Being an introvert it’s sometimes easy to stay home and indulge in home/family activities, but days on end can be challenging. While work as not stopped for me, it has stopped for my girlfriend as well as school as stopped for my kids and hers. This is great for them, but causes some challenges for me while trying to work from home. The constant phrase “Please be quiet I am on a call” as become my go to line for the last few weeks or months, I am not even sure how long its been at this point. I have found myself forgetting what day it is, what meetings I have on what day, and sometimes I forget to eat lunch. While normally I am working at home 3-4 days during “normal” circumstances, I have a better idea or schedule and much more silence while kids are at school during those times. I had decided before we when we went into quarantine that I would take it easy a bit on training and certifications since I busted my hump for about 3-4 months straight to achieve my CCNP before the exams all changed, but little did I know what was coming. Needless to say that thought changed for me real quick as I felt I would use these idle times to search my next certification path or even just try to learn something new period.

My employer has offered us as employees access to Pluralsight at no charge to us. I had been wanting to subscribe to INE or CBTNuggets for a bit, but really couldn’t afford it so I spent most of time seeing what I can buy on Udemy for cheap to help my learning progress. Udemy is really hit or miss on most content. There is some good instructors and there are some bad ones that have no business teaching students. That being said access to Pluralsight was a great advantage for me. When I created my profile its asks you to set your learning goal in hours per week, most was 120 minutes so I said “sure”. Little did I know how easy that would be with the amount of content on that platform. I have dove into Cisco ACI, AWS, and Python within my time at home. With the amount of content in each of these areas 120 minutes is a walk in park. Just recently I heard that at home testing was allowed for multiple vendors out there like AWS so I am gearing up on my AWS studies and hope to get the solutions architect associate under my belt in the next few months or less.

While I may be a bit longer in achieving any AWS certifications due to the fact that I am still working and my home responsibilities have increased due to children being out of school and some other factors that have risen by this COVID-19 crisis, I promised myself I would not come out of this wasting my time on not learning anything at all. I encourage every IT professional to do the same to keep your skills relevant and sharp.

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