As we head into the long weekend, celebrating the Queens Platinum Jubilee in the UK, I wanted to announce some more great news about a new business venture I will soon be embarking on. But before I do that, I want to set the scene with a quick tour through the history of my tech journey.
When I think about where and when my journey with technology started, I always think back to the time when my mum brought home a big white box and a massive screen. I was about thirteen years of age (if that) and at the time I was a curious little boy that had a passion for exploring how things worked. So as soon as I saw this new piece of technology in my house, I immediately wanted to see what this ‘new thing’ was that my mum had brought home. Unsurprisingly, not long after my mum had set this thing up, I was hounding her with a bunch of questions with the intention of being able to get on this thing and have a go. Now, I wasn’t totally new to what this ‘new toy’ was because we had a limited number of them in my school at the time and seldom had the opportunity to access them but to have one at home was rare at the time. To put this into perspective for those that are a little too young to remember the ‘massive screen and the white box’, these consisted of a CRT monitor and a PC tower. I felt like a privileged child with personal access to a PC at home; the tower came equipped with a floppy disk drive, less than half a gigabyte of RAM, a CPU and very limited storage and I remember that it didn’t have a CD drive because these were still fairly new at the time and a lot more expensive when compared to today’s prices (should you still need one).
After convincing my mum, I soon got some alone time on the computer and that is the point at which my IT journey started. I didn’t want to get off this thing, I was fixated and most often than not, my parents would have to tell me multiple times before I actually got off the computer. When asking my mum where she had got this computer from, she had told me that she had built it on a course that she attended; I couldn’t believe it and at this point, I believed that she was some sort of undercover rocket scientist 😅. This made me even more curious because I wanted to do the same thing at some point! But first I wanted to understand the capabilities of this thing and keep in mind, that I didn’t even understand the concept of the Internet at this point. I logged into this Windows 98 system and started exploring day by day, creating my own account and playing built-in games. Given that I was always on the computer at this point, my mum tasked me with installing software from floppy disks and eventually we got to a point where we had software that had to be installed from a compact disk but we didn’t have a CD drive. This software would allow us to access the Internet and so immediately, I wanted to get a CD drive. Within the same week, we went to the local retailer where we purchased our first CD drive. Shortly after making the purchase and getting the CD drive back home, it became apparent that nobody in my family was entirely sure how to get this thing connected to the PC. I jumped to this opportunity as it was a chance for me to explore the inner workings of this PC at the same time; the very next day the CD drive was installed and working as expected. I was proud of myself and began to wonder whether I was some sort of gifted rocket scientist too 😂. Anyway, I digress! Once the Internet software was installed, strange noises would occur when connecting to the Internet and mum and dad wouldn’t be able to use the phone while the Internet was turned on. If memory serves me right, the Internet service providers we had at the time were Blueyonder and AOL (for the vets out there 😉). For anybody that wants to reminisce or hear what those ‘strange noises’ sounded like check this out here. The funniest recollections were connecting to the Internet while my parents were on the phone, they would shout up the stairs and say “I’m on the phone, get off the Internet” and yes they would hear that sound over the phone if they were on it; this was called Dial-up broadband. This didn’t deter me as I was adamant about spending as much time as possible on the Internet. In fact, it got so bad (for my parents) that they could no longer be on the phone as much anymore because I was always on the Internet.
The Internet became a world within a world for me, and I loved it. I explored the world wide web, entering chatrooms, trying to download files and even listening to downloaded music from websites such as Limewire. Over the years, computers became more widespread and more and more of my friends got them at home, allowing us to connect and chat over programs like MSN Hotmail. Speaking to my friends online without having to physically go to their houses to see whether they wanted to play out was like a magic trick; we loved it. My knowledge of computers, how they worked and the Internet grew each day over the years and I became the go-to guy inside and outside the family for any computer-related questions or help that was needed.
As years went by and technology advanced, my love for technology only grew but when I finished school, I never aspired to work within the technology industry. Now that I think back, it was as though the technology was more of a hobby for me and I’d never been exposed to people or careers in this field therefore it was never a consideration or something I deemed possible. This led me to experience many different jobs outside of IT and often working pay cheque to pay cheque doing jobs that I didn’t enjoy. Nevertheless, I did attain many skills and experiences along the way that have been transferable, many of which have proved useful and shaped me into the person I am today.
