My training experience started when I was at Hatfield Polytechnic (today, The University of Hertfordshire).

There was very little work in the UK, and a one year sandwich placement was compulsory.

I never asked “what happens if you don’t get a placement?”

An English speaking IT trainer placement was advertised in Budapest, Hungary. I applied, and was lucky enough to get it.

In a part of the world which was changing. This was 1990.

There was no freely available broadband internet, no mobile phones.

Two of us were going to Budapest. We met for the first time at Waterloo station, in London.

Arriving in Budapest on Saturday evening, it was all very new and strange. A fair bit for a nineteen year old.

Monday morning, and it was work.

I met the twenty eight students, who thought I was another student (initially).

It was challenging, difficult, tough, rewarding, enjoyable, with an amazing grin-factor, sense of achievement, when it started to work.

The first month or so was challenging, not only the job, but being in a new city, country, and environment.

I could write so much :) - but (to summarise), I was laying the foundations for a career, which I love.

Not just the training, but the practical element, the attention to detail, and the “do something you enjoy.”

The time I was there, the things I learnt, my appreciation of people, understanding something (both me and the student), and the satisfaction to successfully impart (convey a subject, code, practical, theory).

It also helps that I could fix computers, and write anti-virus software :D

Budapest is the city I love, the city which looked after me, and the place where realised how much I enjoyed being a hands-on trainer, coder, developer, engineer.

Almost thirty years later, I realise how lucky I was to get that opportunity, but, you also get out - what you put in.

Why am I not a full time trainer? Because I love coding, and infrastructure too :)