originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: schuyler
So where do you start to get to that point?
Fact is, it's tough. And my experience is probably not typical. I "got in" when there was no such field. And I have to say, it was the most rewarding,
fun, exciting, and exhilirating thing I have ever done. I am so happy, in retrospect, with what happened to me in the IT field. I understand that what
happened to me could not possibly happen to anyone starting out today. I get that. I got ahead because I was the only one who had experience, and that
consisted of an Apple ][ on my desktop. No one else had a clue. I bought Visicalc and Wordstar, and suddenly people wondered why I was so far ahead. I
wound up with 500 PCs, 50 servers, and a 10 site WAN with fiber optic to the internet. My site was one of the first 600 "web" sites in the world.
Before that I had Gopher and a FidoNet site.
I'm not special. It just happened. I happened, accidentally, to be there, and I got some arrows in my back. That's not a brag. It's like saying I was
stupid enough to sail on the Titanic.
From today's perspective, now that it is effectively over for me, and seeing what people must and do experience, my advice, such as it is and as
trivial as it is, is to get yourself real-world experience actually DOING the tasks that need to get done. I know that this next example is trivial
and you may even deem it stupid, but it happened.
When I and my partner, Al, had to wire a new building with Ethernet, we had a big problem. There were no conduits for wires because the architects did
not understand our needs. So we had to run wire beneath the building in a crawlspace. Understand that I bought wire 1,000 ft at a time for 27 cents
a foot. We had reels of this stuff. So Al had this kid named Michael. We attached the reel of wire to his leg and told him to crawl 'toward the light"
and we would buy him a Happy Meal from McDonalds. He did it and we wired the building. I didn't want to do it because of all the spiders, but I've
been up and down and in between too many crawlspaces and attics to count just running Ethernet wires.
Today Michael runs a "cloud" Internet service for his clients and his company was just bought out for $2.5 million.
So, Point/ get yourself situated with a "client" who cannot afford the freight, work with them to establish your bona fides and real-world experience,
supplement that with certifications as you see fit, and present yourself as an experienced IT pro who is not afraid to encounter the spiders.
Really. Build your own Linux server. Attach it to the Net. THEN tell people what you've done.