Flying High in Big Data

Flying High in Big Data

Meredyth Grant

In this month’s dog tags to data tags we talk to 31-year-old Ian Goddard. He’s now a Splunk Technology Consultant but before this role he served in the Royal Air Force. In this interview we talk to Ian about the decision to leave the military, putting down routes and pursuing a tech role in the commercial sector.

Ian Goddard 2021

Full name: Ian Goddard

Age: 31

Current job title: Splunk Technology Consultant

When did you join the military? March 2009

Who did you serve with? Royal Air Force

Why did you decide to leave? I decided to leave to create stability for my family and be able to create roots in one location. But also, to better myself as I felt like I was stagnating in the military.

Once you’d signed off, how did you feel? I felt incredibly anxious but excited to be starting a new life. It’s a long time between signing off and being able to apply for jobs which creates a feeling of insecurity.

How did you tackle the resettlement process? I had pre-empted the resettlement process about 12 months prior to putting my notice in. I started researching my topics of interest and self-funding some low-level certifications such as CompTIA N+ and S+. This really helped to focus the studying and preparation once I had signed off and saved significant study time. I also started being more active on LinkedIn and TechVets to get my name out there and be heard.

Did you always want to pursue a tech career? I didn’t. I thought I would be unsuitable as my military background wasn’t technical. It was only through a chance conversation with a friend who had made the leap and advised I look at CompTIA N+ as the foundational skillset, if I enjoyed it then go for it.

What did you enjoy about the military? I enjoyed the comradery and banter. The lifestyle suited me when I was younger and had no commitments.

What qualities did it give you to survive in the outside world? The military provided a vast amount of soft skills and instilled a strong work ethic. But I think the most important skill that I learnt was the ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations whilst under intense pressure.

Do you regret leaving the military? I have no regrets in leaving. If anything, I regret not leaving sooner.

What were your main concerns when you were leaving the military? My biggest fear was not being employable within a tech role. I thought that no one would be interested as I lacked any professional experience.

Who’s been your main role model or mentor? Everyone in TechVets who had successfully made the transition were positive role models but more specifically a personal friend and TechVets member Stephen Green who helped guide me through the process and also Chris Morris who was able to identify the potential in myself and steer me into the Splunk role that I am incredibly happy in right now.

How has TechVets and the community supported you? TechVets supported me in both an educational and confidence aspect. There is always someone that can relate your concerns and there is a wealth of great advice out there.

TechVets supported me with a number of free educational courses; I benefited from Splunk Fundamentals 1, 2 and a live demonstration. I also attended a pentesting course with Samurai Security. Equally as important are the webinars and online talks that are organised, these help to focus your area of study and give you the motivation to continue on.

What advice would you give to people in the military who are considering leaving but are too scared to go through the seven clicks to freedom? Make sure you are prepared. Start studying and getting out there in plenty of time before signing off as it’s surprising how quick that clock ticks down. Hard work and a great attitude goes a long way.

What are you doing now? I’m working for Networkology as a Splunk Technology Consultant where I provide professional services to different clients.

What training or advice would you offer to others embarking on a similar resettlement journey? Knuckle down early, dedicate yourself to the cause and take every opportunity that comes your way. Never undersell yourself.