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\\\Back in the Day

Life is more than a destination; we should enjoy the journey. In thinking about what should go in the maiden post, my mind goes back to the days of where it all started. I was fascinated with technology ever since I first played on the NES–that’s Nintendo Entertainment System if you’re too young (or too old) to know–actually, not that far back. I’m talking about going back to where most of us started, the place of humble beginnings, where we cut our teeth and learned to fly…the Help Desk. And if you’re one of those test tube babies that was created in a lab and went straight to your area of expertise without going through the Help Desk, you make me sick…

Like most technicians, I had built a couple of computers, enjoyed playing video games, and knew a fair amount of Star Wars lore so I just assumed the IT life was the life for me. I quickly learned that there was a great big world out there beyond the few components I could name off. And I was enthralled at it all.

\\\Greenhorn

There were packets and ports, protocols and permissions, and procedures and precedence that I had to learn about. I put aside studying to become a Jedi and soaked in everything I could, asking questions from more seasoned technicians at every turn. There may have been a good question or two in there…somewhere…possibly…but most of my questions were pretty stupid. And yes, I’m aware of the adage, “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” But really, I had some stupid ones. You know, the kind of questions that as soon as the last word escaped your lips you were filled with instant regret like buying stock in Black Berry/RIM in 2008 (and holding on to it) or that time Bill Gates said 640K of memory was enough (Apparently it’s a myth? World crushed). But it was too late…the one raised eyebrow in response said it all. Idiot. Or as I would later learn, ID10T. Major IT street cred when you started using the lingo…especially those acronyms. Is it Domain Naming Service or Server or System?

\\\Golden Years

But looking back, it was these early years of being a Padawan that are now some of the fondest ones. You know, before you were responsible for everything. Those times when you were able to open a book, read a guide, and just try something out. You didn’t know what NOT to do and you most definitely didn’t know what TO do. Everything was a new adventure and you were enjoying the journey.

I tackled programming, graphic design, web development, virtualization, technical writing, OS deployment, and mobile development to name a few. Each new area expanding the horizon as every hole punched in my firewall lead to hundreds of more questions. And as I learned what I did and didn’t like, a sort of niche began to develop where I would find myself enjoying certain tasks while fretting others. But it was the exposure to all of the different disciplines of technology that gave me insight into the areas I liked and didn’t like. To my surprise, it was the same exposure that some saw as a lack of specialization that I later realized would give me an advantage in areas outside of my scope of responsibility. And it’s this versatility and adaptability that I learned while bouncing from technology to technology that has made me the person I am today. Who knew ADD for IT could be a positive thing?

\\\The Journey Is Critical

And if you find yourself today reminiscing about your beginning; maybe it was similar, maybe it was completely different, maybe you were raised by wolves or your uncle on Tatooine…or maybe you’re only right now starting in IT, wondering how you’re ever going to get “there.” Don’t rush it. Take it slow, enjoy the journey. You’ll get there eventually, but here isn’t that bad either.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to not despise where you’re at now. Don’t be in such a hurry to get to the “destination” that you overlook the journey. Whether you’re at the beginning, the middle, or what you assume to be the end, capture that fire for the unknown and light a spark in your quest for knowledge. This applies to a hundred other things in life beyond technology and your career (family, friends, that meal you scarfed down too quickly), but as you strive to reach your destinations in life, don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way.

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