Best way to learn about Networking/Servers etc.

Hey guys,

I'm someone who has a long background of computers but it's generally just giving general advice, building them, overclocking them and troubleshooting standard 'Home PC' type issues mostly with hardware but some software as well. I really want to start to expand my knowledge somewhere else within computer hardware and software to improve my job prospects in this area. I'm trying to move towards more of a Network/Server admin/support type career and I'm just wondering where the best place to start learning about something like this might be? I don't even know where to begin.

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  1. Well it's the same old song, there's nothing like hands on experience. No amount of reading, schooling, or certifications will have nearly the same effect as having to solve real world problems (because the real world is never as clean or easy to resolve as it's described in the manuals). So it’s vital to get your foot in the door, ANY door, no matter how small the company or low the pay. And if you can find a mentor, someone at that company who’s willing to teach you the ins and outs, it will make all the difference in the world. And in the meantime, plan your exit out of that company/situation into the next one. You just have to get started, anywhere, whatever it takes, even MOVING to another part of the country if need be. I realize that’s not easy for a married person, but that’s one of those things you have to take advantage when you’re young and single. Heck, if it was me, I’d moved to North Dakota if that’s what it took (not that I have anything against it, it’s just not a Mecca for technology in the minds of most ppl). In today’s economy, I’d even offer my services for FREE to some small, local business, maybe on weekends, to gain experience and build my credentials. You never know when any current position will end up opening the door to another position that would have never otherwise been known to you. That’s the secret to moving forward; having a network of contacts who know and recommend you based on their interactions w/ you. Most of the good jobs go to ppl in those networks, not outsiders.

    So start anywhere, it doesn’t matter. You can always move on to the next thing when the opportunity strikes, or you find the current situation is not advancing your skills. But you MUST get your foot in the door somewhere.
  2. Thanks for the reply man.

    Maybe I should start with something small I can do at home. I am a bit rusty with software, I'll try Linux for a bit. I've never tried it and I hear it gives a more unforgiving environment where you are forced to learn how everything works.

    It's not really the area I originally suggested but it is an area in computing I could definitely do with improving my knowledge in. I'm also trying to move back into a general tech support job in the meantime. I have done something similar before, at least it keeps all this stuff fresh in my mind and I'll be constantly learning stuff.
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