Vol. 21, #45 - November 7, 2016 - Issue #1105

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Should IT pros be licensed?  


Editor's Corner

In week's newsletter we'll hear from some of our valued readers on whether IT pros should be licensed in order to be able to practice their profession. We also have lots of tips, tools, and other stuff for your edification and enjoyment.
Of course the question of what constitutes "professionalism" in any given circumstance is partly a matter of opinion. For example, what is the most professional way of laying off people from your company? Let's see how the Pointy-haired boss does this in this Dilbert comic strip:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/lvt3f06o/

Ask Our Readers - File Explorer hangs when creating a new folder (workaround)

Last week in Issue #1104 Revisiting Win7 updating, Win10 annoyances, and DDoS mitigation in the section titled "More on Windows 10 annoyances" we mentioned that a reader named Tom has been experiencing an annoyance we hadn't previously heard about:

I have an issue when I have an File Explorer window open on drives in Windows 10 when telling it to create a new folder (and sometimes when re-naming) -- Explorer will hang for 1 to 4 minutes while trying to create it -- It says  Non-Responding in the title bar -- then eventually it creates it.  Sometimes it creates a "New Folder" folder name and not the name I told it to use. Does not matter how many Explorer windows are open -- the one being used to create a new folder just hangs for some reason. I have each Explorer in its own process.

A reader named Howard who is the Director for an IT consulting firm in the UK sent us the following suggestion:

There is a straightforward "fix" for this -- switch off the search service on the server. This is a known issue -- it appears the server tries to index at the same time as the rename and gets into a conflict situation.

I suppose this is more of a workaround than a fix (which is why Howard put "fix" in quotes) so hopefully Microsoft will release a hotfix soon that will really fix this problem.

Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]

Should IT pros be licensed?

The topic of whether IT pros should be licensed before they can practice their profession is something we've discussed in the past (see Issue #973 and Issue #975). Licensing is common for other professions that societies depend upon for the well-being of their citizens, for example in the medical profession, the engineering profession, the law profession, and so on. With the increasing dependence of our modern world on functioning IT services (especially the Internet) there's clearly room for arguing that IT pros should somehow be professionally licensed by some independent governing body at the national or regional level before they be allowed to undertake certain kinds of work. So with major changes happening almost daily in the IT world, we thought we'd revisit this subject in our newsletter. I'll also be writing an article on this topic for our new TechGenix.com site and will let readers of this newsletter know when my article appears.

Come to think of it, this may be as good a time as any for me to do a bit of shameless self-promotion (and promote our new TechGenix.com site) by suggesting you check out some of the articles I've written for our new site since it was launched this summer. You can find my TechGenix.com articles here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/qdfmbmmh/

My most recent one is titled "Tips from the pros: How to succeed as an IT consultant" and it's based on some conversations I had with two of our newsletter readers, Andrew Baker the president of BrainWave Consulting, which provides Virtual CIO services for small- and medium-sized businesses, and Tony Gore the managing director of Aspen Enterprises, a small consultancy firm that has been operating in the UK since 1995 and has been involved in the formation and management of several large EU jointly funded collaborative projects. You can read the article here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/np9kk9cc/

Please take a few moments to check out all my articles on our new site and sign up for the weekly newsletter to keep informed about new articles being published each week on the site.
Anyways, back to whether or not IT pros should be licensed the way professional engineers have to be licensed. Rather than simply express my own thoughts on this subject, I decided to ask a few of our newsletter readers for their opinions. Several responded to my inquiry and we decided to publish two of their responses here in this issue.
First off we'll hear from Mark Minasi, a well-known technology writer and speaker whom I'm sure most of you are familiar with through his many books and conference appearances:

Engineering typically requires a lot of formal (and expensive) study at independently accredited schools rather than vendor marketing-driven certifications, and engineers are typically compensated better than the average IT pro, so I tend to think to think that adding the burden of regulation to a population of overworked, underpaid and usually under-appreciated professionals is unwise and unfair.


I think these are some valid concerns, though on the other hand I wonder if formal licensing of IT pros might actually improve their compensation and treatment in the business world. What do you think? Email me at [email protected]

Next we'll hear at length from Bill Bach, the President of Goldstar Software Inc. Bill has been working in the IT field since 1991, including application development, documentation, testing, support, networking, and databases, and here's what he had to say on this subject when I asked him for his thoughts:

The IT community has attempted to self-regulate over the years with "certification". There are many problems with certification:

