There are moments you don’t forget. I remember the first computer I used in early education, that was most likely a Macintosh LC or II, the memories are very fuzzy in 1991. I was turning 12 and entered into the middle school and was exposed to Domain Controllers that was of Windows NT 4 in 1999. Microsoft Office would follow not too long after.
I started to understand it as I got older, but really it wasn’t until my late 20s, while I am not a good coder to this day, I started to get a working knowledge of virtualization, the Internet Protocol routing, switching, and the core things that make an enterprise network function. Since most broadcast outfits here in the U.S. are IT-controlled, the approach is IP based, file-based workflows (if you don’t carry tape recorders or tape based camcorders), and running on generic servers.
Lots of people have no clue how an enterprise network should function. Too often, there’s more Linus the Tech dudes, Computer Clans, Macintosh Librarians or even Brandon Bishops of the world than people like me who have some deeper knowledge. It’s not just install Windows Server, or Linux servers, throw some random local IP address in the 192.168.1.x for thousands of devices and people to use them, it and use TP-Link switches (of which I like to call Toilet Paper) and be done with it. Don’t get me started using your Cable Modem as your “router”!
It’s not about going on Amazon and finding gear for “cheap” and use consumer grade stuff. It requires a bit of a higher knowledge and retraining the brain from going from plastic clad devices, to metal clads with fans, moving away from UPC codes to Part Numbers, the working knowledge of apps like Microsoft’s Visio and literally let go of the low-level knowledge of inter networks.
For me when I was about to turn 13, my world of tech changed, and this was a requirement to understand the things you typically see at the North and Central halls of the NAB Show, pre pandemic, or prior to 2019.
I recommend you learn Cisco’s IOS (for better or for worse), Juniper, Windows Server, etc. Along with Linux, the remains of macOS “Server”, etc. as well. Having some knowledge of how scripting works, is important as well as creating databases. Why? it helps you be well aware of your technical surroundings and maybe bond better with your IT or IS departments and prevent the berating and harassment if you can generally speak their “language”.
TechBeat was originally created to kinda bridge the technical stuff to the masses by focusing strictly on enterprise. Learning this stuff is not well documented, and figuring it out on your own is not recommended, and technical people are not humans, so using my journalistic experiences helped me figure out how to document this stuff better in a communications sense.
In short, respect the enterprise tech because you take the consumer stuff for granted.