Useful learning resources… all in one place!

I’ve suggested many resources throughout the life of this blog. I’m gathering them all here and will keep this page updated as I cover new resources.

This post is about useful resources, and coffee is the most useful of resources. Photo by Mockup Graphics on Unsplash

This blog has grown large enough (yay!) that finding what you’re looking for on this site has become a challenge. I’ve even found myself having to use Google’s site search feature to find pages I want to refer back to! By the way, if you’re not familiar with that feature, it’s really useful. Go to Google and try the search term:

site:thesiliconpath.com interview question

This will bring up all the subpages of the site with the keywords “interview question”. Try it now with any other site you’re interested in!

But I digress.

Below are all the useful resources recommended in the history of this blog. Some of the links (the ones that go to Amazon products) are affiliate links. This means that if you click the link and then decide to purchase the product, I’ll get a commission from it. As you may have noticed, there are no ads on this site and I’m not selling you anything, so affiliate links are the way I’ve chosen to try to break even on the costs of maintaining this site. (In case you’re curious, I’ve made exactly $0 at the time of this writing, so my strategy isn’t working too well!) Purchasing from one of the links I provide doesn’t add any cost to you, by the way, so it’s a painless way to help me keep this blog going if you’ve found it useful!

And with that in mind, here are all the links. Enjoy!

Books/Magazines

A+ book – I’ve called this out in quite a few posts because learning what’s in this book will give you the knowledge you need to 1) ace your job interview and 2) do well at your new job in the first few weeks. You’ll need to keep learning, of course, but this will give you a good base. This is what you should read first, in my opinion, as I highlighted in Prepping for your Job Interview. By the way, the link is to the book I used, but there are plenty of other books that will prep you for the A+ so pick the one that seems best to you.

PowerShell in a Month of Lunches – This was the second book I read through, and I suggest the same to you. PowerShell is able to interact with pretty much any Microsoft product, so once you learn this it’s a tool that will serve you for the rest of your career.

Maximum PC magazine – If you enjoy reading magazines, this one is a painless way to learn about computers. You’ll learn about the newest graphics cards, how to build computers, tidbits about Linux, encryption, you name it. They have a physical magazine or one you can read on your phone. Take your pick! I can’t stress this enough, this is such an easy and painless way to learn about hardware!

Network+ book – This is the second book in the “CompTIA trifecta.” The first is the A+ book and the third is the Security+ book. Reading through these three books gives you a solid base knowledge of basic IT.

Security+ book – The third book in the CompTIA trifecta, this one teaches you cyber security basics.

The Linux Command Line – I work in a Microsoft shop (mostly,) so the resources I recommend tend to be biased towards that. However, you’d be making a mistake if you were to ignore Linux completely. If you’re able to, install Linux on an old laptop (EG Ubuntu) and use that to do your every day stuff like surfing the web and watching Netflix. That’s an easy way to get your feet wet. Once you start wanting to know more, this book will teach you to use the command line.

Active Directory in a Month of Lunches – As an IT Support Specialist or help desker, you’ll probably be creating new users, adding them to groups, and working with OUs. This book will go into that, and more. Most of the stuff you’ll need to do in the beginning can be picked up very quickly, so I’d recommend leaving this one for when you’re a year or so into your career. Pro tip: read the PowerShell book first. You’ll notice that half of the Active Directory book is PowerShell commands, so you’ll find them easier to understand if you’ve already learned basic PowerShell.

Python Programming for the Absolute Beginner – This programming language is all the rage these days. I chose Python to educate myself about software developing because it’s also got applications in the InfoSec field. Since I’m an Information Security Engineer, this one checked two boxes for me.

Troubleshooting with the Windows Sysinternals Tools – Created by Mark Russinovich, these are useful (and free!) tools for you to use. Mark wrote a few books on how to use them, so I’ve linked one of them. You can find them for download, as well as Mark’s blog, here.

Youtube/Reddit/Social Media/News

R/ITCareerQuestions – This is a subreddit dedicated to asking questions related to your IT career. I’m on there all the time, so say hello if you see me!

Mike Meyer’s Total Seminars Channel – This YouTube channel was recommended by Taylor when I interviewed him in Interview with an IT Support Specialist.

Glassdoor – I spoke about Glassdoor in Does this Salary Seem Low? You can use Glassdoor to estimate salary ranges in your area for a particular job or to see reviews of a company you’re interested in applying to. You’ll also find people talking about the interview process they went through when applying at the company, so it can be a useful way to get some intel ahead of a job interview.

LinkedIn – You probably know what this is already. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, create one today. Then, add your friends, families, and teachers as contacts. Once you’re ready to look for a job in the field, you’ll be able to use the technique I discuss in Talk your Way to that First Job.

Ars Technica – This is a news site that deals with tech news. Keeping up with tech news helps keep you in the loop of new developments in the field and is simply a good idea.

Learning platforms

Lynda – I called out Lynda in Learning on a Budget of $0 because that’s what’s free through my library system. However, it’s not usually free, so keep that in mind. I recommend seeing if your local library system offers free access to a similar learning platform.

Misc

PC Part Picker – This is an awesome site for making sure the parts you’re considering buying when building a computer will all work together. It will alert you to compatibility issues saving you time and money!

As I continue to write posts and discover new resources, I’ll be updating this page, so come back every now and then and see if anything’s been added. See something missing? Leave a comment below and let me know!

With each post, I cover a new topic to help you get your start (or keep progressing) in your IT career. If it’s your first time visiting this blog, start here. Or, see all my posts about interview questions you should be able to answer.