My goal here is to introduce myself as a professional.
In my understanding, professional skills are not only about activities that we have done or are doing in a workplace but, also, everything that has led you to do the profession you have chosen. Professional skills are not only what we have achieved and have learned on the jobs but are also about the path we are still on, outside the walls of a workplace, and beyond.
Because of this, I want to share with you a shot anecdote.
At first, I was an electronic technician. My first degree was in "Technical Habilitation in Electronics" and I got it when I finished the high-school at Colégio Técnico Industrial, a vocational education program from the UNESP university. But that wasn't my first encounter with the technological world.
When I was 10, back in 1989, my parents came home with a computer named TK2000. It had only 64KB of memory (can you imagine?). Information had to be stored on cassette tapes. I like tell this story because it was at that time that I discovered computer programming. The TK2000 computer had a very primitive operational system and to execute anything with it, we were required to write a small program in a language similar to BASIC language.
I was so curious about that thing that I ended up disassembled it trying to understand how it worked. Which clearly was not a good idea. I broke it :(.
This curiosity for electronics, that started when I was just a kid, led me to a vocational school in 1994.
At the same time my parents bought a real computer with an Intel 386 processor. It came with MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.0 preinstalled. It was beautiful. I fell in love again. So I spend all of high-school learning electronics during day and self-taught computing at night. It was a fantastic time of my life. I even remember the cover of the firsts books I bought about programming: first, Pascal, then, Clipper.
It didn't take too long until I tried to mix these two areas and in 1996 I was part of a very cool project where we controlled a car engine using a computer, and, not only I participated in the electronic interface design, I also was the one who wrote the software to control the engine.
I don't really know why I gave up electronics professionally. I still designed some stuff as a hobby after the high-school, but I decided to get a degree in Information Systems at UNESP. That was in 1998 and I graduated in 2002. Fortunately, it was a good decision and I'm happy I made it.
Professionally, I started as a website programmer and while I was working as a developer at the company, at home I was studying about network and Unix/Linux operating systems and low-level programming (with C). When my boss found out my new skills he invited me to work as a network administrator at a data-center. I accepted the invitation and it worked out well. I was also a developer and part of my job was to design some software administration tools for this data-center. At that time there wasn't affordable commercial software for this and the free ones weren't good enough. So I realized that our network administration software could be adapted for commercial software. We could sell it If we added a nice user friendly interface to it. I'm proud that I was the one who idealized that.
That specific software had some very cool features. The one I'm most proud of was the feature to audit the MSN messenger (remember that software?). Our clients wanted that and it wasn't available on the market, neither free, nor commercial. It simple didn't exists.
So I spend about 6 months with a sniffer (a tool to capture everything that is passing through a computer network adapter). After filtering and collecting a large amount of data I was able to reverse engineering the MSN protocol. It worked. I was able to create the first MSN messenger auditor. I'm proud of that.
Today I work as a Systems Analyst at another company. This new job is being a great opportunity for me to grow in non-technical skills like project management and business process. I'm no longer working with infrastructure and network administration, but, as I have a background in that, I frequently am requested to act as the DevOp when the company needs one.
Although I have a strong technical background I'm happy doing less technical stuff.
I think I made the right decision by changing the direction of my career, and just as I did with electronics, I'm still learning technical stuff as a hobby.