I still wasn’t happy though! I wasn’t getting any real satisfaction from these jobs, my curiosity wasn’t being sparked and I wasn’t been challenged to grow personally and professionally. It was around 2012, after a short sprint in the Royal Marines where was discharged from training on medical grounds when I decided it was time to start taking control of my life and the things that I want. I thought long and hard about the things I was good at and what I wanted in life and came up with two things. These were entrepreneurship and computing! I’d always been good with computers and technology and I questioned myself as to why I’d never had a job where I could use my skills in this area. Furthermore, I’d always considered myself a leader and someone that wanted to be an entrepreneur but again, I’d never taken that leap of faith. It was time to change my mindset and explore these two areas to a further degree and so in 2012, I set up my first company; a commercial and domestic cleaning company and at the same time, I applied for an undergraduate computing course at my local college.
To cut a long story short, the business went great and grew tremendously over the years that it was running and similarly, at the same time I managed to graduate with my BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Systems Support with a First Class Honors. At this point, I decided it was time for the next phase in my life and so decided to solely focus on my career within the IT space, and I’m glad that I did because it’s been going great. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all been plain sailing but along the way, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and the industry and one thing that I’ve continued to do ever since getting my first computer at home is help people. Whether it’s part of my job or in my spare time, I’ve realised that one of my traits is to help and teach people and I find that I get great satisfaction in doing so.
Throughout my journey within the IT industry to date, I have helped motivate, inspire and educate people looking to get into the industry and those looking to increase their skillsets. Whether this has been through my blog, YouTube, in-person talks, virtual talks or courses that I’ve delivered, I have thoroughly enjoyed it, but there are also a couple of things that I have picked up on along the way. As an experienced cyber security professional, I now find that I am inundated with new positions almost every day but it wasn’t always like that. I’ve worked hard and probably harder than some to get to where I am today and continue to do so today. Throughout my journey, I’ve encountered times where I’ve been the ‘odd’ one out i.e. the only coloured person or the only one from Bradford or the few from a non-ivy league University…the list goes on and I always wondered why until I understood the industry more. Now don’t get me wrong, I love who I am, where I’m from (City of Culture 2025 🎉) and the achievements I’ve acquired to date but I’ve come to the conclusion that more needs to be done to diversify the industry as a whole. Over the years, I’ve spoken with and met talent that just don’t get the same opportunities as others despite having the same, if not more skills and this is often because they’re just not seen due to some of the points highlighted above.
I want to change this; I want to play my part in making the industry better and more diverse by tapping into this unrealised talent. I understand the importance of diverse workforces and the benefits of them and therefore I have created a new recruitment business; Neicom Recruitment. This vision also allows me to continue my mission to help as many people as possible and in a time of hybrid and remote work where physical boundaries no longer exist, I believe that there is no better time than now to connect talented job seekers to great companies that understand the possibilities of diverse workforces. My experience and skills in the industry have allowed me to form a blueprint that my company can follow to ensure that we match the best talent to the most suitable companies based on their experience, skills and in line with the requirements of the business. This will also allow me to continue my current role in Cyber Security and my activities beyond work. We plan to start by providing services within the UK before quickly expanding to Europe and the US as we grow. What makes this business more meaningful to me is the fact that it has started as a family run business with a range of diverse skills that will help take this business in the right direction and better serve the people that we work with.
We hope that you now have a good idea of my new business venture and its intentions. However, by now you may be asking yourself “why the history lesson about your journey into IT?”. Hopefully, by this point, not many of you have this question in the back of your mind but if you do, let me summarise. The reason for introducing my background was to express my passion and understanding for what I do and why I’ve decided to embark on this journey, it’s not just business, it’s also personal!
We are in the final preparation phases of the business and are looking forward to officially launching but until then we would like to connect with as many job seekers and businesses as possible. We welcome any engagement from businesses with open positions or upcoming positions and similarly if you’re an individual open to new IT opportunities please contact us. Finally, thank you to all that have supported me and have already reached out expressing your interest to work with us and we look forward to embarking on this journey with you.