Road To MCSE: The Winners Edge Page 3

Thomas Shinder

The Winner's Academic Characteristics

The students that do well in their career paths do show some identifiable characteristics in the classroom environment:

  1. They are very curious about the operating systems and applications they're studying. They click on every button, they right click on everything, and constantly experiment with things they no nothing about. However, in the process of exploration, they end up learning quite a bit.

  2. These students don't stop using computers when class is over. They have one or more computers at home, and they use them all the time. They tend to download every piece of shareware and freeware they can in order to access how programs of various types work, and what they will do to their operating systems. They typically don't read a manual or a help file unless they can't figure it out on their own, which they spend quite a bit of time doing.

  3. These students try out stuff that I talk about in class that isn't included in the book. For example, I'll tell them how they can set up their own web servers, how to create web sites, and how to register domain names. The vast majority of students, even the classically "good" ones, just ignore this information because its not part of the official curriculum. However, our success stories think the Internet is really cool, and go try these things for themselves.

  4. Most importantly, these students ask questions, and lots of them. Often, the questions have little or nothing to do with what we might be covering in class at the time. They know how to use TechNet and drill me on what the "book" says, versus what I say, versus what TechNet says.

So far, I've focused on primarily academic and procedural issues. These things determine how technically competent the student turns out to be. However, technical expertise is only half the battle to career success.

This article was originally published on Sep 29, 2000

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