• Certifications can grow "stale" as products evolve and change. For example, my ECNE for NetWare 3 and NetWare 4 probably won't buy me much today. However, this doesn't mean that the certification lacks value -- if I DO ever run into a NetWare server at a client site, I'm ready for it!
• Some certifications include topics with very little relevance for the typical user. For example, when I took my Microsoft tests, one test had lots of questions on DEC LAT connectivity, and I almost blew the test because I'd never needed to integrate Windows NT into a DEC environment. (I bet some of you are now putting "DEC LAT" into Google.)
• Certifications are often vendor-specific, and do not always translate to other vendor's solutions. Just because you know how to manage Cisco equipment doesn't mean that you can directly manage equipment from other manufacturers.
• General certifications like those from CompTIA, on the other hand, try to avoid vendor lock-in but are usually pretty difficult to design and test for. Often, the biggest challenge is to make it hard enough to provide real value to passing, but not make it TOO hard or cover esoteric material.
• Some certifications are no more than sales tools for the vendor, ensuring that users have a certain comfort level with their products. This doesn't make the certification bad in any way -- it is just important to know the real value that it offers.
• Certification testing is often expensive, and it raises an entire ecosystem around it -- sample tests, learning materials, and so on, which can cost lots of money. Further, you can often find "teach the test" classes and materials, which give you a barebones intro into the topics -- just enough to pass the tests -- which doesn't necessarily prove that you know anything.
True "regulation" in the IT profession would simply standardize the processes and testing questions, and set a formal "accepted minimum level" of experience and capabilities. It would do little to address the above issues, outside of providing a single source for the certification testing. More importantly, any "regulation" would likely bring in a state governmental entity into the process, as well, and we all know what happens THEN.
I believe the current certification process is acceptable, even with its flaws, and governmental regulation would simply make the entire process much more difficult and onerous.

OK those are all valid concerns too, but I wonder if regulating IT "would simply standardize the processes and testing questions" or would it act to raise the bar considerably for becoming certified/licensed? I'm not personally aware of what's involved in becoming accredited as a professional engineer, but I'm sure it's more than just getting good grades on the courses you have to take. What else would a "professional licensing" process for IT pros add besides passing a bunch of tests on different platforms?
Let's see if any more of our readers would like to express their opinions on this topic--email me at [email protected]

And while you're at it, you can follow Mark Minasi on Twitter here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/sutkkrii/

And Bill Bach's website can be found here:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/so0bco8c/

 

Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

Live webinar from Microsoft on November 8th:

Protecting Against Ransomware Threats

Join our industry experts Mark Simos, Director, Business Strategy & Offerings for the Enterprise Cybersecurity Group and Neil Carpenter, Principal Consultant Enterprise Cybersecurity Group as they share their insights on Ransomware and how enterprise companies can deal with it.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/yad5njuw/

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Deep Dive into Credential Guard

Exploring enterprise security tools? Be sure to check out this course, for an in-depth look at the design, architecture, and deployment of this feature of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, which provides secure storage of operating system secrets. Learn how Credential Guard mitigates "Pass the Hash" and lateral traversal attacks, and find out how Credential Guard works with other technologies to provide layers of protection. Watch here.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/t28fzkk5/


Factoid of the Week 

Last week's factoid and question was this:

In 2010, the BBC spent nearly £230,000 on tea, but only £2,000 on biscuits. What could account for this startling discrepancy?

Here are some of the reader responses we received:

Tea and Biscuits don't taste good together. Crumpets, on the other hand, do go quite well with tea. --Butch, IT Director, USA

In England tea is a midday meal/snack at which tea is a beverage option. --Glenn, Sr. Scientist R&D, UK

The colonists kept dumping the tea into the Boston Harbor. --George Caffeine :) --Robert, Canada

We also received this elucidating comment from a reader named Robin:

The quote is from a wonderful British Comedy Writer John Lloyd who also helped with the first radio program with Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Also rented a flat with Douglas Adams, who I actually thought this quote was originally from - My Bad)

Now let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: 11 of the 12 men to have walked on the Moon were in the Boy Scouts.

Question: Who was the guy who wasn't a Boy Scout? And more importantly, why didn't he join the Scouts? Speculations are encouraged--email us at [email protected]

Until next week,
Mitch Tulloch


Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Choose a high performance VM backup solution. Leave the bloated solutions behind. Don’t miss out, grab your free copy now!

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ec17715x/

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor provides a simplified user experience for monitoring key aspects of Active Directory’s health and performance.  Try Server & Application Monitor Free! 

http://www.wservernews.com/go/er7xhmmo/

SpeedFan is a program that monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/hdi05t3z/

DNSQuerySniffer is a network sniffer utility that shows the DNS queries sent on your system:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/r8l2q25b/

Open Hardware Monitor is a free open source software that monitors temperature sensors, fan speeds, voltages, load and clock speeds of a computer:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/y1qd6ijr/

 

This Week's Tips

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

Hyper-V - Troubleshooting

Rod Trent's myITforum.com has an article titled "How to Shut down VMs and Restart a Hyper-V Server When You Can't Logon" that could be useful to know about in certain troubleshooting scenarios:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/p2tlq79h/

