In March, I met with Scott Carpenter, head of the Cyber Security education program at Ocala’s Community and Technical Adult Education center to discuss possibilities for programming education in Ocala and he asked me to come speak to the students in the Cyber Security program about careers and other aspects of working in I.T.. CTAE has both day and night classes and, at the last minute, we decided to combine the presentation to the nighttime students with our monthly Ocala I.T. Professionals meeting.
So, on Wednesday, April 22, I spoke with both classes and had a FANTASTIC time sharing my experiences from working in the technology field! There were a lot of great questions and a chance to help others just getting started in the field. You can view the slides for my presentation below or on View presentation on SlideShare.net. As I told the students, this was a little bit of a milestone for me as it’s the first time I’ve been asked to speak to a group of students about my experience and I’m glad to have been able to do it.
The next day, I ran across this article on Facebook and it spoke to a lot of the ideas that we discussed during my presentation. Every experienced I.T. person knows that it is not enough to be able to pass certification tests or get the paper with your name on it. We don’t need more “paper tigers”. We need people who can think through challenges that they’re presented with, analyze situations and apply the knowledge that they’ve gained. We need people who are committed to continuously learning and growing their knowledge portfolios. We get people like that by showing them the power that comes with being able to use their knowledge creatively, not by teaching them to regurgitate answers.
So April’s meeting was yet another success for the Ocala I.T. Professionals. After my presentation, some of our members got up and spoke about their own backgrounds and experiences. It was a great chance to give the students a perspective on what it means to work in the I.T. field. There was also a lot of good conversations networking going on at the end of the meeting and new contacts made.
Here’s hoping for many more excellent meetings like this one! Keep your eye on our Meetup.com page for dates and times of our upcoming meetings. We hope to see you there!