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What was everyone's first job that started your IT career?

By mLindvall ·
I'm a soon to be graduate, year and half left, with a MIS degree and I'm trying to think of jobs that would be avaiable when I graduate. I was also thinking about what is a good place to start in a company to be able to move up within the company.

So after looking at most of the people's job description on TechRepublic I was wondering where everyone started off your career and if you moved up from your starting position or if you started where you wanted to be.


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Ah M_a_r_k, I knew

by Surflover In reply to How it all started....

there was a connection... perhaps we were sppoks at the same time :^O... Like DC Guy, I started out with the MFs... but started with assembler writing systems software, and moved on to applications later on... you were building missiles, I was writing the TAQ and guidance systems for the missles, (in assembler)... I've forgotten all the top secret stuff by now... or maybe they brain wiped me on exit :^O... so no matter what I'd tell you, I wouldn't have to kill you :-)

but I've been lucky, unlike DC guy... The private sector has been good to me (for the most part)...

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Assembly language

by M_a_r_k In reply to Ah M_a_r_k, I knew

surfer, you started off with high-level languages. My first coding jobs were in microcode. I designed the hardware and created my own 80-something bit wide instruction set for the microsequencer. Somewhere along the way I had the misfortune to write signal processing code in assembly languge. Fast Fourier Transforms? ****, I can't even spell "FFT" much less write code to do one in assembly language. I did that for a few years and somehow I convinced my next employer that I was a C-programming expert. The rest is history.

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After 4 years in the Marines ...

by Too Old For IT In reply to What was everyone's first ...

... doing avionics, I started testing missle guidance systems. HTen Iwas assistant QA manager at a transister manufacturer.

Took a hiatus on a cattle ranch. Looking back, I should have either stayed with the Corps for 20 (30?) or the cattle ranch.

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Seems like a lot of started in the Military

by Mickster269 In reply to What was everyone's first ...

After leaving the Management side of the Restaraunt field...

I started as a "System Analyst" in the US Army. Was taught "ADA" programming (my, wasn't THAT usefull!). Part of my tasks was repair of the computers. I ended up spending most of my military career in schools !

Once I got out of the military, I started working for a small company building computers for thier clients. We sold software , but in 1993 not everyone had a computer to run the software!

Starting from the bottom rung is often the best way- not only do you learn the basics of your craft, but you also learn the basics of how that company is run. As you get more comfortable with both, you can add YOUR ideas and become a vauled member to your company.

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Ada... a language withe a REAL future...

by Surflover In reply to Seems like a lot of start ...

I had 2 "brushes" with Ada when I worked for the Dod... in the early 80's I was the only OS guy for the Dod's Remote Network Processor (basically a honeywell version of a PDP 11), and the Dod had contracted with someone to use this platform for the first Ada compiler... the machine had 32k ram, and a single CPU... can't remember the speed (maybe M_a_r_k knows)... The compile was such a pig, it came on 2 custom build boards, had 4MB ram of its own (unheard of at the time), and I think 4 dedicated CPUs... I was stuck with trying to certify it :-(...

The first program was about 15 or 20 lines, and included a "private" section, but all it did was go into a loop and display numbers from 1-100 on a crt...

The first run at the compile ran for over 2 days and aborted with and "unknown error" :^O... every 3 0r 4 months I'd get 2 replacement boards to try, and during the year or so I played with it, it never compiled a program (wonder what Uncle was spending on that, eh?)

then in 1990 I was asked to write a 2 week intro to ada class while working on a network project for the USAF... (I was the only person on staf that had ever written an Ada program, or knew anything about it... they asked me to move to the school and teach it, but I threatened to resign so they let go back to playing with the cool networking stuff :-)...

I think Ada was the only language ever designed without any thought of a UI or performing I/O... I also did write a package of utilities that could act as an interface to dBase III/IV databases on PCs while I was there...

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That reminds me ...

by Mickster269 In reply to Ada... a language withe a ...

Hearing your problems with Ada makes me feel much better.

When I was takeing my Ada programming class final at Fort Gordon, I earned a rather noble distinction. I had finished my lovely Ada program, and the Instructor took it to be compiled and subsequently run. It didn't really run- it actually went into an infinite loop (sighs). This cause the whole school's network to lock up- the only way they could fix it was by re-booting the machine running the compiling program.

After the 4th ... yes - FOURTH time of this scenario, I found the line of code that was causing the problem. It finally ran, and worked fine. Having had such problems, I was sure I had failed the course.

Instead, the Instructor gave me a "A" for the course, in, that I was able to debug and fix the bad coding! So, I was the first student to pass the course with flying colors by writing a bugged program!

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Tech support, where else? :-)

I clawed my way into the IT industry in 1994 after having been a hobbyist since the Atari days. I started selling PC's at Best Buy when the 486 was introduced and worked my way to the "in-store technician" position, where I would perform repairs and install modems, soundcards, video cards, those new-fangled CD-ROM drives, etc.. After that, I was a phone support agent for AT&T's "WorldNet" dial-up internet service.
Those jobs gave me the experience I needed to join the ranks of the help desk at a small company, where I was then able to take advantage of more training and certification which took me all the way to IT management.

Then I decided management "wasn't my bag baby" and found a nice position as a senior systems engineer.

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My first so-called IT position

by info In reply to What was everyone's first ...

Heck, IT position? If you like working for SATAN! My boss: FIRE-RED hair (which takes the place of the hot place known as ****) and an attitude that will make ANYONE feel like a mouse! Watch out for WHO you work directly for!

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Not In IT...

by FirstPeter In reply to What was everyone's first ...

I actually started on the road to IT outside of IT. I started on the Finance side of things, dabbled a little in Product/Marketing, and then moved into IT. The advantage of that is that, in a good company, that "business experience" is valuable.

I'll grant that there are companies out there that only care about IT experience, but those are the ones where IT and the rest of the business tend to be at odds. The IT organizations that look at a resume and give credit to someone that's been on "the other side" are the ones that are MUCH better at partnering and are more effective at helping the business succeed.

Plus I built a number of relationships with folks in the business that were able to see, first-hand, what I could do (I did a lot of "small" IT projects that IT wouldn't touch - things like departmental databases, small applications, etc.) so not only do I have a place to go if I want to go back to non-IT, but they're more inclined to trust my recommendations because they've seen me in action.

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by mygetbiz In reply to What was everyone's first ...

No one understood the tech manuals and I did so I became the trainer, then the fix it guru. This was way back in the pre-historic times of the IT industry.

They didn't even have degrees or certifications like they do today. You had to be a computer engineer, the Biz school wasn't even in tune with IT yet.

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