I have wanted to right this article for some time now, however I felt now is the perfect time to do it. I actually had another version of this drafted but decided to start fresh with the current outlook I now have. Just for a quick run down of me. I come from what I call "old school" IT, and have been in that side of the industry for 6 years now "little over 7ish if you count internships". During that time all of my jobs have been in enterprise environments, working alongside many different positions and roles across the healthcare and state education sector. This has allowed me to become what most call a "Jack of all trades". However it has also given me a lot bigger picture on IT as a whole and the many short comings that the "old school" world has.
This article came to me over a discussion that I was having with an ex coworker, now long time friend. Regarding his decision to leave the industry all together and pursue a lost opportunity to fulfill his original career goals. But I feel he is not the only one with this problem, because I see it all the time. Poorly ran, outdated, underfunded IT departments push great minds out of this industry every day. And I hate to see that so badly, but that is the whole reason I became so focused and dead set on becoming a Cloud Engineer. I had to get out of that "old school" industry. I couldn't let those types of environments dissuade me from this career path.
I want to make it clear I'm not knocking engineers, or sys admins in those positions. Im not knocking the idea of becoming a network technician and getting your CCNA. I don't want people to take this article the wrong way. Because there are awesome jobs out there at great companies. Those of which that are leaders the industry when it comes to best practices and paving the way for cutting edge environments. However I would reference the argument people give about fast-food jobs. They are not meant for long term and you are supposed to move on. PC tech roles and lower end technicians and admins shouldn't be doing those jobs for years and years on end.
My reason being, they simply get boring. Not only that but most of these jobs are so far behind what cloud companies are doing. They're not implementing scrum/agile, CI/CD, or Jira/trello. And the less progressive of an IT department you are working for will cause it to get boring even faster. The same tickets, the same problems, the same old infrastructure, with no advancements or new technology to get your hands on will wear you out. Then before you know it, your working 5-10 years in the past and wont even realize it. So if you're someone like me who really really loves this industry and has a passion for this line of work due to the endless learning it has to offer, jobs like this will never cut it for you. IT changes every single day, and you can't be one of those people who "turn off work" when they leave the office. I am constantly studying, researching new practices, technologies, obtaining certifications, attending seminars and etc.
This brings me to the frustration most people in my state right now have trying to get into cloud technologies. Its really really hard to get into the industry with no experience so you have to work super hard and really show your skills to get out of that old school tech. That's why I tell people all the time who are getting bored but really have the work ethic and strive to do more in this field to focus on the cloud. Start you up a home lab, get a free tier AWS account, attend the free classes for projects like chef, or ansible. My all time favorite WATCH YOUTUBE!! I learn so much from so many smart, talented people in the industry from youtube. This is because can't afford to take internship jobs with low pay or that are for only 6 months then I have to navigate finding a new job during that time. I have to get my experience and knowledge from somewhere else. But this also shows I even put the work in after hours and that I really care about trying to be the best.
So please, I want those of you out there with this issue to not feel alone. Many people are trying to get out of that side of IT right now. And for many good reasons, most cloud jobs are completely WFH, the pay is more competitive, the teams you work with are those that really do share the same passion, love and dedication that you do, the companies tend offer more realistic and honest opportunities for growth, all of this is just scraping the surface. So I really want those of you in this position to sit back, collect yourselfs and really focus towards some cloud certifications, start researching and studying the technologies, build you a small static site in the cloud, work with docker, learn about the development and management cycles I listed above. Shows these awesomes companies you really want to change IT. That you want the cloud to be the future!