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My journey from an IT Newb to an IT Engineer

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Apexes, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

    Hi all,

    I've been on these forums for around 4 years now, and i often see posts asking about what people have done, how they did it, what they studied, and how they moved on in IT, so i thought i'd detail my experiences from start to end, in the hope it'll help some people get a view of what it might be like, or what may need to be done.

    First off, i left school with below average GCSE's ranging between grade C - E in 2004. I went into working in a warehouse for 3 years, fell into Management at the age of 21, and at the age of 24 i went and worked for Orange mobile services as a 1st line technical support.

    I took the job at Orange because of the money, not because of the interest in technical IT support. I'd always been keen in IT, breaking my computer at home, fixing it, constantly upgrading hardware, and I'd ran a few linux and windows server boxes just generally messing around, oh - and hosting counter strike servers :D

    After a year at Orange i moved into a 3rd line role looking after escalations from 1st and 2nd line issues related to mobile phone and techincal problems, with the odd bit of troubleshooting a 3G dongle not connecting on a laptop. That was about my expertise in officially supporting IT troubleshooting.

    Eventually, Orange made me redundant, and i was without a job for a couple of weeks. How i got into IT was extremely lucky, i had a phone call from a recruitment agency about an IT Support role on a helpdesk in the centre of Bristol, for a large Design Consultancy.

    I went along for the interview, was told i'd be looking after general help desk queries (Software doesn't work, re-filling printers, hardware troubleshooting, upgrading PC's) - a week later i was told i got the job on a 6 month contract on £10 per hour - about the same salary before i was made redundant at Orange.

    I was extended for another 6 months, and the company asked me to go to Berlin for 3 months after I'd proved my worth to look after the office there whilst they were short. I basically had the best 3 months of my life working there - it was insane and i loved every minute!

    I returned from Berlin to a permanent job offer with a nice 5k boost in my salary, and was asked to go into the "Automation" team - basically System Center Configuration Manager - i knew absolutely nothing about it, i knew what it did, but supporting it was difficult :) - i attended an SCCM 2007 course, and started on training myself up with self study material, mainly books.

    2 Years on we'd eventually upgraded to SCCM 2012 and i'd been actively managing the whole client base of 6,500 machines across the UK & Europe - i was the lead contact for support, and implementing new infrastructure, software, packaging solutions & software & security updates.

    Eventually back in 2013 i decided it was time to move on to something bigger and better and try to get into a more senior role. I landed a job at a big financial firm (where i still am now) - where i was brought in for my SCCM knowledge.

    Now to make this clear - i had SCCM knowledge and was good at it, but i had to setup an entire environment from scratch, which i hadn't done before - the company took a gamble on me but i researched a huge amount online, in books, went to refresher some courses (off my own back) and pulled in some study favors from some old colleagues of mine. 12 months down the line the project is finished, and I've visited over 15 countries around the world in doing it :)

    So i now work as a Senior Infrastructure Engineer with a specific focus in the Microsoft System Center suite - specifically SCCM but also SCOM, SCORCH & SCVMM. I'm responsible for making calls on specific setups/designs and at present i'm working on a disaster recovery setup for 1,000 machines in south america. I get to travel alot to different places around the world - and i absolutely love it!

    I only took my exam for SCCM 2012 last year in December, and that's my only exam i have to my name - I'm lucky that i got the break at the time i did and the opportunities offered to me that i did too.

    So all in all, after being in IT properly for 5 years - I've got to where i want to be, and plan to keep on moving up, it took me 3 years working on a 1st line role and studying other area's and at the same time learning so much whilst on the job, things like DFS and DHCP were completely baffling and new to me at the time, but the exposure you learn to these in work and enterprise environments helps you out along the way, I still learn new things most weeks now - and actually make a note in my little notepad should i need to reference it in the future.

    I hope this hasn't been too boring a read, but i wrote it in the interest of others looking to move into IT or move up in their roles onto something new and different, and my experience of it :)
    Certifications: 70-243 MCTS: ConfigMgr 2012 | MCSE: Private Cloud
    jvanassen and Juelz like this.
  2. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    Thanks always nice to hear people experiences, especially those like me looking for a break and starting out. Weldone really happy for you!

    Also would like to point out it goes to show, sometimes youve got to start at the bottom to get where you need to be.
    WIP: A+
  3. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Very interesting. Well done. I wish I had to go abroad more although I'm in Munich or Paris a few times a year. Keep us posted on your updates mate. I wonder should more people post their experiences on here. My route in was quite different to yours.
    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, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
    Juelz likes this.
  4. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

    Top Poster
    of the Month

    I'd be interested in hearing your story
    WIP: A+
  5. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    Mine was fairly similar actually to Apexes, well, kinda.

    I came out of school with not the greatest GCSE's, all C's, D's and F's.

    I did always have an interest in IT though, and used to play a lot with old Amstrad cpc464's and Spectrums and Amigas etc, then graduated to an expensive at the time £500 486 33mhz dot matrix printer! Haha.

    With that interest, I decided to sign up to an apprenticeship with day release at college doing an NVQ L2 in use and support of IT, which was basically typing basics and Microsoft office basics for the most part.

    Once the apprenticeship ended the company sold up and there was no perm position, so I then worked for Lloyds for a year and half doing more admin based sort of work. Then they merged with Scottish widows and my job moved to Edinburgh.

    So after about 3 years I'd done a basic NVQ and essentially no IT work at all.

    Whilst out of work a friend of mine was working as a head chef in a Hungry Horse pub restaurant, and said he'd give me a job in his kitchen. I was very unsure about it but took it anyway as was better than not working.

    5 years later I was a licensee and running that same Hungry Horse pub restaurant on my own at about 24 year old.

    After 5 years though I was tired of the hours and never being able to really get away from the work, so I quit a year later after nothing changes despite my unhappiness.

    Shortly after that I got a job working for a 1st line help desk, doing the usual password reset and so forth, then after 2 years of that I took up a position as an operations analyst at a multi national electronics company where I have worked ever since.

    Since being at this company though I have done Operations, then application support for an archiving application called IXOS, and then moved onto Networking. I do now technically work for a different company as was outsourced, but still currently at the same place.

    That's pretty much my story thus far!
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  6. jvanassen

    jvanassen Kilobyte Poster

    I can relate to your story, in terms of starting at the bottom and quickly progressing, however i dont get to travel abroad and heard a similiar story from an old friend this week that he had to go abroad to setup a new office. Makes me tempted to move ;) all these people going on little trips abroad as part of a job they enjoy.
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Network+, CCENT
    WIP: ICND2 200-101

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