Rising generation: The future of IT is in good hands

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This feature first appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Certification Magazine. Click here to get your own print or digital copy.

The future of IT is in good hands.The last several months have been a great experience for Certification Magazine. As we have mentioned before, bringing the magazine back into print, as well as doing a complete overhaul of CertMag.com, has been a thrilling experience. Perhaps the most rewarding part of this process has been meeting the dedicated certification students and instructors at schools around the country.

Over the last several months, I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with certification students from the states of Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Utah. I am amazed at the things you are doing! Some months ago, we settled on a feature story about Johnny Carrera and Jason Espino for our first print edition. They are an amazing pair, and it was our pleasure to get to know them, and write about them in our first edition. Since then, I have been humbled to learn that there are many “Johnny Carreras” and “Jason Espinos” out there.

I hope the students of this rising generation appreciate the dedicated and talented instructors they have. I wish there was room to write about all of them. Unfortunately, time and space prevent us from doing so. Along with Lisa Oyler and Jeff Banhart, who we wrote about in this issue, there are many others every bit as deserving of recognition and praise. Marvin Schildknecht in Platte City, Mo., comes to mind. Or Liam Mulkeen in The Bronx. Joseph Ramm in Wayne, N.J., is another instructor who is doing wonderful things. I cannot list them all, or I would surely leave someone out. But you get the picture.

And the students are every bit as inspiring, because of who they are, and the things they are doing in their lives. As a direct result of the wonderful students we have met via telephone, e-mail, and in the classrooms around the country, we have decided to begin to publish frequent mini-profiles of certification students on CertMmag.com. We want to tell the good stories of what the students are doing, and this will give us that chance on a greater level.

I will never forget my visit to one of the toughest high schools in the country this spring, in the heart of The Bronx in New York City. This school has 15 full-time security personnel assigned to it, five of them armed. The students go through a metal detector and a security check before entering the school. I had the chance to speak to the class for a few minutes, and I told them that we like to tell the success stories of students in certification. Several of the class members pointed to one boy at a corner desk, and said, “Talk to him.”

As class ended, I pulled him aside for a minute, and asked him why his classmates thought I should talk to him. He raised his head, looked me square in the eye, and said, “Because I am going to succeed. I promise you that.” And I believe him. We believe in all of you, students and instructors. It is truly our pleasure to get to know you, and to tell the stories of the great things you are accomplishing.

Rocky Steele

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Rocky Steele


Rocky Steele is vice president of business development for TestOut Corporation. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the Gonzaga University School of Law.

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