Author: Aaren DeJong

Many years back I never would have thought to be this far from where I began. Having finished education in a completely different field of work and feeling confident of that career path, I did notice a slight twitch in my hands. I was watching as my backup plan to work in I.T. was moving out of reach if I didn’t do something soon.

Fast forward to my second job in the corporate audio/visuals sector, and I passed my CompTIA A+ cert exam, giving enough confidence to get my first foothold on a job in IT support. Don’t get me wrong, call-centre tech support isn’t very glamorous, but it’s where many of us started. With a couple years of it, I haven’t had enough, and needed to learn more. I kept getting a twitch that was almost telling me that my prime career wouldn’t yet sit as just helping end-users reset passwords with capitalized numbers (yea, think about that) or convince networking team that all I needed was to ping between 2 switches to verify a problem.

ah, thank you xkcd.

Itching curiosity brought me back to what a friend once showed me, using Ubuntu to recover files from what I thought was a failed hard-disk. I was astonished! How come Windows can’t do this? Taking things further I delved into distro-hopping for the ideal Linux distribution to tinker and break and fix and break and fix. This was around the time that Proxmox VE 1.2 was out and if you remember, it was based on Debian 5 and had a very simple feature set. Again, I was astonished – ‘virtual machines??’‘how many can I run?’ –. From then on I mostly fell into the self-taught curriculum that brought me to understand Linux and virtualization as I know it today. This is when my home-lab was born, and kept me busy with more to absorb.

Somewhere along the path I also found myself contributing actively to the community and documentation for the Amahi project. Amahi is still active today, as a Fedora-based “home-data-assistant” as they coined it. To the Amahi community, I owe a large part of my self-education in the Linux sector. (To this day, I run Proxmox 5 in my homelab)

As my career was being driven now by my skill-sets in Linux things, I took to the enterprise level of Linux that was running at my employer at the time. Introducing myself to RHEL via CentOS on my home-lab and pushing my learning as much as I could with online courses and in-class courses such as the RH124+134 (RHCSA), I began to feel really confident with enterprise grade Linux and the systems administration craft. To go along with this I had the chance to move around in the company through different support teams, all with the common denominator of Unix/ Linux beneath it all.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post