Home > Uncategorized > Learn foundational IT skills

Learn foundational IT skills



Posted: May 05, 2016

Brandy Pepper, Joe Breslin

We know and you know: Working in IT often means little time for much else. You like to keep up with the latest releases, technology trends, and evolving threats, but with work piling up, this can be difficult. Even worse, when you can make time to find out what’s new in IT, you often have to waste it sifting through a sea of unreliable content.

And that is exactly what The Ops Team is here to fix.

We realize you want to hear from people who actually know their stuff: real IT people, the engineers building the solutions, and other highly technical minds. So when The Ops Team creates videos, blogs, demos, and a whole bunch more, we like to follow a few simple rules:

  1. Make it technical
  2. Make it useful
  3. Make it quick

For a quick preview of some of the things our team gets to work on, check out the below interview between Jeffrey Snover and Matt McSpirit, two of the coolest technologists in the world chatting about the why you’ll love Windows Server 2016 and Nano Server.


Here are some examples of the awesome stuff The Ops Team has created. And be sure to follow our blog to always stay current with the latest in technology.



This is one of our favorite formats. Our shows are a great way to connect with people, both inside and outside of Microsoft. Shows vary from detailing how the latest release impacts IT to diving into a hands-on demo. You’re sure to find something relevant to your work among them:

  • On The Endpoint Zone, Brad Anderson teams up with Simon May to focus on Enterprise Mobility Management. They’ll show how you can maintain control as the workforce becomes increasingly mobile.
  • With DevOps now one of technology’s biggest trends, you can turn to DevOps Dimension to find out what this is and how it relates to you. See examples of how companies use DevOps to find solutions. Thanks, DevOps!
  • Our buddy Rick Claus, though no longer on the team, still loves getting behind the camera. On Tuesdays with Corey, he and the awesome Corey Sanders cover all thing Azure, typically in under 10 minutes and often involving white boarding. And on Patch and Switch, Rick and Joey Snow discuss … a lot of stuff. You need to experience this one for yourself—it’s always fun.
  • Simon May teams up again, this time with our Azure AD engineers to bring you the latest in identity management on Azure AD + Identity. If you still believe single sign-on is impossible and you’re powerless to protect your organization from the next data breach, then this show’s for you.


Series are similar to shows, though a series typically dives deeper into a specific topic, usually for a certain length of time. Think of them as the next step after you’ve watched our shows and figured out which mountains you want to move. Here are a few to keep things moving:

  • If DevOps Dimension helps you understand what DevOps means, then DevOps Fundamentals is here to take you through all of the key DevOps components, like Release Management, Continuous Integration/Deployment and Automated Testing. We think we didn’t say DevOps enough here. DevOps.
  • Sticking to the theme of awesome new technology that may be vaguely understood yet critically important: Containers. Working in technology means there are many hands and dependencies to make things happen, which can be a management nightmare. Containers help standardize delivery across diverse environments, meaning that your software will work exactly as intended.
  • In a similar vein to Containers, Nano Server presents a much lighter weight and more flexible way to manage your operations, available as part of Windows Server 2016. Requiring less patching, using resources more efficiently, and improving security mean fewer things to go wrong for you.


Less talking, more doing. Learn exactly what steps to take to proceed with the topics we discuss on our shows and series.

  • Back to those mobile devices again, the How to: Control the Uncontrolled series walks you through the steps required to finally take control of the ticking time bombs your users call smart phones, while actually improving their access and productivity.
  • Just want to get started with some new cool stuff but not sure how? In the Pit Stop Series, we walk through how you can quickly get started on some common scenarios across Azure, Enterprise Mobility Suite, and Operations Management Suite. In (generally) fewer than five minutes, learn how to set up and connect to VMs (even Linux!), establish email file-level control, and create data logs and dashboards.


Last but not least, blogs and various social channels offer another way to quickly stay up with the latest technology happenings.

  • To the north, Anthony Bartolo, Pierre Roman and friends keep the Can IT Pro blog running. Similar to our blog, they cover the wide subset of technologies discussed here, just with a slightly different accent.
  • As part of Brad Anderson’s “In the Cloud” blog, Controlling the Uncontrollableoutlines the key components of mobile device management (MDM, for the cool kids). This includes enforcing better device security, deploying and protecting email, and setting up self-service device enrollment. You may remember similar topics from a certain demo series above.
  • In The Ops Team blog post (how meta), we mentioned the awesome IT guys we get to hang out with every day who created The Ops Team (Matt, Simon, Rick, andDavid). We also can’t forget about Thiago, Oguz, and Volker. And, right, we should also mention our Twitter.
  • Finally, it’s been way too long since we’ve written “DevOps“. And speaking of DevOps, Julien Stroheker put together an incredible post that details a great list of resources. Much better than what we could have done.
  • [Edit: Double finally, I forgot about the Twitter list of my favorite IT people at Microsoft I created, as well as Docs.com, which has decks and stuff that you can download]


*Phew* Quite the list, but huge thanks for your commitment in making it this far. It means you’re the kind of person we were hoping we’d find. The good news is that, while we may still venture into a diatribe or two, in the future we’ll generally keep it short. We just haven’t had any one place to capture all the awesome stuff the team’s been working on. Now we do, and if you subscribe to our blog you can make sure to have our latest updates delivered straight to your Inbox. And if you’re ready to learn more right now, check out our next post, where we cover some of our favorite ways to dive deeper, including MVA training courses, evaluations, Virtual Labs conferences, and other in-person events.

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