I was taking a look at my blog stats the other day and realized that this post will make post number seven-hundred on this blog. Seven-hundred posts since February 2006. I can hardly believe it! This April also marks four years since I started using Ubuntu (the 5.04 release). I can’t believe how fast the time has gone–a lot has happened in that time, both personally and professionally. I credit all of my professional success in that time to finding Ubuntu, and then passionately trying to learn as much as I could about it.
When I first found Ubuntu I was working part-time at a support center, making minimum wage. I had no marketable skills and not working very hard toward gaining any either. Looking back I wonder what I was thinking! Where was I going? It’s almost frightening now to think about.
After I found Ubuntu I realized that there was a world of information right at my fingertips, and based on its very nature all I needed to do was open the hood and take a look! I quickly learned the basics, and started documenting my notes on a website that I setup on an old PIII under my desk. This site began as a place to simply document my notes and has since grown into one of the most widely used Ubuntu-specific resources on the web!
Within a year of finding Ubuntu I had taught myself enough to become a professional Linux Trainer, traveling the country and teaching for companies like Red Hat, Oracle, Dell, and more. There were many times in class when I would just sit back and wonder how did I ever get here. I was being paid to talk about the wonders of Linux.
I have since stopped training (primarily due to the travel) and I now work as a contractor for the US Department of Defense as a System and Network Administrator. I thoroughly enjoy my job and enjoy getting up in the morning every day. It strikes me again and again that all of the skills that I’ve learned, and the path that I’ve taken in my life, all started with finding and embracing Ubuntu and learning as much as I could! I want to thank everyone that has taken time to help me along the way, and for everyone that has been so supportive.
In thinking about how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown by teaching myself (for the most part) these skills I can only imagine where I might be if I had someone to mentor me along the way. If I had someone along the way to push me in the right direction and be available to help with questions who knows how different things might be.
On that note, I have been thinking about taking on one or two people in a mentoring role. I’d very much enjoy the chance to be able to continue teaching, and I’m sure there are some of you out there that would like a brain to pick. If you are interested in something like this, and expect to have time to put toward regular training, please let me know. I imagine something along the lines of scheduled training/discussion via IM/IRC and to work together on projects throughout the community.
Join me in #ubuntu-tutorials on irc.freenode.net and we’ll see if we can work something out.