Government IT worker finds pride and importance in his career through his work after September 11

Hispanic IT WorkerThe public often thinks of computer information technology as a fairly mundane and repetitive job, however in this career interview with a government IT professional, he shares how his work is anything but boring. He tells us how the events of September 11, 2001 affected his job and improved his pride and satisfaction in the work that he does keeping the world connected. Here is his story, in his own words:

I started out thirty years ago in a government agency as an IT professional. If I had to come up with three adjectives to describe me, I’d have to say I am resourceful, persistent, and inventive.

I’m a Hispanic male and that made it tough for me to fit in at work at first. Many of my supervisors and co-workers started out thinking of me as an Affirmative Action applicant with no education or skills. As they got to know me, they began to realize that I did know what I was doing and could play a valuable part in any project.

I provide support for computer hardware and software to people who might not have that much experience with computers. Every once in a while, I get to do some actual computer programming. Too many people think that computer programming consists of sitting at a keyboard and typing away as fast as possible — that’s not what it is at all. Most of the time programming is spent thinking things through and talking out possibilities with co-workers.

My job satisfaction rating would have to be a 9 on a scale of 1-10. I do work that I enjoy very much.

One assignment that did move my heart was when I was asked to do some continuing IT support work for a child abuse registry, a hotline anyone could call to report child abuse. I felt that I was part of a very worthwhile effort to make the world a better place.

One unique thing about my career is how it all started. I had gotten my training in computers through a few semesters of classes at a local community college, which was sufficient for me to sign up for a probationary appointment in government service as an IT professional. If I had to change anything, I might have chosen a starting IT position that would have involved more interaction as a educator.

One of the things I learned almost immediately is that there’s no shame in asking for help. An indecipherable database schema made no sense to me on one of my first assignments until I asked for some help.

The biggest adjustment I had transitioning from a student to a professional was adjusting to the fact that work is continuous and there are no clear-cut ends in sight for many tasks. School comes by you in chunks: a class, a semester, a graduation. Once one chunk is done, you move on to the next. The difference is that work is continuous and that can be daunting.

The strangest thing that ever happened to me on the job was also the saddest. One morning, I had just gotten to my job as a support tech for a unit responsible for computer networking all across the country. One of the managers came by with a worried look on his face, saying that the network responsible for computer traffic in and out of New York City had gone down and he didn’t know why. The date was September 11, 2001.

September 11, 2001 was a point in my career where I felt proud to do my job — we all pulled together to get things working again for the good of the country. Challenges like difficult co-workers and insane work schedules don’t hold a dime against that. The stress of the job does come from those moments when something is not working and you don’t know why. Those days before the a-ha moment hits are often the hardest, struggling to make sense of a problem.

No career interview would be complete without the question everyone wants to know, “How much do you make?” So here it is, in this profession, individuals can expect to make about $40,000-60,000 a year. I also take 2 weeks of vacation annually.

In order to get started in this field, a person needs to have a background in information technology — you can’t fake it. But, you can get that background easily enough through courses at community colleges. I’d tell anyone it’s worth it, if only for the satisfaction of a job done well.

Like many IT professionals, I hope my future holds the opportunity to become my own boss. I’d like to be running my own online empire five years from now, giving IT advice and helping others start their path to their future.



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  • This story really resonated with my because my future career and job satisfaction will be similar to this IT specialist. As a computer science major who is interested in systems security, most people outside of my field will think that I will just be sitting at my computer all day and typing.

    However, like this author, I will be doing so much more. He feels as though what he is doing truly matters in the world, and even though I am just a student, I feel that the things I am learning are incredibly important. There are a plethora of jobs in computer security in the government, and as a college student, I have applied to these jobs because I want to feel as though I am giving back to my country.

    I often say that the reason I am so passionate about computer science and software development is because there are so many applications in the real world that truly help people. His story about helping with software to report child abuse is exactly the type of work that I am looking to do in my future career.

  • Thank you for your candid thoughts about what it means to you to be a public servant working in government. As a public servant myself, I can relate to and appreciate your insights about working for the betterment of the country. You allude to what it means to be mission-oriented and work for a place that is connected to service and working for the greater good. Ideals of patriotism through a high-degree of professionalism ring true in your article and have reaffirmed the way I feel about the importance of investing in our public servants. As a government, we can afford to be thinking more strategically about talent retention, and placing value on a diverse workforce that is truly representative of the diversity found in the United States. Diversity of thought, perspective, and background are the underpinnings of the public sector’s success and it is encouraging to read about your account of how diversity and a natural drive for mission have shaped your role in the government.

  • After reading this, I had a phrase that stuck in my head throughout the entire read, “There is no shame in asking for help”. Constantly, you find users in the IT industry often confused or stuck on a certain issue they are having. A friendly reminder of “feel free to ask for help” is a great way to re assure users that they may not be the only one having issues. I remember an issue I was having when I first entered the IT field that I wasn’t quite understanding. My bosses directions were very vague and he expected me to understand their Information system without getting even as much as a quick run through. The shy teenager I was, didn’t want to bother him and I ended up not getting any progress done towards my task. This just goes back to high school when your teachers would say “No question is a stupid question”.

