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My first few years in to an IT career

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Theprof, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Craigie has written up a great thread on how he got into IT and how he managed to get to where he did so I thought I’d do something similar and since I did it differently, I am sure this would help someone who’s in my situation.

    When I finished high school I went to college right away, however I didn’t finish it due to the computing course I later discovered. I took a program called Microcomputers and Network support back in 2006, I was 18 and new to the world of IT, it was actually right around the time when I joined CF. Anyways the course basically covered A+, Network+, MCSA, and CCNA. It was about 16 months long and I was really lucky that it was subsidized by the government, of course I had to do a math test to get in, but it still was really cheap compare to other schools that offered the same course. While I was in school I managed to get A+, Network+, and MCP (70-270) done. Of course being in school and getting those certs wasn’t too difficult however I didn’t have any real world experience so there were times that I struggled with certain topics which made me realize how important have real world experience is. Needless to say I graduated at the top of my class simply because I had a passion for this line of work, I really enjoyed it. Luckily part of the course requires that we do a 2 month stage, which by the way helped a lot! After the stage was done and the course was completed we were on our own.
    When I finished school I was 19 years old and with no experience looking for a job for the first time.

    Unfortunately the place I did my stage could not afford to keep me so they let me go, which later I realized was a blessing as I found a much better, more suited place for me with lots of room to grow.

    My teacher referred me to my current employer and I literally had an interview within 2 days. All I did was send my CV, and come in for the interview 2 days later. Actually, there were 2 candidates that were interviewed that week, I and a classmate of mine, needless to say I got the job the next day!

    So I finally got my foot in the door as a Desktop Support Technician and really luck that I got to skip help desk.
    First year as a Desktop Support tech I’ve learned a lot, mainly real world stuff… when we’re at home fiddling with computers we can afford to break them and have all the time in the world to fix them. This is not the case in a real world environment. There are times when it’s stressful because you have to fix something quick, or deadlines/projects, or just an unhappy user who makes your life feel like hell especially when it’s upper management. I managed to really interface well with my team and the users I supported. Instead of making them hesitant to approach me, I would instead approach them and it would break the ice, by the time a few months flew by I already knew everyone in the company and everyone knew me and we all got a long. When calls would come in, everyone would ask for me because they knew I would not give them a hard time. My advice to those who are in this situation is to be kind and friendly with everyone because only good things come of it.

    A year went by and one of the network administrators quit and so the hunt began for a new network admin. In this hunt we’ve managed to find 2 candidates who we gave a chance to and both lasted no more than 3 months! I guess it’s really not easy to find good help these days, we were looking for months and had no success at all.

    What I am about to write is probably the reason why I am where I am today. When we had so many unsuccessful candidates I went to my boss and asked him what do I need to do to get promoted to a Network Admin because I felt like I could really do the job well with training. His answer was that I need to impress them. Okay, fair enough, I get it, a 20 year old kid as a Network Admin? Kind of funny in a way I guess considering everyone I work with was 10 years older than I am. So I got discouraged, I thought how can I prove myself if I don’t ever get to touch server stuff. So the next day I went back to my boss and asked him for a project, something that is server related and something that I can learn and he gave me a project where I had to perform a Fax Server migration and an upgrade which involved working with a SQL server which I’ve never touched at that point. I would say it took me about 3 months which includes research, learning, testing before I had a working testing environment. The day came to put this puppy in production and so I did! Took me the whole weekend but I got it in there. After this point I just kept asking for more and more until it became pretty obvious that I am cut out for the role.

    Last year on my review I got promoted to a Network Administrator and we started looking for a Desktop support tech. Took us about 6 months but we finally got one, I trained him up and guided him in the right directions and now his flying solo!

    Working in a server environment requires a lot planning, testing, researching, etc… to be good at your job, you can’t just install windows server 2003 and all the applications and expect it to work. You should always have a testing environment before anything gets put in production. You have to be thorough and always have a backup plan. Remember, your boss might not be technical so he expects you to get the job done right the first time. Of course sometimes we make mistakes and it’s normal but you have to be honest, learn and move on, that way your boss will trust you.

    Also keep in mind that IT is the kind place where if you are passionate you’ll do well, if you’re in it for the money, well good luck. I would honestly say that after being 4 years in the field, I am finally starting to see hard work is paying off, to this day I maintain my study and continue pursuing certifications because I believe it helps you solidify your career.

    I honestly want to wish everyone who is trying to get their foot in the door all the best and keep at it, there is always something to learn. Here I am 24 today with so much to learn and experience that we can’t rush and try to get ahead too fast, it will happen, we just need patience.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  2. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Good on you Theprof:) and keep learning and doing what you do as you would inspire others. Best wishes:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  3. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Great post Prof.. keep up that drive you have and you will go far! 8)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  4. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Good on you, I enjoyed reading that :)
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  5. camadi46

    camadi46 Bit Poster

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    Well done TheProf,
    That is indeed very encouraging. I also think patience and persistence go a long way. I try to stick by that in everything I do and although I am 33 and studying for my first cert (A+), I believe I have got a chance to make it in IT or at least give it my best shot.
    Many thanks for your positive post.
    Adrian.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP
    WIP: 70-680
  6. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Thanks for the replies guys! I am glad it's encouraging from people who are starting out. I have to admit that when I was starting out I didn't really understand IT and how things worked and no one really gave me a good understand about each position and how they got there, I kind of had to figure this out on my own. I've always shared my knowledge with others because it's just how I am.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  7. reverb

    reverb Byte Poster

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    That's impressive. Thanks for taking the time out to write that...was a good read and something different for a change :) :biggrin
     

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