Meet Richard Cunningham, Sr., a seasoned IT professional who has journeyed from being a computer programmer in the Marine Corps to becoming a mentor and educator with RTriad and KnowWon. Richard's story is one of commitment, resilience, and a deep desire to help others advance their careers in the world of information technology.
Richard's career in IT began during his service in the Marine Corps, where he worked as a computer programmer on the IBM 360/370 platform. This experience laid the foundation for his future endeavors in technology. Here, he learned the intricacies of coding, data management, and the importance of attention to detail—skills that would prove invaluable in his later roles.
Upon completing his military service, Richard transitioned into the civilian workforce. He took on the role of a PC/Server technician, working with both Windows and Unix systems and providing users with access to various network resources. This role allowed him to expand his knowledge of different operating systems and develop a strong understanding of network infrastructure—a crucial aspect of modern IT.
Then, as an Application Administrator, Cunningham managed critical systems such as Clearcase, Windows, Exchange Server, Office 365, and Exchange Admin Center. His responsibilities involved ensuring the smooth operation of these systems, which were essential for the day-to-day functions of organizations.
But Richard's career didn't stop there. He transitioned to become a Level 1/2 Help Desk Support technician, where he provided essential IT support to end-users. This role allowed him to refine his customer service skills while troubleshooting and resolving a wide range of technical issues. It was here that he honed his ability to communicate complex technical concepts in a simple and understandable manner—a skill that would prove crucial in his future role as a trainer.
“I found that experience alone didn't allow me to stay competitive,” shared Cunningham.
Thus, Cunningham successfully completed the KnowWon Pre-Apprenticeship Program in 2022 and continues demonstrating the first cohort's success.
“I wanted to help others get certifications that very well could help them advance while staying knowledgeable in a rapidly changing occupational field.”
With his wealth of experience and knowledge, as a Level 3 IT Support professional, Cunningham invested in guiding aspiring cybersecurity enthusiasts on their journey to becoming certified professionals. His dedication to mentorship and his passion for sharing his expertise have made him a beloved figure in the triad IT community.
In his own words, "Kevin, Clyde, Rod, and crew have been extremely supportive and responsible in assisting me in gaining the CompTIA ITF+ Certification. They have allowed me to take advantage of my many years of IT experience by sharing it with others interested in moving into Cyber Security. I am looking forward to advancing my Cyber Security and AI capabilities through their KnowWon projects."
Cunningham's journey from trainee to trainer exemplifies the transformative power of dedication and expertise. His story serves as an inspiration to all aspiring IT professionals, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning, mentorship, and giving back to the community. Richard Cunningham, Sr. has not only made a mark in the world of IT but has also enriched the lives and careers of those fortunate enough to learn from him. His legacy as a mentor and educator with KnowWon continues to grow, paving the way for the next generation of IT professionals.