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Navy vet discovers strategic persistence pays off

After spending over 4 years working in the Marine Electrical Industry for the US Navy, Darryl Davis was yearning for a change. He found that his body couldn’t keep up with the harsh working conditions that the industry demanded of him. He began exploring his options. He knew that he enjoyed working with tech. He was always the go-to person for tech support with his family and friends and enjoyed tinkering with his own network at home so he figured this would be a good place to start.

Darryl signed up for a bootcamp and learned a bit about Software Development. He had a nagging feeling and constantly struggled with not feeling good enough to work in tech. He didn’t feel confident enough to be compensated for his skillset. An unfortunate and common occurrence for people!

He received a newsletter from the VA (Veterans Affairs) that highlighted a blog post about VET TEC. After doing some research he decided that TLG IT Careers’ Network Development Engineer Program would be the perfect fit to use his VA benefits. 

Once accepted into the program, the real work began. His dedication to this new path for his life was evident. He had to travel up to 100 miles every day just for his commute! He spent several months head down studying hard.

After the program, he was able to secure a job with ISOutsource, but not the job that he initially applied for. His persistence with following up after his interview and willingness to learn impressed the ISOutsource team and they offered him the position of Remote Engineering Support Technician. 

Darryl’s dedication to putting in the work for his new career path continues to inspire the TLG IT Careers team! Read more about his journey in our full interview with him below.

What were you doing before joining the program?

Prior to joining TLG I was doing electrical work on crab/fishing boats that were in-port for maintenance. Very hard physical labor but it was a high-paying job that allowed me to support my family. I’ve always enjoyed tinkering with tech and doing experiments in my home networking lab. I am also the tech support for most of my friends and family.

Did you know which route/direction you wanted to go in before starting (software vs. network)?

I have experience in software development via coding bootcamps and in my personal life creating solutions to problems or workflows, but I never felt confident enough to demand compensation. I felt that network development fits in my wheelhouse. I enjoy working with hardware and physically putting things together. There’s also potentially more travel involved with Network engineering, that’s something I value.

Did you have any hesitations and doubts about joining the program? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?

I always had that feeling that I wasn’t ‘good enough’ to work in tech. I entered TLG with a positive outlook. After seeing others in my cohort with similar backgrounds and shared experiences as myself I didn’t feel like such an imposter.

What was the biggest challenge for you during the program?

The commute. It was almost 100 miles a day. I couldn’t have done it without my carpool buddy, and now friend. 

What did you enjoy the most during the program?

The wide range of instructors all have decades of industry knowledge that they were happy to share with us. The Career Development sessions were also an amazing resource to prepare for the job search.

What would you say to someone debating on joining the NDE IT Pre-Apprenticeship?

You should do it! Be prepared to study hard for a few months.

If you had one piece of advice for someone newly entering this program, what would it be?

Don’t struggle with anything alone. Talk it out with your cohort, do study groups, and totally immerse yourself in the process.

What did your job search look like?

I blocked out a few hours a week to look through job postings. If they looked interesting and I, for the most part, qualified, I would reach out to someone at that company working that job title on LinkedIn to get some insider knowledge that might give me an advantage during the interview process. Then, I would tailor my resume to highlight their required and recommended skills.

Why did you start working for ISOutsource? And what do you enjoy most about it?

I originally interviewed for an Infrastructure Engineer position at ISOutsource but I lacked the industry experience needed. I followed up post-interview and answered all of the questions I struggled with during the interview and thanked them for the opportunity. They turned around and offered me a position as a Remote Engineering Support Technician.

ISOutsource is an IT consulting company that provides solutions for hundreds of vastly different companies and businesses. This is what I like the most about ISOutsource. I’m able to get my hands on so many different technologies to grow my knowledge base and make myself much more marketable. ISOutsource was also appealing because they’ve promoted over 30% of their staff in 2022 as well so there’s lots of growth potential.

Is there anything that you would have done differently on your path to tech?

I wish I had started earlier.

Is there anything surprising to you about working in tech that you didn’t expect? If so, what?

Not everyone has the answers right away, and for the most part THATS OKAY.

What’s in your future? Future goals, etc?

I’d like to hone my skills so I can grow into a better engineer.


Congratulations, Darryl! Your journey is relatable to many vets wishing to get out of labor intensive jobs. The dedication and persistence to your career in IT is admirable on so many levels. We are wishing you continued success for many years to come. 

To learn more about your options with TLG IT Careers, visit our site or schedule a meeting with one of our Educational Consultant to discuss your unique needs and to determine if an IT apprenticeship or IT pre-apprenticeship is right for you!