Hello, my name is Derek and I'm a geek. I've been playing with computers for about 10 years now. I'm 23 and I am not sure which area of IT I would like to specialize in. I hope some of you may have some advice for me.
I convinced my parents to buy a computer in 1999. I spent all of my time on the computer and eventually learned how it worked and how to fix them. I learned HTML and had my first web page up at the age of 15. When I was 16 I started toying around with QBASIC and learned the very basics of programming. A year later I started learning the basics of VB and played with it for a little while.
When I was 17 I got my hands on a Linux disc (Mandrake 8!) and I have been a Linux / FOSS advocate ever since.
After high school I studied computer engineering for one year before dropping out to get a job. I enjoyed college, but I slacked off and fell way behind. I would not have dropped out if I could do it over again.***
After dropping out I got a job working as a remote Jr Linux system admin for a web hosting company in LA. That job was enjoyable however repetitive and very slow at times.
After about nine months of working as a remote jr linux admin I went to work for a Wireless ISP. I was mostly a tech support person, but I also got to go outdoors (tower climbing, customer installations) and play with a few servers.
After this I did some freelance computer work and web development for some clients around town.
I now work as an IT Technician for a medium-sized business in the city. I can't complain about the position, I get to do a little of everything.
Hence the problem - I am worried that if I continue doing a "little of everything" I'm never going to be really valuable and never really make a decent living at what I do.
I am interested (or maybe not interested) in too many topics. I'll list them below. I cannot pick one to concentrate on and learn.
I go back and forth from wanting to learn one thing from wanting to learn another. For example, I started to tackle a Testout Training CD for the CCNA Certification without finishing, then I started training on Win 2008 Server / Active Directory without finishing, and now I have a Learning C# book on my desk!
I'm interested in everything, however I realize I cannot do it all.
Running my own business has also been a dream for several years. But we're back to the fact that I'm not a specialist in anything and steady income is VERY important to me right now.
What Interests me:
Web Development - PHP/ASP/RoR
App Development - C#
Databases - MySQL
Has anyone out there experienced a similar situation when not having a clue about what they want to specialize in?
*** Yes, I have considered going back to college and I plan on going back at some point. Probably next fall if time and money permits.