How Did You Get Into Tech – William Peavey
July 1, 2015
This week we are featuring William Peavey, a Cyber Security Incident Handler, as a part of our How Did You Get Into Tech blog series.
Where did your interest in technology start?
Growing up, I always enjoyed tinkering with electronics and playing with computers, which dates back to the early 1980’s. My first computer, which was a hand-me-down from a neighbor, was a TRS-80 (Tandy) Color Computer hooked up to a TV and a 300 baud modem. I mainly used it to play games, type/run (pre-written) Basic programs, and login to bulletin boards (pre Internets).
What was your first job?
My first IT job was with ACS Computer Systems/Lockheed Martin, working as a contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a Deployment Technician, primarily responsible for setting up new PCs for users.
What is your current position?
I am currently a Cyber Security Incident Handler for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
I finished my college career with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology (Human Movement Science) from Louisiana State University. When I first started college, most computer tracks were in the programming field, which didn’t really interest me.
After I graduated, a college friend who was a newbie Systems Administrator told me about the MCSE (4.0) certification classes that his company sent him to. The Systems Administration seemed to be a much more interesting avenue in the IT field (to me). So I decided that I would attempt to achieve the MCSE certification and pursue a job in that field.
Did you have any mentors, colleagues, or supervisors who offered career guidance?
Early on I didn’t necessarily have any mentors other than my Sys admin friend who turned me onto the MCSE certification. While working as a Deployment Technician, I did have the benefits of working for a very good supervisor who believed in career advancement from within which enabled me to achieve promotions to a PC technician and eventually to a Systems Administrator while working on the same contract at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
What resources did you use for your tech education (University, community college, meetups, training, online tutorials, MOOC courses with EdX, Udacity and Coursera)?
After taking two of the MCSE courses at the University of Phoenix, I figured I could save a lot of money and just studied on my own using Microsoft training material.
What resources do you find to be the best when continuing your education?
Most of the IT training I have completed over the years has been via books and online training resources provided by my employer (Lockheed Martin and the Department of Defense/Army).
If you were to give an individual advice about starting a career a tech, what would you say to them?
There are so many different directions that people can go in the IT field these days, from programming and PC repair to database, network, and server administration.
I would recommend going online and reading about the different types of IT fields to figure out which one is for them to determine what the requirements to get started (degree certification, etc). Ideally the person would also try and find an opportunity to shadows someone in the position they are interest in for a day to get a better idea of what the work entails to make sure it is for them.
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