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Who here is in IT?

RumRogerz

TRIBE Member
I'm still trucking along in school right now. I finish in October. Today, I just passed my 70-412 exam (by a hair no doubt) and have obtained my MSCA for Windows Server 2012 R2.
Pretty happy with myself, I must say. My next goal is my CCNA which I have begun studying for - after which, I would like to get my CompTIA Linux + certification as I feel it would help me as I would like to focus on securities (pen testing and all that jazz)

If I have these certs under my belt, will this at least get my foot in the door for an interview? I have no idea how this works - I've been bartending for the last 13 years.
 

Lojack

TRIBE Member
The certs will get you in the door. Demonstrable real world knowledge will help as well (certs vs real world, yes its a thing). Stay current with relevant mailing lists, twitter feeds etc. Know your chosen area inside and out. Try to know about something first (or as close to as possible), be the one to teach others the latest techniques and technologies.

You'll start at the bottom, and the pay and hours will suck. Prove yourself and you can move up quickly. Don't be afraid to change jobs if a better opportunity comes along. Life is short. I've moved around a bit, and moved up each time. 12+ hour days, at the office and then studying/working from home were not uncommon for a long time.

After a lateral career change post dot com from systems to networks, I went from making very good coin to making $10/hour part time (work was tough to get immediate post-bubble blowup). That lasted two months, when I proved myself to the owner of the company and was given significant bump in pay and responsibilities). Those two months sucked, but I worked hard and did it. Some coworkers were not happy, but so what.

Good luck :)
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
If you're gonna get into Ops/Net/Security, then write your CET too. That one sounds a bit better and not as many people have it. I've had my Microsoft, CompTIA, ITIL and CET certifications for a loooooooooooooooooooooong time and I can say CET was the most beneficial.

People want to talk about what you have that others don't, not what everyone has. I worked/lived in Africa right after school for a year which got me most of my jobs, not my education and/or certs. People would talk about that over the techy stuff in interviews. :)
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
and I totally agree with Lojack. Move around as much as possible. You might have to explain it over and over to friends and family, but it's almost a sure thing that each move will be a step up for you. In 3 years, I took about 6 positions and each one was a bit better for me if you know what I mean - ;-). Friends/family would throw punches each time I jumped, but we'll just say those punches have stopped.
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
@RumRogerz. If you've been bartending for 13 years, I'll just tell you how the process goes at a high level. If you take a call/email from an agency or recruiter, the first question you will be asked (YOU WILL BE ASKED) is "what is your rate" and "please fill out the skills matrix". You're gonna have fun answering that first question, at least I did.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
I'm in IT but I'm a transplant from the "business side" - absolutely no IT certifications but being a recognized expert on certain key systems after years of project work saw me as an attractive addition to the IT project world as a senior BA.

So Im in a whole different part of IT from you guys I think. I'm not maintaining existing systems as much as changing them and enhancing them and replacing them as part of projects
 

Lojack

TRIBE Member
Friends/family would throw punches each time I jumped, but we'll just say those punches have stopped.
+1 .. that happened to me as well. The.. aspersions .. thrown at me by loved ones were hard to take, but eventually I had my "told you so" moment, and it has been well worth it since.
 

RumRogerz

TRIBE Member
My teachers have been stressing this quite a bit actually. They tell me that if I've been in a place for 2+ years, I will be missing out on better opportunities.
I already have the mindset that for the first year or two on the job, my pay is probably going to suck balls and they hours will destroy me. Thankfully, the hours don't bother me, as I've pulled 16 hour shifts at busy ass restaurants for years. Imagine being on your feet hustling all day for 16 hours straight. It's not fun. Actually, I fucking hated it.
At least with IT, I really like doing it and I'm constantly learning more and more as I problem solve. It's pretty fun. Except for OSPF. OSPF is not fun.

Also,
"what is your rate" and "please fill out the skills matrix"

I really don't know. Cept maybe the skills matrix.
 

Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
Certs. Only really matter for that first job. And yes...move around both in terms of jobs AND location. Location may change things more than you think.

And I work on a ridiculous number of systems that vary widely. *toots his own horn*

Hint: Puppet will change your life. Learn it. It's the direction everything is going. (puppet/chef/salt/ansible)
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
Sort of a funny un-related/related story. I was at Yuk Yuk's in Mississauga about 10 years ago and I was in the front row. Comedian looked at me and asked

"What do you do?"

"I'm in IT"

"So, you do it eh? What else do you do besides it?"

I had nothing...

