A Fresh Idea: How to Transition Military Veterans to a Life in IT

A Fresh Idea: How to Transition Military Veterans to a Life in IT
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Brian Knight is founder of Pragmatic Works, a non-profit training and preparing military veterans and others for a life in IT.

With military personnel returning from two wars still being fought in the Middle East, we may have expected something different from the two presidential election campaigns that were entangled in a lot of blaming and, as we learned over time, did not exactly stick to the truth when their vision for the future of this country was presented.

Perhaps, it is not the negativity they veterans need, but an uplifting spirit to prepare them for a civilian life. Fortunately, there are energetic private initiatives that feel like a breath of fresh air.

Meet Brian Knight, founder of Pragmatic Works, who is training and preparing people in need for a life in IT, free of charge.

They say the most successful companies are built in the most challenging times. It is something that applies to Brian Knight's company.

About five years ago, when the economic climate was already turning toward a recession, he founded Pragmatic Works, tools training and services around Microsoft products. In his words, the idea is to "democratize" technology and enable a broader base of people for entry into a technology career. Within five years, he has grown the company to 100 employees and says that he is growing it by 100 percent year after year.

However, only one part of Pragmatic Works is the for-profit business; the other part is a non-profit called Pragmatic Works Foundation. and it is helping people to get into IT jobs.

We talked with Knight about his effort, challenges, expectations and rewards. See next page for the interview.


Tom's IT ProTom's IT ProWolfgang Gruener is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. He is currently principal analyst at Ndicio Research, a market analysis firm that focuses on cloud computing and disruptive technologies, and maintains the conceivablytech.com blog. An 18-year veteran in IT journalism and market research, he previously published TG Daily and was managing editor of Tom's Hardware news, which he grew from a link collection in the early 2000s into one of the most comprehensive and trusted technology news sources.

See here for all of Wolfgang's Tom's IT Pro articles.

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