This is the second post in a planned five part series on Impostor Syndrome among IT Pros.
Check out the first post in the series here: Do I belong at this table?
I hope they don’t find out.
What would all these people think if they discovered where I came from? Would my opinions on Endpoint Management and the Modern Workplace matter to them if they knew that just six years ago, I was working as a paramedic? What if they discovered my only degree is a completely unrelated associate’s degree from a bankrupt college they never heard of? How would they feel if they learned that in the last 18 or so years, I have had half a dozen different careers? Who trusts their plumber for mobile device management advice, or a salesman for – well – anything?
In my head it doesn’t matter that I have spent the last six years working as an IT Pro; the last five focused almost entirely on endpoint management and enterprise mobility. The challenge of battling with Impostor Syndrome is that we know what other people don’t. We see our inner demons. We know all the twists and turns that led us to where we are today. Other people only see our accomplishments. They want to hear our perspective. There may be some tangential interest in knowing how we got to where we are, but that doesn’t change the value of what we have to offer to them.
This is the first post in a series on Modern Workplace management. Through this series I will explore the underlying questions of endpoint management and what it means for us as IT Pros.
It’s not you, it’s me.
I get it – you want this amazing modern workplace experience, but I’m not sure you know what you’re ACTUALLY asking for. I mean, look at our environment. It’s complex because it needs to be. The old IT manager wrote a login script, and I’ve spent a lot of time adding to it and maintaining it – and, well, to be honest … I’m not quite sure what all of it does. I just don’t want to break anything by taking it out. And our group policies? I mean, I know what the stuff I created does. I’m just not sure about everything else … and besides, do we really want to mess with our Default Domain policy? I don’t think we can tolerate that kind of risk – and have you met OUR end users? OUR users are the worst! Way worse than anywhere else I have been!
I could insert any number of clichés here. (The world is changing, the future is now, or any statement involving the word synergy.) We all know that business and technology are changing at an unrelenting pace. Our organizations are demanding that we provide solutions that allow them to be more mobile, more collaborative, and more flexible. We, as IT Pros, have turned around and asked our vendors for better solutions. They have, in turn, provided those solutions.
This is the first post in a series on Impostor Syndrome among IT Pros. I will be talking about my journey, the people who have inspired me, and how we can deal with this common challenge that faces many of us.
Do I belong at this table?
At a recent event I was sitting at a table with several Microsoft team members and customers. We all had one thing in common – a love for Microsoft’s Modern Endpoint Management solutions. While I looked around the table, I started keeping score in my head. On my right were two MVPs – Matthew Hudson and Kent Agerlund. To my right was another IT Pro from a Microsoft Partner. Rion was one of the most engaging and charismatic members of the community I have had the pleasure of meeting. The rest of the table was filled with members of the Endpoint Management team at Microsoft – from engineers to project managers.
Everyone at the table was someone whom I looked up to. They were all very accomplished professionals. I had used their blogs and technical articles to build my own environment. A lot of doubt began to creep in. How did I get here? How do I stack up to the other people sitting at this table? Do I have anything to offer to the conversation? What perspective do I have to offer that the other people sitting here can’t give? It was immediately obvious to me that I didn’t have the breadth of experience or depth of knowledge of the other professionals I was sitting with. My credentials didn’t seem to measure up to theirs, and I began to question my experience.
Welcome to the managed.modernEndpoint.com blog! Posts will range from step by step walk throughs (like this one) to deep dives on topics I find interesting or am actively working on. I will also spend time discussing my perspective on Managing Modern Endpoints, a topic I am truly excited about!
In case you haven't explored the new Admin Center you may not have noticed the new guided scenarios. These are currently still in Preview, but I wanted to do a brief walk through on one of the available scenarios. Two of the scenarios (Deploy Edge for Mobile and Deploy a Cloud Managed PC) are available on the Home blade. My personal favorite, Secure Office apps for mobile, is neatly tucked away on the Troubleshooting blade under Guided scenarios. The various guided scenarios enable administrators to quickly deploy policy sets that contain baseline policies for several device types at once.
Deploying consistent applications across device types can be a time consuming experience. This guided scenario helps both seasoned veterans and new administrators quickly deploy baseline app protection policies that cover multiple applications and device types in one workflow. We can select the applications we want to target, configure a handful of basic settings, and assign the policy to targeted groups.
I am Sean Bulger, an IT Pro working in the Modern Endpoint Management workspace. I have been working with Intune and Configuration Manager in the enterprise since 2015. I have a broad range of experience having worked in nearly every career field from plumbing to emergency medicine. I have always come back to technology, initially starting out in QA, and then moving to desktop support. I rejoined the IT field in 2014 as a help desk analyst at a large accounting firm. I was able to quickly build my skill set and moved into a workstation engineering role a year later.
modernEndpoint.com represents the next stage in my personal and professional development. I have changed companies twice in the last two years. During that time I lost touch with the pulse of the endpoint management community. I was still doing the work, but I wasn't in an environment that was mature enough to adopt many of the modern solutions that were available. Over the last three months I have had the chance to re-engage with the community. It has been reinvigorating. I have been reminded that I have something to offer.
I am starting this site as a way to engage with the Modern Endpoint Management community, share my perspective, and most importantly to learn from all of the other professionals in our field. This is an exciting time for those of us who work with Intune, Configuration Manager, and the entire Enterprise Mobility and Security suite. Our organizations are changing quickly. The role of a windows administrator has shifted. We no longer spend (as much of) our time writing logon scripts and managing group policy to lock down Windows. Our organizations now expect us to provide a stable platform that empowers users rather than limits them.
Modern Endpoint Management requires us to take a holistic look at our environments and our existing workflows. We need to adjust our paradigms to work with tech savvy users and stay ahead of rapidly emerging trends. If we fail to get ahead we will continue to fight against Shadow IT in our organizations. I believe the best way for us to do that is to become solutions providers. Through this site I hope to help provide holistic solutions that drive technology adoption.
I plan on using modernEndpoint.com as a place to share information, explore technical challenges, and foster a dialog on how best to provide users with the cutting-edge experiences they desire. Through the various blogs on this site we will explore the challenges facing all of us as we transition from a traditional solutions to a modern workplace.
I hope that my blog – managed.modernEndpoint.com – and my collaborators' blogs – Scripted and Collaborative – will provide insight and value on how to manage solutions in the modern workplace.
Thank you for visiting. Please follow us on Twitter (@managed_blog) for more updates!
My name is Sean Bulger. I am an IT Pro that has worked in the Modern Endpoint Management work space since 2015. I have worked in various environment, ranging from mature enterprise all the way down to a fledgling IT organization looking to find their way in a cloud first world. Before rejoining the technology field in 2014 I had a wide range of careers - from plumber to paramedic - that have helped to shape my perspective on the world.