X11 wrote:Void Main its a bit to ask but could you do some kind of biography, explaining how/where you learned things, ect.
That's an easy one:
Q) How/where did I learn things?
A1) It all came to me in a dream.
A2) Google (and before Google, lotsa RTFM).
I have been through boat loads of college courses, USAF Programming School, many two week courses ranging from programming to administration, etc etc. However, I would say 25% of what I know today came prior to taking any course and when it was just a hobby (sort of like the stage you are in now). I would also have to say that less than 1% of what I know today came from any course or official training, most of the courses I could have easily taught before taking them. Most of it came from RTFM and an intense interest in computers.
I have had this intense interest and desire to learn for about the last 15 years and got into computing with my first Commodore 64 about 20 years ago (maybe more, I'm getting old and my memory is starting to go). When I did get a job I was always the one to stay late every night and implement new things, solve problems, get paged when things break etc. Just couldn't get enough.
I have to say that in some ways learning everything on my own has worked to my detriment. I have very few certifications and that can cause you to be overlooked for a job, no matter how unfair that may seem or how much better you are than the next guy. So get some certs even if you already know everything (or think you do).
Computers are actually my third career and I'm starting to get burned out and need a passion for something else. I grew up on a farm and I consider that to be my first career which ended 2 days after I graduated from high school and went into the Air Force to be a fighter jet mechanic which was my second career. During my mechanic years I was also heavy into computers and ran a two node dialup BBS out of my house (the second largest BBS in the state I was living in). I also took night classes and was majoring in Computer Science with a Math minor. I was close to getting my degree when Desert Storm came along and I lived in a tent near the Iraq border for about 7 months.
When I got back from Saudi I had been a jet mechanic for about 11 years and then retrained into computer programming around 1992. I spent 5 years as an Air Force programmer/administrator on IBM mainframes and IBM RS/6000 (AIX UNIX machines). After those 5 years the Air Force wanted to send me to Mississippi to be an instructor at the programming school. My kids and I did not want to move. Lucky for me it was the .com boom and when I looked for alternative civilian employment I found that companies were fighting over me and it turned into a bidding war. I more than tripled my salary the day I left the Air Force to work for a well known company. I never did quite finish my degree which right now is haunting me slightly in this serious job crunch.
Now I'm thinking about a career change and getting out of computers, just need to try something new. You only live once ya know. The problem with a career change now is I really don't know what I want to do, and I'm not a young kid like you any more so it might be a little harder to start with something new. I'm thinking maybe a heavy equipment operator or truck driver. It's either that or enter the freestyle motocross circuit to try and become the oldest freestyle champion (remember the busted collar bone about 6 months back?).