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Key To Almost Infinite Knowledge – Passive Listening…

Do you make the time to keep up with technology?  If you are not expanding your knowledge, you are falling behind.  With the job market the way it is, you would be smart to keep learning.  I know we are all busy and doing more now than ever with companies cutting back for the last few years.  Technology is changing at a more rapid pace than it ever has before so it is now more important than ever that we keep up with technology.  So how do we keep up with the limited resources (time, money) that we have? 

1) Take Advantage of Free Online Training

It is simple,  figure out what you want to learn about and then take advantage of free online training.  More later on specifically where to go for the videos.  Ok, so it’s free… thank you much but,  what about the other resource… time? 

2) Invest In Yourself First

I will share with you what I do and I encourage others to do.  Invest in yourself first.  What I mean by that is dedicate some time every day to invest in yourself.  Perhaps you can go into the office 15 mins early and listen to a short video a couple times a week.  Perhaps you can watch a video while you eat lunch (on days that you get a lunch).  What if there is simply no time?  Well, I still have a solution for you! 

3) Passive Listening

Listen to video’s while you work.  I refer to this as passive learning. Have video’s playing in the background so you can pickup tips as you are working.  It may take a little getting used to something “distracting” you in the beginning but after a week or so, you will likely find it is an incredible way to gain knowledge as you work.  At some point download some videos and have them queued up and just play them while you work.  You will pickup some knowledge as you multi-task.  You may also hear something that catches your attention and then you tone into the video to really get the good information.  You will also find that some video’s you will want to listen to many times to help you drill the information into your subconscious mind. When I first started practicing this, I was amazed at how much I could pick up from passive listening and occasionally focusing on the content.

Infinite Training – Hard To Believe There Is So Much Out There!

Now that you know the secret to passive learning. You just need to know where to get the good training. There is a ton of it out there. Let me start with a bit of a plug for my blog.  You could start with subscribing to a Video Blog.  My new Video just went live.  You can find it at  How To With The ITProGuru-Video Blog of Dan Stolts.  There are also other sites you will want to become familiar with. For information on subscribing checkout my blog post: How To Subscribe To RSS Feed Using Outlook 2010 or Internet Explorer IE9 Video. Yep, You guessed it… it’s a video 🙂

1) Microsoft Showcase

where they have a seemingly limitless supply of content by channels for ease of finding what you are interested in. 

Once you find a channel (or two or three) that you like simply subscribe to them.

If you would prefer to browse by category you can do that too.  Click on the topic and then drill down further or click “View All” to scroll through them. 

Example of View All from “IT Pro” 2,242 videos – That’s a bunch of Passive Learning Smile


2) Microsoft TechEd

where many of the sessions from the National TechEd conference were recorded. The TechEd 2011 content  has another 465 sessions at your finger tips. Plus notice the really cool filtering you can do?  You can filter on a key term, you can select by tag, you can filter by technology, speaker, level and even day if you care (earlier days tend to be more into).  So you can focus on “Certification” if you want.  Or any number of other topics.

  • Cloud Computing & Online
  • Services
  • Database ​& ​Business ​Intelligence (SQL Server)
  • Developer Tools
  • Developme​nt ​Practices ​& ​Architect​ure
  • Exchange & Lync
  • Foundation Sessions
  • Identity & Management
  • Introduct​ion
  • Languages & Frameworks
  • ​Middleware ​& ​Integrati​on
  • Office & SharePoint
  • Security
  • Virtualiz​ation
  • Windows Client
  • Windows Phone
  • Windows Server
  • Women In Technology

3) Microsoft 

– Just in case you still have not found something of interest you can go to the Microsoft home page and select your topic from there.

4) Bing Search

As if that was not enough, there is much more… Try doing a Bing video search just put in a topic or keyword and let Bing find it for you.


Lastly let me talk a bit about community.  There is a world of knowledge out there in the community. You can find it by simply doing a Bing search on “community” or “user group” and the “topic” of interest to you.  An example of an online community that helps you find live training in the East US is Boston User Groups.  They have a calendar of activities that is constantly updated.  More on communities later.  I have an entire video series coming next month on How To Leverage Community To Build Your Career.

Comments (1)
  1. christi parks says:

    Are there some advantages of one language C and Java over the other? Which one is optimal? Which one is more "future proof"? Would it be optimal to know both? If so, which order? I am a little confused on the subject. Just got across this course…/1779-core-and-advance-java-concepts, will it be helpful also. A little enlightenment could help. Thanks

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