Information scientist covers a lot of bases or fields. It can include everything from a systems analyst to a network administrator. I will tell you my story and my journey of how I became one.
In my youth, all the way from the 1960s into the early 1990s, I was, mostly, artistic. I did a lot of pencil sketches. Toward the end of grade school, I won a school-wide art contest. It was a drawing of a deer running through a field with the media of pastels. I received a blue-ribbon for it.
Then, starting high school, I never followed through art that much anymore. The closest thing to art, for any job I had in my teens, was a bindery worker and becoming part of the graphics union. I was mostly in turmoil from my late teens into my late thirties. It was a time where a big part of my life was lost. I am trying very hard to let go of that part of my past.
This Was the Start of My Dream to Become an Information Scientist
Then, in the early 1990s, I started piddling around with computers. I remember, specifically, doing command line using DOS on an older 486 Intel processor desktop. The first graphical user interface I used was my sister’s work computer that had Windows 3.1.
In 1998, I bought my first computer, which had Windows 95 installed, 200 Megahertz Intel CPU, 4.3 Gigabytes of hard drive storage, and 8 Megabytes of memory. From that point on, I thought computers were super cool and went from nerd to geek within 5 years.
By 2003, I had already formatted hard drives and updated a basic input output system, BIOS, from an update downloaded from the motherboard website, which I copied onto a floppy disk. Thus, I proceeded after printing out the steps, knowing one wrong move, could completely disable my computer for good if the update failed.
That same year, 2003, I took a personal computer repair correspondence course. I learned to disassemble a computer and reassemble it, using my brother-in-law’s 386 MHz Intel processor machine. I graduated that course within a few months, earning an overall of 97%.
After that course, I was sent some books and literature on becoming a computing technology industry association, CompTIA, A+ certified technician. I furthered my skills through self-study and practice thus earning both CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications in 2004.
Information Scientist Paul Wylie Spreads His Wings or Widens His Fields
My certifications are still valid since they were earned before 2010. I did a little side gig of personal computer for a while, and I also did some volunteering.
I did volunteer for a local hospital print shop from 1987 through 1995 though. Around 2006, I talked with my family about going back to college, which started at Pulaski Technical College August of that year.
My interest at the time was Web design, which consisted of a little bit of art and logic. I took a C# programming course, introduction to web design, and other relevant courses.
Image Source: http://myeducationpoint.com/
I was hooked, writing my first webpage using Microsoft Notepad gave me inspiration. Hence, I took a visual basic programming course, learned website administration, and became very familiar with the Internet.
I graduated PTC in May 2009 with a 4.0 overall GPA. I received another certification as a certified Internet webmaster, CIW, v5 associate before starting the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in August 2009.
Subsequently, I took Java programming, learned Linux, and became a Web developer thus learning how to create databases in SQL, writing both PHP an ASP server-side script.
I Earned a Baccalaureate Degree in 2014 and Finally Became an Information Scientist
On my capstone project, I became the technical lead and server administrator for the server our project was done on. I know computers and the Web currently.
My most recent job was doing level 1 phone server troubleshooting for of Walmart Information Systems Division.
I am now a computer support technician, in server support, working for the Arkansas Department of Correction.
If you have interest in getting to know me, fill out the form on my Contact page.