Do you see some kids and wonder what will they be when they grow up? In retrospect, I can say that writing was on the wall for me. I was the kid that was always tinkering (or breaking) with something. My version of the story ends in my fixing the problem but I dare say my parents might have a slightly different version.
In my quest for understanding, I would fix the household vacuum cleaner or (attempt) to fix the toaster. Yep, I was THAT kid that was constantly taking things apart and putting them back together. Sometimes, not so perfectly but I believe I had more successes than failures.
Continuing on my quest, I have worked as a computer programmer/developer using ancient technologies such as PowerBuilder talking to Informix databases; Pascal and even Ada. I have had my battle scars with C++ and null pointers but I was eventually freed from the life of a programmer when I migrated into system administration on the Windows platforms. In fact, my admin career began with Windows NT 3.51. How is that for ancient technology? Now, I own more Apple and Mac products that I can count. Although I still administer Windows-based networks, I use my mac do to do it. How ironic?
In the past, I have built my share computers and “toasted motherboards”. I have studied and earned certifications in various technical disciplines to the point that now, it just makes me yawn. In my 20′s and 30′s, I would answer my telephone on Saturday morning with the greeting, “Terry’s Technical Support, how may I help you?”, as I was the person that would talk people through problems because I knew the screens and menus by heart.
What does it all mean?
However, all of that is great and dandy but does it truly mean anything? Well, I have learned that technology is just a tool. Often times people get hung up on the programming language, the operating system, open source or not or whatever dividing line maybe. But at the end of the day, it is how you use the tool that matters. All of my troubleshooting skills, various jobs and skills culminate into helping others use technology. If I can teach someone to use technology to achieve their goal, then I have done my job correctly.