An accidental Engineer – my name is Brendan Choi, a father of three, a husband and a Infrastructure/Network/Voice/Systems Engineer living and working in Sydney, Australia. I am an accidental Engineer who became an Engineer because my first full-time office job was for Cisco Technical Assistant Center (Cisco TAC) as a “Customer Services Representative”. Basically, my first Cisco job involved logging Cisco TAC cases day-in and day-out for one and half years. During this time, I had decided to become an Engineer of some sort. Growing up as a kid, I was good at maths and also, did briefly attend a computer programming class back in 1985 and that was the first time I saw a real computer. My family works for various IT companies. Yes, I was that kid who formatted older sibling’s PC hard disk (when it was IBM 386/486 days) and made him jump up and down. My exposure to computers and computing goes back quiet sometime, although I took up IT seriously in late 20’s, I fell in love again with machines and went bonkers over last 16 years. I understand that nobody can learn it all in IT, but I work to learn and live to work in IT. Unlike many stereo-type Engineers, I do not hold an IT or Engineering degree from University or went through a trade trainee-ship to become an Engineer by trade. Although not formally trained in Information Technology through a University, I did attend Cisco Network Academy. Most of my training is through work experience, class-room training and “Self-taught using online/offline materials”. Although at work, I was forced to select a speciality, formally not trained in IT actually worked out better for me as I am not bound to any particular IT specialisation boundaries when it comes to learning. (However, I do hold a Masters and a Bachelor degree in Business and Arts. And a string of IT Certifications such as CCNA/CCNP/VMWare). Since the day I’d decided to become an Engineer, I have fallen in love with IT and Computing in general while specialising in Cisco Network and Voice Technologies, my interest in IT does not stop there. I am currently broadening my horizon by studying Python coding, network automation and Linux in general.
Some have been telling me that “IT is a dying industry in Advanced countries like ours” and I am not denying the fact, because I am seeing many jobs been off-shored at the moment, mainly to India and Philippines. But there’s always going to be a demand for good IT Practitioners in this industry, even in the shrinking local market. It is a battle between the quality vs quantity, as I do see a value in off-shoring but at the same time, I have not seen any quality work from off-shore workers for the last 8 years. Technologies move in time and a competent IT Engineer’s knowledge and experience also need to move along timelessly. I agree, the term “a good IT Practitioner” is a general term, but for the purpose of my blog, let’s define him/her as somebody who is not afraid of sharing his/her knowledge with others and also explore uncharted IT fields. Over the years, I have come across many Engineers in this cutting edge industry, some great, some nasty, some incompetent but pretending to be the greatest. And the majority very very drawn-back in terms of sharing knowledge and information in fear of loosing their ground/job. I am a great believer in sharing knowledge to my hearts content for the greater good in those trying their best to keep their knowledge up to date and head above the levelled water…
“Still water becomes lifeless over time, while free-flowing water is always full of life and surprises”, same theory applies to IT Engineers’ knowledge, experience and potentials.
-B.C’s thought in Sept. 2014.-
Last updated in Jan 2019