Password cracking, farts, and $10k week rates

During the first dot-com boom, I worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT).

Back then, that was a great job to have. As an independent contractor, you could pull down week rates of $10k or more.

I’m out of that world now, so I don’t know whether MCTs are still in demand, but I really learned a ton from that gig, including:

  • What to do when one student complains to you about another student farting in class. (Answer: Have a very awkward 1-on-1 conversation with the farting student.)
  • What to do when you almost get fired for demonstrating how password hashing works by using a copy of L0phtcrack at an onsite training. (Answer: Say you’re really sorry and you had no idea the demonstration would be a problem.)
  • There are great people working for the state of Tennessee, but there’s something about how state government workers are managed or incentivized that is very… different than private enterprise.

Anyway, I was reminded of my MCT days by a podcast I was recently on. One of the classes I prepped for was the SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization class. To my great relief, I didn’t have to teach the class. I didn’t really have enough expertise to pull it off, and was thankful when the class was cancelled at the last minute.

Recently I spoke with Carlos L Chacon, host of the SQL Data Partners’ Podcast about positioning. I’ve taught about positioning on a lot of podcasts, but this one was different because we were focused on how a full time employee can use the principles behind positioning to benefit their career.

We touched on some really interesting questions:

  • Won’t positioning as a professional ruin my career?
  • How do I position effectively? What do I focus on?
  • What’s the risk to positioning?
  • Won’t I be bored?
  • What if I’m “found out” to be not as good as I say I am?
  • How do I deal with recruiters?
  • Won’t I be pigeon-holed into a legacy application?
  • How do I continue to evolve as a technologist while also focusing?

Check out the full conversation between Carlos and I: http://sqldatapartners.com/2016/03/16/positionyourself/

Talk to you soon,
-P

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