I've always been decent at using tech and gadgets but never really thought of making it career. I wanted to do something that would allow me to work outside. Let's see in Kindergarten I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up... Raiders of the Lost Ark had just come out and I was fascinated with the adventures of Indiana Jones. So naturally my answer was "Archaeologist!" (probably one of the hardest words I had to spell in Kindergarten). Of course after I learned that you don't get to carry around a bull whip, sport a cool leather satchel, and shoot evil swordsman in the head, I pretty much lost interest in that. Towards the end of high school I decided something in the environmental studies field would be fun, National Park ranger to be more specific. Unfortunately Chem 100 in college sent me off that path and into Business, most specifically Management Information Systems.
int he Information Systems Computer Repair department. Apparently I was a natural at this type of work. The initial job was for an installer, which consisted of bringing a computer to an office and plugging it all in. Configuration was either done before or after it was installed. Of course I had to at least make sure it powered up and could access the network. I did this job for about 2 weeks before I was promoted to a repair tech after discovering a network issue in one of the buildings and troubleshooting it down to a bad port in the network closet with the assistance from the Tel-co folks. After that I had a number of different challenges which got me noticed by the Systems office. I was promoted to a position with the guys who basically controlled the access to the network and all the systems that ran on it. The new boss continued to challenge me with a number of tasks from migrating the university staff from the VAX email to Microsoft Exchange 5.5, to creating a back-end database and query for user look-ups so people can verify who they were before resetting a forgotten password. By this time the only programming I had done was in the MIS Intro to Programming course. So this was certainly one of my toughest projects. I worked on that part and another MIS student created the front-end app the Computer lab used to let students change their passwords. I also re-purposed the app so the help desk could verify staff when they called in. In hindsight, I should have kept learning more about the developer side of IT back then, considering what I do now.
Eventually I had to start prepping for the real world. Luckily I had a good amount of experience from working at the university. I was able to take a Co-operative education job doing Systems Admin work in a Novell/Windows environment (with a little bit of Lotus Notes thrown in for good measure), which then lead me back the education world managing the network and systems for a K-12 environment. So this is all leading somewhere, honest! Make a note of the comment I made about developers earlier in the story...
Continue in Volume 2 - "The Decision"