  • it is a great field that interest me and provides great job security. it also provides great service and helps many people in various fields

  • Reading this helped me realize that what we love to do the most, might not be what we love in the present time. In my opinion, experience is a key factor in the way we think about certain things or situations. Experience has the ability to completly change our thinking process to where we can have the exact opposite opinion of what we initially thought. For example, it took a severe tragedy in order for this man to really comprehend the love he has fo his job. I know that it took me many experiences (good and bad) to truly understand what it is that I have the opportunity to do. Without the things I went through, id stil be unsure of what I want to do after I graduate

  • I can personally relate to your story on many levels. I am also of Hispanic origins and have been in the IT field for over 16 years. I too am very satisfied with my career choices, but found that volunteering to children’s charities has given me a sense of fulfillment that career or financial success could not measure up to. I have volunteered for several programs to benefit children such as working in the Houston chapter of Child Advocates Program to Mentoring a third grade child on a weekly basis for the last two years in order to give him a glimpse of what is possible if you take advantage of the benefits an education has to offer. I appreciated reading your story and I am sure it will inspire others to also give selflessly. I also understand your comment regarding education coming in chucks while daily responsibilities are constant. I have worked full time since I was 14 years of age and I have never been unemployed longer than two weeks. I have learned that time will pass and regardless of whether you can take 3 credit hours or 12 any contributions you make towards your education is worth it. I am now 41 years of age and am enrolled in a Doctoral program. I could be 41 years old without a HS diploma if I let the fact that being a full time student was not always an option for me.

  • This is awesome information shared by someone that makes a difference in our world. I also have changed since the September 11th incident in New York. I am married to a Navy Veteran and on that day, 9/11, we watched the news together and were in aww. When I took my husband to work, the base was on lockdown at San Diego Navy Base on Coronado Island. We were not allowed out and in was very hectic. That day particularly made me want to continue and finish my degree in Criminal Justice and get my foot in the door.

    I went back to school but hit a brick wall due to financial difficulty. I again tried six years later, again, brick wall. Seems like something does not want me to finish school. I landed a job as a jailer in Winneshiek County in Iowa and thought, this is my chance to finish school. Well no tuition help from the employer so I had to see what I can do again. Now eight years later I am hoping to complete my education and look forward to graduation and making a difference with my degree and my foot in the door of law enforcement.
    Thank you for sharing your story and I now know there are positive things that can happen when you apply yourself and have motivation to get it.

  • I relate to this life story, due to what I want to purse in. Currently, I am a sophomore aiming for in criminal justice and want to help my community. This is what I want to do with my life and help others when situations like this happen. Every day heroes no matter what race, age, male or female.

  • I found out while enrolling in my first year of college, back in 2012, that I was a victim of Identity fraud. As I am disabled and drawing SSI, which limits my available income, I was notified that someone in Florida had filed for me, claiming $56,000+. (1st red flag should have went-up at IRS).
    Since that time I decided that our great nation needed more I.T. support. And Cybersecurity is my field of choice.
    Being a victim makes you more determined than ever to succeed. I am currently in my 4th and final year, with more than 100 “LinkedIn” Homeland-security connections. Wish Me Luck.

  • Although my background is not in IT, I was attracted to this particular post in its reference to the September 11th attacks and how it positively impacted your career’s trajectory. I am a Sikh American, and thus, in light of 9/11, overstated media representation of radical Muslims made the turban an icon of terrorism, rather than a symbol of religiosity and strong ethics.

    I can recall being bullied, harassed, and mentally distraught about my identity as a child. I can also remember the discrimination my friends and family received in public spaces, and even more so, the violent crimes that unjustly targeted (and sometimes killed) Sikh Americans throughout the nation. Though my resonance with 9/11 started off as negative, I soon leveraged my education and influence in the Sikh American community to push for civil rights and tolerance in the United States.

    Since 9/11, I have for civil rights non-profits, local Congresspersons, and even Washington D.C. to advance the interests of minority communities in the United States. I started working for the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), where I helped pass California legislation to include Sikhism in California state curriculum and improve workplace environments for religious adherents (SB1540 and Workplace Religious Freedom Act 2012). I then moved on to work for Congressman Brad Sherman, where I served as a liaison for the Sikh community and worked on policy issues in the office. Finally, in the summer of 2014, I worked for Congressman Mike Honda in his D.C. office, where I worked directly on legislation and even organized Langar on the Hill, an event that attracted Congresspersons and staff from over 30 Congressional offices and taught the public about Sikhism.

    The point behind listing out my achievements above is not to wave a flag in my honor. The point is to show how my story resonates with your story: September 11th, though a tragic incident, has helped shaped who I am as a person today and has taught me to commit myself to working hard to achieve my goals. I find it amazing how events such as these can actually trigger greater diversity in the workplace and motivate minority community members to carve their own niches in the US environment, while also creating norms of acceptance and tolerance. I am brown. I am the son of an immigrant. I am a Sikh. I am an American.

