I grew up working in IT. I built my first linux desktop in 1992 using a slackware linux cd I found in a library book. Embarassingly, I thought linux was a program I could run on my Windows 3.1 computer. By the time I figured out how to write a chat script to get my modem to connect I had gone through 4 linux books and pretty much knew the command line inside and out. I've stuck with it through the years and continue to run multiple linux machines today. I got my A+ and CCNA when I was 16 via a program in my high school that allowed students to take classes at a local community college. From there I worked frequently on computers for my college and built my first Asterisk PBX. In 2004 I joined the Army and learned/worked on radios, satellites, networks, phones, etc. The amount of experience I gained there was amazing. I put that experience to use during my 2011-2012 deployment to Afghanistan where I was forced to conduct an emergency rebuild of our Cisco Call Manager core due to a database failure. I upgraded us from 4.2 to 7.2 (on a dell r600 running vmware). It was my first time using any CUCM above 4.2 and my first time using vmware! Phones are a critical asset during combat operations and on the specific network this ocurred on, it was even more critical. Over the next 6 hours we moved over 250 nodes, include gatekeepers, call manager express, and call manager 4.2 nodes over to the new 7.2 cluster without any interruption in service.
Upon discharge from the military, I became a platform engineer for HCA Healthcare where I worked daily in vmware building linux, unix, and windows machines. I also frequently worked with F5 Load balancers, checkpoint firewalls, and cisco routers/switches. I've since moved into the Unified Communications realm where I work predominantly in UC Apps but still dabble in powershell and virtualization.
I've since left HCA to move into consulting. Currently I am a Unified Communications consultant for Prosys Information systems. My coverage area is Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. I truly enjoy the work I do, so this isn't purely about money for me, this is about helping bring others into the technical era of VoIP. There are tons of benefits, so reach out and let's discuss them!
The biggest benefit for me has been a passion for learning and IT in general. It's allowed me to become highly skilled in numerous areas without any skill decay. As a side note, this is my second website I've ever made and when a coworker asked what I was making it in, I was confused... I'm typing this all in notepad right now...Sure wish I had known about dreamweaver before I finished the site!