Many people who read this blog know that I have been supporting educators for over 20 years. I have been honored to have known some of the best in many different schools. All of these teachers know when they called with a technology issue, I was there quickly to assist them and ensure them that they can do what they do best, teach! I know that in helping them, I have learned a lot about teaching and always felt that I missed my true calling, which is to share my passion for technology with others and pay it forward for the younger generation.
At the beginning of this School year 2020-2021, I was excited to accept a job as a technology teacher for one of our local Carrer and Technical Centers. I had many people ask me if I have ever taught before? I always responded with a definite yes! I have taught teachers summer courses on ways to use technology in their classrooms. I have also been teaching adults online using YouTube as my classroom. But I have never taught young students in a classroom, and I have always wanted to have a chance to share my knowledge and pass along my technology skills to a younger group of students.
When I was hired as a teacher, The Superintendent told me I would have to attend IUP College and be accepted into the VOED teaching program. College at the age of 57, am I nuts? Well, I talked it over with my wife and kids, and they all felt that I would be able to handle going to school and teaching at the same time. So I applied and was accepted into the college program, and I am now happy to say I completed my first semester with an A! Yes, my daily was right for believing in me and supporting me in becoming a teacher.
I had my second review yesterday, and the Administration told me that I am teaching at a proficient rate which is what I was hoping for. I was then asked if I made the right decision to teach? I answered with a definite YES! I also told them after graduation the day before that I have to find a way of leaving my seniors go to do great things. It is funny how you spend an entire year with students, and then one day they are gone. But I know that I gave these young men enough technology skills to seek out a college for more education or head out into the workforce, and I guess that is what all of us TEACHERS strive to accomplish!
Getting older does not mean that we can not learn more. Education is something we should be doing life long and never stop looking for more knowledge. Heading back to classes and buying new books for school at my age seems a little crazy at best. But when you begin a new career path you must earn a degree to allow you to follow your dreams.
As I move through the process of earning my degree I will give all of you more updates and my progress and let you into the world that I have now entered. But I am proud of my current career change and I am also proud that I can give something back to this great field that I love so much TECHNOLOGY!
I have been asked many times what I prefer to use to monitor my servers and networks. I have found that using PRTG has made it so I can watch my networks and my servers no matter where I have them. I monitor servers in the cloud as well as networks all over the World.
If you need help with your PRTG deployment please drop me an email and we can set up a time. I am also available for on-site work and travel.
I spend some time upgrading my home server to the newest VMWare 6.7. We have been using this new version at work and I wanted to dig into more if the features. At home, I like to run to servers for testing. I run Windows Server 2012 as well as Ubuntu Server.
I have spent most of my weekend setting up a new VM of Ubuntu Server and preparing it for testing out automation scripts. I want to create my scripts using Ruby. I am using the IDE called Ruby Mine from JetBrains.
If you have any projects that you are working on or need assistance with any of your servers or need new scripts please let me know. I am also always available for remote training.
If you are in the computer field in today’s World you can never stop learning new and exciting computer topics. As you can see from the title I am currently taking a course on writing code for IOS. I have a few projects in mind for the iPhone and the iPad. I have been coding for Windows for years. You can see from my past blog posts that I have also been writing bash and power shell scripts for Windows and Linux Servers.
I have also spent a lot of time programming MySQL and MSSQL Databases and writing front end programs in both Visual Basic and PHP for Web Development. The simple truth is once you get one programming language down and learn how to debug syntax other programming languages are not hard to follow. Well back to the lessons.
The words I truly enjoy at work is when I am told that no one could get this automated program or connection to a database to work. They feel it can not be done? I have been connecting programs and automating software programs for years. I also enjoy writing automated scripts for our servers.
When you are learning how to work with scripting languages I would advise you to choose a few different ones. Just as there are many tools in a toolbox you will find there are many different scripting tools to get the job done right. I would also advise you to comment your work as you go. You should also keep clear notes on the process that you used to build the script. This is really handy if you ever have to go back and change something as programs or servers change. Or you never know if you get promoted you might have to hand off the scripts you wrote to someone else?