  • I understand what it must feel like to work in a tough field like Computer Science, as I’m currently working towards a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Fields like these are not populated by as many minorities as there should be, but I know in the future Hispanics will be a predominant factor in many science and engineering disciplines.

    When facing difficult challenges, it’s good to tackle them with positive thinking. When I was working on a group historical research project, the information that was available on our figure had ended. With the deadline approaching in a couple of months, our only decision was to start from square one. The amount of research needed to fulfill the project requirements put our group on a strict schedule that had to be maintained, otherwise the project would not have been completed. Remaining positive was important when our original plan fell threw, but we got the project completed on time, a task that was daunting before we tackled it.

    I learned that working towards your goals will allow you to accomplish and task and pass every obstacle that life throws at you. Right now it is diversity in the science and engineering fields, but with hard work, we can help make these fields a more welcoming place for the future generations.

  • I am currently working towards my CyberSecurity degree here in Bellevue Nebraska. I work in the Compliance Department as a Due Diligence Agent for a nationwide online payment processing company. On a daily basis I am reviewing accounts for money laundering, terrorist financing, OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset Control) violations, spoof (hacking) log-in attempts, and Charity Fraud. I believe that advancing my education will help with being able to identify and be able to correct those situations that arise.
    I am 44 years old, work full time, go to school full time, and a divorced mother of three kids. I had to put my education on hold back in the late 80’s when my mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. I was the youngest of 5 kids, and the only on still at home. My mom was divorced at the time and that left me to take care of things. I quit school so I could get a full-time job and take care of my mom. I don’t regret quitting school, I did it for my mom. Being an adult now, I can appreciate school more than I did back when I was 18. I look forward to the challenges instead of dreading them.

  • I found your story to be very inspirational. You work extremely hard at your job and you love it. I think that’s a thing a lot of people don’t have and that is not being satisfied with their career. The same passion you have for your career is the same passion I have for the career I want to do. I understand your feeling of being looked down on for being Hispanic or considered an affirmative action candidate. This is my first year at my university and it was a new experience being a minority as I came from a community of almost 90% Hispanics. I found it thrilling the idea of you working with your coworkers to solve a problem and it seems like an exhilarating experience. You have inspired me to be even more dedicated and enjoy my work even more.

  • Computer Science is definitely a tough major to tackle. If you aren’t good with math or have the will to spend all of your time learning it, being proficient is a struggle.

    I am currently in the process of learning a language known as “android.” You have probably heard of it (it is the operating system ran on most phones). There is SO much to learn. I am learning this language on my free time because I became interested in the subject.

    The beauty of the internet. I am able to gather resources from all around the world to help me learn android. Someone from Valenzuela, Mexico, Korea and even third-world countries can offer me advice.

    “One of the things I learned almost immediately is that there’s no shame in asking for help.”

    If there is one thing I like about the internet, no one can judge you. I am simply free to ask questions and get a response to those questions in a matter of minutes or hours.

    Android is revolutionary. It is currently changing the world. I am currently in the learning process, having learned so much by using resources (online courses, google, etc.).

    My end goal? To create something everyone can use.

  • I can relate to your story. 25 years ago I started my career in the Federal government as a secretary and advance quickly into an IT position. Although I did not have college experience, my employer supported formal and on-the-job training and I am proud to say I earn a six-figure salary.

    You mentioned the importance of seeking help and I will say there were many people compassionate to help me throughout my career. I was fortunate to be a quick study and possess strong analytical and communication skills, but one’s technical abilities cannot compare to the value of having individuals support your career advancement. From mentors, to those who risked giving me an opportunity, I am eternally grateful to have been surrounded by persons willing to give me a hand up.

  • Reading this story reminds me of an important principle that i always remind myself with is that the harder you work for your achievements, the more satisfaction you feel. This man could feel the hardships he had to overcome in his career, yet he continued to persevere and the rewards for this actions were worth the hard work. As a first generation student, I can relate to his journey and the way he felt the odds stacked against him for characteristics he was born into, but in the end it was his adversity and his ability to triumph that made him the successor.

  • This is very inspiring and is a reminder to not be judgemental, we do not know people, what they have done or accomplished to judge someone like that. It is very sad that it still exsits in this day and age but it is very common. I do hope people will continue being strong and others needs to become well aware of their facts before thinking like this because it is very hurtful.

