Lavall Woodhouse separated from the United States military in 2004 after being stationed in Mannheim, Germany and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Like most veterans, Lavall had just come off of deployment and had little idea about what to do with his life after serving our country.
“There wasn’t really a whole lot of support in the idea of transitioning from the military to the civilian world, it was kind of like you’re on your own,” Lavall said.
Watch Lavall tell his story about training at LeaderQuest Dallas in his own words below:
Homeless and Directionless
Unfortunately, many of our veterans are lost upon their return, lacking a compass to lead them to success in the country they have been navigating the world to protect. LeaderQuest is here for that exact reason, to be a compass for individuals and lead them to success through IT training.
Lavall was in desperate need of guidance and had found himself in unfortunate circumstances leading up to his time at LeaderQuest Dallas. “When I first came to LeaderQuest, I was trying to rebuild in a sense. I was homeless, and I didn’t have a job.”
This is all too common, veterans 18-30 are twice as likely as the general population to become homeless.
The Start of a Brighter Future
Lavall was directed towards LeaderQuest Dallas by his vocational rehabilitation counselor who presented him with different training opportunities. He decided to go with LeaderQuest’s short-term certification training program and in 2016 and began his journey towards a fulfilling career in IT.
“My first impression was positive. Everybody that I had met had a great attitude in the idea that they were glad to have me there, and those attitudes were a large part of my choice”.
Once he passed the certification exams, he then faced the next challenge of finding a job. Luckily, LeaderQuest was already one step ahead of him and ready to ease him into this next phase with one-on-one guidance from Erika Ofurum, LeaderQuest Dallas’ Employment Development Manager (EDM). “She sat down with us and started to learn about what we were into, what kind of backgrounds we had, and what kind of certifications we had. That’s when I started to get really confident,” Lavall went said. “She really rekindled that fire for me. That was exciting.”
Getting a Job with Amazon
Lavall’s excitement was intensified as more companies started to reach out to him. His hard work finally culminated in a job offer from Amazon to work for their web services team. About a year later, we asked him if he liked his new job. He told us, “I love it!”
“We all have this idea of wanting to be GREAT. That thought is within all of us, you just have to find it and then realize it.”
Cyber Security Training at LeaderQuest
There are times when we are alone and lost and there are times when we guide each other as human beings to find ourselves and our purpose. Lavall’s will had gotten him through the trenches of the military and his determination propelled his future into a fulfilling career.
Lavall served our country, fell down, and rose up to a bright new future. His situation is a perfect example of why we exist and what drives LeaderQuest employees to deliver the highest quality of service. LeaderQuest and Lavall will always be connected by his story and the continued story of how we plan to change thousands more lives through short-term training, certifications, and guidance.
Despite the fact that the cloud’s revolutionizing everything, the good news for IT professionals is that the vast majority of their skills aren’t being outdated.
Companies still need skilled developers, talented project managers, and data analysts.
But those working for cloud companies will be expected to take their skills to the next level… to be on the cutting edge of both tech and business.
But taking an extra course to stay on top of the cloud is well worth it… jobs for cloud companies are hot right now.
There’s loads of meaningful, cloud-based tech startups that will turn into giant companies in the future, and they’re hiring the people who will build their companies to their full potential.
But just having the bare minimum of skills and education to coast by for the rest of your career isn’t going to work. Because the cloud combines tech and business sense, you’ve got to know both to get your foot in the door at one of these fast-growing companies that could turn into a rockstar tech career.
But before you go signing up for any random IT certification just so you can look better on paper, consider the top 6 IT skills cloud companies are hungry for so you can decide which one fits best with your dream job and which will set you apart the most from your job-hunting peers.
1. App Development
Even if you’re not a developer, a rudimentary knowledge of mobile and cloud-based computer app development can go a long way in truly understanding the depths and inner workings of a cloud business.
The cloud lets single end users and businesses access the applications they need to get work done from any device, anywhere in the world with an internet connection (part of the BYOD phenomenon). So a basic knowledge of what it takes for apps to function well on any device is more than appreciated by everyone in the business.
At the end of the day, there’s only one reason cloud companies are going so well—and that’s business.
Going to the cloud is one of the best business decisions a company can make, but a lot of legacy software companies (and their customers) still have a problem adapting to the idea of using the cloud and its inherently different payment models, not wanting to fix what isn’t broken.
Even a basic understanding of business and finance will help you to make the case for deployment to the cloud.
Hint: A lot of cloud-based companies like to hire business liaisons who speak IT and business languages to help get both sides of the company on the same page.
4. Data Analysis
Big data is something that’s gaining traction in almost every industry you can think of—from finance to environmental issues to farming to marketing trends and crime fighting—big data, if properly sorted for analyzation, can give a business the keys it needs to unlock success faster than ever before.
Cloud companies love data because it doesn’t require the possible mishaps involved with best guesses and intuition. It gives them answers about what to do and how successful a certain move will be.
Employees who know how to design the systems to track relevant data from the cloud in an efficient way are incredibly valuable, but so are those who know how to take that data, run the numbers and actually do something with it that leads to smarter business decisions.
5. Security & Compliance
On the cloud, more so than on a private company-based server, security is a huge issue.
No company wants their data stolen, lost or hacked.
First and foremost, every employee at a cloud company will need to know what their security protocols are, so if you know more of the reasoning behind those protocols, you’ll be seen as far less of a potential liability.
But beyond just the basics of keeping information secure, there’s some compliance regulations set by each industry that a cloud company serving that industry would also have to follow. For example, if your company handles the financial data of individual investors, you’ll need to know what risks exist and how to diminish them.
At another level, there’s also national and international mandates for data handling such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley that each company has to follow no matter their industry.
6. Project Management
Whether you’re working on a project that will move a company from old-school software into cloud computing, or you’re working on projects specifically for a cloud-based company, knowledge of the project management process helps a lot.
For example, knowing where and how to avoid scope creep and keeping projects on-budget and on-deadline while doing the best work possible usually isn’t possible without some meticulous, advanced planning. And taking a project management course helps you learn how to do that planning and work with your actual project manager to get things rolling in the right direction and not be a hold up.
The Actual Tools that Are Hot Right Now in the Cloud
Rick Blaisdell, CTO of Motus, made a list of the top basic skills cloud companies are looking for. Among them, he mentions:
• Development languages like Perl, Ruby on Rails, Python and Java
• Puppet and Chef
• Database skills like MySQL, Hadoop and Cassandra
• Vendor skills for Amazon Web Services
90% of Companies Use the Cloud – It’s Time to Get on Board
According to CompTIA’s 2014 cloud computing survey, a whopping 90% of companies in the United States use cloud computing in some form or another, and 60% of companies want to expand their hiring to bring on employees to help them transition from traditional software technology to cloud computing.
By getting on board with cloud-based knowledge and expanding your understanding and skill set, you’ll be on par with what the industry needs, and your career path will thank you.