Can we just say, Microsoft Press loves working with Mitch Tulloch! So much so that we ask him for interviews. Here’s one:
What do you like best about Windows 7?
Honestly, the feature I like the best is Aero Snap, which lets me drag a window to the left or right side of the screen and have it align to the edge and resize to half the screen. I’m an old dog who hates to learn new tricks and I cut my teeth on Windows 3.1. So when Windows 95 came out, I vigorously opposed replacing File Manager with Windows Explorer as I liked the ability to have two child windows open in File Manager so that I could easily drag files between different locations. But now with Aero Snap in Windows 7, I can open my Documents library and snap it to the left, plug in my USB thumb drive and snap it to the right, and drag files from my Documents library to my thumb drive—yay! Now this may seem like a minor issue, especially to techies, but it boosts my productivity and isn’t that what counts in the end?
How long have you been working with Microsoft Press?
My first book with Microsoft Press was the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking, which I wrote around 1999. My wife, Ingrid, did a lot of the research for that project, and on the Second Edition she was rightly acknowledged as co-author, which was appropriate. Anyway, I learned something really important on that first project—never write an encyclopedia, the amount of work involved can kill you! Fortunately, while working on the Encyclopedia, I met many of the wonderful people who work at Microsoft Press, so that compensated me somewhat for the grinding effort involved.
Where do you work?
My wife and I currently run a content development business in Winnipeg, Canada, which is almost right in the geographical center of North America (see http://www.mtit.com for details). Before I started my business about 10 years ago, I was a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and before that a Web Production Manager for an Internet startup. And way back in another life I taught Physics at the high school and Advanced Placement levels.
What is your advice for people starting out in IT?
Be prepared to learn constantly. Technology is constantly changing, and that means an IT professional’s job is also constantly evolving. You need to be highly organized to get ahead in IT these days as most projects involve bringing together many different technologies and services and integrating them. Learn about the business side of things, about project management and procurement and regulatory/compliance issues. Don’t just focus on learning technology—learn business skills as well if you want to get ahead in IT. I recommend Donald Trump’s books—they’re the best books on self-improvement and entrepreneurship available. Donald is shameless at prompting himself, but you need to be in order to become a success nowadays. Which reminds me, the Windows 7 Resource Kit (Microsoft Press, 2010; ISBN: 9780735627000; 1760 pages) is a really outstanding book, and as lead author for this title I’m maintaining an Unofficial Support Site for it at http://www.mtit.com/reskit/. I list additional resources there and try to respond to questions from readers around the world. New content is also being added to this site daily, and it will likely become an essential resource for the IT pro community. Just thought I’d mention it.
Cooking pizzas at Pizza Hut. Great job for learning to multitask, but way too easy to put on weight.
Thanks, Mitch. Everybody, you can learn more about the Windows 7 Resource Kit here.