Hi, my name is James McClay. I did not get a degree in computer science, and my IQ is probably pretty average. Despite that, I’ve found myself working in technology for most of my career, probably because I continue to find it fascinating. Starting this blog was a logical conclusion, as I find myself constantly searching the Internet (and other materials too) to understand technology that I come across in my
career adventures. Question Computer is just the place where I share my findings, hoping it will help or be interesting to someone else, too. If you are not a technical genius and don’t already know everything, I’m hoping you might find this site to be informative.
Boise: Booming Technopolis
In the heart of southwest Idaho is an unlikely place where you’d find a tech hub. But it’s there all the same, with some companies that you may not have heard of that are doing some pretty cool stuff. Kount, Cradlepoint, Clearwater Analytics, and TSheets, to name a few. I spent the first 5 years of my career doing Geek-Squad style home computer repair as well as a few small business clients that were gracious enough to let me handle management of their desktops, servers, and networks.
I slowly worked up from there – I now find myself now working (and enjoying it) as a sales engineer, talking to people about a wide range of tech including coding, scripting, AI/machine learning, cloud computing, software-defined networking, wireless, etc. As much as I’d like to say I understand all of those topics in-depth and can speak to them intelligently, I find myself struggling to add value to a technical conversation if my knowledge is limited (or didn’t know that topic existed before the start of the conversation). I’ve thusly come to a single conclusion about the technical side of being a sales engineer – the more I know the better.
The More You Know…
It never fails to amaze me when I discover the existence of a niche in technology where people can spend their whole careers. This concept of an ever-expanding universe of knowledge seems to apply particularly to the technology industry as a whole, where engineers frequently and continually invent new and complex ways to meet the needs of their customers. I’ve made it my mission to understand as much of it as I possibly can to make myself a valuable resource to those that I work with. And I guess there’s a competitive side of me that wants to look and sound smart.
I recently took it upon myself to learn Python programming, not a simple task despite it being regarded as one of the more simple languages to learn. When I was introduced to the concept of “modules”, or pulling in code someone else has written into your own code, I found some of the “modules” were actually mini-universes within themselves. For example I discovered TensorFlow, a machine learning module developed by Google. I could probably spend a lifetime learning its capabilities.
I received my undergraduate degree in Linguistics, for which I had to do quite a bit of writing. But that’s pretty much the only skill I bring to the table here, other than my tenacious Googling for answers. Since I have no formal education in IT, computer science, data science, networking, mathematics, statistics, engineering, or any other cool field like that, you should probably read any of my blog posts with a sizable grain of proverbial salt. I can’t make any guarantees that what I write here is any good, in fact I’d sincerely appreciate it if you have expertise in an area that I posted on, and I clearly fudged it, please call me out! Comment or use the contact form, and don’t worry about being polite, I’ve been wrong many times before and I’ll be wrong many times again. It’s all part of the adventure.
Thanks for stopping by!
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