So ‘I’ followed a path …

The title was inspired from Friday sermon with the title “So He followed a path”

The sermon was telling a story about Dhul-Qarnayn (some culture referred him as Zulkarnaen or Zulkarnain) where God bestowed him with knowledge and wisdom, numerous tools and abilities to use them, the means to practically achieve any goal he set out for. Dhul-Qarnayn expanded the blessings he was given and invested in them in the best of ways, by helping others, making things easy for them and entering joy and contentment into their hearts.

The short intro above hit me with a very similar story of my life. I have traveled far and wide to many countries and a few continents. There are work (or ‘job’) that was bestowed to me and yet I survived all those work with various titles. And yes, I applied for those jobs and passed through it with my own amazement that “I can do it!” (thank God I can do it!!!)

Like many fresh graduates all over the world, I graduated without any plan or certainty on what will I do after I earned my Bachelor in Computer Science from Bina Nusantara. I was doing two part-time jobs (IT staff in a securities firm and Physics Lab Assistant in my high school) during my final year. A few months before I graduated, I worked as an Information Systems Teacher and then shifted as Network and System Administrator in one of an international school in Jakarta. Those jobs were between 1997 to 2000. A short three years which brought me to know hundreds of people (mostly high school students), and I came to know that I have a passion for education, troubleshooting, and technical solution.

Come the challenging years from 2000 until 2004, I migrated to Malaysia to work in one of Australia’s university offshore campus. Started off as IT Staff, then promoted to IT Technical Officer, then promoted as Senior Technical Officer, then closing my last few months as IT Acting Head of Department before heading out to Australia. During those years, I gained more knowledge about server rooms (which is known today as ‘data center’), networking, storage, and security on the technical side. I gained experience in more teaching, communications, handling management tasks, and other soft skills required for an engineer to be able to strive through their career (and seldom taught or delivered in school or universities).

The three-years following 2004, between 2005 to 2007, I have lived in various roles including Unemployed, Business Owner, TAFE Teacher, and Network and Security Engineer. I then head to the USA in late 2007 to pursue the job as in one of the former leading networking giant. During those years, I gained a broad knowledge of running a small business in tech and system integration, bidding for a government tender, teaching (again!), and architecting client’s network and security solution.

My years in the USA existed between late 2007 to early 2017, nearly a decade worth of working in various bay area tech companies. The role that I landed covers QA Engineer, Global Field Service Engineer, and two Technical Support Engineer roles in one of the most dynamic optical carrier hardware maker and the pioneer of Content Delivery Network. Throughout those years, I have learned a lot of soft skills such as proactively break stuff, negotiation with the customer (asking for them to ‘sign’ the work completion – related with payment šŸ˜› ), providing the best technical knowledge to support various customer, including VIP customer (who should not be named here), and I closed my chapter in the USA to move to one of the middle east countries. There were times when I was in-between jobs and I was lucky enough to land a sneak peek of containerized solution (today, we have heard about Docker, Kubernetes, and other micro-services for dice-and-slice a service into smaller modular inter-working of a solution)

Since early 2017 until now (July 2019), I resided in Abu Dhabi (the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai is not ‘everything’ about UAE!!!). I have engaged in Big Data ever since as both QA Engineer and [Dev|Tech] Operations. I have applied what I have known on both technical and soft skills. I am heading towards more learning in this Big Data and AI domain, with a lot of unknowns to conquer.

What I was trying to highlight above is not a mere role, jobs, and duties that I have had. What amazes me was the similarities with Dhul-Qarnayn receiving a wealthy sum of knowledge and tools, and yet he applied it everywhere he goes with the objective of helping others. That was his ‘path’.

Whilst, my path is where the wind blows. I have been free-roamer worldwide with so many more countries and places to explore. I am here now in UAE is God-given ‘path’ carved since before the day I was born until the day I die.

There were many-many things that I have done for other people, be it willingly or dutifully, in order to appease, help, cheer, or even a simple helping hand. Many of them come with a bonus from me known as ‘smile’. I have been told that I am a cheerful, funny, easygoing, happy-go-lucky, helpful, kind, and all those nice words mentioned to or about me. I would say “THANK YOU!” for all your kind words oh people of the world.

There are friendship formed, families bonded, relationship created (and broken), but all in all, I believe I have left mark somewhere with many people that I have worked, met, hangout, dining, alley-chat, or even a simple smile in the elevator, public places, or many more strange and unknown places where my path have crossed someone else’s in mysterious and beautiful way.

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