  • Around
    my first year of high school, in the apartment underneath of mine, there was a
    couple with a middle school aged girl named Monica. Her parents suffered from
    drug, anger, and financial issues. She was very lonely and I would always find
    myself worrying for her future. One day, when I had been practicing outside, Monica
    approached me upstairs. We began a long conversation about how she had wanted
    to play the trumpet in the school band, but her family did not have the means.
    Her mother had ignored Monica’s previous attempts to learn, and statistically
    Monica was very far behind the other students. From then on I volunteered to
    tutor Monica and every day after school, we would gather in my living room for
    lessons on how to read and interoperate music (the knowledge she had missed
    from not beginning in Elementary school). We eventually gathered a trumpet from
    the “Instruments in the Attic” program at CCPS and using internet fingering charts,
    I was able to prepare Monica to begin in Middle school level band. I still
    receive letters from Monica about how joining the music program has forever
    changed her life, and that she is still active. Since then I have taken on many
    other students. Knowledge is the greatest power and my affinity for music is
    infinitely strong. After my experience with Monica, I realized that I am able
    to improve the standard of living for the youth of America by sharing this
    knowledge and love. I have also realized that through teaching I can inspire
    passion and be a support system for children that need it. There is no feeling
    that is more rewarding then the feeling I receive when I am teaching about
    music and inspiring future musicians.

  • I am a currently a freshman in college and pursuing a Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems. Your story is very inspiring in the fact that you love your job because it allows you to help others after such a tragic event like September 11. I hope one day I will be able to get a career and love it as much as you.

  • This was an interesting story to read as I was able to recall on the day of September 11, 2001. This tragic day is memorable as it is saddening to many families and friends until this day. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering of these people losing their loved ones. To be part of this experience and help contribute to fixing the damage that was done is an honor and takes a true hero to put in the hours of hard work and labor.

    My dream job is to be an elementary school teacher for the reason being that I want to make a positive difference in children’s lives. Children are all unique in their own ways and sometimes are misheard and misunderstood. My goal is to give every child of mine their own voice and make them feel heard and appreciated. Age is only a number and the minds of young children is greater than anyone can imagine.

    I am currently attending California Baptist University and as one can imagine, private school is not cheap. One point that was an eye opener to me from this story is realizing the fact that work is continuous, unlike school which comes in chunks. This is something to take with me because it makes me want to continue on with school and get to a point where I am ready to work and do what I love continuously.

  • I enjoyed this story because I work for the government and I have had to depend on a Hispanic IT professional before. I was very fond of the individual. He seemed to always solve my IT problems. There was also the fact that many times the issue with my computer would magically go away at time when this individual would come around.

    We laughed about it but this was sort of weird to me. I also can recall many IT lessons I have received from
    this person. I was determined to learn how fix my own problems, so I would have him show me how so that he did not have to come back to fix the same problems over and over. My currently knowledge level on IT related issues is a bit better than novice now-a-days because this gentleman.

    He may not know it but in the digital age, I don’t feel so intimidated by the advances of technology in large
    part to the many lessons I have learned from the individual in question. The level of expertise I have gained allows me fix many of my own IT issues now at work and home. I only have to call IT for assistance now to conduct business that can only be conducted by IT administrators.

    My understanding and knowledge on IT related issues have been enhanced by many Question and Answer Sessions with the many IT professionals I have worked with over the years. I know much of this story was about one Hispanic IT professional but I have learned a great deal from individuals of many different Ethnic backgrounds.

    I also have explored my own capabilities in IT because of the confidence gained from working with
    professional IT personnel who were more than willing to share their knowledge on IT related issues. Thanks Guys.

  • This is a vert interesting story. I assimilate to the story on the type of work done by an IT and that I am also a hispanic male. I have a part time job with a company as an IT. I can relate to the part where the writer describes what he does and the satisfaction that he gets when being the only person who can fix a serious problem. Although I am not seeking a computer skilled degree, my knowledge came from my brother who is a computer scientist. Computers have always been an excellent tool that have attracted me, due to their functionality and the amazing work that can be accomplished with them. Computers are the future of humanity and they will keep on evolving.

  • This is a beautiful story. It is very challenging as an African American female to compete in IT infrastructure, a predominantly whit male dominated field for over 15 years. I too understand the look of the “token” hire, or the Affirmative Action hire that slipped into “this” department.

    My father was a licensed electrician, so electronics and electricity came easy to me, so did computers. When it was time for me to go to college, I chose Electrical Engineering as my major, and computer science as my minor. I was the only African American in the entire engineering department, and the only female in a computer science program.

    I began my first days at school as a Teacher Assistant, not because I signed up for the job, but because of my high school grades in computer science. Computers seemed to be too easy for me, so I didn’t take it as seriously for a career as my major. I got paid teaching my peers and adults computer programs and languages at a local university for a stipend during my high school summers, I felt anybody can do this- it’s too easy.

    Electrical Engineering was a lot more challenging, and one day when I went to register for my 4th year, for classes, the Bursar said that they lost my signed form, it never made it to the bank. Suddenly I had debt and no means to repay it. I signed up at a community center for free computer classes. I got approved for an advanced certification course.

    After I received my certificate, I volunteered at a local ISP, and a few months later, I started at working as a contractor for a large company.

    As an African American female, I knew I could not lay my resume on the table and say, “yes, I’m qualified”, so I was quiet. I knew the jargon and could hang with best in technical conversations, but I used wisdom fo when to speak and when not to.

    As soon as something broke, I made sure I was the first to fix it. That is how I won the respect of my peers and was able to not only participate on more of a team level, but benefit from promotions.