The truth is if you are working in the IT field and are responsible for software or servers you will want to learn and be the best you can be with scripting. When you can automate a program or process you will have more time to work on other projects.
If you have a process or a daily software task that you would like to be automated look me up. I might be able to give you some guidance and be able to share my knowledge with you.
I was once asked on an interview what do you know about Linux? Of course, I responded with the answer that I can get around the OS pretty well. I am a long time Windows Server person like many of you out there. But the simple truth is that when you work as an IT Director or a Network Administrator you have to work in many types of server environments.
I was asked once in another interview years ago what I knew about Novell Netware? My response was that I have never seen Novell but I have heard of it. I then followed up with if they had a book lying around I am sure I can do what they needed me to do with the OS. Well, I got the job and my first day they wanted me to create some file shares. They handed me a book on Novell and within an hour I came back and said the file shares were ready to use.
What I have told many interns that I have trained over the years is that you can never be scared of any Server OS. Every time you come upon a new system go into it as a learning experience. Also if you can go home and set up a VM with the OS and begin poking around. And when you are learning to take the time to take notes on what you learned, they will come in handy down the road.
Once you do get the feeling for a new Server OS is to remember to revisit it and keep brushing up on your skills. You never know when you might take an interview and be asked questions about one of these systems.
Working for a larger company that has many locations is rewarding. I have been working in a school district for the past two years. Like you working where you work we build many connections with the people who work for that company or school. We also start to build our skills on whatever it is you do. And when you work for a company with many locations they may find you a position that fit your new skill set. This is when you may be relocated to a larger location where your skills are needed.
So after two years, I find myself moving to a larger location with more opportunities. What is really nice is that I still work for the same parent company. So what can I say about working for an outsourcing company? Well working for an outsourcing company allows your talents to grow. If for any reason one location closes down you will not find yourself out of work giving the fact that you can be moved to another location that the company services.
I have to say I am a little nervous leaving those relationships that have been built over the past two years. But I am confident that my skill will enable me to fit into a new team and provide my technical services to a larger group of people who need them. So as I sit here this morning getting ready for this new chapter I am looking forward to building new relationships and friends working in a new location.
I like many of you reading this may have struggled with this topic at one time or another? Working for someone or setting off on your own. Years ago I had a very successful business but like many businesses, I was doing something that was to soon. I started my own Internet provider company around 1998. Now if you think back to 1998 you might recall that the Internet was no big deal. Most people had AOL and were happy playing online games hosted by one company. I was running a small three phone bulletin board our of my apartment before setting off to build the next big thing. At that time I would go out to sell a website and every business owner asked me what would they want one of those for? But when I ran this company I was still working full time as a Paramedic.
After selling off the business because the big guns of Comcast and Verizon were getting into the Internet game we could not compete. But I still had my full-time job to fall back on.
I did later take a new job full-time working for schools at the Technology Director. But as things go sometimes even a forever job is not forever. That is what brings us to today’s post.
Self-employment is a way for you to secure your own future. I never heard of anyone laying their self off from their own business. Okay, one name comes to mind of someone who started a company only to be put out by the very people who he hired, Steve Jobs. But he returned later with fresh eyes and made it one of the richest companies in the world.
But self-employment brings its own stresses and let downs. You may be your own boss but you have to be willing to worry about something 24/7/365. But for years since being in the technology field, I always seem to be doing work at home in off hours for the company I am with. I guess it is just how I am wired or maybe its because I owned my own business I know how important it is to keep all of the technology running smoothly all the time?
If you watch Shark Tank you will hear this statement. “If you work full time and try to have a business the business becomes more of a hobby then a real business.” So I would say if you are self-employed or you are leaning that way you should be ALL IN. We all love a safety net in our lives but when you are ALL IN you will be focused every minute of every day on growing your business.
I would like to hear your thoughts on being self-employed and what it means to you?