It is no secret that I have been fascinated with computers, networking, programming, among other things associated with the information technology (IT) world since the 1980’s. I had planned to follow the IT field since I was a teenager and spend hundreds if not thousands of hours studying the new technologies over time. In fact in my 20’s and 30’s I neglected my family so that I could learn the ins and outs of the technology world because at the time I truly believed that was going to be my career choice. There were times when people would call me to fix or build their computers. People asked me to help put up a web site among other things. Around 2000, I gave up on that dream when I was hired by the government. I was hired in 1999 and took a job with the idea that I would get my foot in the door and then try to cross train into an IT job. It did not take me too long to realize that most of the IT jobs were contractor jobs and that for me to get one of the jobs I would have to quit my government job and rehire with one of the contractors.
Obviously this was out of the question since the government allowed me to count my military time toward retirement. I could not see discarding a great job with benefits, security and a retirement just to have my dream in the computer technology world. So around 2000 I accepted the fact that I was not going to be in the IT field and was a little bummed about it. On rare occasions I will see a job available that is a government position that shows up but I do not have the proper credentials to qualify. I still love computers and follow many technology podcasts and articles. I have stopped studying the way I use to. If I could get a job with the government in the IT field, I would be the most energetic, enthusiastic employee they have ever seen. I know this is not possible since the jobs are all contractor jobs. Over the years since 2002 I have kept my foot partially in the door of this interesting career field by hosting two Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) nodes where ham radio is married to computers running on Linux. This small experiment has kept my interest as though I could play a small role in the IT field. It was not much but it was something.
This morning I, or maybe I should say the Del City Amateur Radio Club (DCARC) to which I am the president, received an email asking if we were interested in joining a technological experiment in the Oklahoma City area that I cannot discuss the details. I researched this group and verified their credentials to see if it were real or just another spam message. It is amazing how receiving this email has really sparked my enthusiasm and interest. I know it is nothing big and nothing that would earn a living but it has awakened my “make believe IT professional” that is buried deep inside me. This experiment may be nothing but I am very interested and will follow it through as far as they will allow me to. I will reveal what it is about as soon as I am allowed to. I will say that having the Del City Amateur Radio Club associated with it will be very exciting. Our resources are low but the enthusiasm is high. We have managed to keep these two IRLP nodes on the air for eight years with no outside help other than that of our leadership. I am very excited and hope this project comes to reality. I will definitely do my part to make sure that it does happen on our end.