Career change.. sort of

Q8tMadQ8tMad Member Posts: 5 ■■□□□□□□□□

So I have been in IT for 19 years, I have never done an IT course or even an exam in the field! - Big believer in RTFM - I started in IT at 14, where by chance a random chap in a coffee house (I skipped school, all the time, and spent it in one coffee house drawing or reading) was having a meltdown because his laptop crapped out on him. By some oddity he allowed me to have a look and I fixed it in a short period. He was impressed, and the next week I was working with his IT manager as an intern. Over the course of 5 years, I was taught server management (windows), and networking, everything was good, but the boss retired and his son took over, he booted the IT department and replaced is with his friends, 6 months later the company went under. During the 6 months, I worked as a web designer (before massive firms started charging $10 per site), it was fun writing html and javascript, but wasn't very fulfilling (if at all). I started applying for 1st line roles, and got the chance to work for an international PR firm, where I was exposed to enterprise server management, software development and basic networking. Worked there for about 1.5 years, then for a reason that escapes me I picked up sticks and went traveling, didn't work in IT, screwed my way around Europe, US and Canada as a bartender with a high tolerance to alcohol and smoking weed.

[Insert 3 years of drinking and drug use]

Returned to IT in 2006.
Everything prior is somewhat of a blur of shattered memories.

Started a role as a support tech for the same IT manager I worked for in the beginning, he had known the lifestyle I had just come from. He formed a friendship with my family while I was away and now worked for my fathers company. As a company they were massive, 10 buildings all over Europe, each floor of each building had a minimum of 8 floors, each with a different company and each company we supported as their IT department, IT manager and I were the only team members. To say it was a lot of work would be an understatement, but I didn't care, I was back in the industry I loved, mainly because I found it easy. No matter what was put in front of me, I worked on it till I knew every nook and cranny of it. I did this role till the start of the recession back in Apr 2011. At this time I had a choice, I could stay where I was and join the thousands of people going on welfare or, I could go traveling again.. I didn't and still don't like getting things for free.. So again, I picked up sticks and went travelling, this time to Australia. While apart of me knew that working in IT as a backpacker would never happen (I mean I wouldn't hire a backpacker, security alone would be seeing red), by chance during my time there I contracted on a job that was quoted at taking a week to complete due to the size of the building we wiring up. All in all it took 2 days, now apart from being quoted at taking a week there was also meant to be 5 guys working this job, but due to some bs from the other contractors they didn't show up on time and were booted off the job. I completed this on my own. A day or after this I was working on a construction job - I really didn't have choice on the jobs I did, and you don't as a backpacker, you did what ever job came your way if you wanted to eat or sleep (had a few nights where I slept rough) - I got a call from the contractors primary company, they wanted me to work as their IT guy on a full time salary, obviously I said yes (should have asked the rate), 3 months on the job, I was doing 1st line to 3rd line stuff (network engineering, server management, linux administration, IT moves, etc etc). I ended up leaving, as was making $1200 a month, where as on construction sites I made that in a week. 

[Fast forward to 2013 - as there was just a lot of **** jobs and some IT jobs, none of which were even remotely challenging]

2013, I moved to London.
I worked in a bar part time, while working as an IT mentor. - Coming back after traveling, I had dreadlocks, and I smelled like a walking talking hemp shop.

Jan - July 2015 - I left the bar trade, I was in a dark place, drug use was back and I was getting close to pushing daisies with the lifestyle.
Went cold turkey, for 6 months - came out slightly mental, but still nonconformist to "normal" thought processing - made it easier to solve problems 

Jan 2016, got a job as an IT support engineer in London / Berlin
Server admin, all round IT guy. Again worked only with an IT manager and no other members of staff (others were Red team and blue team).
Exposed to Network engineering, server management, scripting (bash, powershell and a very small amount of python), vulnerability testing, malware analysis, Pentesting & Linux (ubuntu, Centos and Arch)

