Hello and welcome to my site, my name is Preston Liekhus
I spent 15 years in the construction industry before deciding it was time for a change. I had always enjoyed building and repairing computers so I decided I would go back to school and pursue a career in the IT industry. I went to the local community college to sign up for classes and was not for sure what path to take. After talking with the advisor, I signed up for an intro to programming and an intro to networking class. I enjoyed the networking more, so I pursued my Associates degree in Network and Systems Administration.
When I was just getting ready to finish with my associates, I decided that I might as well continue, and this time contacted a local university. I signed up for classes took the accelerated route and in 18 months had my bachelor’s degree and once again in network and systems administration. After getting my associates degree I also landed my first position in anything that was IT related, I was a phone tech, walking people through issues that mainly came down to a reboot.
It took about 4 months in that position before I realized I could build a better utility then the one we were using to answer our questions. I spent one night made a quick mockup and had a demo to the managers the next day. After that and for the next year that it would take for me to leave that position, I spent about 60% of time just working on new tools and utilities for the call center to use, 20% working on other little projects they would find for me and the remaining 20% taking calls.
I had several promising interviews, was even second for one being a network technician, I was beat out by a Veteran with 9 years’ experience doing the same job in the military. It would take a year and several interviews within that same company before I would move to my next position. I was offered the position working with the systems for the call center in a developer position. Here I was having an associates degree in network and systems administration and just 4 months from finishing my bachelors degree in network and systems administration and I had the job title of Application Developer.
I spent the next three weeks being taught everything I needed to know by the gentleman I was replacing, he was leaving for a new job out of state so there was no asking him again later. It took a few months after I assumed the position full time before I realized how much work I was actually doing every day and for what. I would spend 5-7 hours every day fixing bad records in the database that were loaded by an SSIS ETL job. I asked the lead developer that worked with those jobs and he said he looked at it before but didn’t have the time to figure out why it was messing up the records.
At that moment, I had him show me enough in twenty minutes so I could know how to look at the package. I opened the job up and realized I had no idea what I was doing after all just a few months ago was the first time I ever wrote a single SQL query or remoted into a server. I started looking at all the SQL code inside and found the coding error, put a patch in place and no more fixing records every day. I continued the same process over the following two months and soon found myself with nothing to do all day because I fixed the issues that I was manually correcting every day.
My manager saw that I was learning SSIS and had more free time, so he gave me my first assignment, create a simple left and move, four times a day just a file from point A to point B. I opened a blank package and that’s when I realized I had no idea how to actually use SSIS, I could fix query and make minor changes sure but this was something completely new.
After some assistance from Google and the senior Developer I was able to finish the package. That is when I learned that there are no good tutorials for beginners to SSIS. I spent all of my time after that learning what each thing does and how to create simple programs. A few years have passed and now that senor developer comes to me with his problems, not just for him or just SSIS, I have branched out to SSRS, IIS web services, some power bi and tableau. The rule of thumb is now if there are multiple tasks the hardest one is always giving to me.
Currently I am with the same company overseeing the original programs that I was hired on for and leading several projects at any giving time. Six months ago, I decided to go back to school and pursue my masters degree this time in Programming with a focus on databases. I figured I do not have enough going on so I might as well start a website to help cover the gaps in learning that I experienced in the beginning.