:rolleyes:
 
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lobo

TRIBE Member
Well, I can give you my experience in IT. Throughout my career I tended to lean more towards the routing & switching world. Us guys have been known as router jockeys back in the day and routing protocols, like OSPF, are done in our sleep. :) BGP is my favourite protocol BTW. I never really got into the Systems/Server side of the IT world cause the other stuff interested me more.

As for certifications, I have none now. I had my CCNA 10 years ago but I never bothered going further just because I never had the time to study (family and kids came along). So I actually learned a lot of my stuff on the job. My journey started in dial tech support back in 1997 and I moved up within the company going to internet provisioning for business customers, to provisioning the routers that those customers connected to, to finally being in a "network engineer" kind of role where I was last level of support for the network. I made the decisions as to what was allowed and not allowed to be done on the routers and switches, peering relationships, developing new services and introducing new hardware. All this with no certs. Just 15+ years of practical experience. I did get a chance to write the CCIE for R&S one year for free so with just two weeks of studying I went for it but only got 60%. So while I didn't pass, the knowledge that I do have has allowed me to be very effective in my past roles. I would say that I have CCIE level knowledge but not the cert these days. BTW, certs are good but don't just rely on them. Know your shit. I've interviewed so many CCIEs and worked with some who were completely clueless about real world interaction and troubleshooting. I worked with one girl who was a CCIE and couldn't grasp the BGP topology of our somewhat simple network. Her troubleshooting was straight out of the book and not what you would typically do in a service provider environment.

I've always stayed in the same job for long periods of times (10 years for my first one and 7.5 years for the second one). I did move up within the org but it was within the same line of work but more pay. A couple of years ago I jumped ship and went to work on the Enterprise side of the world. A completely different world from the ISP side. I'm enjoying it so far as I'm learning new things but to tell the truth, I am getting a little tired of being in the IT world. It's been almost 20 years since my journey started and some days I wouldn't mind just unplugging and leaving it all behind.

Lobo
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
All this with no certs. Just 15+ years of practical experience
...
I've always stayed in the same job for long periods of times (10 years for my first one and 7.5 years for the second one). I did move up within the org but it was within the same line of work but more pay.

This seems very close to my experience - no certs - got where I am by being in one company a long time and moving up and developing expertise that got me into IT. 15 year anniversary with my employer is this week. A lot of vacation days are nice!

I imagine the consultants I work with are more "certified" - that doesn't necessarily translate to better ideas and quality of work in my experience..;)
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
If you can and have the chance, make sure to work for a start-up. That is super fun. I only work in IT because I'm good at it so I try to work on fun and innovative things like robots, security and new gadgets.

Something to think about...
 

RumRogerz

TRIBE Member
This is all very valuable information.

Thanks for the info guys.

I figure since I have NO experience whatsoever, having certs will at LEAST get me an interview, from there I just need to make sure my glowing personality and enthusiasm for IT shines through.

Speaking of which, what sort of tech questions will I most likely be facing in an interview?
One of the students who went for an interview last week; he was asked what APIPA was and he didn't know... which is sort of funny.
 
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Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
APIPA is a network/infra/ops related type of question.

Are you trying to land that type of role?
Are you trying to work in gov't/private?
Do you want to be FFS or FTE?

If I were you, I would look at online/available job descriptions and see how well you know those areas.

One thing you have in your favour is your personality. That is hard to come by and most people do not excel there, especially in IT. That is why I do well too.

When I graduated I was a network admin/website designer in Africa for about a year. When I can come home I was getting tons of opportunities and when I went into interviews, we barely talked tech. They want to make sure you're a team player and somewhat autonomous.

I also do interviews and I can tell you that we take *team players* over people who are more technical, but who also don't want to learn or work together. :)

LEET
 

RumRogerz

TRIBE Member
I want to land something along the lines of system administration or network administration. I wouldn't mind a government, financial or university role. So long as I get to learn more. I studied and worked with 2012R2 every day for 7 months straight for about 6-8 hours a day so I can get a handle on that OS to pass those insanely hard exams. I know 7 months isn't a lot compared to pretty much anyone who is in sys admin, but I'm pretty confidant when it comes to AD, DHCP, DNS & IPAM. ADCS still gives me nightmares and I'm only familiar with ADFS academically. Never had a proper set up to implement it properly.

Tech Net was basically my best friend, and as an added challenge, my teacher encouraged me to do all the labs in powershell without the use of a gui. I was super intimidated by it at first, but once you get working with it - it's not at all that complicated. Tab complete, baby.