Windows Server - Redirect Event Logs

Windows Management Experts (WME) explains how you can use PowerShell to redirect event logs to another location:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/alfrve76/

Security - Set up a home VPN server

The How-To Geek explains how you can host your own VPN server at home in this blog post:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/mfyxn8hp/

 

Events Calendar

North America

Microsoft Ignite Australia on February 14-17, 2017 at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, QLD

http://www.wservernews.com/go/zzb8ckyb/

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 9-13. 2017 in Washington, D.C.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/8819wfmp/

Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

New on TechGenix.com

From bad to worse: Majority of IT pros expect ransomware uptick

A Trend Micro study shows that while many IT community is expecting many more ransomware attacks, many others are also ignorant of the threat.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/xeq0q6f1/

Vendetta Brothers prove cyber criminals are acting like corporations

Vendetta Brothers are a small organization, but their actions may lead to huge changes in the world of cyber crime.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/zky4kxhh/

NIST: Blame 'security fatigue' for hacking incidents

Many IT pros are practicing improper security habits because of complicated protocols they must follow, a condition that has been dubbed "security fatigue."

http://www.wservernews.com/go/d31p4zlr/

How to run Windows apps on a Mac

Running Windows specific applications on Mac is now easy and there are a lot of possible ways to run Windows software or games on your Mac.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/bfg9lmca/

Avoid deployment failure with a training and adoption program

All significant IT projects have a direct affect on your end users. Training those users is critical to the adoption of your solution.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/x59tjjso/

 

Tech Briefing

Enterprise IT

Redesigned FAQShop Brings Premium Pricing Plans (myITforum)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/h2zmb41e/

Shavlik Offers Tips on the New Microsoft Patch Approach (Redmond Channel Partner)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/58v00po8/

Exchange Server

Exchange 2016 upgrade tips and tricks from the field (Part 3) (MSExchange.org)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/9srzbbju/

Keep your Federation Trust up-to-date (You had me at EHLO)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/x0khla5q/

PowerShell

Building a PowerShell GUI (Part 10) (WindowsNetworking.com)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/cohdcgku/

PowerShell for File Management (Part 2) (WindowsNetworking.com)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/r8lmnchc/

Small business IT

Why server GUI (WindowsNetworking.com)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/w6sttwbp/

Preserving server hardware (Part 1) (WindowsNetworking.com)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ppyzvptc/

Windows Server

Optimize VPN in Windows Server 2012 R2 (WindowsNetworking.com)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/j25asaar/

Microsoft Releases Windows Server 2016, System Center 2016 (Redmond Channel Partner)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/zhqplir5/

 

Other Articles of Interest

Don't migrate apps to the cloud without considering the costs

For many organizations, the public cloud is a way to cut costs -- but some apps may be costing you more in the cloud than you think. Access this exclusive tip to explore expert insights on which enterprise apps are better left on premises.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/v36wfkqb/

Citrix XenDesktop features make it a fit for BYOD, graphics workloads

Citrix XenDesktop isn't perfect for every organization, but it can be a good fit for companies with BYOD and a lot of graphics-intensive applications. Take a look inside this exclusive resource to determine if this platform is right for your organization's unique needs.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/3xzcmed4/

Use log analysis tools to help you find problems in your data center

Log analysis tools do the heavy lifting when it comes to identifying the root cause of issues occurring in your data center, but they come with their own challenges.  Learn more about the different types of log analysis tools available, their shortcomings and how to determine if they can benefit your data center.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/44u0ge1l/


New Windows 10 features aim to prevent productivity delays

IT pros that have been plagued by common Windows 10 pain points are looking forward to upcoming changes. In an update to the OS next year, Microsoft looks to stop Windows 10 from crashing, prevent restarts from automatic updates and provide more details in Task Manager.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/8a7rmyxw/

 

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]

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Since we recently talked about "smart" appliances like the network-connected refrigerator, we thought we'd point you to some classic Flixxy videos on the topic of "home" for your enjoyment:

Fully-Autonomous Tesla Drives Itself Across Town And Parallel Parks Itself

A Tesla Model S leaving a garage, driving across town, and finding its own parking spot - all autonomously.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/5quh10yo/

How Dictators Stay In Power

'3 Rules for Rulers' explain the behavior of political rulers in dicatorships and even in many democracies:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/xtwpmm5d/

Jon Dorenbos Shows Amazing Card Trick on Ellen

A mind-blowing card trick by Philadelphia Eagles football player and 'America's Got Talent' finalist Jon Dorenbos at the Ellen Show:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/5el62ued/

Amazing Spider Web Construction Close-Up

Watch this amazing close-up, where a spider is constructing his web with mathematical precision:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/er4cmqv5/

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

 

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 and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-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 manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.