Are You Spiced Up?

A few month’s ago I encountered a strange issue: a seemingly healthy MacBook Air refused to work when hooked up to a projector. After performing the usual troubleshooting steps, I decided to turn to the universal IT manual: Google. Within a few minutes I had my answer from an article posted on a website which sounded more like a cooking show than an IT resource; Spiceworks. A month later I had another issue which required me to consult additional resources, this time involving Microsoft Server. Within a few clicks I had my answer, again. When I checked which website provided the helpful tip, it was spiceworks. This time I decided to create an account and discovered is Spiceworks is much more than a forum; it’s a community, resource, learning platform, and toolbox for IT Professionals.

A screenshot showing the Spiceworks homepage.

A Community of IT

Although Spiceworks has a small staff, the bulk of their content is driven by the community.  How-to’s, reviews, articles, and topics are written by IT professionals in the field who come from a wide range of industries and experience levels. Articles from HIPPA compliance to classroom projectors can be found.

Participation is Rewarded

As a community driven site, Spiceworks rewards participation through a points system which is pretty fun! Staying true to their name, the point system is based on the Scoville Scale which ranks the spiciness of peppers.  As a new member you start out as a Pimiento but after contributing to a few topics or participate in a survey, you’ll quickly rank up to a Jalapeño. One of my favorite ways to gain points is to answer the daily challenge question.

The LinkedIn of IT

Perform a tricky server installation or managed a large deployment? Brag about it by adding it to your project portfolio. Although Spice works isn’t primarily a job board, it doe  have many features Which remind me of Linkedin. For those interested in pursuing new opportunities, there is a small but growing jobs section,

A Toolbox

Besides having as incredibly helpful community forum, Spiceworks provides a number of free tools including help desk software, inventory manager, IP scanner, and Cloud Computing monitoring. Actually, Spiceworks free help desk system, which is available in both online and self-hosted versions, is consistently ranked one of the best available.

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