The year 2014 was eventful, especially the last three months. As I reflect on the many events and happenings one fact stands out very prominently and clearly. That has to do with the need to give back to the community as IT professionals in our various fields of endeavour. It all begun with the Cisco Champions program of which I had the privilege to be a pioneering member for the year 2014. Cisco Champions are passionate experts in Cisco technologies who are happy to share their knowledge, experience, and feedback with the community. Apart from the Cisco Champion radio calls, Webex seminars and other initiatives which came along with the program, it personally gave me the urge to reach out and give a helping hand to up and coming individuals interested in Technology in all of its variants.
One of my personal initiatives was to start this blog, a platform where I could share my peculiar experiences as pertaining to my geographic environment and context.With 1,500+ views as captured by the annual report generated by WordPress, and about half of that figure originating from my home country of Ghana, these are but feeble and baby steps towards the realization of bigger ambitions. After having had the chance to speak before audiences at five different events I realized how important it is for professionals like me to lend a helping hand. I was surprised to discover that despite the boom in access to and consumption of information, there were several people out there in colleges and IT training who had little clue as to the kind of opportunities and career paths they could pursue in technology.
Being a networking professional,most of the content I shared over this period was skewed towards my field, but nevertheless there were always other resources who came in from different backgrounds to complement. The response has been encouraging so far to say the least as I have had the opportunity to give guidance and direction to a few who have expressed a genuine interest to know and learn more. I went as far as to teach a CCNA class and organize a Cisco Networking boot camp all as part of efforts to lend a helping hand in kick-starting some budding careers.
Like seeds being sown, the immediate results will not be evident, but in a few years the results will be seen in more relevant skills for the job market,job fulfillment and a better standard of living for those who decided to pursue a technology career.
I throw this challenge to every IT professional reading this piece. How can you give back to your community? How can your experiences benefit someone trying to navigate their way in Technology?
All it takes is some simple steps such as volunteering to speak to college students or in an IT training institution in your vicinity. You could even start a blog like I did to share your personal experience which can serve as a powerful channel of encouragement. If you really put your mind to it there are a number of avenues that will open up for you to share your knowledge.It will definitely go a long way to making this world a better place. Happy New Year!