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 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,
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.