might be a suitable topic for this newsletter to address.

Of course, the topic of project failures and engineers is one that Scott Adams has visited at least once in his Dilbert comic strip:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832144254

That one was for all you cat fans out there.

From the Archive

Speaking of managing IT projects, we previously examined why large IT projects often fail in at least three issues of WServerNews:

Check them out and let us know at [email protected] if you have any further feedback on these matters.

Does the IT Profession need to be Regulated?

I recently stumbled across the following article in The Copenhagen Post:

"New governmental IT disaster raises old questions"
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832538535

The article basically says that a government agency in Denmark has been advised to shut down its new IT system called PROASK after investing about 164 million kroner (about 27 million USD) in its development. The article then goes on to ask "Why do so many systems fail?" and says that "PROASK is just one of many public IT systems over the last ten years that has been delayed, cancelled or gone way over budget."

This news item got me thinking again about whether the IT profession needs to be regulated similar to the engineering profession. Let's be clear though, I'm not suggesting that all practitioners of IT need to be licensed, just those who work on projects that are critical to the success of society as a whole.

Let's look at an analogy. If I want someone to patch a hole in my drywall because I got mad and punched the wall, I'd probably just ask my brother-in-law to come and do the work for me. He's done some minor reno work like this before, and I trust him to do a decent job. But if I want someone to raise my house up and repair a broken foundation, then I want a qualified professional to do the work--someone who is licensed, certified, bonded, the whole nine yards. In other words, I want a P.Eng. involved in the project at some level.

Maybe the IT profession needs some degree of stratification like this. For example, I might hire someone with a couple of Microsoft certifications to set up a small network with a few PCs for a small business. I might even hire someone with no certifications if he or she has the necessary years of experience working with computers. But if I'm building an airport or hospital and need its IT infrastructure designed and implemented, then I want more than just someone who has passed a bunch exams and maybe built a few PCs from scratch.

Of course, I can hear the arguments on both sides of this issue:

Against: Buildings can collapse and bridges fall down even if they've been designed and built by professional engineers.

For: But the training, discipline and mindset of the engineering profession means this kind of thing rarely happens. Passing a few IT certs doesn't give you this kind of mindset or discipline, so it's no wonder many large IT projects fail.

Against: But IT projects often fail for reasons beyond the control of the IT pros who design and implement them. Factors such as underbidding and changing business requirements can sink even a well-designed project.

For: But professional training and licensing would enable IT pros to anticipate such difficulties so they can factor them into the project.

Against: Aww, licensing the IT profession is just another cash grab from the entitled class to add more layers of bureaucracy making it harder for ordinary working people to make a living...

For: Tell that to the public the next time you so-called IT pros waste another hard-earned ten million dollars of taxpayers' money...

Against / For / Against / For / and so on and so forth...

Which side of the issue to you align with? Should there be a professional licensing body, either national or international in scope, that governs who is licensed to call themselves an IT pro?

Here in Canada we have an organization called the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) that calls itself "Canada's Association of I.T. Professionals" on its website. CIPS has been actively promoting the idea of establishing a profession for IT since the organization was founded in 1958. They are the only professional organization in Canada that offers an IT designation (Information Systems Professional or I.S.P.) that is recognized by law ("legislated as a self regulating designation") currently in six provinces of Canada. The I.S.P. designation is apparently also recognized by the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. You can read more about the I.S.P. designation here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832546847

CIPS also has a mutual recognition agreement with the Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) to facilitate easier cross-border movement for professionals in IT. You can find out more about the ICCP here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832551144

Now from the above it would appear that efforts are already underway in some countries to establish IT as a "profession" in the sense that engineering is recognized as a profession. However, I have two problems with this observation. First, CIPS has been working towards this goal for more than 50 years. How close are they to achieving this goal? Or in other words, "Are we there yet?" I really have no idea.

Second, I personally know dozens of IT pros across Canada, maybe over a hundred, but I only know one who belongs to CIPS. I even joined CIPS awhile back and attended a few meetings, but I let my membership expire because I didn't see the value to my business. But then I don't design and implement IT systems for government agencies or large enterprises, so maybe I'm not the target audience for such membership. In other words, I'm not saying CIPS membership has no value; I'm just saying it doesn't seem relevant to the needs of my own IT career.

I'll end my editorial by repeating my earlier question from above: Should there be a professional licensing body, either national or international in scope, that governs who is licensed to call themselves an IT pro? I'll also add a second question: Are you currently a member of such a professional licensing body, and if so, why?

