How did you get your start in IT?

For me it was getting out of college and not knowing what to do next, so I fell into sysadmin work since I had a tech background. I did that for about a decade before I switched over to community management. How did you all get your start in IT?

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Always loved technology as a kid, but I worked odd jobs as a young man. I was a groundskeeper at a nasty apartment building behind Casa Bonita when I just had a breakdown and couldn’t do it anymore. My wife convinced me to go to college, so I went for info sec and network engineering. Paid WAY too much money there, but got an internship to a company I worked with for the last 11 years. So, partially going to school for it but the career I had was purely working my way up from an intern to an engineer.

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Started out as the “resident IT guy” while away at college. Didn’t really have a focus in college and ended up moving towards IT while working at an electric motor shop. Became friends with the network admin there, she showed me the ropes, which is then what steered me towards finishing my BS. Oh man, how I kinda wish it had gone differently!

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I needed a way to pay for college, so I was doing IT work during summer/winter breaks. I ended up liking IT more than what I went to college for, so here I am.

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I honestly have no idea. I’ve always had a knack and curiosity for technology and kinda figured I’d be working with tech in some shape or fashion. It just kinda happened somehow and I keep doing it.

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Oh, my first IT gig was as a Help Desk Technician. I found a company that was willing to take an absolute flyer on me despite having no formal experience. I still keep in touch with that Director (now he’s a CIO) to this day. He said it came down to me and a guy who had 5 years experience. He chose me because he was sick of boring IT people and wanted somebody with some personality that could learn the skill-parts of the job later. I then spent the next couple of years sucking up ALL of my downtime and family time learning as much as I can and poking my nose into projects I had no place being in. I started doing the SysAdmin’s job better than he was doing it and eventually he quit… and then they took another flyer and gave me his job and office. It’s been onward and upwards ever since.

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I got started in IT because I was going to my local community college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Like a lot of teenagers in the early 2000s I played a lot of video games, so I thought that would translate well to IT, and from there I could get into Network Security.

So I took classes to get an A.A.S. in Networking and after I graduated I started applying for tier 1 helpdesk positions. I got lucky and got interviewed at a small office that was a short commute away from my parents home and I got the job. Ever since I have been a jack-of-all-trades of sorts.

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When I was in the military I got a computer. Which i immediately started to mess with and then broke. We didn’t have anyone who could help fix it so I had to get a book to figure out what I had done. That became upgrades myself which became fixing families computers.

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Started off studying applied math, and decided I didn’t want to go in to academia. So I picked up mechanical engineering as a 2nd major. And have since made little use of either :wink: . My real start to programming was because my now-wife was a TA for computer science in college, and I did labs for comp sci classes I wasn’t enrolled in. Right out of college, I got a job in QA because I was lucky enough to know another MechE there doing similar work. Immediately picked up Perl, started automating all the tests I could, and 15ish years later here I am! (But no more Perl)

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Warning: long story, because I felt like writing it.

My earliest memory was playing with my father’s Vic 20 about 30-some odd years ago.

It really started somewhere around 25-26 years ago. My parents bought an IBM PS/2 from a friend, and I found a way to mess up Windows 3.1 on day 1 which required a complete reinstall. Then it was DOS while playing with memmaker, and again, a complete reinstall was needed (it was a recurrent event at the time, but making mistakes is part of learning) . I grew up with all the best games: Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Epic Pinball, Tyrian, Duke Nukem (the platformers and DN3D), etc. We went through quite a few upgrade along the way…

In elementary school, my parents subscribed to that newfangled thing called “the internet”, and that’s when I knew I really wanted to work with computers. I wasn’t sure doing what, but I wanted to work with them. Later, in high school, I started dabbling in HTML, JavaScript, Visual Basic and Delphi, and that practically cemented my decision to go in software development.

I studied computer science in college (or CEGEP, in Québec), where we did C/C++, HTML, Javascript, CSS, .NET, Java, and everything that was popular around 2005-2006.

First job was for a startup doing digital signage. Built the base of their software with one of the partners, but ended up quitting after a year and a half for multiple reasons including, but not limited to: incredibly low salary with no raises, no recognition, working in someone’s basement, and expecting a recent graduate to have the experience of a senior.

I then found my current employment through a guy I went to school with, as is employer was expanding and needed people. Sadly, the owner of the company unexpectedly passed away in 2013, and the company ended up being acquired by one of our distributors.

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First you must know that when I entered the workforce there was no such field as IT. No microprocessor, computers or internet, so IT was not even an option for a career path.

Fast forward to the mid to late 80’s, playing with a Radio Shack computer and I’m auto mechanic. It’s nice, pays the bills (mostly) and have the satisfaction of fixing broken stuff; I like that. Working at a Chev dealership when cars came out with basic computer-controlled carburetors and a few other controls for engine performance and fuel control. There was a dealer supplied diagnostic machine we could connect to the car to troubleshoot codes, issues and history. This was large roll around cabinet with keyboard, built-in monitor (green) and lots of cables to connect inline with most sensors and ECM. This was my first entry into being a “TECH”.

One day this machine failed. Just kept displaying weird numbers and shorten words. Shop manager put in a work request with Chevrolet, but these were new and very few people in the field to service them. Was going to be 4-6 weeks before we could get someone out. I had been dabbling with mine and other computers doing minor upgrades like adding memory chips or larger hard drives. So, against the managers approval I opened the big machine and there on a shelf, inside this expensive piece of state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment was an IBM PS/2 computer. If I recall correctly it was an 8086 system with software booting from a floppy disc. Well I cracked the case, saw some of the memory chips had walked up and were not completely seated. I pushed each chip back down into its socket, blew out the dust inside the case and inside the floppy drive. Closed it all up and it powered up and it loaded the program as before…. I started taking night classes in computer repair and theory about a month later and have been working with computer in some form or function ever since.

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You must have been the shop hero after fixing it without having to wait for the official tech!

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I was tired of working with idiots at Subway so I started working at a temp seasonal job as a customer service rep for a tax place. Then I got hired into their sister company and have been there since. :sunglasses:

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