Article

IT Pro File: Hit the ground running

David Pye


IT Pro
Carol Miller
Miller's dos and don'ts
Do track all your activities. Record even the most mundane network tasks in a log file or daily journal. Simple things, like failing to remember whether you installed new drivers or service packs, can come back to haunt you when you least expect it.

Don't ignore features that are built in to applications. For example, use Microsoft Excel as a means of keeping a list of your Active Directory objects.

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Read the full list of Carol Miller's dos and don'ts

Meet Carol Miller, IT instructor and author, who shares her "truckin'" IT beginnings, an IT problem-solving story, and her system management dos & don'ts.

Sticking your nose in other people's business is not usually the best way to hop on a fast track to success. On the contrary, it can cause potentially helpful people to clam up faster than Enron execs on a witness stand. Unless, that is, you're IT pro Carol Miller.

"I rather fell into the field by being nosey," Miller said. "I am a believer in the ideology that if you don't ask, no one will tell you."

Since 1997, Miller has worked as a trainer, consultant and network administrator. In a relatively short period of time, "being nosey" has helped her amass a wealth of technical training and industry experience.

Let's start at the beginning, back when Miller was loading gas trucks in Trenton, Ontario. She moved up the ladder by learning to reconcile stock. Then she boned up on as many other aspects of the business as she could. "I soon began asking about how to load tanker trucks and do quality control on products," Miller said. Then, she began asking for more information about the trucking firm's mainframe system. She looks back at that old mainframe fondly today; it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Miller's first big IT project was monitoring the rollout of her company's new automated stocking and inventory system and authoring all of the accompanying online help files. That project went so well that her employers posed another new challenge. "I was asked to deliver training to staff and drivers on the new system," she said. During that project, she discovered a love of teaching.

Once she entered college, Miller's flair for teaching quickly caught the attention of her peers and professors. She was offered a position immediately upon completing her very first certifications. "A training opportunity came to me through a fellow student," Miller said. "Within a few short months, I had completed my MCSE and my MCT and had been engaged to deliver the Microsoft Program to college students."

Training was so enjoyable that Miller keeps it on her agenda. During the last five years, she has trained IT students at two community colleges, one corporate training center and several military bases. She also trained a group of teachers through Microsoft Canada.

Her credentials continue to pile up at breakneck speed – so quickly that she jokingly says she has trouble recounting them all now. "My sights are currently set on completing my MCDBA and the CompTIA Security+," she said.

Miller has just finished her first book, CIW Foundations Exam Cram. She's also a subject matter expert on several certifications, including the new IC3.

Miller has logged an impressive track record since she stuck her nose into the IT field only half a decade ago. She's also got a unique IT history: how many IT pros got started in a truck depot in a sleepy Canadian town?

>> Read Miller's IT Blooper.

>> Read Miller's list of dos and don'ts.

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