After I get my CCNA, I want to get my Linux +, CCNA Security and then ultimately get either the CEH or OSCP (or something similar) as securities and pen testing fascinates me like crazy. Trust - I sat my girlfriend down and tried to explain what it is for like 3 hours. I had diagrams with routers and arrows pointing everywhere, and me explaining to her how I can't believe this is an actual job. The security stuff will come later - I've put my goals for those certs in a 3 year span. I want to have those under my belt. But I can at least take my time with it, I just need a job so I can buy all the cool gadgets. Being a piss poor student sucks serious ass right now. Like.. serious ass.

I'm done school in 3 months, I still don't even know how to write up a resume since I have 0 experience in the field, and my school is saying they are going to line me up with a bunch of interviews since I'm (shockingly) the only student in my class that is actually getting certified. Everyone else is just in it for the diploma... but I personally believe the diploma isn't enough.
 
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Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
also.. I have no idea what FFS or FTE is
For Fee Service
Full Time Employee

I would go for the first one now if I was in your spot knowing what I know now. You can make some serious money as a consultant, but I don't think the type of role that you want really comes on a per-project basis. You might be only finding full-time positions in your specific field. That also isn't a bad thing if you want to grow with a company.

To me growing with a company is something that we've done for ever and we kind of said that is the way it should be. Not today that's for sure. Our parents used to work somewhere after they graduated and stayed there for ever. Now people stay at a company ~ 4-6 years before moving. Something to think about.

Good luck on your exams and finding a position. :)
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
... and btw, I'm in a meeting today with a group (external) who is doing a penn test on one of our systems. I must admit, I miss doing those dirty ole' Qualys scans!
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
To me growing with a company is something that we've done for ever and we kind of said that is the way it should be. Not today that's for sure. Our parents used to work somewhere after they graduated and stayed there for ever. Now people stay at a company ~ 4-6 years before moving. Something to think about.
Yes I am certainly a rare exception among my peers, to be 15 years at a company. Even on projects here Ive frequently got 10+ years on other employees Im working with here.
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
Yes I am certainly a rare exception among my peers, to be 15 years at a company. Even on projects here Ive frequently got 10+ years on other employees Im working with here.
and it is good to see people like you out there that are dedicated to an organization. When I first started working that was my plan, but for some reason it changed. I work with people here in the gov't who have worked here their entire lives... and I totally appreciate that experience.

:D

@RumRogerz - One thing that we never talked about is how are you are going to get noticed or picked up by an org. Are you using any agencies or job boards?

I would check indeed.ca/Monster/Workopolis and submit your profile to more than one agency(recruiter). They are all pretty much the same and only care about their cut, unless of course you are lucky to have close friend who works for one ;-) ;-)

AB
 

the_fornicator

TRIBE Member
Oh wow. Y'all took stuff that's like black magic to me lol B Sc and took the developer route.

I was a PFT employee at a medical device company for 9.5 years and then got das boot during an economic slowdown in 2010/2011. Every since then, I've been contracting which I love.

I don't have any certifications other than my B Sc. but that's not a cert. I used to specialize in Oracle Forms and Reports, SQL/PLSQL, Query Optimization, etc. (i.e. databases) but my Oracle world is slowly dying out. Nobody's got time for client-server apps anymore. If I want to stay relevant, I have to learn business suites, Oracle web fusion, etc.

I've actually switched from a Systems Analyst to a Business Systems Analyst. I wanted to stay in IT yet remove myself from having to constantly keep up with technologies. I'll still have to learn about new languages, technologies, etc., but I will not have to develop with them anymore. It's more of a junior PM role/coordinator role.

If you want some quick experience, I would check out a contracting recruiter. Get a few 6-12 month contracts under your belt, learn different environments, public/private sector, etc. and you'll be seasoned in no time.
 

RumRogerz

TRIBE Member
So far, my school is going to set some interviews for me. But I'm also not going to rely on just those to possibly find a job. I'm definitely going to hit up monster/indeed/workopolis and am considering a recruiter. If you guys happen to know any, pm me.
I had a friend get a job at IBM last year through a recruiter. He just assembles servers for offsite installations, but he got hired just having his A+.
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
So far, my school is going to set some interviews for me. But I'm also not going to rely on just those to possibly find a job. I'm definitely going to hit up monster/indeed/workopolis and am considering a recruiter. If you guys happen to know any, pm me.
I had a friend get a job at IBM last year through a recruiter. He just assembles servers for offsite installations, but he got hired just having his A+.
I got an A+ on my A+ LOL!
tests were harder back then too because the CRAM's weren't so readily available. :eek:
 
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