    I found out that many people were intimidated by computers. This was shocking. Because of my soft skills, I was often the one selected to train people to do their jobs with computers so they didn’t loose them. Learning people’s insecurities helped me master how to be a better trainer. This made me more passionate about perfecting my skills and craft. I didn’t just want to know how to do it well, but well enough to train someone else.

    My passion for my genre is so strong, that I would do it for free if I could afford to. After all these years, I now have the time and opportunity to go back to school and receive my Bachelor’s of Science. This would truly make my mother proud, (she has one bachelor’s and 3 Master’s).

    I understand your passion, your drive, the great pleasure of success when what was broken is now fixed! Remain encouraged, as I too am striving to pursue my passion while I pursue higher education in the genre I love!

  • This story is very inspiring. I can very much understand the frustration of the common misconception of your line of work. Such as, for the career field that I am aspiring for, which is fashion, a lot of people feel that it is an industry for the superficial and the vain. In reality there is a lot of creativity, critical thinking and craftsmanship that goes into fashion design. It’s no different than a painting that hangs on a wall, or a fine piece of classical music.

    Being an African American male it comes as a shock to most people when I tell them that I want to go into fashion design. In the sense of not fitting the social norm as far as career paths go, I can understand as well. The way that you were inspired through such a national tragedy is the type of encouragement and devotion that this country needs, and inspires me to do the same.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I too, like you are working in the area of IT and have been
    blessed to have some experience in this area as well. It can be challenging but
    on most days, you actually feel like you are making a difference within your
    office by assisting others in being able to do their jobs more efficiently. In
    this field, you never stop learning…something is always new as things are
    continuously changing.

    had the opportunity while doing my undergraduate degree to experience an
    internship with the IT department at the Black
    Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.
    It was a wonderful experience not only for the knowledge I gained in the field
    while there but for the relationships I developed with some of the workers and
    even patients. It’s something I would remember for the rest of my life.

    It’s great to know that
    you are making a difference in every area of your life and hopefully this can
    serve as continuous motivation to become the best we can be

  • Outstandind efforts…I enjoyed reading your article. I am a freshman in college and I do believe in working hard. I know and its been confirmed in your article that persistent does pay off. I have seen how my mom went back to school to do what she been wanting to do for some time. It paid off for her in Dec 2012. She tells me and shows me that you can do whatever you put your mind to.
    Much continous success to you and I will keep your article in mind as I continue my education.

  • I understand why my wife enjoy her work so much now. She works as an IT analyst for the University of California Merced. She tells me often how rewarding having that position as an IT analyst gives her. Now she has everyone professor asking her for help and know her on a first name basis. Keep up the good work!
    I’m sure I will to find my happiness in an awarding career.

  • I applaud you for finding your calling. Ya know, there is an old saying “If you love what you do it’s not considered work.” I believe this is in direct correlation to the quality of work you present. You have to be passionate about what you do and it cannot help but translate into success, because it is contagious.

    I believe some people lack he courage you do to persevere and get to your desired goal.
    I now know if I apply myself I can get to my ultimate goal and it is not as far off as it may have seemed after reading this article,
    I can remember fixing all of my friends,and family members pc’s (I still do) and I now know with contiunued vigor you can make a great living doing something you enjoy waking up everyday to.

  • I am very happy that you love your job so much. It is very important that you love what you do each day and it makes you get out of bed every morning. I too love IT but me being a girl nobody thinks I actually know what I’m doing. I have had to show my friends and teachers that I do actually know what I’m doing whenever I get the chance.

    I have fixed computers at my school before and fixed my friends computers when they have crashed. I definitely had to prove myself to them. Now they know that I can indeed do what I say I am able to do. Congrats of your success and keep on doing what your doing.

  • It’s amazing how tragic life events can make you thankful for the little things and encourage you to help others.

  • Information Technology is anything but mundane and repetitive work. In my experience coding websites and programming C++ applications, albeit small projects and nothing of your caliber, understanding how a computer works from the inside-out plays a crucial role in determining how you and your co-workers think things through, talk out possibilities, and create algorithms.

    Taking a few courses at community college is definitely recommended. Sure, you may be able to do things by yourself but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking others for some help. In fact, this can speed up your education, boost your problem-solving abilities, and uplift a team’s morale.

    Knowing how to work with a team is crucial to many jobs positions and industries in today’s world, because it is the accumulative thinking power of many people that leads to innovative and creative products/solutions. Without this skill, you are the power of only one person.

    Thank you for all you have done for our country, especially on the day of September 11th, 2001. You certainly know what you are doing. Keep up the good work.

  • One of my favorite quotes is “Do not judge a book by its cover”. This story definitely depicts this quote. Sometimes, we make the mistake of judging people before we can actually get to know them. Many of the supervisors of the person telling this story had a different impression of himself, and this person proved them wrong by showing them his virtues and abilities in computers. Nowadays, people like this author are needed not only in computers but also in any field possible. Being passionate about your work and doing whatever it takes to accomplish your goals will certainly help you succeed in life.

