“Faces of the Journey” is a series that highlights individuals in the network engineering community. The journey is the path we take through our careers, and it can be very different for each of us. While the destination is important, it’s all about the journey!
Charles Uneze (network_charles) is from Nigeria, currently working as a freelance copywriter for an ISP in the western part of the country, in the city of Lagos. Back in 2013, Charles entered university to study agricultural engineering. He had applied for electrical/electronics engineering, but didn’t quite meet the marks for entry. The agricultural engineering program did not feel like a good fit for Charles, but it’s not always often for students who apply for public university to get admitted, so he took the opportunity. Private university can be easier to get into, but the cost was much more than Charles was willing to deal with. After running into some issues, in 2015, Charles made the decision to leave the agricultural engineering program to pursue something he really loved. By then he knew he had a passion for IT, reapplied for that program, and was admitted in 2016. The draw to network engineering came in the form of an IP addressing and subnetting class one semester in university. The interest only grew as Charles found like minded people on social media. He even found a Cisco Netacad instructor in the same city as him! Charles is striving to become a network automation engineer.
Lost in Networking on Twitter
Alright Charles, We’ve Got Some Questions
What advice do you have for aspiring IT professionals? IT is an intricate field where sub-fields are complicated, mixed up, and shiny. I will recommend they visit www.cybrary.it and watch a free course titled “Introduction to IT & Cybersecurity.” The course speaks about fields like System Administration, Network Engineering, Penetration Testing, etc. After they have found the field which suits their personality, it may feel like suffering when they see the books to read because they are stepping into a strong current. I want them to understand that no heart suffers when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and eternity. COURAGE IS ESSENTIAL.
What is something you enjoy to do outside of work? I watch a lot of movies. I’m currently watching a new drama series called “We Are Who We Are”. Everyone in the series is still figuring out who they are by testing boundaries. Aside from movies, I enjoy playing board games like Scrabble or strolling to clear my head at the beach.
What is the next big thing that you are working toward? The next big thing I am working towards is improving my Python, Linux, and Git skills. Currently, the big thing I am working on is understanding Computer Networking Technology via the CCNA certification. If I combine that knowledge with Python, Linux, and Git, my Infrastructure as a Code skill will be ripe to dive into certifications like Cisco DevNet without stress.
When learning something new, what methods work best for you? First, I make a list of things to be done, to avoid being misled/distracted by another shiny task. Next, I read a chapter and make highlights of new things I have learned. Then, I buy a full 60 leaves notebook where I write down summaries of highlighted texts from the book. Lastly, I lab it up, over and over again until I am comfortable with the concept. Often, I also blog about the extremely difficult topics which stress me. Blogging about it also feels like a second note taking to me, because I refine again how I have previously written the concept.
What motivates you on a daily basis? I don’t want to be imprisoned in my immediate world and get stuck with a daily routine of having the same kind of conversations with friends around me. I want to expand my mind and nurture this gift God has given to me. Also as the first son of my family, I have to carry others along and provide for their needs when it is required. So I must work hard and smart.
It’s always a fun conversation with Charles. He is very active in the “It’s All About the Journey” community and often joins the weekly happy hour chats in the Discord channel as well. I absolutely love the curiosity and enthusiasm from Charles. It’s almost like he comes to conversations prepared with questions to ask and thoughts to share. How he uses blogging as a method of studying and retaining knowledge is creative and incredibly smart. He is a very driven person who is constantly chasing his passion. If you ever get a chance to have a conversation with Charles, I strongly recommend it. I cannot wait to hear what is next for Charles!