Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Good Evening - New Directions

Good Evening!

I have been doing a lot of what many would probably consider "soul searching".  What direction did I want my career to go in, what do I want to "be" when I grow up?  Pretty standard stuff, I suppose.  A little background first, then some conclusions.  Ready?  Here we go...

I started this blog with the intent of documenting my technological interests.  I wanted to show people how technologies like cloud, virtualization, and security can transform their lives.  One part teaching, one part fascinating journey, and one part goofiness.  Okay, maybe two parts goofiness...

Well, six years or so have gone by and I haven't really accomplished my goals with this blog.  I have let life get in the way.  Pretty common issue, actually.  Six years ago I received training through LeaderQuest, sat down, studied hard, and got certified in CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+.  I also trained in the MCSA Windows 7 topics.

Within months I had a job (my first one after finishing my service to the nation) at Level 3 Communications (now part of CenturyLink).  I worked in the Infrastructure NOC (Network Operations Center), watching for alarms indicating issues with long-haul fiber optic equipment in North America and parts of Europe.

I also got a job working at a local Geek Squad precinct, as a Consultation Agent.  I spent many hours over a year and a half helping customers with their technology issues.  I honed my customer service skills, sometimes referred to as soft skills.  To be honest, soft skills are hard (pun intended).  That will be a set of stories for another day.

After nearly two years at Level 3, I received an offer to work at LeaderQuest as an IT instructor.  I have trained several hundred students over the last four years, helping many people get into IT or advance their careers.  Very satisfying work, to say the least.

During this journey into IT, I have continued to train and add certifications.  Not easy, very time consuming, but quite necessary in the ever changing IT landscape.  Here are several of the certifications I have received:

CompTIA:  Server+, Linux+, CySA+, Cloud+, CASP+ (took the exam twice), IT Fundamentals+, and Cloud Essentials.

Microsoft: Windows 7, Configuring (70-680) and Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (70-685) (took this one twice, as well).

Axelos:  ITIL v3 (2011) Foundation, Continual Service Improvement Intermediate, and the Operational Support and Analysis Intermediate.

CertNexus:  Cybersec First Responder 310 beta (failed and haven't retried it, yet) and the Certified Internet of Things Practitioner (CIoTP) beta, which I passed.

Cisco:  Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): Cyber Ops, which consists of two exams:  210-250 SECFND and 210-255 SECOPS.

Pretty nice set of credentials, if I do say so myself.

Now onto the current.  I have been thinking deeply about what I would like to do, to accomplish, in my professional life.  While I enjoy teaching, I must admit that I want more out of my career.  So, what I really want to do is get into cybersecurity full-time.  While I am not sure what that journey to cybersecurity will look like exactly, as I am just starting down that path, but I am going to have fun.

Some future goals to accomplish:  finish my JNCIA: Cloud certification studies and certification exam.  Study for, and receive, the CCNA: R&S.  Maybe knock out the Cloud Security Alliance CCSK (Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge) exam.  Of course, if I can accomplish it, I will try for a few more, like the Splunk Core Certified User and AWS Cloud Certified Practitioner exams.  That will be on top of the work requirements of ITIL v4 Foundation and the CompTIA A+ (1001/1002) exams.  Nothing too much, right?  Right?!


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