At the age of fourteen, I migrated to the United States and was fortunate to reside within 5 miles of my aunt who is married to an IT Consultant. While visiting my aunt and uncle, I was able to use an IBM computer for the very first time. I had seen many computers in my homeland but I was not allowed to use them as they were in businesses and local banks. It wasn’t until I was in the USA that I became interested in computers and this was only after learning that they could play games.
My uncle took me to the side and encourage me to be smart enough to make games and not just play them so on the weekends while my cousins, friends and classmates were following other interest, I was learning from my uncle how to use DOS commands and program in BASIC which came in handy when I was in Junior High and my teacher asked us to make a program on an Apple computer.
While other students were reading the text book and writing the instructions set on paper to input into compiler, I was doing it all in my head. I got high marks for my coding on the Apple computer and was one of four students to demonstrate what I created in front of the Board of Education.
My proud father seeing me doing well bought me my very own 80286 computer for my 16th birthday which came with GW-Basic and with a few updates, running Q-Basic. Sadly, the computer would be my best and last gift from my father as he would soon pass away. The 80286 computer that my father had bought me came with a 12-month warranty and 4 months before the warranty ran out, the computer started to have problems and a month after it expired, it finally died completely.
I tried to find jobs after school to help fix it since it was the last thing from my father but all the parts were integrated so I would have to buy a new computer. Since my mother was now responsible for making the installments on the 40 lb paperweight, whatever I earned was used to pay it off.
With the final payment done, I set out the build my own with parts I could trust. As I discovered new parts were expensive, I would visit the local Salvation Army and Thrift Stores buying whatever was donated and piecing them together. This now gave me an understanding of putting together the hardware, the OS install and use plus desktop software.
This would help to landing positions at AT&T, Essex County College, Esquire Deposition, Hobart West, UPS and more.
It has been said that chance favors the prepared mind and for over 25 years, and I’m well prepared to take on IT challenges that comes my way.