I grew up in Claremont, NC where I began using computers at the age of five thanks to my Father who exposed me to both DOS and the Internet before I even started middle school (1999). Around the time I began middle school is when I started getting into computer hardware and hardware modifications. I have always enjoyed soldering and creating/repairing electronics, again thanks to my Father. By the time I was entering college I had nearly 10 years of experience building/fixing/modifying computers + computer hardware and this opened the door for me to the IT field. My first IT position was with the NC Department of Waste Management; here I would learn more about troubleshooting and repairs than I could have possibly imagined. By my second year I was promoted to lead hardware tech and things were looking bright.
Life happened during my 3rd year with the NCDWM and I had to leave Raleigh to deal with medical issues, however this would lead to me working for Lowe’s HQ in Wilkesboro, NC. Here I would be a part of the team responsible for an international hardware upgrade for every Lowe’s store. Each night we would take entire stores offline to upgrade them to IBM Blade servers and replace every point of interaction for employees in the store. On average each team member had 5 stores down per night which was roughly 300 pieces of hardware. This exposed me to a tremendous amount of information on networks and network administration. I also gained valuable insight into fiber optics and how to troubleshoot fiber optics. I was with Lowe’s HQ for about a year and the project ended because we had successfully upgraded every store across the globe. This was when I made the toughest decision of my life, return to school and finish the last 2.5 years of my Engineering degree, or use my experience to move up the ladder in IT. I decided I wanted a deeper understanding of the things I was using every day and I left a competitive job field for my Engineering degree. Let us hope that I made the right call!