E121 - Alex Perkins at Presidio Federal13 July, 2023
On today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast, our host Harry Bailey was joined by our special guest, Alex Perkins, Senior Network Engineer at Presidio Federal. During this episode, they discuss his history in the Networking space and some of the important things he’s learnt along the way. Alex also talks about the podcast that he co-hosts “Cables2Clouds” and the aim they are trying to get out of the podcast for their listeners.
Alex’s introduction into the world of IT started in the military, where he initially served as a cook—a role he admits he wasn’t particularly fond of. Curiously, he found himself spending five years in this position before the opportunity to switch to an IT role presented itself. In the military, this role was referred to as a LAN administrator, but it closely resembled a helpdesk position. Although he didn’t engage in networking during this time, Alex’s interest in the field had already begun to take root.
Motivated by his fascination with networking, Alex decided to leave the military after a few years and relocated to Washington. Armed with his Security+ certification and SC (Security Cleared) credentials, he embarked on a five-year journey, taking up various contracting jobs in the IT industry. These experiences honed his skills and deepened his understanding of networking. Alex’s perseverance and dedication paid off when, in September 2021, he secured a position at Presidio Federal as a Senior Network Architect.
The most important thing he’s learnt…
Alex discovered that attempting to find a single answer to every networking challenge is an ineffective approach. Instead, he learned to step back and embrace the concept of building a diverse skillset. Alex recognised that by cultivating a broad range of knowledge and expertise, he could approach complex problems from multiple angles and develop more effective solutions.
With the freedom to work remotely, Alex discovered a newfound sense of independence and self-motivation. Being able to control his own environment and work at his own pace empowered him to maximise productivity and creativity. This autonomy fostered a stronger sense of responsibility and accountability, driving him to deliver exceptional results.
At the beginning of the year, Alex’s co-host reached out to him with an intriguing proposal: starting a podcast. Inspired by a podcast about podcasting itself, they recognised an opportunity to leverage the power of this medium to share their passion for networking. With a shared vision and enthusiasm, they embarked on their podcasting adventure, bringing Cables2Clouds to life.
What sets Cables2Clouds apart from other networking podcasts is its focus on a niche that has been largely overlooked. Alex and his co-hosts saw an opportunity to fill the gap, providing valuable insights and knowledge to their listeners who are eager to understand this niche.
Starting a career in networking can be an exciting endeavour, but it’s crucial to approach it with the right mindset and a strong foundation. In the pursuit of quick success, many aspiring professionals overlook the importance of building a robust understanding of basic networking concepts.
In an era of instant gratification, it’s easy to get sucked into rapid career advancement and high salaries. However, according to Alex, it’s important to take a step back and recognise that building a successful networking career is a marathon, not a sprint.
Tune in to the full episode on the 16/05/2023!