I remember when I was young, my grandfather told me to try to learn something everyday, he continued "Even at my age I learn something new everyday". At the one of the exits at Jim Barnet Park in Winchester VA is a sign that has the following saying "You do not stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing". I have modified that to "You do not stop learning because you grow old, you grow old because you stop learning." To keep from "growing old" I want to learn all that I can, particularly about Information Technology. In order to accomplish this goal, I have had several, and different opportunities to expand my knowledge.
I first became interested in Information Technology in the early 1990's. My mother had just purchased a computer from a friend of a family friend. This friend of a friend quickly became a friend. He taught me just about everything I know about building a computer. While this may have been the infancy of the modern personal computer, I learned the basics from him, for which I will for ever be greatful. It wasn't long before I received my own first computer. It also wasn't long before I started learning about adding expansion cards, installing operating systems, installing drivers, defragmenting hard drives and more.
Soon after I started learning about networking. The first network I built was in my home using NetBEUI and a 8 port 10 megabit hub. Over the years my home network has evolved. It started out as a peer to peer network using a protocol no longer used. Later I add a server running Windows Server. As my education progressed at Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) I would come home and implement what I learned in school on my own network. So that Windows 2000 server would become a Domain Controller (DC). This same network now contains the following:
A Personal(ized) Video Recorder with an roof top antenna connected to it
Multiple Access Points
Several network switches
Having my own home - business like - network has allowed me too learn a lot including:
Installing, configuring and troubleshooting Active Directory
Replacing Domain Controllers including failed or no longer available / accessible DC's
Installing, configuring and troubleshooting:
Domain Name System (DNS)
Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP)
Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)
Routing and Remote Access (RRAS)
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Installing, configuring and troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange
Wireless router or Wireless Access Point (WAP) configuration and setup
With this knowledge I gained my first job In the Information Technology (IT) field where I expeanded on this knowledge by installing and configuring both analog and digital secuity cameras.
Maintaining and expanding my home network as well as supporting my clients allows me to keep pace with the latest trends in technology. I also keep pace anyway I can from downloading and reading white papers, watching videos reviewing new technology, reading magazines, blogs.
My last two years in high school I took electrical classes. So, it makes sense that my first non-retail job was as an electrician's apprentice. Working in the electrical field taught me skills that while not specific to the electrical field, they come in handy all the same. I learned how to not only pull cable but pull it with as little effort as possible. I also learned how to run PVC, EMT, IMC and Rigid conduit or pipe. Completing the electrical panel "tie-in" or terminations help me learn some cable management techniques. I also learned how to run and operate scissor and cherry picker or boom lifts and do so safely.