Hello It’s me Tom.C back with another Blog Post. The 10th of September 2015 marked a very important date for me – the end of my 3 year apprenticeship. To be perfectly honest I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly. For other apprenticeships now would be time to find out if the company you have been working for still wants to take you on, IBM is not like that. On the day you are accepted into the apprenticeship you have a full-time job. The only real difference being that you no longer have a Early Professional Manager, instead you have a People Manager (PEM) – so your manager changes and that’s about it.
I’ve had a fantastic time at IBM and I plan to continue work here. I’ve had 6 different roles, a wealth of both on the job/external training and lots of interesting challenges on the way. You may remember in my last blog post I set a series of goals I wanted to complete before the apprenticeship finished. They were:
- Become a Certified Redhat System Engineer
- Achieve a CompTIA Security+ Certification
- Become a CREST Certified Ethical Hacker
- Gain a Windows Qualification
- Increase my “Social presence”
Lets first start with the Systems Engineer. This was by far the hardest exam I have done within the apprenticeship and it took me two tries to pass. I failed the first time by 5% so spun up a Redhat virtual machine at home to help revise for the second attempt and I passed! I am extremely happy with the result. I know so much more about Redhat and have used everything I learnt in my Job.
Next is the CompTIA Security+. I would really recommend the online training along with the exam. The site asks you a series of questions and it you get them right it stops asking you so as you progress through the questions the revision adapts to what you don’t know. If you get a question wrong it will tell you the answer and a block of text explaining all the details. I have learnt a great deal more about security – everything through different Access Models to Type of Intruder Detection Systems.
The “Certified Ethical Hacker infrastructure Testing” has to be one of my Highlights of this year. I have never been so interested in a course. I learnt about all the different tools and techniques used to hack into both Windows and Linux Systems. breaking into email accounts, hacking smaba, hijacking internet traffic, elevating privileges. You name it! The best part was you got to try all theses methods and more on real systems. Very interesting and it has allowed me to defend against the attacks on projects. I recently followed up the infrastructure Hacking with hacking into WiFi which still remained the Practical aspect and it was extremely interesting to learn all about the cryptography behind WiFi.
I am still looking to achieving a Windows Qualification hopefully I can work on that in the near future.
Sadly my Social presence has stayed rather the same. A few tweets here and there but it is something I need to approve on. I am currently working on some Programming and electronics projects so once they are nearing completion I hope to write / tweet about them.
Its been a Fantastic Year. I have achieved three additional qualifications in the subject I enjoy and will be following up with a new Release on Project.
Looking back on my three years at IBM, I feel a great sense of achievement. I still remember my first day in the office sitting down and wondering what was next. I remember my first task and I look back on the first script I wrote and I have come a long way since. It really has been a great experience.
Its also been a interesting journey. I started off working to maintain an Application called “TAD4D” then progressed into the AIX team where I helped out in my first ever Release. I then moved on to join other projects and help with the Identity and Access Management. I got involved with other internal IBM projects such as Wimbledon and even got to architect a solution for one of the new programmes. All of this eventually ended me up in the infrastructure and Security mix I am in now.
Along the way I’ve also been lucky enough to have picked up some awards – Apprentice of the Year South Central Region 2014 and Apprentice of the Year South East Region 2015. I’ve also been become a BCS IT Apprentice of the Year 2015 Finalist and part of the new RITTeck program.
So what happens now? I have really enjoyed my apprenticeship and am looking forward to see what comes from being a full IBMer. I plan to continue here at IBM. Our program seems to have many new projects on the horizon which I am looking forward to getting stuck into. We are going to start using Redhat 7 so I can put my Certification to good use and work on using new Open Source product like docker. I’ve also made some good friends on projects and I enjoy working in the team. My plan is to continue developing my skills and aim to become a distinguished Engineer. Lets see how it goes!
That was me Tom.C. See you next time.