I train developers and technical instructors, create training materials, and manage teams of instructors for top financial institutions in New York. The kind that have clauses in the contracts preventing me from naming them.
Like most instructors, I didn’t set out to be an instructor. I first got a taste for training as a part-time PhD student. The ‘other’ part included running seminars and labs, which I found required a set of skills I enjoyed applying and developing. Contrary to popular opinion, PhDs cannot go on forever, and so after four years I submitted and took a post as a senior C++ developer.
Software development can be a fantastic job, and I still have development projects, but I had a hankering to apply my now latent training skills. A friend was leaving a training company in London and suggested that I consider it. Training technical skills, and getting paid for it? It didn’t take me long to apply.
My next position was still training, but I swapped London for Mekelle, Ethiopia as a VSO. Officially my title was ‘Computer Science Lecturer’, but it was closer to ‘Computer Science Department’. I ran lectures, set exams, built computer labs, and created curricula. All this, of course, in a culture that was new and alien to me.
After my two years of service, I went on to work as a freelancer, became an American citizen, set up Ignition Training, and worked full-time at Bloomberg. I have had the good fortune to teach in the UK, the US, Ethiopia, Canada, China, India, and other countries.