Learning some Microsoft 365 for Great Good

TL;DR

To study for MS-900 Microsoft 365 Fundamentals: Go here
To learn how to actually look after Microsoft 365: Go here

The call for help

Generation Tech logo

It seems like longer, but it’s actually only 10 weeks ago that I answered a call for help from Generation Tech, a charity that provides a telephone helpline for older people in Ireland who have trouble with tech.

They only originally intended to provide the helpline during COVID lockdown when everyone had to do things online that they would otherwise do in person, but it proved so popular that they decided it had to keep going post-COVID. Because of this they needed to automate as much as possible, since the manual processes they were using weren’t going to be workable on a permanent basis.

The scope creep

It all went swimmingly at first. I set up some low-code and low-cost processes using Microsoft Forms, Azure Logic Apps and a few lines of PowerShell and saved everybody a lot of time 🎉. But of course, because I was now “The Microsoft Expert” 😎, I was then also given the job of looking after their Microsoft 365 setup (as a charity, Microsoft give them free use of Teams, Outlook, SharePoint and OneDrive, and they make good use of it). NOT my usual role, but then again not anyone else’s either!

Fortunately, round about this time the Microsoft MVPs were set a challenge to learn something outside their usual comfort zone, and provided with some Microsoft Learn collections to consider. As luck would have it, one of them was Microsoft 365.

The emergency learning

Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification badge

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I piled in to the learning modules and after a few days came out with not only a much better understanding of M365 but also the Fundamentals certification to prove it 😄.

BUT while I now knew the basics of stuff like how to migrate from Skype For Business to Teams, I still didn’t feel like I was quite there on the actual day-to-day admin side of things.

SO I put together another collection of my own for that, and a few more days later I now feel comfortable enough in the M365 admin portals to have silenced the devil on my shoulder telling me I’m going to break something any moment now 😈.

What I learned

I learned that Microsoft Learn is actually quite nifty! When you put it to the test on something you’re unfamiliar with, you can learn enough to get both a certification and at least enough competence to get hands-on without being too dangerous. Not too shabby for free, and invaluable when you have to leave your happy path in a hurry.

Do give my fundamentals and admin learning collections a try. I’d be interested to know how you get on - let me know if you get certified! 🎓