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Hi there! My name is Kyle, aka TallonRain, and I’m a network engineer. I’ve worked professionally in small, medium, and large business system administration and cybersecurity for about eight years as of this writing. I’ve gotten my hands dirty in just about everything from helpdesk, cloud computing, hardware repair, all the way to designing and implementing scalable enterprise class networks.
Now that the introductory word salad is out of the way, I’m here to say that I’m pivoting away from IT.
I’ve chosen to step out of my role in favor of pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Now why might I do something like that? Just chasing the money? Because it’s the “cool” thing to do? Because I’m under the illusion that I have an idea for the next killer app?
None of those, actually.
I’m doing this because I just want to better understand - really understand - how computers work and I have a deep desire for the skills necessary to make them do what I truly want them to do. There are many projects I would like to build. While my sysadmin skills are largely self-taught, a proper university education is the only way I can achieve a sufficiently complete understanding of CS to be useful.
“But wait,” I hear you saying, “didn’t you say you’re already an expert IT engineer? Can’t you already make computers do what you want?”
Well yes, but actually no! There’s only so much one can do with existing programs. Modern computers are amazing! While I can configure just about any sort of software stack that you can throw at me, given enough time, there are non-obvious limits. I want to be able to program computers to do exactly what I want them to do, not just be limited by what preexisting programs I can find on the internet or purchase. While one solution may provide X, Y, and Z, or another would do W, X and Y, I may need a solution that provides the exact combination of W, X, and Z for some specific, possibly esoteric reason. But does it exist? Oftentimes, no.
Further, I want to be able to better express myself! I see programming as both an engineering discipline and an art form with near infinite potential. As someone who can have trouble expressing himself to other people, the nature of software development gives me the tools I need to express my ideas as clearly as possible. But I’m terrible at it! Software development involves a number of skills that I simply have not been able to train properly and my mathematics skills have languished since I was last in school. I did attend university in the early 2010s for a few years, but I didn’t manage my time very well and lacked the support system I needed to be successful. System administration wasn’t my original goal and the fact I ultimately dropped out of university is something I have been very disappointed about. Times have since changed.
And so here I am, having stepped away from my career shortly before by 31st birthday. The next few years will involve returning to university with the intent of attaining a CS degree in my efforts to pivot to software engineering. I plan to write about the journey here as a way to further reinforce my education. Hopefully there will be some interesting stories along the way!
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!