    I am a Hispanic student majoring in Computer Science and I know how hard but satisfying it is to work with
    computers. The World now depends on technology and anyone who has a passion for computers will definitely succeed in this field. Being able to use a computer goes beyond being seated in a desk; it involves logic, intelligence, and problem-solving skills. I am on my way to pursue my passion for computers, and even though I may go to bed at 3 or 4 AM every day, I can proudly say that all this sacrifice will be worthwhile someday. Once I obtain a higher knowledge about computers, I expect to put in practice my computer skills in order to help society move forward.

  • This article really talks to anyone who enjoys working with computers. Many computer science majors such as myself are usually considered shut ins and most people think we have trouble helping real people and all we ever want to do is just sit in front of a computer. In truth though I’m usually happy to work with people with any major and I’m always happy to talk about my major.

    During high school I was in a computer repair class and sometimes the students with higher skill were asked to help teachers. I would go help a teacher about 3 times a week and I felt great every time I helped them get past a problem in which they lost a file, couldn’t connect a projector or needed to get some sort of bloatware off their computer. IT guys DO make a difference.

  • After reading this article. One idea exist in my mind is that: Whatever role you play in a team, everyone is important.

    I had participated in international award and one goal we need to finish is 3 day field survival. We form a 7 girls group and went to a hill located in HongKong for Hiking. We distribute works to every girls. Someone responsible for plan the route, someone cook the food, some in charge of tent, etc. My job is to find the water. It seems easy, at least I thought this way at first.

    After one day hiking, The sky turned dark already. Everyone felt so tired and hungry. We wanted some foods so bad. However water couldn’t be found around. That made me feel so crazy. I was unwilling to go to find the water in dark hill since I was too tired to move. But I know I have to take this responsibility. That is a horrible experience for me to recall. Everywhere around me was dark, I couldn’t stop to think about that there might be some wild animals follow me or stareing at me in somewhere. I also needed to pay lots of attentation on the path I walk since they are so narrow. Through 2 hours search, I finally find the spring. And at that time, Our group finally made a fire and ready for the noodles.

    I have to say I feel so proud of myself when I bring the water back. Just like the IT worker feel through his work.

  • Very inspiring story that I can relate to. I have researched this field extensively and found it to be a high demand occupation both locally and nationally. For many years, I had the opportunity to work with other professionals in this field and have been constantly encouraged to continue my education so that I could take advantage of my strong aptitude. On many occasions various technical field experts suggested that I apply for available positions only to have my lack of education disqualify me for the opportunity.

    The Bureau of Labor statistics forecasts indicate the job market for computer and technical support specialists will grow faster than average for the next decade. Even as many remote troubleshooting positions are outsourced overseas, the high demand for tech-savvy experts will drive the need for more skilled workers in the technical field. Currently there are approximately 3 million technical job opportunities that are left vacant even with our nations struggling economy; there simply are not enough highly trained applicants to satisfy employer need. These factors inspired me to make the full time commitment to achieving the goal that I have longed for.

  • I have tried getting a job in an IT but regardless of experience and skills the interview always ends on a rough note about my lack of degree. Then a week later an email that they decided to pursue more qualified candidates. I want to feel this passionate about my work again.

  • Its incredible to read an article on someone who is so passionate on their work. This is actually the reason I decided to go back to school. There was a time I would have rated my job at 9 out of 10. I thought I really helped people, but I had a realization one day. I work in a retail store, sure I help people like my grandparents with technology but in the end my job is to make as much money off these people as I can and they know it.

  • I hope that my future career will turn out to be even half as personally fulfilling and beneficial to others as the author’s. I can certainly relate to the feeling of being perceived as an “Affirmative Action applicant” (or at least feeling like that is how one is being perceived by peers). This feeling was heightened over the past semester when editorials in the student newspaper both attacked and defended the practice of affirmative action. The original inflammatory editorial which sparked the debate seemed to imply that every non-white, non-privileged student had only likely been admitted as a result of affirmative action, discounting the years of hard work which such students had put in. It made for a tense semester and often offensive and nonsensical discussions about the role of race in society and on campus, but I continue to hope that the student body on the whole will continue to be more like the author’s coworkers, coming to realize the value and competence which minority peers can bring to the table.

  • It is always nice to read about people who not only enjoy what they do on a day-to-day basis, but to also see that they take great pride in their work. The main reason I would like to get my masters in Management Information Systems is that I want to help my country achieve a higher level of IT security. My ideal job would be with a governmental agency, I believe it would be a very rewarding career for me. I have held many jobs in which I was blatantly told by my male supervisors that my male counterparts earned more money than I did because they are the sole providers of their family and that’s how the American system works. being a minority female has its drawbacks but the way I have been treated by many of my previous employers is what is fuel under me. I am the main provider of our household and plan on achieving my dream career to fulfill my dreams but to also provide well for my family.

