Considering a Career Change to IT
SarawithanH last edited by
(I hope this is the right place to be putting this.)
I have been with my company for a little over a year, starting off in sales, cold calling companies about our software, attempting and failing to get them to at least agree to a demo. After realizing that our little team of cold calling minions were not making sales, I did research and made a presentation to my company's higher ups to change the way in which we made sales and focused more on our marketing rather than doing the Ron Burgandy style that we were doing.
Anyways, since day one, I have been almost ravenous in learning about technology as a whole, and have really started to narrow it down to email servers (as it pertains to what we sell)... but I think I don't want to be on this end of technology. Every time I talk to someone in IT I feel like I'm a little kid getting told the greatest story on planet earth, I want to know more, I ask so many questions that I'm sure it becomes aggravating to whomever I am speaking with.
Here's my question(s): How did you all know or decide to take the career path you did with IT? How did you get there? It seems like such a huge spectrum, how did you find your sweet spot within it?
Moved it over to IT Careers. :)
SarawithanH last edited by SarawithanH
@scottalanmiller well that makes way more sense! :p
How did I learn that I wanted to be in IT?
I was about three years old and my dad who is occasionally here in the community as @SonshineAcres brought home a Commodore Business Machines SuperPET from Eastman Kodak. He should be what a computer was and did some BASIC programming right there and made a program that made a stick figure man walk (or move rather) across the screen. That stuck with me and I was enthralled with computers ever since.
When I was nine I learned to program myself on an original IBM PC 3250 (the very first PC) and I had some access to the original Apple Mac at the time too.
Eventually we got a Commodore Amiga 1000 at home and on that I did much more programming and was always on the computer. It just kind of grew from there. I have pretty much always known that this is what I wanted to do.
What is really interesting, I think, is that I have always wanted to work with computers in business. Even in middle school it was database design, not video games, that interested me.
How did I get there?
I was lucky enough to get to intern as a database developer (making the interfaces, not the databases themselves) for Eastman Kodak in the 80s when I was just thirteen. That did a ton to get me into software development which lead me to IT.
On my first week of college (third day of school, two weeks to the day after I had graduated from high school) I tried to test out of my Fortran 77 programming and information systems class by turning in the entire semester's work plus the final project on the second day of classes. The professor was so impressed that the school hired me on the spot and I worked three different jobs for the university over the next year and a half: UNIX (Solaris) Support, Fortran and C Programming Assistant and Overseer of the Program and finally Computer Integrated Manufacturing Lab Technician.
Finding My Place in the Spectrum?
That's a hard one. I was lucky that I started early and bounced around a ton. I did a little of everything. I have worked in nearly every aspect of IT. I've been a project manager, programmer, database admin, systems admin, people manager, desktop tech, architect, business analyst, systems analyst (the real kind, the ones that design software), writer, pundit, career counselor and adviser, instructor, speaker, IT coordinator, LAN admin, etc. Plus I have gotten to work in so many industries like finance and investment banking, medical, manufacturing, big technology, military supplier, state government, federal government, Indian government, logistics, travel, marketing, SMB, retail, telecommunications, hospitality.... you name it.
After all of these years I've managed to find what I like by trying out so many things. But in reality, I love all of it. I would be happy doing pretty much any IT role. I truly just love the field.
lance last edited by
I went to school for Networking and then scored an unpaid internship at my current company. I worked my way up starting with 15 hours a week gaining more experience and hours until I reached a salaried position. When I started I mainly did break and fix type issues and desktop support and am now a Sys Admin.
How did I get there? I found that I really liked the server side of things and really dug into it, I would find technologies people and companies where using and talking about and found a way to set them up or the open source alternative and with the limited resources I had learned. as much as I could.
Spiceworks and SAM really helped me get to where I am, I would dig through Spiceworks and find posts from SAM and use them as advice to guide my career. SAM's advice is like a blueprint on how to be successful in IT.
The sweet spot, at one point I thought I found the sweet spot, but then I decided that I wanted to make a little extra money on the side and found that there are a lot of opportunities doing software development remotely from the comfort of my own couch. I've always like programming so I recently wen't back to school to get a IT - Software Development degree to really get back into it.
thanksajdotcom last edited by
How did I learn I wanted to be in IT?
I was always into computers as a whole, and I loved taking stuff apart to figure out how it worked. I loved building things with LEGOs. Then, when I was about 14, a former friend gave me a computer that he'd "loaded Linux on, as a favor". Having no clue what Linux was, I told him I wanted Windows back, but he had no disc or licenses for Windows, so I started off on Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. He was also REALLY into the whole open-source movement that was so prevalent at the time. Well, I started playing around in the GUI, and then found the CLI (Commnand-Line Interface). Don't confuse CMD with CLI. CMD is DOS on a Windows machine, or the command prompt. If you see CLI, it's ALWAYS talking about something Linux.
Anyways, I got good with it. However, my dream since I was 5 had been to grow up and be a contractor/construction worker, like my father had been. I was going to run my own company, and it was going to be marvelous. NY has what they call the BOCES program, which is a vocational school. I was going to go in 11th and 12th grade and learn a trade. When I toured in 10th grade, I found it full of kids who didn't care and didn't want to learn. Realizing it wasn't the environment for me, I decided a career prospect change was in order. My school had a pretty good selection of computer classes, so starting in 11th grade and going through 12th grade, I took CCENT 1 training, Java programming, web design, 3D modeling, and some engineering classes. I didn't want to screw with college, so being an engineer was out. IT interested me and seemed like a good fit, so I got my first job in retail IT right after high school, and the rest is history.
thanksajdotcom last edited by
One tip I would pass along for you is that don't get into IT if you think you'll be the hero. While we generally are the heros in any given business, as we keep all the stuff they rely on for doing their job going, we are almost never treated accordingly. IT is the field you get into because you love technology and you like doing a job right. You also like that there is no ceiling on what you can learn, and that the field is so diversified, you can go practically anywhere and everywhere. But you're not the hero. People treat you fair at best, most of the time. People will blame you for every problem imaginable under the sun. You will beg bosses and managers for new equipment because it's not a need, it's a desperation, and still get denied. Then, something will break and you'll be blamed. You will get woken up at 2AM by an alert and you have to go into work because everyone else who goes in at normal times relies on you having that issue resolved in 5 hours for when they get there.
You'll learn a lot, and IT is even more about understanding business needs than most people realize. If you want in on the game, then welcome aboard!