My first career was as a Machinist.  Why and how did I transition to IT?  At the end of this post is a letter of recommendation from my high school vocational teacher. I consider this letter to be the start of my journey into IT.  But first, some background information. Machining is an exact science. I learned to have great attention to detail and a careful approach to a finished result. I kept these skills and incorporate them into all of my work.  I excelled in the machinist field and ended up working on computer numerical control (CNC) machines.   My employer sent me to Cincinnati Milacron for trainin in programming and operation of the CNC Milacron TC 30 horizontal mill pictured below.

Cincinnati Milacron TC30

Having studied CNC programming at the vocational school, and after the direct training, I had an edge over the programming office who usually supplied our CNC programs. I would often take the programs they provided and challenge myself to rewrite them utilizing the machine’s full potential. I could usually cut the program length by as much as 25% or more. The more efficient programs sometimes translated into higher production.  I wanted to start CNC programming full time but since I had no formal college, that was not an option.  My knack for programming sparked my eventual change of career to IT.  That journey continues.


This is the letter from my vocational school machining instructor:

Dwayne Shelton attended the Harrison County Vocational School in the Machine Shop Program.  Dwayne has completed 1390 hours and was an above average student while attending this program and would make an excellent employee in the machining field.

Marion Baldwin

Machine Shop Instructor

Harrison County Vocational School