  • I thought it was interesting that he rated his job so high on his satisfaction scale. There are not a lot of people who actually enjoy what they do. When he describes the difficulties that they go through in order to solve a problem in this profession, I related very well. I have overcome many difficulties after a lot of hard work and dedication. There isn’t a feeling better then the moment you solve the difficult problem or overcome a challenge that you have been working on for a long time.

  • It is nice to see people take proud in their work specially after a major event like September 11. I choose the IT field because I enjoy working computers and building web sites. I like seeing older peoples faces that do not want to learn about the new techology. I enjoy watching them learn about it and helping them fix the problems they run too. Thanks for sharing your exerince.

  • Feeling proud to perform your job is not something that comes easily. So, I commend you on this. Not many people I know say they actually love to do their job. Unfortunately, in our society we are money and profit driven. Most of us cannot work the jobs we want to or the jobs we went to school for. Feeling proud means that you like what you do and are confident with your working abilities. Being different in an office of people that all seem the same is an obstacle. If we are strong enough we will overcome it and move on with our chosen path. You give much to think about. Thank you for opening my eyes to other situations people endure. Great job!
    Michael Montes

  • As an IT student this article is extremely motivational. I chose the IT field after trying criminal justice and realizing that there was not enough room for growth for me . I have a passion for learning more about computers and I am anxious to learn more about the technological field to become a better student and excel in the career of my choice.

  • As an IT student thhis article was extremely motivational. I chose the IT field after taking Medical and Law courses and realizing they weren’t right for me. I love computers and hope to use my education to better life for my family and I.

  • I can relate to the Hispanic issue of the story. I am also Hispanic, but I am from a bad neighborhood and I thought I was going to be judged on this in my work place. I was lucky enough for it not be a big deal, even with people knowing I had barely no experience and my new field or education to the field. I had a background in Medical and switched to my dream and that is politics. It is very inspiring how you feel your doing work that is making a difference. That is all I want out of my career is to make a difference in my state. To hear that you made a change shows greatness and everyone wants greatness. I am not interested in IT, but the way you can relate your career to other things that are important will be my story one day. I will make a difference and hopefully for the better.

  • This story relates to me because I’m also interested in the IT field. Computers and technology are very important in the present and future because they help everyone know what’s going on around the world. Without internet and computers, most students aren’t able to complete homework and papers/projects.

    A related experience that I had deals with the frustration of something not working and eventually solving the problem. When I was younger, a videotape got stuck in the VCR. My mother, father, and brother all tried to figure out why it wasn’t coming out. I was only in 5th grade, but my motivation to solve the problem was great. After tampering with the VCR for a while, the videotape finally came out. My parents and brother were all amazed by my skills, and I felt very proud.

    Sometimes, the trouble it takes to obtain an answer makes the experience worthwhile. The frustration and stress of the current moment helps you feel even more accomplished once the problem is finally solved.

  • I can relate with his story.

    I work at a supermarket, and one late night a cart stuffed and piled high with goods came up. The cart was bending downward, it was that heavy! There were only two registers open, me and another guy right next to me. The customer chose the other person. There was nothing else going on, so everyone around pitched in. The front end manager grabbed and passed all the meats from the bottom of the cart to the cashier. Two baggers and a customer service worker bagged everything that was coming down. The register was covered over with items and people.

    There was not even space for me to help! I noticed the meat that was passing through was leaky, and got out a roll of paper towel. It was a massive, spontaneous group effort. Six or so people focusing on one order, albeit a particularly daunting one. No one ever complained, except for the nasty meat liquid. It made me realize how important it was to assist whenever and always when the opportunity arises. I was so tired that night, but such as this article pointed out, complaints look trivial when something important comes up fast.

  • This man is brave. Anyone who is willing to work through the breakdowns of technology in today’s twenty first century is, in my book, a man worth my respect. I work in the IT department at my college, even though I am not a Computer Science major, nor am I heading in that direction. The job is a tough one, and with a little bit of confidence and education, it is a field anyone can accomplish.

  • This person started his IT career like I am doing right now at a Community College. I am hoping I will love actually working in the career field as much as studying about it!

  • I am a displaced worker that has an extensive background in infrastructures that provide networks for schools all over Southern California; elementary schools, high schools, and colleges. I am faced with a challenge, I have accepted that my 14 year career in telecommunications is not stable enough to raise my three children the way that they deserve to be. I have been actively looking for jobs in the IT field for some time now and I have had no luck; all employers are looking for people with experience in IT, telecommunications and my IT degree are not enough. With this comes a question, how can I break through this brier that has become such a burden to my future?

  • I know the feeling when people judge you based on your accent or outer appearance. Similarly to the author of this article, I have had people think of me as of an uneducated and unintelligent person because I spoke in broken English and did not always understand what people were telling me.

    I have had people give me unwelcoming looks because I have mistaken on a meaning of a word, but just like the man in this article, I soon understood that if I want to grow in my knowledge of a new language, I will need to keep practicing it even if I end up making some mistakes. Also, like the author of this article, I believe that there is nothing shameful in asking for help. I often learned new words and ideas only because I asked someone else to explain it to me.