2017 - March 2019, worked as an Lead IT engineer for a russian fintech
Was a member of a 5 man team - 2x 1st line techs, Network engineer, myself and the IT manager
  • 1st line techs were good, could have been better if they spent their time learning instead of watching youtube of others playing videogames, or coming up with get rich schemes (wish I was joining)
  • Network engineer was.... ****... completely ****. Resume said he was a Powershell and Python expert - BS, didn't know how to write a simple script, said he had his CCNP, BS! Couldn't figure out how we had multiple subnets on one switch, crashed 2 servers and took down the network, was unavailable when the network went down, because "it's outside my contractual hours" and so on... 
  • IT manager, nice guy but no spine
Was the go to guy for the company, did everything - Server management, network management, scripting, IT purchasing, IT audits, vulnerability testing, office moves, on call 24/7, onsite and offsite event coordination, wired personal homes (CEO, CTO, CFO, COO, CCO) including family members.
Left due to being over worked and underpaid, but it wasn't the primary. One day, after coordinating with every manager, and head of department, with a month notice prior to a system shutdown (including all desktops). A compliance guy, took my Manager into a meeting room and took his head off for the system shutdown. I got pulled into the same meeting where I was ordered to apologize for the shutdown of his system and take a pay cut of 2% for the hassle caused, at this time I asked the HR department to join me, thinking they would have my back on this... ye no, they instead cut my pay to 5%... I handed my resume in within an hour of ending that meeting.

March 2019 - Took a role as a Senior Field Engineer for a MSP
Worked all over London for multiple clients working on a range of tech (Cisco & Juniper Networks, Windows, Mac & Linux Environments, Server management [Linux & Windows], filesystem & email encryption, scripting (mostly cmd, the systems used by the company got freaky with powershell), database management, IT Auditing (including licensing), etc etc  )
Got head hunted by one of my clients, offering room to develop further and with a beautiful security system (the Infosec guy, knows his stuff - defense in depth etc)

Nov 2019 - Present - IT Manager
One man show, over the last 6 months have automated 50% of the infrastructure and currently working on automating the rest of it. Aim is to learn powershell to a high level and at that point create a "trigger and fix" script - if alert -eq no start, do this [simplistic]

There's a character limit.... 


  • Q8tMadQ8tMad Member Posts: 5 ■■□□□□□□□□

    To the of the question!
    10 months on the job, and feel it's still not enough.
    I love IT, I always have but I need more! Fixing mundane issues is barely a thought process that even gets me a little bit curious anymore.
    And so I have decided, I want to be working in the Cloud automation realm (or Cloud devops [ lots of debate whether devops is a role or a framework / thought process]). My aim is to study for the following (in order):

    Azure Admin [AZ-104] (cos we use it) [Certification] Azure ID & Sec [MS-100 & MS-101] (cos we use it) [Certification] Powershell Python Linux+ [Certification]
    AWS admin [Certification] AWS devops [Certification] Ansible [Certification] Puppet [Certification]Kubernetes [Certification] Docker [Certification] RHCSA [Certification]

    Please tell me if there are other areas I need to look at, or if you feel the above order is incorrect.


    We are all mad here!
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,504 Mod
    Nice story. What's the meaning of "Q8tMad", been trying to read your name

    I can't comment as I haven't done any of those certs (I have an expired RHCE from 2011..).

    Welcome to the forums! I'm sure others will chime in


    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • Q8tMadQ8tMad Member Posts: 5 ■■□□□□□□□□
    edited August 2020
    Quitemad - Q8tMad

    years of ...usage has left me slightly crazy, so much so I have been told to put "Impossible is nothing" more times than I care to recall into my resume
  • yoba222yoba222 Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I like that you're doing an Azure track first, seeing that you have access to it at your current job. I'm not a big fan of coding/scripting language certifications and I think a projects-based goal / public repo is more effective at both learning and demonstrating your skillset, but then I don't do much hiring and definitely not outside of the US.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • Q8tMadQ8tMad Member Posts: 5 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Actually for some reason the bullet point button didn't work for me when I did it the first time. it should read as follows:

    • Azure admin (az-104) [certification]
    • Azure ID & Sec (ms-100 & ms-101) [certification]
    • Powershell - just a course on syntax and uses of popular functions etc - Projects at the end of each Module
    • Python - Same as above
    • Linux+ [certification]
    • AWS admin  [certification]
    • AWS devops [certification]
    • Ansible [certification]
    • Puppet [certification]
    • Kubernetes [certification]
    • Docker [certification]
    • RHCSA [certification]
    My current CTO keeps the azure environment very close to his heart, so I have recreated the entire infrastructure on my own personal account (minus real customer data) and setup a site to site to a vm that will replicate users computers
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