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Garth’s Path to IT: Jock, Gamer, IT Pro

Trainer Garth Schulte has been with CBT since 2001. Here, he shares how his passions shifted from football to video games to computers. 

Garth Schulte back in the day. The baby is quite a bit bigger now, and has younger siblings!

I grew up in the heartland of USA, where the only thing that mattered was football and corn on the cob. Sports was a part of my everyday being and like most young lads, figured I was well on my way to playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Twins or Chicago Bulls (my favorite teams back then).

One day all of that changed when I came home to an odd-looking machine sitting in the basement. I remember my first thought being something sports related: “Can it throw, catch or hit a ball?!” Turns out it was a Commodore 64 and I could make it do all of those things and more with the right cartridge! I was officially a gamer.

After many years of sports and gaming and sports games on PCs and gaming consoles such as Atari and Nintendo, the curiosity of how computers and games worked started to peak. I lived at the bookstore for much of my teenage years reading PC/gaming magazines and programming books.

After taking the standard computer science courses at a local community college I came across Microsoft certifications and decided they were way cooler and much more focused (and cheaper!) than a full-blown college education. From there I became a fixture at our local IT training and certification center. I was there so much they offered me a job as an applications trainer teaching MS Office, A+ and end-user Windows training. Not long after recieving my MCSD and MCDBA, I moved into a technical trainer role teaching Visual Basic 6 and SQL Server 6.5. While most of my friends still had years left in college with huge debts building and courses they were forced to take for credits, I had no debt, a great job doing what I enjoyed most and learning only what I wanted to learn… IT.

I loved training and being trained, so much I wanted to pursue my MCSE for the Microsoft certification trifecta, but didn’t have the time to attend the instructor-led classes. After some internet searching I discovered this really neat certification training site called CBT Nuggets and ordered Dan Charbonneau’s Windows 2000 Professional & Server series.

I was blown away. The idea of training whenever I want from wherever I wanted AND at a fraction of the cost made perfect sense and I was sure it was the future of IT training. After emails, phone calls, demos and Nugget trainer training, Dan signed me up as a Nugget programming trainer. So cool!

I felt the need to use my creative talents to design and build software so I went back into the field as a .NET programmer / SQL Server DBA by day and CBT Nuggets trainer by night. It was, and still is (almost a decade later), the best of both worlds. I can relay my real-world experiences through the training and demonstrations while being creative with the content. My favorite way to learn something new is to see it happen and then do it myself… it goes back to that old saying “Tell me, I’ll listen; show me, I’ll watch; let me experience, I’ll understand.” Training using all of those methods simultanesouly allows you to corner the technology or topic you’re trying to master.

As a fan, trainer and trainee I hope CBT Nuggets has changed your life as much as it has mine. A big thanks to Nuggets and to you for watching!

~Garth

Check out Garth’s series!

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