Send me your thoughts on this matter to [email protected]

Tip of the Week: Windows PowerShell Errors

This week's tip has been contributed by Ashley McGlone, Microsoft Premier Field Engineer.

PowerShell Errors Tip

Do you ever get that red text at the PowerShell console?  Yes?  So do I.  The only person that doesn't is Chuck Norris.  The PowerShell error text is usually quite descriptive, but sometimes you need to know more about what happened.

When you are working in PowerShell all errors by default go into the $Error array.  This array stores up to the last 256 errors that occurred, and the most recent error is always inserted at index zero.  You can view the most recent error by typing:

$Error[0]

To get all of the juicy details, you can pipe it to Format-List like this:

$Error[0] | fl * -Force

You have to use the Force switch, because normally the extra details are hidden.

To find out more about where the error originated use this:

$Error[0].InvocationInfo

To find out what happened leading up to the error view the stack trace:

$Error[0].Exception.StackTrace

These few extra moves should get you closer to the root cause of your error.  Happy hunting!

About Ashley McGlone

Ashley McGlone is a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) at Microsoft.

You can find more of Ashley's PowerShell tips on his TechNet blog here:

http://aka.ms/GoateePFE

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

Need to gain the skills needed to use Windows Server networks, applications, web services and other technologies? Check out the Windows Server Training page on the Microsoft Learning site here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832561300

And for self-paced training, there's also my book:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395831644863

Image

Microsoft Virtual Academy

This week we have some on-demand courses from the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

On-demand from MVA: Windows 8.1 Deployment Jump Start

Now available to view at your convenience, this Jump Start features MVPs and Microsoft experts who walk you through the basics and then dive deep to teach you how to plan, configure, and manage client deployment to Windows-based computers in Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.  View the course here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832575629

On-demand from MVA:  Faster Insights to Data with SQL Server 2014 Jump Start

Are you all about data discovery, visualization, and collaboration? If you're trying to make sense of ever-growing piles of data, and you're an Excel power user, get ready for Power BI. Excel is now even more powerful with Power BI for Office 365 and the new tools you need to provide faster data insights to your organization. Watch this demo-rich Jump Start at your convenience, and learn about Power Query, Power Map, and natural language querying. This on-demand session provides a drilldown into Power BI features and capabilities, led by the team of Microsoft experts who own them. Watch here:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832580894

System Center 2012 SP1 Automation:  on-demand MVA course

This course focuses on automation with System Center 2012 SP1, using Windows Server 2012 PowerShell and System Center Orchestrator.  After completing this on-demand course you will be proficient at automating your System Center 2012 SP1 environment using Orchestrator and PowerShell.  Take the course:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832585004

Quote of the Week

A couple of issues ago I included this quote in this newsletter:

"It's not the most powerful animal that survives. It's the most efficient." -- George St. Pierre, aka GSP, aka Rush, Canadian MMA fighter and former UFC Welterweight Champion

A reader named David who is a Senior HRIM Analyst responded to this as follows:

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "It's not the big that eat the small, it's the fast that eat the slow."  I'm afraid I don't know who first said it, but nevertheless it is true.

You betcha. Gotta run--bye!

Until next week,
Mitch Tulloch

Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

Cayosoft’s Admin Assistant for Office 365 makes office 365 seem like it is running on a server right in your office. Requires no complex and awkward components or scripting.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395834038316

Try FactFinder Express- a new kind of server monitoring that offers you everything you need to find the source of performance problems. Solve the problem, be a hero. Try it free for 30 days.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395834040941

Migrating to SharePoint causes broken file links. This is a hidden problem that results in costly disruptions. LinkFixer Advanced automatically fixes broken links. Click now for a free trial version.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395834043441

Need a cheap portable display with HDMI input? Check out this one from Lilliput:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395834114254

 

Events Calendar

Americas

Microsoft Build Developer Conference (Build 2014) on April 2-4, 2014 in San Francisco, California
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832591425

TechEd North America on May 12-15, 2014 in Houston, Texas
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832593379

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832595207

Microsoft SQL Server PASS Summit 2014 on November 4-7, 2014 in Seattle, Washington
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832597535

Europe

European SharePoint Conference on May 5-8, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832599910

TechEd Europe on October 27-31, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832601941

Asia Pacific

TechEd New Zealand on September 9-12, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832604691

Add your event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Webcast Calendar

WindowsNetworking.com Webinar: Information Governance - What IT Pros Need to Know

Join e-Discovery and Computer Forensics expert Karen Schuler and Sherpa Solutions Architect, Rick Wilson to learn about the key factors a good information governance strategy should include, why such programs are critical to the success of your business, and gain a better understanding of the key role that IT professionals must play in corporate-wide governance initiatives and managing eDiscovery efforts. This live, interactive event will take place on Wednesday, April 16th at 2PM EDT.

