I read an interesting post the other day about just being a Microsoft shop and that got me thinking. Thinking about where we, the IT community might be without companies like Microsoft.
Sure there are other technologies, phones, mainframes, UNIX, and others that would likely be around somehow, but I have had the benefit of being able to learn Microsoft products and technologies and use them to do my job or get my job and all of that. There have been times when I wasn’t sure that Microsoft was the right path for me to learn down but try as I might it seems Microsoft and related products keep me the most interested. And then came twitter, but that is another issue altogether.
The technology available from Microsoft has been steadily getting better, even Windows Vista has its strengths. I am glad for all of the experiences I have had and opportunities I have been given because of Microsoft. This seems to keep me coming back down the Microsoft path.
I am sure most shops, even Microsoft itself, have other technologies running on the network and this is a good thing because it keeps us as IT managers and Systems Administrators fresh. There is no way to know all of the technology that is out there, and likely no way to know all of the Microsoft stuff or the Sun stuff or the Apple stuff, but choosing the things that are most interesting to you will likely lead you a certain way.
Continually building skills that can help your taste for technology grow and at the same time aid your company in accomplishing its goals will be a popular path for a long time to come. In our currently tough economy technology might be pressed by management to show rapid ROI and have budgets reviewed and downsized, but taking the initiative on yourself (or with your team) to learn and keep growing will help you in the long run. Just keep somethings that are truly interesting on the front of your desk, this might help motivate you to keep pushing when the reading gets dry and the fun runs short.
Hopefully those of you that feel you just work in a Microsoft shop will step back and look at the technologies you do use. I wonder what the world would be like today if Microsoft had decided to produce seat cushions instead of software.