I Get Paid to do This?
Two things I get paid to do, solve problems and learn new stuff.
I am fortunate to know very early that I wanted to work with computers. The only problem was I could not concentrate long enough to complete a formal school course.
I was kicked out of two community colleges for academic suspension. I tried to take the required courses like history, calculus, economics etc… but I got bored and never did the required homework or study.
It All Started in the Navy
I eventually ended up in the Navy. I signed up for an extra year to get the technical training I wanted. It was perfect. 8 hours a day 5 days a week for a year. Straight electronics. Resistors, capacitors and circuit boards, Oh My!
The best part? I was given a box of parts and spent 3 months putting it together to build a radio. If it worked, I passed, if not I failed. ( Hint: I passed)
Oh and the discipline, self-esteem and doing things I never thought I could do turned a manchild into a proud, self-confident man. The Navy instilled in me the self- discipline I was sorely lacking.
My Consultant Years
I became an IT consultant right out of the Navy. My lack of a formal degree was an obstacle at times but I never said no to a problem. I knew I could solve any problem thrown at me. After all, I just spent 6 years in the Navy doing just that.
My love of learning also kept up to speed on technology. Two hours every night either on a self-study course or learning a new technology that had just come out.
My first network security job even had me build my own Linux PC on the first day. Back then it was a very manual process with a lot of compiling. If you ever built a Linux PC using “Linux From Scratch” you will know what I mean. I learned a lot and I loved it.
A lot of what I learned did not immediately apply to my job. For example, I am not a programmer but I learned how to use Git just because I thought it was cool. It was the same for a lot of technology I learned. This lifelong learning kept me employed.
How did I arrive at TechSnips?
Well, after many years of IT consulting, it is getting a little uncomfortable being the oldest tech on the IT team. I have been asked in more than one interview why am I not an IT Manager or have some supervisory experience. Yes, age discrimination is a thing.
You know what IT managers do? Answer phones, create budgets, develop strategic plans that no one will use, use words like “Synergy”, “heterogeneous” and “teamwork”. No, I need to be in front of a keyboard. I can make servers dance, sing and do your dishes.
So while my peers were getting management jobs, I was designing networks for data centers, installing hundreds of servers, laying out cabling, and learning to break into systems. I was good at it
I had been looking for something that I could do remotely and still generate income. I do have a family to support. I started (and failed) at several blogs. I realized that I did not have the business acumen to make it successful.
Feeding My ADHD
This is where TechSnips comes in. I actually came across Techsnips from a tweet posting about a snip for a problem that had. I watched the snip and it leads me to a solution that I needed.
I had been working from home for a while now and I was not looking to go back to the office again. I wondered if they were hiring and, even better, if they were hiring remote techs. I navigated to the contributor page and immediately knew I had to apply.
The more I read about the contributor role, the more excited I became. I was hesitant to submit a video audition (the presenter role), but Anthony Howell said it did not matter. Produce a snip and let me see what you got.
The format of producing a snip fed very well into my ADHD. Short, technical videos on a specific topic that I am interested in. If I get bored with a topic, choose another topic or suggest one. Each Snip was to be no more than 15 minutes. I thought this was perfect. I could do this.
So, I produced my first snip and it was accepted. a couple of days later, I got a call from Anthony Howell welcoming me to the team. The more I heard about what TechSnips is all about, the more excited I became and I knew I had made the right decision.
So, today, I am a producer of several snips and have many more in the works. Producing snips also has given me the confidence to improve my presenting skills.
I am not used to talking in front of people or teaching online. The team at TechSnips has provided valuable advice on how to present technical videos and engage an audience.
TechSnips is giving me the opportunity to not only do what I love but actually get paid to do it.