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Linux for Jobs

Anthony Burton

After spending seven years in the healthcare industry, Anthony Burton was ready for a career change. On the hunt for one that would provide opportunities for growth and advancement, Anthony chose to break into the tech industry.

But first, he needed the right skills to become a tech professional. So he enrolled at Yellow Tail Tech, a company that offers tech skills training programs for those with zero IT background. His program of choice? Yellow Tail Tech’s Linux for Jobs program, one that has definitely trained him well given his current career as a Linux Systems Administrator.

Now, Anthony does not just have a career that provides him with financial stability but also one that has given him a better work-life balance and career growth.

Here’s his story.

Tell us about your background. What were you doing before attending Yellow Tail Tech?

I was in the medical field for seven years. I did a lot of logistical backroom work, working with patients and doctors and liaising with case management officers. For example, I initiated all their schedules after surgeries as well as helped with messages or any medical concerns they were having after surgery or for upcoming items.

What motivated you to explore a new career, and why did you decide to pick Yellow Tail Tech?

I decided it was time for a change because my position had limited growth. I wasn’t getting any traction for other jobs I was looking into within the company. So it became a matter of what was next. I wanted to settle in a space that I felt more comfortable in, and the tech industry had been an itch for a long time.

Information technology is so broad that I wasn’t sure where to start or where I might fit in. But like many others, after COVID-19, I had some more personal time to sit down, self-reflect, and stop making excuses and being lazy.

So, I did some due diligence. I started combing through all the IT circuits, from cyber security, cloud networking, and system networking in general, and I came across an ad for Yellow Tail Tech [Linux for Jobs program]. I didn’t know much about Linux, but I had heard about it. So, I was interested to see what this avenue of IT was about. After I listened to the spiel and got all the facts about [Yellow Tail Tech], I was sold.

How did you finance your education, and what were some of your biggest considerations when making this choice?

Finances are always what everyone worries about. Compared to many of the other programs I researched, Yellow Tail Tech offered their programs at a lower cost or around the same prices. I still didn’t have thousands of dollars to pay, but I did finance [my tuition] through the financial service that partners with Yellow Tail Tech.

You can make small payments while you’re in the program, and then you pay the larger balance after the program because the expectation is that you’ll have a job within a short period. The higher payments aren’t as bad as the other programs, where I have to pay 10 percent of my paycheck for the next two or three years.

It depends on the person, but I felt this was a better fit for me. It’s a little less extreme because you lose out on money, but it’s money you didn’t have. So it’s a win with how you want to balance that out.

What did you like about the program? Are there any highlights that stood out to you?

One of the significant things that stood out was a majority, if not all, of the instructors were people that came through the program, so it was very encouraging. Sometimes, when choosing a program, the instructor’s background is one of the questions you have to ask. Even in other programs, I’ve had interviews where some of their instructors didn’t come from the program. Some of them weren’t even in IT at all.

But my instructor at Yellow Tail Tech and all the TAs from the internship came through the same program I was in, so it was highly encouraging. It’s like letting you know that it’s possible for you to do it, too. So you get to have that kind of motivation.

How did you fit the program into your schedule?

It took a slight effort to work around me being on the West Coast and Yellow Tail Tech being an East Coast-based company. The schedule cut into my work hours but only by half an hour. I was able to shorten my work schedule by an hour on the days that I had class and just kind of ate that little bit of loss. It was a juggle but definitely worth it.

Can you give us examples of projects you worked on during the program?

We had a project where we needed to launch a certain website, and it needed to go through the production cycle of having the right images we needed for setting containers for it. It had to go through a lamp stack. We had to push it through Linux, Apache, SQL, and PHP. We had to troubleshoot other clients’ machines for malware and connectivity issues and install user management systems, like IPA and free IPA one systems.

Do you have any advice for someone considering Yellow Tail Tech’s Linux for Jobs program?

Make sure that it is something you want to do. It is a commitment. It’s not, “let me see if this is something that will work out.” It definitely takes dedication, preparation, hard work, and diligence.

I didn’t have any other backups. I needed the program to work, and it did work. If you put in the proper time and hard work, you will succeed in achieving your goals.

How did the program help you advance in your career?

I found a new job [as a Linux Systems Administrator]

How did the program support you in finding a job?

I was supported a lot. I had the internships and [guidance from] Career Success Coach Rob. I received some help with building my resume and cover letter. We had Zoom discussions that talked about what goes on in interviews. We had mock interviews. We also had conferences over Zoom, where we discussed what goes on in interviews and how to approach certain answers or questions.

Outside of that, I had access to a big network and peer group where there were people outside of the clock whom I could just reach out to and ask questions about the job market and how they went about it.

Was the job search process different from what you expected?

No, not for the most part. I was already familiar with the job search market, and I felt, to a degree, that it didn’t change too much.

Yellow Tail Tech definitely helped. They helped me prepare my cover letter and resume to get noticed better by hiring managers. They also helped me prepare to answer a set of interview questions.

How many companies did you interview at? How did you choose which one to work with?

I applied to roughly 80 jobs within about six or seven weeks after I finished the internship. I was considering three offers. It came down to the one I chose, which is based here in Los Angeles. [The location] was a factor, and it’s a hybrid job. I enjoy going in [to the office], and I work remotely as well.

Other than the financial compensation being larger than the other two offers, it also came down to the company. Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is a longstanding union. It’s the union for all actors and radio personalities across the globe. The company definitely isn’t going anywhere, and I really enjoyed the guys I interviewed with. They seemed very helpful and knowledgeable. They’re not going to just throw me to the wolves. It will be a fast learning curve, but I still get to learn on my own and from others.

How are the skills you gained from the course useful in your current career?

They’re useful pretty much everywhere. You go through the program to become a Red Hat Certified System Administrator, and that’s what my job title is. I apply everything I learned from the program—basic Linux tools and how to use them. Of course, I will expand my knowledge [over time], but I put everything I learned from the program to use at work.

What do you think is different about your life now versus before the program?

Financial stability. That’s the big one for me. It’s my number one thing to check off. Financial stability and a better work-life balance. I’m compensated well and don’t go into the office every day. I enjoy my work. It’s not repetitive. It is challenging at times but still fun as well.

I don’t feel stuck in a box where there is no growth. It’s a big relief. A big weight was removed from my shoulders after I officially became a Linux System Administrator.

What do you enjoy about working at your current company? Are there any specific perks you enjoy?

I don’t know all the perks, but I work in a hybrid setup; it’s semi-remote. So it’s nice not to have to come into the office every day. My office is in mid-city LA, next to the red tar pits and the Los Angeles Music of Arts. It’s a nice area, with good places to eat. Other than that, hopefully, I’ll have some tickets to some premieres here and there since I’m with the SAG union. But outside of that, I just enjoy my work-life balance.

Do you have any job search advice for someone considering a career in your field?

I would say to get a Career Success Coach. If you are in the program, you would be with one. [Also] while doing your job search, have a plan. I learned when I got through the Yellow Tail Tech program that there are apps and tools you can use for job tracking and postings. You get to track jobs that you’re interested in, jobs you’ve applied for, feedback [from hiring managers], or the status of your application. It definitely helps to have a plan of setting out X amount of time on X amount of days to either apply for jobs, follow up on your application, or all the above. The key is to have a plan.

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