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The dream job at NTNU

Kyrre Liaaen

– To be honest, I though it was beyond me, so I was delighted to get a job at the NTNU IT Department.
Name: Kyrre Liaaen
Age: 30
Section: NTNU IT Department, Network Section

Eight months later, he is still very pleased:

– I took the job for the money, jokes Kyrre Liaaen.

– After all, I come from Sunnmøre! Seriously, though, I really enjoy it here. It has been a dream of mine for years.

It all began in a basement

His history with computers began at home. At the age of 10, he got more or less unrestricted access to his family's 286 PC in their basement. Home PC's were unusual back then, and it was expensive:

– It cost eleven thousand, which was a lot of money back then.

Most of his computer colleagues were drawn to their profession through games like Nintendo and Amiga.

– I recently won a Playstation at an exposition. It's the first game console I've ever owned!

He admits that he has played his fair share of computer games, though.

Linux became the deciding factor

In secondary school he wanted to be a programmer.

– Don't ask me why. I knew nothing about the IT business.

He believes Linux is part of the reason for his interest in computers. 

– The user friendliness was so bad, I had to learn a lot. Enthusiasts like me think that's fun.

In upper secondary school, he chose to take system development as one of the subjects. After his compulsory military service and an exiting year in the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo, he applied to universities in the UK, because he had missed the application deadline in Norway. His girlfriend came along to study ergonomics.

The good student emerged

– My average grade from upper secondary school was around 3. But I graduated from The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen with top grades! Interesting subjects really got me going.

He was lucky, and got the only position for professional training available at the university. Or was it luck? He had worked there for free the previous summer, just to have something interesting to do. That way he had been able to demonstrate his knowledge and enthusiasm for the profession.

Employed at a Scottish university

On the day of his last exam, he went to a job interview with the university IT department. The Norwegian was offered the job, and stayed for two years. At that point, both he and his girlfriend wanted to go home. They decided on Ålesund, where both of them had lived previously. There were not a lot of IT jobs, but after a few months of job hunting, he got a position in Sykkylven. In a small but innovative company, he was tasked with working with customers.

– I learned a lot, and it gave me a much better understanding of the users' situation. This is something that I've really utilised: Interacting with, not addressing – you have to cooperate with your customers.

Always admired NTNU

"Do you want to work with the NTNU network?" the job advertisement read.

– I told myself: YES! For me, NTNU is in a league of its own. It has a good name and a great reputation. NTNU is in the forefront of technology, research and development. I knew their IT services had to be at a high level, and that it would be an exiting job opportunity.

No network

Moving to a new city was a bit scary.

– That's when colleagues are important. It has been better than what I could ever hope for. I chose to be a part of an office landscape with lots of colleagues, and this has been an advantage. Not just professionally, but socially as well.

– A computer geek like me – who thinks about IT twenty-four-seven and dreams about computer solutions at night – has to do other things as well, like doing nature photography or reading crime novels or sci-fi. Or cooking.

The IT road ahead

– A good day at work? It is one when I am able to find solutions. The pieces of the puzzle fit, everything falls into place.

Kyrre sees good opportunities in the department for many years to come.

– I'm not as hung up in flashing lights and technology anymore. There are a lot of interesting projects. I might seek further education in project management, or perhaps management training. There are so many opportunities.

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