I first discovered computers in 1978, when I took a BASIC programming class in high school on an Apple ][. In my case, it was love at first sight. I immediately knew that I wanted to work with computers for the rest of my life.
I've been lucky; that's exactly what I've done.
Well, there was the one time where I spent four years in the US Navy learning about electronics - RADAR systems to be exact. It turned out to be a very good education as I learned about the hardware side of the house (especially binary and Boolean logic).
Between 1988 and 2009 I spent my time being a programmer, PC break/fix technician, systems administrator, network technician, IT manager, IT engineer, architect,... the list goes on.
In 2009 I got laid off. I spent a couple of years unemployed because there were too many people like me out there: lots of experience but no certifications or degrees.
In 2011, I went back to college. I studied Cisco networking and Linux administration at Estrella Mountain Community College's (EMCC's) Cisco and Red Hat Academies, respectively.
While in college, I became a Cisco / Red Hat tutor. I developed a love of teaching.
By 2012, while still a student at EMCC, I became an adjunct instructor at a sister college teaching Cisco and Linux (they weren't a Red Hat Academy then -- they are now).
I graduated EMCC in 2013.
In 2015 my mentor at EMCC's Red Hat Academy announced his retirement. I applied for the position. In January 2016, I became a full-time professor, and only the second person to lead EMCC's Red Hat Academy.
In 2018 EMCC won the Red Hat Academy Director's Award - Academy
I am very proud that I am a graduate of the very same Red Hat Academy that I am now leading. It helps me connect with my students when they see that the person at the front of the room, teaching them, sat in the very same seats they're sitting in.
Over the last 40+ years I've "been there and done that" when it comes to IT. Now, it is my turn to guide my students towards success in whatever field they choose.
It is my passion.
Oh, I mentioned certs... I have just a few now: RHCSA, RHCE, CCNA, CCNA Security, A+, Linux+, and about a half dozen more...