  • The author presents an excellent profile of many seeking an IT career. One must recognize the importance of being the behing the scenes worker who leeps everything running smoothly. A tragedy like 911 gives everyone a chance to make a contribution and pull together to resolve a major problem. Even through the grief caused by 911, business and government officials had to join and reestablish business and government platforms. The author continued by sharing information to begin an IT career and his career goals. This article is inspiring because those other than the young, traditional nerb has an opportunity to enter the IT field.

  • When I first read this article my first assumption was that the writer was going to sound boring and possibly drab about his story as an ” IT Worker”. But what makes his story so interesting is, as you read his story its compelling. You can actually sense the genuine want to explain his job as if there is really a sense of pride in what he does, and for that I appreciate this article.

  • I have wroked for the government which influenced me to get my education. I worked as a social servive aide which didn’t require a degree. After reading this article I hope to become an government IT worker because I love communication and media. I DJ as a side job and love to use all the digital components to make different sounds and effects. Mixing loving to help people and the loving communication and media play a role in wanting to be a government IT.

  • I loved this article because it shows compassion and the example of a team, something bigger than yourself. I work fast food and am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology with concentration in multimedia and visual communications.

  • I hope to become a government IT worker I enjoyed this article my reasons for IT are two; its a ever growing field and our country needs more security infrastructure especially in the computer technology field.

  • I enjoyed this article, it is not everyday that someone is able to preform his or her job to the point that someone is affected in a positivie way. Although, I have a legal background, I know how hard it is to get back out there in the workforce after bing let go or rejected because of lack of expeirnece or work. I think with the incident of September 11th, it placed a strane for many organizations when it came to hiring or keeping employee’s. So thanks for sharing this give people like me some hope.

  • I started to read this article because I am also a government worker. I wanted to see how you broke into the field because I am having a hard time breaking into the IT field even though I am a government worker. I have my AA degree and I graduated with a 3.82 and I am now in classes for my BS degree.

    It is very encouraging to see some one persevere through adverse conditions. Your article gives me hope to persevere through my adverse conditions even though my circumstances are a bit different. Instead of battling race issues I have to battle age issues because I started my education later in life. Thank you for your article.

  • This article provided an open perspective and desire to continue forward.I know from a personal level; asking for help at times is not always easy, but in the long run, sometimes we all do! The article overseas the perspective of his profession and his desire to continue escalate to aid others. That is why there are so many success stories, which all complie from education and the drive to push even further. Great article!

  • This is an insipring article indeed. I have enjoyed a long government job myself; 21 years in law enforcement in Riverside County, California. In this long career, that is not yet over by no stretch, I have experienced many pitfalls and accomplishments. I have learned from them all, especially my mistakes. Many say it is almost impossible to enjoy and survive a long career in law enforcement; however, I am proving them wrong as I would not replace a minute of it for anything.

  • I really enjoyed this story for being a veteran of twenty plus years in the United States Navy inspire my sense of patriotism and desire to help my fellow Americans.

  • I really enjoyed this article, the IT professional that wrote this article has really motovated me to keep on pushing until i reach my goal has become am IT professional. I am very patience and love the challenge of problem solving activities, not to metion the love I have very computers and technology. This article was conformation that I am making the right career choice.

  • This article is very informative and inspirational. The author’s story allows us the opportunity to understand with patience, dedication and an open mind, we too can develop the necessary skills to achieve.

  • This article provides us with the perspective
    of a professional and his desire to continue growing as a professional for his
    benefit and to aid others. He depicts how different is the work environment
    against the school. Even though it may not seem like it, when we are in the
    workplace, our tasks have due dates, and may be continue for long periods of
    time, there’s no break or in between time. This article provides us with
    the perspective of a professional and his desire to continue growing as a
    professional for his benefit and to aid others. He depicts how different is the
    work environment against the school. Even though it may not seem like it, when
    we are in the workplace, our tasks have due dates, and may be continue for long
    periods of time, there’s no break or in between time. Therefore, when
    determine which career to choose or which job to take, consider the fact that
    you need to give it a hundred percent everyday, and that doing so will make you
    better at your job and will help others.

  • This article is interesting in its portrayal of Information Technology from the perspective of an employee. The employee’s narrative reveals the cycles of growth and adaptation inherent to any newly beginning worker. Revealing how to move from naive beginner to advanced employee, the author’s story is both inspirational and telling. In addition, it reveals the multifaceted attempt from citizens across the nation to support America in the wake of an attack. This article is both helpful and inspirational.

  • Anyone that made a difference during the September 11, 2001 torrorist attacks should feel pride for their effort. I was in NY during the attack, I saw the second plane hit the towers from the Triboro bridge. I stayed in NY for three days (I live in PA) to help with my fellow co-workers (NYC Transit), away from my children, however, I will never forget how NY pulled together. I enjoyed this story about the start of a career

  • Wonderful true life story! I agree that in order to be successful in IT you do have to have a solid background.