Don’t miss this informative event with two industry experts. Sign up today:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832611660

Register for Webcasts


Add your Webcast

PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

 

Tech Briefing

Enterprise IT

Dell Management Packs now support Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 (Dell TechCenter)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832641347

Deploying Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces on Dell PowerVault (Flo's Datacenter Report)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832645691

Count the number of Windows XP computers with PowerShell and Active Directory (4sysops)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832649925

 

Cloud computing

Why The Hybrid Cloud is Gaining in Popularity (Data Center Knowledge)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832654160

New virtual labs: Get hands-on experience with Windows Azure Pack (TechNet Virtual Labs)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832658269

Verizon cloud will let you buy your Oracle by the hour (GigaOm)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832662379

 

Windows Server

Free Tools for Active Directory Administration (WindowsNetworking.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832668925

Windows Server 2012 R2 Products and Editions Comparison (Microsoft Download Center)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832672566

Automatic Maintenance in Windows Server 2012 R2 is EVIL! (Deployment Research)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832676332

 

Security

Developing an Information Security and Risk Management Strategy (Part 1) (WindowSecurity.com)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832682722

Important Changes To The Forefront Product Line (Jorge's Quest for Knowledge)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832686691

Forefront TMG and UAG services explained (ISAserver.org)
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832693129

 

Windows Server News

Cloud benefits demand fine-tuned orchestration         

Cloud orchestration can help you successfully build applications in the cloud, but only if implemented correctly.  Inside this tip, explore various orchestration approaches, from script-based to model-based, and review a step-by-step guide on how to effectively use cloud orchestration universally.                           
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832698113

Considerations for virtual desktop patch management

It's crucial to be careful when transitioning from physical to virtual desktops to prevent disrupting patch management – a common VDI pain point. Inside this essential guide, explore the top considerations to keep in mind during VDI deployment to avoid problems with patching.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832701644

Server admins: Don't ignore SDN, but tread carefully

Software-defined networking (SDN) is blurring the lines between traditional IT silos in today's "virtual-first" data centers. But is this technology a realistic option for your organization to utilize?  Find out why IT teams like yours should take a special interest in SDN in 2014.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832705160

Open source graphics editor GIMP is a good Photoshop alternative

The GNU Image Manipulation Program, otherwise known as GIMP, is a free graphics editor program and a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Easy to learn and cost-free, GIMP is well on its way to becoming an industry standard. Should your enterprise switch to GIMP or stay with your current graphics editor setup? Find out more inside.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832708941

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Image

Unbelievable Bus Shelter

We'll start off with the following CRAZY video submitted by reader Mark Thorndyke:
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832713925

Wasn't that amazing? Now go and treat yourself to a Coke! ;-)

Genki Sudo - World Order - 'Have A Nice Day'

Japanese modern dance group 'World Order' does it again with a fascinating roboto-style music video in Tokyo's Akihabra district.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832722738

How Dogs React To Magic

Magician Jose Ahonen performs a disappearing treat trick for a bunch of dogs. Their reactions are hilarious.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832727691

Personal Metamorphosis

Raul Seixas, a legend of the Brazilian rock scene, goes 10,000 years back in time to explain internet technology to cavemen.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832731879

Firestone Pick-Up

The story of a young man using his truck to run away with his bride-to-be.
http://www.wservernews.com/go/1395832735613


WServerNews - Product of the Week

Simplify Office 365 & Active Directory with Admin Assistant 2.7

Office 365 combines several Microsoft enterprise technologies into one unified platform. These unified technologies make Office 365 attractive to customers considering cloud as a part of their IT strategy. But like all cloud platforms, Office 365 management offers lower visibility and fewer administrative capabilities over on-premises product. This difference means problems slip by, costs go up and admin efficiency drops. Cayosoft Admin Assistantís architecture improves visibility and streamlines administration of on-premises, cloud and hybrid systems including Office 365 and Active Directory. Simple and affordable, Admin Assistant requires no awkward components or complex and unreliable scripting.

Start a free trial today

 

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.