Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where do I go? Where do I look?

OK... it's kinda late (9:30 p.m. EST) and nothings on the tube (watching Benny and Joon... love that movie... one of Johnny Depp's underrated roles) and surfing the web (mostly through PlanetLotus.org.)

I've been a Lotus Domino/Notes administrator for some time, since the R5 days, but the title of admin is mostly in name only. I know enough to be dangerous, but other than that, I rely on my local consultant, Googling (is that a real verb now?), and Notes.net (just about in that order) for quick answers to my, sometimes, stupid questions.

I've been to some administrator training classes, but it was so long ago, and learned a lot of stuff that, at the time, did not affect me or my company. Most of the training was back in the R5 days, and I never had the opportunity to take any of the R6 or, now, R7 admin classes at places like New Horizons and DataPlanners (are they even still in business?)

I'd love to find some low cost online alternatives to spending time away from the office. I work in a small shop (me and our network admin... that's it) and it is difficult to leave for a week or two for training classes. I was lucky enough to get to go to Lotusphere last week. I probably won't be able to go again until 2009.

I forget where it was, possibly the "Beat the Developers" session, as I hear it is informally called, but someone brought up the lack of books of any type for R7 or R8 out in the market. I'd love to have some kind of reference book to um... refer to when I have questions or want to look at how to do something. I need it in plain English. I need someone to explain it to me like I don't know what you are talking about, because, for the most part, I don't know... or at least don't feel like I know.

I'm a terrible reader. I'm more of a skimmer than an actual reader. Hell, in high school I never read one book that was assigned to me. I do regret it now that I'm 25+ years removed from high school, as I missed out on reading some good books... some classics. (Whoops... guess I went off on a tangent for a second...) I probably I would not take the time to read through the help text in the Admin client to find what I'm looking for. I suppose I would if there was no place else to turn, but it wouldn't be the first place I looked.

So, I guess what I am asking is this: Where do I go? Where do I look for learning more about being an administrator for Lotus Domino, without having to leave the office for a week at a time? I've been taking classes online through Ed2Go via my local college. I've taken everything from HTML to Javascript to Project Management classes. Each class is 6 weeks long, all done online, at about $90 per class. I get a certificate stating that I took the class and passed the online exam when I'm done (granted... it's not worth the paper it's printed on), but I also have all the class materials printed out and in a three ring binders that I can refer back to when I need to. It would be awesome to find something similarly available for administration training.

That's all I'm looking for. That and something that I put under my pillow at night and have the information drilled through my thick skull and into my long term memory so when I wake up, I know all I need to know. Which ever is easier, I guess.


Don McNally said...

I have a copy of Lotus Notes for Dummies but I don't know if it's been updated, and I don't think it is aimed at developers. Beyond that, I think resources are hard to find. Read blogs, post your "how do I" items on your blog, lurk on Notes.net for a while. You made some friends in Orlando - ping us now and then too. :D

Steve Breitenbach said...

Thanks, Don. I'm doing all that now, and will continue to do so. I had an old R5 Notes for Dummies book, but it was more on the client side of things and not admin. I'm not a developer (yet), so I'm looking for admin stuff.

Don McNally said...

Admin? You're WAY beyond help, dude. :P

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