Content creator and Linux Academy instructor, Terry Cox, shares his experience working at Linux Academy.
This will not be your typical post here on Linux Academy. However, I hope you will still learn something.
A Special Thanks
I wanted to take a moment and say a special thank you to our community of students and everyone else at Linux Academy. No, this is not a farewell, just a time to appreciate everyone enabling me to be a part of something like Linux Academy.
Very few times in our lives are we presented with an opportunity like the one I have here. Throughout the majority of my career, I have held a variety of positions: From entry level application developer to the management of large engineering teams. As a result, my responsibilities have been varied and have not always aligned with my passions or interests. This is pretty status quo for anyone, particularly in Information Technology.
Then I joined Linux Academy; part time at first, because of the popularity and demand for the service at the price point we offer. Suddenly, I was able to participate in a like-minded community of technology professionals and those new to the industry. Now, I had an opportunity to work on things I was passionate about as well as be part of a large group with perspectives that ran the gamut of Linux, AWS, Open Source and even Windows.
Making a Difference
Now a part of Linux Academy full time, after a number years part time, I have been able to realize there is so much more to what we do. Not only do I get to work on interesting topics and participate in a community of students with unique perspectives and needs, but I get to make a difference. One of the most common complaints I have had in my career is the lack of any opportunity to really make a difference. Not to say that I was not able to meet objectives and help companies reach their revenue goals — I did so successfully based on feedback from executive management.
However, when you come home at night and try to explain what you do and how that made a difference, it’s not as meaningful to those without the necessary tech perspective; they weren’t there, so they are unable to appreciate the efforts made. And while I realize that we are not curing cancer here at Linux Academy (as much as we wish we could), for anyone who scans our community on any given day, you can see the difference we are making.
Each day, our community shares their successes (new jobs obtained, certifications passed, work problems resolved) with us and sincerely thanks Linux Academy and the instructors for our assistance. Think about that. Every day, I work somewhere that I receive heartfelt thanks from someone, who I likely have never met in person, for the job that I do. The satisfaction of knowing that I had any hand in someone’s success, their ability to get a better job or to switch careers when needed, is something that had been missing most of my career.
Sharing Knowledge and Experience
Having been in Information Technology for twenty years or so, I have a bit of both to share. Some may believe that these two things are the same, but I would beg to differ: Knowledge is based on fact and behavior — you know that a tool or utility works a certain way because you read the man pages, or watched a video or saw it used to solve a problem. Experience means that you have used it yourself, you know how it behaves (sometimes even in contrary to the documentation) under certain circumstances, because you experienced the behavior or the fallout.
My time in IT lets me pass on my knowledge about certifications, about tools and utilities. But my experience allows me to share the circumstances around how and where and why to do things in a particular manner or order. In fact, that is one of the primary reasons many of our students are here: All of our instructors have been doing these things throughout our career, and the sharing of that experience makes everyone richer for it.
It has been a great ride over the last several years and now that this is ‘what I do,’ I am grateful to the management and staff at Linux Academy certainly, but most of all to the students and professionals in our community for demanding that a place like Linux Academy exists, and for letting me be a part of it. Cheers!