I studied IT at the ROC Oost Nederland, a technical college in Holland, where I grew up.
My first job in IT was back in 1999. I was writing applications in Clipper, which was a programming language that interacted with dBase. I think the first application I wrote was a tool that talked to an access system via a serial port, we had to construct the protocol byte by byte, good times. I worked in various programming jobs in Holland for a number of years, before I moved to Ireland and started working for the BMC Support organisation.
I am quite creative, and my hobbies generally reflect this. I studied trumpet when I was a teenager and played in orchestras and big bands around Holland, but over the years, I have turned my hand to everything from woodworking to salsa dancing. At the moment I mainly concentrate on play writing and painting. I really enjoy setting up the easel, putting on a good jazz radio station and losing myself in painting for a few hours. When I’m constantly connected to technology for work, it’s relaxing to de-screen for a bit and switch off.
IT never stays still. If I think about where I started and what I do now, a lot has changed. You need to adapt as well and keep on learning. That means staying abreast of new technologies and really putting in the time and effort to master these. In an industry that cannot be future proofed because its rate of change is so rapid, your ability to adapt to changing circumstances will make all the difference. But good basics are important. I still use the principles of network engineering I learned in college every day, and good foundation training will benefit you in years to come.