I once left IT. Not because it was difficult or because I wasn't happy but because I moved with my husband's job to a small town where it wasn't really possible. We made the decision together and decided that it was only two years and perhaps that was the right time to start a family. So 2 years later with a young child I moved back to England and looked for a job. I actually discounted IT because in my mind it changed so quickly, 2 years was too long to be out.
Don't laugh at that idea, remember this was 25 years ago and we didn't have access to learning or IT at home. Working from home was unheard of in the industry and I seriously believed IT would have moved on too fast.
Anyway my local council - Gloucester - had an initiative to bring more Women into IT as they had a real shortage and that encouraged me to try. What I learnt there was the IT hard skills may change quickly but the soft skills you need stay the same. You can learn a new version of Cobol, move to UNIX, get to grips with FoxPro if you have the right analytical skills and ability to constantly take in new information.
Roll forward till today, and I am as part of what I do a teacher. Most of my presentations are about helping my audience to understand, but I also love to teach product as well. My first presentation at a user group was a Discoverer Hints and Tips session. In my new role I am going to be teaching Cloud Applications, eventually both ERP and HCM, but first I need to learn it, not just the theory but the practical side as well.
How will I know when I am ready to teach, well I need to test myself. And what I aim for is to be certified as well, if I teach something I want the class to be sure they are getting the right content and my real satisfaction is to see students go on to be experts.
So what does this have to do with UKOUG in Liverpool next month? Well I might not be ready but if there is a certification you want to take, or have one that needs updating then UKOUG are holding a TestFest with Oracle where we are offering 50% discount on exams taking during the conferences. The TestFest is open to both Tech and Apps communities.
We have chosen a career in IT which requires continuous development, and UKOUG has always strived to help you with the learning, this initiative will help with the next part of your journey, the measurement of that knowledge.
So you have 4 weeks, get studying!