Meet Mike Pfeiffer
With the acquisition of CloudSkills.io, INE gained much more than just new Cloud content for your training journey. Mike Pfeiffer, our new Cloud Director, has joined us for an up-close look at his background in Cloud and a look at who he is as an instructor and leader in the industry.
Tell us about your career journey?
Mike began his career journey in 1999, but not as a “computer science person” as he put it. His journey started with him working a help desk job after dropping out of college. While not the typical start to a career in technology, Mike took the opportunity to work in almost every IT role through his supporting position. Mike said, “There was a lot of uncertainty when I started out but I was eager to learn and push boundaries so that I could pursue my passions.” Eventually, his technological skills became more tangible and he was able to move into more hands-on tech roles.
How did you get into Cloud?
Mike saw an opportunity. After 10 years of working in traditional systems roles, he could tell things were moving toward a Cloud environment, but it was still a risk. Mike said, “I had done it [bet on a gut feeling] several times in my career in regard to technology.” He figured he would have to learn Cloud technology at some point, so he jumped into Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2013 to seize the opportunity to learn.
What inspired you to establish CloudSkills.io?
After learning what he needed from AWS, Mike left in 2016 to get back into the books and teachings of technology. His experience in all of the technology roles led him to believe traditional learning experiences with lectures and “fire-hosed information” were not going to cut it. In establishing CloudSkills.io, Mike said, “CloudSkills was my vision for the future for training in the Cloud space.” A more hands-on approach is what CloudSkills set out to bring to the education process while also catering to students and their timelines to create a blended learning environment.
What responsibilities do the teachers have in the student journey?
Teachers and students have a shared burden in the education and learning process; you can’t have one without the other. Mike, as an educator, said, “We both need to meet halfway and learn what needs to be taught for the technology but also for the industry.” He mentioned that in building a curriculum, it’s important to be different and push expectations to meet the needs of an ever-evolving industry.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned throughout your career?There are many lessons people learn throughout their career and Mike had a number of experiences which taught him how to take action and learn as much as possible. His earliest lesson though, was “You can’t just sit back and consume content, you need to engage in your learning.” A lot of traditional approaches to learning can lead to “analysis paralysis” and result in the student(s) honing in on an analysis of a lecture or writings on the topic instead of getting hands-on and innovative. Mike said, “It’s a continuous learning process, especially in this industry [technology]. There isn’t always a final destination and it’s about continuous delivery. There’s always room for improvement.”
What is your favorite part about the Cloud workspace?
It’s a popular phrase: follow your passion and pursue your dreams. Mike’s take on the Cloud space means anyone can do that in Cloud and technology saying, “Anybody that has an interest in technology can find a career path that they are happy with and successful in through Cloud.” In addition, he said “You can find your passion when you take the time to learn.”
What would you tell people who are just starting their Cloud journey?
We all have to start somewhere but we don’t need to take the first step in the journey blind. As an expert in the Cloud space, Mike gave some advice to those who might just be starting out in Cloud. Quoting Teddy Rosevelt he said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” He went on to say, “It’s good to have a model of success, but you don’t need to be them. You don’t need a degree or a certification to start learning. You just need to have the willingness to try and develop your skills and make your own success.”
What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?
Work doesn’t define us. In work, Mike is a Cloud expert who is committed to furthering technical education and providing students with the best learning experience possible. Outside of work, he has a lot of different hobbies! “I’m an avid reader,” Mike said. “I read a lot of nonfiction, mostly for the science in astronomy and physics fields, though I have no interest in working in that space.” He also plays the guitar and enjoys hiking and traveling with his family.
We’re excited to have Mike as a new member of the INE team and can’t wait to see what innovations he brings to the Cloud focus area. Start your Cloud journey with Mike and the rest of our Cloud community today with a Starter Pass or get a Premium Plan for even more access to engaging Cloud content!
INE is the premier provider of technical training for the IT industry. INE is revolutionizing the digital learning industry through the implementation of adaptive technologies and a proven method of hands-on training experiences. Our portfolio of training is built for all levels of technical learning, specializing in advanced networking technologies, next generation security and infrastructure programming and development. Want to talk to a training advisor about our course offerings and training plans? Give us a call at 877-224-8987 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.