Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I have worked in IT in the professional world for over 4 years now, and you never stop learning. Every day is a new experience and exposure to new problems to solve and count as victories. Regardless of where I came from, or the environmental circumstances that were out of my control, I have made something of myself and went from a foster kid with nothing, to a successful, educated, driven IT professional. The world is absolutely a completely new reality now that we have the technologies we do. Not long ago, we humans would be raised in our small towns or villages, and be taught whatever the people there before us had to teach us. We would be in the dark about the rest of the world and other cultures, civilizations, geographies, and histories. With nothing more than local knowledge and teachings, with the occasional tall tale from the elders that would never be proven or disproven. But today, we have the ability to communicate across the world, see and experiences everything the people and places have to offer. We have history of the world that has been documented and the ability to search for and learn about any topic you have an interest in researching, with the world knowledge base of the internet. We have the ability to take the blinders off, and never again accept some spoon fed answer about life, but to question everything, challenge every value we have ever held as questionable and open our eyes and minds to a new way of thinking and living on a global scale.
After the Marines, I started my professional IT career in the civilian world. I had studied and received my CCNA certification, as well as Security+, which would help me land my first big boy job in a globally established security company called Websense, as an Enterprise Support Engineer. I was lucky enough to get this amazing position and started working the day after I checked out of the Marines. I was exposed to so many different aspects of the IT world I have never heard of before and obviously had no experience with, and it was a very steep learning curve that I had to climb. I did my research and studied everything I could at home, and had plenty of on-the-job training from other brilliant technicians working at Websense. Servers, appliances, Windows server OS's, linux OS's, the companies software itself, SQL databases, etc. There was so much to learn and I learned it very quickly, with a passion to be great at what I do in my new position. I loved learning these new technologies and troubleshooting issues with the problem solving mindset. I had been promoted within my first 6 months at the company and was officially a valued member of an Enterprise support organization, after coming from nothing and showing up with a passion to learn and succeed regardless of my upbringing. 
The world of IT has changed my life. I am a IT professional that came from nothing, raised in foster homes, no one to look to for guidance or help, and didn't have a clue what to do with my life after graduating high school and going out into the world on my own. I worked a few jobs that are typical of a young inexperienced adult, car wash, turning wrenches as a vehicle maintenance shop, changing times and wheels, Abercrombie, etc. I wasn't handed much in life, but one thing I am lucky to have is a great mind. I was a bit of a nerd and excelled in math and sciences in school. I used to write programs and games in graphing calculators for fun. When I had no where else to turn, I joined the Marine Corps, and only knew I wanted to get a good job when I was done with it. I scored high enough on the ASVAB to choose any job I wanted, and on an uneducated whim chose to go the IT route as a "Tactical Network Specialist." The first lucky, smart, choice on my road to success was thinking of what might be possible after my enlistment was over. In MOS school I learned the basics of networking through the configuration of switches and routers to establish reliable, secure communication between multiple devices, and I LOVED it. This was my first sweet taste of real world technology that fueled my hunger for more.