Kevin Apolinario, better known as Kevtech IT Support on Youtube, brings his teaching skills to Hacker Valley to talk about the barriers to entry in IT. Disheartened by the lack of good advice given to him as he entered the tech world, Kev breaks down programs and concepts, such as helpdesk, for IT practitioners that may not have access to expensive equipment or formal education. Anyone can learn IT, and it’s Kev’s mission to help everyone find the method and the teacher that helps them learn the best.
[00:00] Forming Kevtech IT Support to give the right IT advice
[07:21] Helpdesk success through customer service skills
[11:49] Printers on VPNs and other major IT troubleshooting lessons
[15:56] Customizing teaching and learning experiences for each IT practitioner
[19:54] Better IT and cyber online communities through shared passion
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What was your inspiration to start teaching as Kevtech IT Support?
Kev hardly had a traditional journey into IT, instead having jobs in the restaurant industry and law enforcement before even considering entering the tech world. When Kev became a Field Technician for the Department of Education and began learning the ropes of IT, he realized there weren’t resources available for someone of his background to learn simple concepts or master common technical programs. After dealing with the frustrations of education gaps and unreliable advice, Kev decided to be the person for new IT technicians to learn from.
“My journey was rough, because I didn't have anyone guiding me, I didn't have anyone telling me what certs to get. I didn't have anyone telling me the tips and tricks for starting in IT.”
Was it intentional to interweave your name and brand and have them be synonymous?
Hacker Valley feels synonymous with Chris and Ron’s branding for themselves, and Kev maintains a similar element of that with Kevtech IT Support, especially considering he weaves his name directly into his branding. For Kev, this was an entirely purposeful decision, born out of his own desire to be known as Kev, the helpdesk IT guru on YouTube. Building a brand with authenticity about who he is personally and professionally shows other IT professionals that their work or education experiences don’t have to be separate from who they really are.
“That was on purpose for me because I always wanted to be known as the helpdesk guru of IT. Someone that does IT superbly and helps everyone…I wanted to actually show people real-life experiences.”
How would you go about having a tough conversation with somebody whose passion isn’t in IT or cyber?
Some people are just in it for the money, whether that “it” is IT or cybersecurity. Considering the spotlight being placed on cyber labor shortages and tech skills gaps, many professionals have considered joining the field without the passion to support their new job shift. Although Kev believes everyone should be welcome to learn about IT, he understands that there’s a cause of concern in making IT all about the money. The industry needs passionate individuals, Kev explains, and the desire to learn needs to be present when you take that next step into IT.
“I'm sorry, but this field is not for everyone. If you're going to work helpdesk, or IT support, you need to know how to deal with customer service, you need to know how to deal with people.”
What piece of advice would you have for cyber or IT professionals looking to level up their community?
From Kev’s perspective, gatekeeping isn’t just mean, it’s legitimately harmful to the IT community. IT professionals can’t level up without leaders willing to step up and teach their knowledge. Hiding IT tips or tricks doesn’t save careers, it only succeeds in hurting other IT practitioners and negatively impacting customers relying on that expertise. Kev advocates for increasing transparency within the IT and cyber communities, and explains that gaining knowledge should be valued more than capital gains by practitioners and professionals.
“I believe in helping the community, I believe in sharing your knowledge. So, the more engaged you get with the community, the better it is for everyone.”
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