Road To MCSE: The Winners Edge Page 5

Thomas Shinder

How Can I Guarantee Failure?

What? Nobody wants to fail, but a lot of people unwittingly do things which guarantee that they will fail. While there aren't highly reliable factors like those I've identified for our success stories, there are a few things I've noticed that typically spell disaster for students that are otherwise technically qualified to do the work:

  1. They have a negative attitude. They complain about the operating system, their colleagues, the company they work for, about Microsoft, about Windows, their ex or their present, and just about anything else they can think of. If there's a negative slant, they'll come up with it.
  2. They are passive learners. They might read everything in the book and know it by heart. But they never test out what they've learned. They believe that the information they have gained from reading the book will somehow automatically lead to actual competence, in spite of the fact that I tell them that theory and practice are rarely related in this business.
  3. They get upset or frustrated when labs don't work the way the book says they should. These students believe that computers and software are supposed to work perfectly and as documented. They take is personally when a certain procedure doesn't lead to the expected result. Rather than investigating the possibilities why things didn't turn out right, they'll blame themselves, me, the book, or Bill Gates.
  4. They are not expert at using software. This is because the only time they use the computer is to do the practice exercises in class. They don't know how to use third party utilities, and don't know how to use any of the Microsoft Office applications, and they've never downloaded any kind of shareware or freeware. They struggle with the Windows User Interface, and the right mouse button remains a persistent source of bewilderment.
  5. They are not expert at using the Internet to solve problems. They avoid newsgroup like the plague. They don't subscribe to mailing lists or research web sites. Their idea of a search engine is Yahoo! And when they do use it, they type in a single keyword and are dismayed that there are 1,997,532 references called by that keyword.

In sum, they don't have the Winner's Edge.

This article was originally published on Sep 29, 2000

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