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from security guard to linux admin

From Security Guard to Linux Engineer: Tomilayo Ayodele’s Incredible Journey

Tomilayo Ayodele hadn’t felt challenged as a security officer for a while. Luckily for her, IT will challenge her in ways that no career has ever challenged her. 

Tomilayo’s commitment to self-improvement has propelled her to new heights, making her an invaluable team member. She went from security guard to IT professional in less than a year, finding the challenge she always sought.

But how did Tomilayo get here? Read below to see how her drive led her to Yellow Tail Tech to learn what she once thought was “magic.”

The Journey Begins: From Security Guard to Linux Engineer

Before Tomilayo got into Yellow Tail Tech, she was a security officer for five years. Eventually, she grew bored, no longer finding it a challenge. She was tired of the repetitive routine and wanted to increase her pay, so she started looking for something else to do. 

Eventually, Tomilayo was introduced to Linux by a friend of her brother’s. “I didn’t know anything about IT. In fact, I never liked it; I thought it was magic.” The friend, though more interested in AWS, reassured her that, while tough, learning Linux would be very rewarding. He told her that Yellow Tail Tech would help her and make learning easier. All she had to do was trust the process.

A consultant at Yellow Tail Tech helped Tomilayo understand their Lnx For Jobs program and explained how it would work. His explanation showed her that she could do it and that learning Linux is doable despite having no background. With all that assurance, Tomilayo decided that Yellow Tail Tech was for her.

Finding a Home and Thriving in It

Starting at Yellow Tail Tech was overwhelming for Tomilayo. She had no previous experience or interest; she was scared. However, despite her doubts, Tomilayo did her best to stay optimistic and encouraged. She could do anything as long as she put her mind to it. 

Believing in herself paid off a lot because Tomilayo had grown to love Linux by the third session. She found the challenge she was looking for in a place that welcomed people with any level of experience. She was incredibly thankful for how they taught, holding her hand when she needed it and answering her questions, no matter how insignificant she thought her questions were. The instructors encouraged students too, and Tomilayo notes how it felt like home. 

Moving from Classes to Building Experience

Tomilayo is particularly thankful for her instructor, Yellow Tail Tech’s very own David Baker. He made the lessons simple, and that was especially helpful for Tomilayo. David made their twice-a-week classes fun and reinforced them with a review on the weekends. 

One particular thing Tomilayo liked was the apprenticeship. She notes how different it was from classes and how it felt like a real job. She felt like she was in an actual workplace where she could do research and apply her new skills. And more Yellow Tail Tech employees were willing to help her with any questions. 

The apprenticeship helped Tomilayo apply her skills in an authentic setting, but the mock interviews were what prepared her for her job hunt. She went through the interview practice step-by-step and did very well in her first mock interview. She didn’t do as well in the next, but she wasn’t made to feel ashamed for it. Yellow Tail Tech’s career experts helped her, and by her next mock, Tomilayo knew she’d do well in the actual interview. 

True enough, by the time she was doing actual interviews, Tomilayo was more than ready to face her fears. She interviewed with four different companies, choosing to work as a Linux Engineer at Boyd Gaming Corporation, one of the biggest casino gaming companies in the US.  

Putting Knowledge into Practice

It was an even greater help in landing a job when Tomilayo became a Red Hat Certified System Administrator. At Boyd Gaming Corporation, Tomilayo works in the IT Department, providing technical support, working with Linux servers, configuring network services, and many other things.

Being a Linux Engineer is the first job Tomilayo has had in IT, and she’s thankful for how much Yellow Tail Tech helped her. She’s happier as a Linux Engineer, more than she was as a security officer, and Tomilayo has found the challenge she was looking for in her new tech career.

And, well, Tomilayo’s happiness isn’t the only thing affected by her career change. Her financial status has improved, landing somewhere in the six figures. This is no surprise since a system administrator’s average base salary as of 2021 was $80k, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is way more compared to the average salary a security officer gets—Tomilayo’s former job. 

A Seed of Advice

Tomilayo recommends Yellow Tail Tech for anyone who wants to get into IT. “They are visionaries. They know what to do.” Tomilayo says. She emphasizes that it’s not magic, though it may seem that way at first. Of course, students will have to put in the necessary work, but it wouldn’t be worth it if it were too easy. 

But it’s doable, and Tomilayo herself proves how Yellow Tail Tech can help students in their quest for a tech career. Their instructors always answer questions, and Yellow Tail Tech is an entire community that can answer, too. Students just have to be determined, focused, and, of course, always trust the process. Tomilayo did, and any new students should, too.

The Road Ahead

Tomilayo has had quite a journey from security guard to IT professional. With her determination and hard work, she came out on top with a new passion for Linux and a new career that challenged her in ways her previous one never did. “It challenged me so well, but I’m happy I’m here today.”

We at Yellow Tail Tech wish Tomilayo a happy work experience and good luck on the road ahead! 

If you’ve been inspired by Tomilayo’s success story and want to break into tech yourself, book a 10-minute intro call with an Enrollment Advisor now!

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Silvana Zapanta

Sil brings a wealth of experience to her writing and editing projects. After nearly a decade guiding college students in research and communication, she shifted her focus to freelance writing and editing. Her passion for education continues through volunteer work, where she empowers others by teaching research and writing skills.

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