I’m happy to announce that I passed the second of the two Core exams to earn my CompTIA A+ certification today. Both were passed on the first attempt!
For those not in the know, the CompTIA A+ is one of the first certifications that many professionals in the information technology (IT) industry obtain. It validates not only an understanding of computers but verifies the ability to solve complex problems and think critically, along with comprehension of business ethics and professionalism.
Some of my skills that the A+ now certifies includes computer hardware and software troubleshooting and repair of Mac, PC, and Linux systems, including desktop and mobile:
- Configure, install and upgrade desktop operating systems, including: Windows, Apple OS X, Linux, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile
- Install and configure laptops and other mobile devices
- Install and image virtual machines (virtualization)
- Set up and troubleshoot peripheral devices (printers, A/V equipment, and more)
- Assemble and disassemble computing hardware components
- Competency with Command-Line/Terminal shells to execute advanced tasks on an administrative level
- Set up and support basic networking connections, troubleshooting and device and network issues for transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP), Wi-Fi and small office/home office (SOHO)
- Implement cybersecurity controls appropriate to helpdesk and technical support roles; Identify and protect against security vulnerabilities for devices and their network connections
- Troubleshoot and support end-user access to applications and data
- Follow best practices and operational procedures for safety, environmental impacts and communication and professionalism
I’ve been tinkering with computers since I was about 10 years old and have contributed a lot of IT support and coding for years, alongside my creative work. I’ve helped teams to save money, win awards, and I’ve generally helped to make life easier by combining art and technology to come up with new ways of thinking and solving problems.
The trouble has always been that the world too often finds it extremely convenient to pigeon-hole multi-disciplined people. It can’t be helped. Most people simply don’t have a practical frame of reference for how and why a person can develop a lot of useful skills, be competent in more than one, and find them to not only be inseparable but complementary if not identical in application.
You are only considered to be not much more than the last thing you were known to have done or what the majority of your titles on a resume translate into. Even as we have always lived in a world where creative and technology skills peacefully exist and need one another for progression and innovation to occur. And as I have a body of work readily available that demonstrates how integrated my thinking can be, and how beneficial that is.
For me, the CompTIA A+ certification is now a neon sign that can help reduce some of the skepticism and open a path to opportunities I’ve been qualified for and have been trying to land solidly for more than half of my life and the entirety of my career.
I will never apologize for or hide my creativity any more than I will my passion for technology. Both are a huge part of who I am, the way I think, and how I solve problems for others and for myself. I’ve been most successful when I use the creative tech blend — it’s just that others don’t always realize it’s happening. They usually either see creative process or technological implementation; never both.
Opportunities will be limited for what I’m best at doing but I’m thrilled to have a new path by which I can carve out a roadmap to continue doing what I love to do, while receiving a paycheck. Since it’s mostly been remained under the radar in my own use, I still don’t mind that it’s going to be a long time before the workforce catches up with more roles, titles, and descriptions for what it is that I’ve been doing all of these years.
For now, that roadmap will involve software development and perhaps interactive media as a way to keep blending these skills together. I’ve got a bit of work to do to crack open that door, too, but I’m currently expanding the tool set and working on a portfolio of more useful projects to show the creative tech mission at work. Even if I cannot find a permanent role that will allow me to do that going forward, I will always continue to work on such projects in my own time.
In the meantime, if you should have the need for someone who can offer an different way of coming at a problem sitting on your plate, don’t hesitate to drop me a line. You’ve probably always known about my creative work but, now, there’s an industry certification that hopefully clears up some of the ways I can help through technology, too. Under the hood, I’ll be using both to give you the best results possible.