How Tux saved my career…


Some people might laugh at this, some may deem me as simple or stupid but I feel I need to express my "origin story" when it comes to my passion for Linux.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't some elaborate or convoluted story, it is quite basic but changed my life nonetheless.

I came into the IT industry relatively late in the game at the age of 26/27. My first job, much the same as most people who enter a career in IT, was on the service desk. I wasn't exactly thrilled or challenged by the role but I enjoyed it quite a bit. At the time, I was content with my work life, I was comfortable (albeit on a pathetic salary, but that's a story for another time, maybe?).

My knowledge of IT was limited, but enough to get the job done. Also it was purely Windows-based. I never even heard of Linux at this point but that was about to change. Around about the year mark in my role on the SD, I started to feel less motivated and progression within the company was very limited. I searched for a month or two, applying for any internal role that piqued my interest. Most didn't even respond.

Then one day on my lunch break, I accidentally stumbled upon Linux thanks to a very insignificant fact about myself:

I LOVE penguins.

For as long as I can remember I found myself enamoured by penguins. Every time I see one I get all warm and fuzzy inside, much the same as the stereotypical white woman who gushes over chihuahuas, but a bit more… *cough* dignified *cough*.

I can't recall the context but I remember pulling up a google image search of penguins on my phone. I scrolled down quite a few entries when, lo and behold, a cute cartoonish penguin by the name of Tux appeared before me. I was instantly curious as to what his story was.

Next thing I know, I was returning to my desk 12 minutes late. I was excited by this new opportunity so I went back to the internal job board and found it! My ticket off the desk, but it wasn't just that. After doing more and more research around Linux I discovered the Raspberry Pi and 2 days later, I was breaking and rebuilding it over and over. Granted this wasn't intentional practice, I just kept messing up.

I crammed as much knowledge as I could before the interview for the role as a Linux project engineer. I was told I was not the first pick, not even the second but those two had already accepted alternative roles and thus my foot was firmly in the door.

I no longer work at that company mainly for their salary structure, but I was so ambitious that my growth could not be satisfied. I got my RHSCA within 6 months with a score of 93% (very proud of that). I had studied for the RHCE (but the budget ran out and they wouldn't send me for the exam). I had developed solutions for patching, deployment and monitoring. I was on fire!

It's been 5-6 years since that fateful day when I discovered that adorable little penguin. If it weren't for him, who knows where I'd be.

submitted by /u/spesh23
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