Because I have the Nest Doorbell I'm using the Nest integration, it request a bit of GCP API setup and a one time $5 charge to get access to the APIs, but works great.
Out of all of them I love the Cync by GE lights for lamps, and the TP-Link light switches for things like dining room lights (where there might be multiple bulbs in a single fixture)
I have a newer Sleep Number bed that has Sleep IQ integration. In home assistant this allows detecting when someone is in each side of the bed, set the firmness, view the pressure, and toggle privacy mode. I have it setup to detect when I get in the bed, at which point it turns on my bedside lamp and sets a timer to turn it back off after an hour and a half.
Sense appears to be US specific, but there are similar solutions for EU/UK electricity monitoring systems. You can find all of those in https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/#energy notably we're working to role out IoTaWatt where I work. It looks like they recently switched to a reseller model (we got the work ones direct originally)
Oh boy do I have one hell of a story for this one... This happened not even 4 months into my current job while my boss was still an actual IT person at the time (kinda).
So to preface this something important to understand is that my boss and the IT guy for nearly a decade at this point was primarily a developer, meaning he had little time to be dealing with IT infrastructure things hence why I was hired to assist him. Additionally, prior to me joining, he had been upgrading VM hosts with complete resets so things were kind of in disarray and not all the configs were best practices.
After a couple months in the "seeing if we trust you phase" they decided that they did, and thus assigned me my first ever project. A really basic one (or what should have been) and straight forward at that. The project was to enable online archives for the on-prem exchange users so that we could migrate to Exchange Online (some main mailboxes were too big).
Pretty easy, I read through the documentation, take note of some PowerShell commands to script this up so that we can automate it, take note of the additional disk space requirements, etc. so far so good. Presenting my findings to the IT director, he says "double check the disk space". I check the VM disk space and everything looks good, more than 200GB free on each VHD storing the databases. Confirm with IT director, and get the go ahead to proceed with enabling for a test group (the lead dev, himself, myself and the general manager for one of the divisions). Enable them no problems, check to make sure the archiving job will run overnight. Go home.
Next morning, I went into the office and all the emails were broken. And the Hyper-V state of the on-prem Exchange VM is "saved-critical" meaning something major happened to it. IT Director gets in and we immediately begin digging in to solve the issue, and find that the physical drive (RAID array) for the VHDs is out of space. Explain how I checked disk space again the day prior and IT director proceeds to inform me "the virtual drives were overprovisioned because of the VM migrations we were doing, now we have to clear room and fix this". In the end we solved it by creating a new RAID array with more storage, moving the VHDs, and then spinning up the VM. But then we had to recover two corrupt Exchange DBs, the first was super easy to repair, the second we had to restore from backup (which took 3 days because 100Mbs switches).
All in all, it was a major learning experience. The first lesson being double check both virtual and physical disk space for VMs when doing things that might use a lot of space even temporarily. Second, don't put both Exchange DBs on the same RAID array, and for sure don't overprovision the physical disk space. And finally make sure that backup systems have at least 1Gbs connections, preferably 10Gbs minimum.
I've just read this article with a great deal of interest. Whilst it's not "perfect" in the way it's written, it certainly does a very good job in explaining the IT function to a tee - and despite having been written in 2009, it's still factually correct and completely relevant.
The points made are impossible to disagree with. Yes, IT pros do want their managers to be technically competent - there's nothing worse than having a manager who's never been "on the tools" and is non technical - they are about as much use as a chocolate fireguard when it comes to being a sound board for technical issues that a specific tech cannot easily resolve.
I've been in senior management since 2016 and being on the tools previously for 30+ years has enabled me to see both the business and technical angles - and equally appreciate both of them. Despite my management role, I still maintain a strong technical presence, and am (probably) the most senior and experienced technical resource in my team.
That's not to say that the team members I do have aren't up to the job - very much the opposite in fact and for the most part, they work unsupervised and only call on my skill set when they have exhausted their own and need someone with a trained ear to bounce ideas off.
On the flip side, I've worked with some cowboys in my industry who can talk the talk but not walk the walk - and they are exposed very quickly in smaller firms where it's harder to hide technical deficit behind others.
The article you linked had a warning to not uninstall the final Exchange server as that would remove attributes from AD. That's the impression I was under, maybe I misunderstood your comment about that causing an issue when migrating AD to AAD. Obviously uninstalling Exchange would affect recipient management, but does it have an impact on user management?
Sorry for the late response. You are correct - you should not actually uninstall Exchange - but you can power it off if it's the last server and you've moved everything out including connectors etc. You effectively only remove the hybrid element